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In reaction to Kos's diary on Libby's "love letter" to Miller, Knotlookin spots something hidden in plain sight:  a coded message from a man about to be frog-marched.

What would you say to the woman who held your fate in her hands?

Just take a look at how badly written this is.  Libby's no idiot.  He's taking this single opportunity to send a message.

Want to see where this is headed before jumping below the fold?  Just try Googling Chalabi + Aspen.

Here's Kos's excerpt from that love letter:

[Libby] closed the letter [to Judy Miller] on this personal note (although he wasn't quite right on when autumn begins): "You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work---and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers."

I'm sorry that I can't crack the code -- but it's almost certainly there.  All that talk about aspens and roots.

That's why it wasn't such a great leap to Google "chalabi + aspen" -- and come up with a link to the Aspen Institute in West Berlin.  Perhaps that place "out West" where Judith like to "vacation."

Now try this link to a page at the Aspen Institute's site.  I can't connect the dots -- but I'm pretty sure there's a constellation of hidden meaning in Libby's clunky allusion to aspens "out West".

Ahmed Chalabi (President, Iraqi National Congress)
07.03.2002, 15:00
Hotel Adlon, Berlin  

  The Aspen Roundtable "After Saddam Hussein - What's Next?" featured Ahmed Chalabi, President of the Iraqi National Congress, giving detailed information about the activities of his organization, and offering an outlook on Iraq's future after Saddam Hussein.

The Iraqi National Congress is an umbrella organization which represents most Iraqi opposition groups. Chalabi argued that Iraq could be liberated in the same way as Afghanistan has been: while the US provides air support, the INC would take the lead on the ground in a fight for liberation. It is his opinion that the people of Iraq would support such an intervention, as would the rest of the Arab world. Chalabi also gave insight into his notion of a post-Saddam strategy. He spoke of a kind of de-nazification program whereby Western governments, especially Germany, could provide help by setting up democratic structures and a civil society.

This spring, Chalabi is organizing a military conference in Washington in which over 200 current and former high-ranking Iraqi military officers will meet in an effort to boost the visibility of the INC.

Following the roundtable, Dr. Chalabi gave a press briefing to 40 German and international journalists.

Forgive me for posting this half-baked theory... but I know there are many smarter and better chefs in Kosville.

Can anyone add to this?

Originally posted to goldstone on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:22 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  you're right (4.00)
    I think there's something here - it's just too clumsy and inane of a letter:

    They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them.

    Huh? HUH????

    "I ain't always right, but I've never been wrong - seldom turns out the way it does in a song."

    by Glic on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:24:27 AM PDT

    •  About aspens (4.00)
      Aspen trees actually ARE connected at the roots. An aspen grove is essentially one huge organism. Each tree is a "shoot" off the main root system. Every tree in an aspen grove is connected.

      Not to defend the bat-shit neocons or anything, but I thought I'd just explain that little bit of trivia I picked up out West. I'm sure a botanist could explain it better than I, though. :)

      •  I don't doubt you (none)
        but it's a damned odd thing to put in that kind of letter.

        "I ain't always right, but I've never been wrong - seldom turns out the way it does in a song."

        by Glic on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:39:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, absolutely (none)
          No argument from me there. I was just tossing out a bit of interesting trivia. Hopefully someone more intelligent than I can "root" out the neocon meaning. So to speak. ;)
          •  It sounds like a thinly veiled threat to me (none)
            kinda like, "we know where you live".
            •  Not to me... (4.00)
              I have always been of the opinion that if Miller was anything to these guys, she is the equivalent of a neocon CIA operative tasked with stovepiping their propaganda/information warfare material into the NYT.

              My take?  He's reminding her that they are connected and that they need her "in place" this fall to do the job. Kinda like they wanted John Bolton "in place" at the U.N.

              •  Actually... (4.00)
                That seems to fit.

                The aspens are all connected, and so are the "neocons". Perhaps Miller is being invited to rejoin her place in the "machine", as a propagandist.

                Perhaps they realized that Rove, or whoever it is that's going to take the fall, is doomed no matter what and so they'd rather collect their pieces and play to the best position they can get.

                It's maybe a "You're forgiven for your sins... We're not going to destroy you..." letter and not the other way around.

                ...Which, it seems, implies they have some new plan in motion--behind the curtain for now. I hate to say "Iran" again... but... well, i guess if they're planning something we'll find out soon enough.

                Paranoid, conspiracy-mongering stuff--but it's pretty curious nonetheless.

                The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

                by Shapeshifter on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:58:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  *nod* (4.00)
                  ...Which, it seems, implies they have some new plan in motion--behind the curtain for now.

                  That is my sense as well. When bush was looking lame-duck-ish in Aug. 2001, 9/11 happened to change the political equation.

                  My fear is that with things going as they are, they will attempt some similar event to shift the political calculus yet again.

                  Honestly, I had expected it to have happened by now. Maybe the delay in getting Bolton installed and the Katrina debacle has caused a slight delay?  Possibly. I do expect it, whatever "it" is, by Christmas or the Spring.

                  However, now that I think about it, a friend of mine mentioned that some friends of hers who have a psychic sense about whats coming down the pike agreed that circa June 2006 was gonna be some serious shit. shrug I guess we'll see, no?

                  •  I've been thinking that as well. (none)
                    But have been quiet about it for a while so as to keep my tinfoil hat in the closet.

                    "The responsibility of government for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate." -Winston Churchill

                    by hopesprings on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:23:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  HuffPo comment, (none)
                      Cheney personally went to the CIA. Libby got the info from him.
                      The original leak to the White House? Porter Goss. He was Chair of the House INTEL and knew Valerie Plame from a previous capacity involving work parallel to CIA tasks.
                      How so? Larisa Androvnova's interview with Joe Wilson he is asked why Valerie's maiden name was used. To him it meant someone most likely familiar with her Agency work during the time she was using that name.(RAW
                      This could easily be Porter Goss. He knew her as Valerie Plame during their Intelligence Community cooperative efforts.
                      Goss sees this, happens to meet Bob Novak on CNN. The week of the Plame outing Goss personally appears on the program to talks INTEL with Bob Novak and Tucker Carlson, who also was questioned.
                      Connect the dots from there. Novak also mentions he got White House verification. Did Novak and Goss make visits to the White House on the same day, to the point their meetings overlapped? Were they sent out previously to coordinate talking points? To what extent does CNN(banned their chats and purged archives of Crossfire the same week) have a role in this?
                      Anyways the PATRIOT provision let Goss see unredacted portions. Even if Mrs.Wilson was not identified by such procedure her name alone rung a bell to him.
                      Goss makes partisan points by helping Cheney undermine opposition for his oil grab contractor porkbarrel. In return he gets the CIA director's nod as an INTEL coverup.
                      Bush is a puppet. Cheney went to the CIA to vet Plame once given a notion of who to specify. Novak contacted the CIA and the timeline of this can be matched to his crossfire appearance with Porter Goss.
                      FCC regulations require logs be kept of all such broadcast content. The timeline falls to the day on Plame's outing.
                      Goss spots Plame, Novak is along for the ride. Bush's brain becomes part of Rove's partisan press campaign, after hearing the information from Condi's NSC briefings of Bush.
                      Condi's right hand man got the info from Cheney's right hand man, whose boss personally went to the CIA to verify.
                      Porter Goss got the ball rolling, but Cheney is the one who calls the shots. From there is was made an effort to do PR in a way that endangered the Intelligence Community's human assets in the field, in a post 9-11 world human capacities are supposed to be the most important field resource we have. George Bush curtailed decades of work within the Intelligence Community by endangering the people we have on ground doing the most sensitive and dangerous tasks.
                      The IC has not released the damage assessment of the Plame outing. A pretty damning vote of confidence.
                      Goss-White House-Cheney-Rice/Libby-Rove-Novak. The circle reconnects at Goss and Novak.
                      Miller got her info not from Libby. She got it from a foreign National, Ahmed Chalabi. The penalty for such is Treason and the White House has two seperate trials involving the same outing. One a domestic breach, the other one foreign.

                      Miller and Libby coordinated testimony in statements- such constitutes obstruction of justice. Libby should be jailed.
                      Posted by: MrMurder on October 01, 2005 at 02:57am
                      IT took a day for them to clear it...but the comment was on.

                      Some of us know Miller and Chalabi as an item is  key, not Miller and Libby. it is why they had to corroborate their stories , as Libby has admitted to matching stories.

                      Ahmed is a foreign agent and this makes it a clear case of treason, good background on Miller suggests she was part of the neocons, an asset, perhaps with low level intelligence community clearance. An 'independent verify' who was a plant all along.

                      She's hiding her source because he is a foreign national. If it really was Libby this would have gone down just after the election theft of Ohio.

                      It would have been a simple false purge/wedge issue painting it as a partisan hunt of a Staffer/Cabinet post.

                      Rove love to makes Reps into the vitcim, but it was not done immediately. They had to flesh out what was known to determine what was really up. Rove was the first victim and it didn't pan with procedural disclosure. Then the NSC and VP come into light. Their dealing with the Chalabi extortionist makes it the last straw.

                      Judy is protecting true Treason, not disclosure procedure flaws. The Bush people want to make this an issue of policy and not the spirit and intent of law, which Treason must prove and the evidence shown to this point directs one to a RICO suit to conspire, oust,expose,collude, and coverup the biggest crime in the line of disclosure breach since Benedict Arnold was in the Continental Army.

                  •  I've been thinking that as well. (none)
                    But have been quiet about it for a while so as to keep my tinfoil hat in the closet.

                    "The responsibility of government for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate." -Winston Churchill

                    by hopesprings on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:24:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  tinfoil hat wearer here (4.00)
                    I fear they're gonna pull some shit a month or so before midterms.  I seriously pray that the fucking sheeple don't buy whatever crap they attempt to feed us. Given what's been going down, I dare to have hope that any "event" would only reinforce the knowledge that this regime cannot protect us.  Perhaps the culture of fear that they've so carefully cultivated will backfire. Man, I fucking hope so.
                    •  Me too. (none)
                      That's been the pattern.  They do whatever they damn well please up until about 6 months before an election, then they pull some crap - bogus terror threats and whatnot.  I'm afraid it won't work this time, so they'll go ahead and really do something that will put the fear back into the sheeple.
                    •  I even have a tinfoil hat theory (none)
                      I think the top neocon bosses are planning to have Bush assassinated if his poll numbers don't pick up significantly.  
                      He was useful to them as the delivery boy of their crafted messages.  With his popularity tanking, he's much less useful.  The whole neocon machine, despite Democrats not having any power, is in trouble.  Bush's administration is being recognized as completely unfit for the job.  Libby and Rove could be in trouble over traitorgate.  DeLay and Frist are in trouble.
                      However, he might be useful to them one more time, as a martyr.  
                      I'm not sure the people would buy another terrorist attack scenario, especially because Bush's supposed "strong point" is "protecting the USA."  On the other hand, if the president is killed, he gets the luster of a fallen hero, and everyone forgets he was the worst president in US history.  Cheney gives a moving speech on national TV and unites and rallies the nation.  The Republican-controlled Congress passes all of "Bush's" (really his neocon bosses') legislative agenda to honor the "fallen hero."  
                      Nobody can question these moves if they happen.  If you think it's tough now, being accused of being terrorist sympathizers when you disagree with Bush's spending priorities, imagine the political danger in trying to "divide the country" even after nefarious forces have killed the President of the USA.  
                      Which of course brings us to the next point.  On whom would they pin the assassination?  "Terrorists" from a country they want to invade?  "Radicals?"  Irate Democrats?  
                      In any case, Bush being assassinated would bring one more benefit for the neocons in charge: an opportunity to take away more civil liberties from US citizens.  
                      I honestly don't think Bush will survive his second term.  
                •  Yes (none)
                  Look for Miller to front-page "biological threats" from wherever, along with the inevitable Iranian nuclear program overmisestimation.
                •  Which as another Kossac k pointed out (4.00)
                  on the Bennett diary thread, he says "Come" back to work.

                  Not "get back to work," or "Get back to your work/your job/the Times."

                  But "come back."


                  "The responsibility of government for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate." -Winston Churchill

                  by hopesprings on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:22:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  not (none)
                  Maybe in their clouded minds they think Miller will enjoy some credibility in reporting on some future Iranian WMD scam, but the average NY Times reader will never swallow a thing she has to say again.  I think Judy is going to have to go the Fox news or the Michelle Malkin type blog route.  I can't wait to hear those kids reading her "Great Moments in Punditry" on The Daily Show...
              •  It's been rumored that Judy (none)
                is or was a CIA operative, hasn't it?
            •  Yes, a threat... (4.00)
              or a warning.

              "United we stand, divided we fall."

              He seems to be implying that although he's releasing her from her committment not to identify him, she better not forget that they're all connected. If she allows her testimony to harm them, she will also fall. That is why he let her stay in prison for three months, so she would know they weren't fucking around. Her best choice is to stay loyal, that is the only way she will be protected.

              "Come back to work... and life."
            •  Yes, a threat from capo to soldier (none)
              The "roots connect them". The connection is to Chalabi, and her role role, mixed in with him, that conncects them both to covert programs to push war in Iraq.

              He's saying: You rat on his, we'll leak information on you that will ruin your journalistic career, if not get you indicted yourself.

              Or, even more sinisterly, he's reminded her that Chalabi's people will get her if she doesn't stay loyal.

              Read this portion of the letter to yourself, with pauses and gravelly Brando voice. It clearly becomes a threat from inside the Bush/Cheney crime family to one of their errant, or at least unlucky own.

              Impeach Bush now!

              by Valtin on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 09:01:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  It's more artful... (4.00)
          ...than asking for a blow job when she gets out of the pokey.
      •  Okay, now tell me... (none)
        ...about how that makes them turn in unison, a la Martha Graham.

        I've got blisters on my fingers!

        by Elwood Dowd on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:46:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We rose together.... (none)
        we will fall together?

        Just my two cents.

        "I aim to misbehave." Capt. Malcom Reinolds

        by Ralfast on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:47:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is definitely an "esoteric"... (none)
        ...meaning to Libby's text.  I think it is pretty clear from the comments here that "Aspens" signifies the "neo-con" movement and all those in it.

        We need a resident neoconologist here at dKos to decipher this crap.

        •  Aspen reference (none)
          I just wonder if the strained effort to work in 'aspens' and their connections might be an effort to conjure memories of Les Aspin, with whom Miller once lived, and who is now DEAD. He died at the age of 56 -- from a stroke (a "biological threat," you might even say).
        •  Aspen (none)
          Recall Novak reporting from a conference in Aspen a few weeks ago that the elite attendees had totally turned against Bush -- Novak spoke of himself as the sole voice standing up for the administration.

          So the Aspens are turning indeed.

          The coded message may simply have been: The ship is sinking, jump, sister rat.

      •  Well, yes, but (none)
        it's an absurd thing to say at all, let alone in this context.  "They turn in clumps"?  How about everybody whose roots connect them had better "turn" in a clump (that is, agree as a group to come clean and testify against other people)?

        Not only is it insipid to start going on about the aspen trees and the way they turn, but it's not like Judy lives out here... why on earth would he mention "where you vacation"?

        •  I'm not a tree-ologist (none)
          but I don't think Aspens turn in September - it's still pretty warm in Colorado until October.  

          "Turn" means a turn of events or loyalties - whichever makes more sense.

          Man, I feel like I'm in college analyzing Wordsworth again (or rather, a poor illiterate neocon's version of Wordsworth)

          "The responsibility of government for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate." -Winston Churchill

          by hopesprings on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 06:18:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think many people know this bit of trivia. (none)
        That in itself might be important. (See my comment elsewhere in this looooong thread.)

        Note: I'm not the dKos member Cup O Joe. Although we have similar usernames, his real name actually is Joe, whereas I merely like coffee.

        by CupaJoe on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:39:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think this is an interesting idea. (none)
        Don't the neocons see the situation in Middle East as many problems, all connnected (with the same "roots"?)  This is just the kind of thing the neocons would do--just listen to the wierd melodrama in Bush's speeches.
      •  The Aspens are connected (none) the root.  If one is affected they all suffer.  So, dear Judy, you must protect the one to save the all.

        Tin Hat firmly in place...

        "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke

        by CyberDem on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 05:30:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's exactly the phrase that grabbed me (4.00)
      if that isn't code then what is?

      Scooter the Libby the poet?

      No fucking way.

      It's being lockstepped neocons and nothing else.

    •  The part that stood out to me... (4.00)
      You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program.

      When the Vice President's Chief of Staff predicts biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program are going to be much talked about, maybe we better buy our gas masks.  10-1 odds that that biological threat is avian flu.

    •  Novak in on the code? (4.00)
      This is all just weird.  Is Novak in on this code too?  Reporting from the Aspen conference last week, he remarked about how those conservatives in attendance have "turned" on Bush.  The quote:
      It would be a shame if Rove returned to Washington without informing George W. Bush how erstwhile friends have turned against him.

      What connects the people in attendance?  Well, (and speculating heavily here), they have similar ideological conservative 'roots.'

      What's going on here?  What's happened at this Aspen conference in previous years?  Did these folks gather in years past to plot the Iraq war?  Now that would be interesting!

    •  important: more data to collect! (4.00)

      E&P said the NYT has the entire letter published in PDF form on their site but didn't provide a URL for it.  

      Someone here needs to get to the NYT site immediately and grab whatever letters are available, and whatever parts of letters are available, and post ALL of it here.

      What we're trying to do here is basically an intel analysis exercise, and what we need is the rest of the information because context is critical.  

      Excerpts from one letter aren't enough.  

      Someone please get the rest of it and post all of it here.  Including header information: dates & times sent and received, etc.

      •  Please, I'm begging you, too (none)
        My first reaction to this wasn't about the aspens.


        I know, call for tinfoil, but I remain suspicious about the anthrax attacks in late 2001/early 2002.  A responsible organization like al Qaeda would have laid claim to this, and they would have tried it again.  Nothing like that came of it, as far as we know.

        With that in mind, to what the f*ck is Libby referring?  Would Miller cover avian flu when it hasn't yet attained regular human-to-human infection routes?

        I'm completely freaked out.  We need all the letters, every bit and byte, and we need them NOW.


        •  Speaking of anthrax (4.00)
          Has anything ever come of the anthrax attacks that weren't that Judy received in the midst of the rest of the real attacks? Am I correct in remembering that her fake anthrax was the only one that ended up being fake--that all the rest was real (to the broadcast networks, the Dem Senators, etc.)?

          When it happened, Judy still had a shred of credibility. But now that we see her in her full shilldom, has anyone gone back and reevaluated why she might have gotten a fake attack while everyone else was getting real ones?

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

          by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:18:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe a test run? (none)
          Air sampler detected possible disease agent during protests

          WASHINGTON Officials are revealing that air sensors on the National Mall detected a possible disease agent last weekend during the Iraq war demonstrations.

          Health officials say the sensors showed signs of a low level presence of Tularemia bacterium. Tularemia can be treated with antibiotics and is not contagious.

          The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has alerted state health officials in D-C, Maryland and Virginia. But officials say no one has reported symptoms of the disease, and subsequent air tests have come back negative.

          D-C Department of Health Director Doctor Gregg Pane tells W-T-O-P Radio the city was notified just today that a Department of Homeland Security air sensor detected the biohazard. Officials say Tularemia is found naturally in the environment.

          Health officials are encouraging doctors to be on alert for any signs of the disease. Symptoms include sudden fever, chills, headaches, joint pain and pneumonia.

      •  Here's one (4.00)
        Powerline has it, someone should screen save it.

        •  That is one strange letter, (none)
          all of it.
          •  Libby's blaming Miller for leak or admitting to it (none)
            Money quote:
            the public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name identity with me, or knew about her before our call.

            He seems to be saying that no other reporter knew anything about Plame before Libby spoke with Miller.  He is putting his conversation with Miller at the start of the 'public reports.'  The only possibilities then are that Miller was the first reporter to which Libby leaked the info (and then Miller did her part to spread the word) or Miller leaked it to Libby (and thus Libby is off the hook).  Either way, this statement is Libby's story and his version of events, straight from the horse's mouth.  He may be lying or distorting, but this is his line to Fitz.
            •  He's letting her know what she needs to say. (none)
              I'm sort of surprised Fitzpatrick didn't see through this.
            •  miller's tale (none)
              this is an astute observation, and consistent with one possibility i've entertained.  namely, that miller somehow discovered plame's cia identity while researching her bioweapons book.  perhaps through her various connections, perhaps through david kelly, who knows, maybe plame was even a source.  but the fact that she never even wrote a story on the wilson topic, and the additional fact that rove (and others?) in typical 'lie that's technically true' form said he first heard of plame through the press, suggest that miller was not so much protecting a source as herself.  

              of course, what fitz might be wanting to know now from her is just how much of this information she observed or helped to promote publicly, and then cover up once the mess started to unravel.  

              the fact that fitz has allowed limited testimony from her suggests that (1) he has enough on libby, (2) he also has enough on others, and (3) he has goods on her, too.  

              from what i've read about the jurists' reaction to the evidence is that it is extremely compelling and extremely serious, in terms of national security.  

              fasten your seatbelts, folks; it's going to be a bumpy ride.

          •  too strange for my liking (none)
            he spells out the topics for forthcoming events.If this was not some code, what is All he had to say was there is much to write about.
            why would the NYT publish this text?

            be afraid, Be very afraid. Judy is up to her neck, an operative from all I've read. She was livid at Wilson's oped - that eroded her credibility.
            we have lost a country. No tinfoil.

            Come home, eh Judy?

        •  The last line of the previous graf as well. (none)
          If you can find a way to testify about discussions we had, if any, that relate to the Wilson-Plame matter, I remain today just as interested as I was over a year ago.

          What does that mean? Why does she have to "find a way"? So she has to bullshit? Why not tell to just ask her to tell the truth, the whole truth, etc.  And he will be interested to see what she says. As if he doesn't already know what they talked about.

          Sounds to me like he is worried that she does have something damning on him, but he is telling her in the previous paragraph that nobody else has provided that information yet. So if she can find a way during the grand jury interview to not spill the beans then they will be in the clear. He will be very interested to see if she can accomplish that.

          Then she can go back to her ringside seat for Armaggedon, Act II.

        •  my reading of the last paragraph (4.00)
          Basically the same thing other people are saying, in convenient tabular form.

          You went to jail in the summer. It is fall now. That was then, this is now. Things are different.
          You will have stories to cover (Iraq elections, nuke threats etc. Hell is breaking loose: the wrong Iraqis got elected, nuke threats from Iran, etc.
          The aspens are turning The neocons at the AEI have had it with Bush (or maybe Rove, etc.) and are ready to toss him/them overboard to keep pressing their agenda
          They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Different groups within the neocons are coming around as groups, since they share underlying interests.
          Come back to work--and life. Remember that you work for us. (Rove/Bolton/some other unnamed fall guy) isn't in our favor any more, so screw him. We can deal with the repercussions. Blame everything on him and get back to helping us loot the planet.

          Notice the tone here: Libby is trying to persuade Miller to do something she's afraid to do. He's not as much threatening her, as signalling that previously existing threats, while not yet completely neutralized, aren't as scary as they used to be. So she should come help with the backstab.

  •  Hmm (4.00)
    That letter was so badly or oddly written, that your theory seems plausible. Either way, I'm still gonna have to do something to get that letter out of my brain!

    Neoconservatives??? How about Neo-Jingoism?

    by pshaw on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:25:20 AM PDT

    •  Fits in with my theory: Miller = DOD (4.00)
      Judith Miller is an undercover DOD (not CIA!) operative in the Office of Special plans.  {The CIA has been banned from using journalists like that for a while}

      Read up in the WaPo (Howard Kurtz) about her activities (not really reporting) on the WMD search team, where she was in effect giving orders.

      Note there are many "stories to cover":  i.e. activities to take.

      When would a government official TELL a reporter what stories to cover?  Ahem?

      Translation of message:  

      *) Get back to work, we have some jobs for you.  

      *) Note how the aspens all turn brown together, because they are connected in the "West" (i.e. USA, as opposed to Iraq=East).

      I.e. if you burn us, we will fuck you.    Get back to working for us, and you'll be able to enjoy your "life".   Ahem!

  •  They're hoping (none)
    that a pro-Iranian government in Iraq will give us an in to Iran itself...Chalabi has been friendly with Iran...they're "turning" in that direction and they "turn" in clusters...Iraq and Iran will become as one.
    •  This is quite specific, a warning (4.00)
      Read it carefully:

      It is fall now. You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work---and life.

      Judy is too close to DC in jail.  In the fall, something will happen in DC, biological bomb, nuclear attack.  All the shit is hitting the fan, Abramoff, Plamegate, AIPAC, they're all connected, and the only response is a disastrous attack in DC.

      Judy needs to get out of jail and get out of town if she wants to live.

      A vote for Bush is a vote for Osama.

      by Alan S on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:44:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that is a little... (4.00)

        All neocons are connected like Aspens.  Judy is one of them.  Libby is actually telling her that she is STILL one of them and has done her duty by being in jail.

        I don't see this as a threat, because you must remember that Judy went to jail to protect Libby.  At some point, after conferring with some of those who testified, Libby either realized his goose was cooked anyway, or that he was in the clear.  

        So, he no longer had anything to fear from Judy's testimony.  He therefore set her free to start "helping" him and the neocon cabal by doing what she does best: misinformation, propaganda, and stovepiping.

        If I have more time, I will lay out my hermeneutics more comprehensively in a diary.

      •  Does seem (none)
        quite extreme, but what is really scary is that a attack on the motherland might be the only thing that gets the neocons out of the shitpile they are in. :(

        "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

        by fugwb on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:51:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (none)
        Every once in a while on this blog someone mentions something big happening in October.
        •  You mean (none)
          like an "October surprise"?
          •  10/11 (none)

            "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." -- Walter Benjamin

            by quaderni on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:17:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  noooooooooo (none)
              Please don't say that. I'll be in DC that day.
              •  Dear god, I hope not... (none)

                ... but with all the shit they're in, what else could you expect?  If the fix is in, at least it'll save innocent lives.

                Otherwise, I expect that the GOP will find their own Reichstag to burn and then we'll get the 'night of the long knives'.

                Chances are, we'll see each other on the way to the execution cellars.

                "It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us." -- Walter Benjamin

                by quaderni on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:13:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  why that date specifically? (none)
              It's my birthday! Yikes.

              "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

              by Dunbar on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 04:12:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Rove in Aspen (none)
            by Robert Novak
            ASPEN, Colo. -- For two full days, President Bush was bashed. He was taken to task on his handling of stem cell research, population control, the Iraq war and, especially, Hurricane Katrina. The critics were no left-wing bloggers. They were rich, mainly Republican and presumably Bush voters in the last two presidential elections.

            The Bush-bashing occurred last weekend at the annual Aspen conference sponsored by the New York investment firm Forstmann Little & Co. More than 200 invited guests, mostly prestigious, arrived Thursday (many by private aircraft) and stayed until Sunday for more than golf, hikes and gourmet meals. They faithfully attended the discussions presided over by PBS' Charlie Rose on such serious subjects as ''global poverty and human rights'' and ''the 'new' world economy.'' The connecting link was hostility to Bush.

            ''All discussions are off the record,'' admonished the conference's printed schedule. Consequently, I will refrain from specifically quoting panelists and audience members. But the admonition says nothing about personal conversations outside the sessions. Nor do I feel inhibited in quoting myself. Even if I am violating the spirit of secrecy rules, revealing criticism of Bush by this elite group, and the paucity of defense for him, is valuable in reflecting the president's parlous political condition.

            U.S. News & World Report disclosed this week, with apparent disdain, that presidential adviser Karl Rove took time off from the Katrina relief effort to be at ASPEN. He was needed as a counterweight. I settled in for serious fireworks, expecting Bush-bashers to assault his alter ego at the conference's final session. However, direct confrontation with a senior aide must have been more difficult than a remote attack on the president. It would be a shame if Rove returned to Washington without informing Bush how erstwhile friends have turned against him.

            Does Judy vacation in Colorado?

            Novak Story

            The problem is not the's the BASTARD with the whip trying to starve it!

            by NeuroticBlonde on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 12:48:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  curious (4.00)
    I dunno how much there is to it, but I'd say there's at least a 50/50 chance you're onto something.

    When I read the text of that letter, the first thing I thought was: "this doesn't really make much sense - what the hell is he talking about?"

    So the idea that it's a code of some sort sheds some light on why it's so confusing. It doesn't read like a normal letter, that's for sure.

    What the code is about? Who knows.

    Could very well be a tip-off of things to come. Notice how he deliberately mentions biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program in the same sentence. Perhaps he's suggesting that the US will be attacked with a biological weapon, and a la Cheney's recent directives, we'll respond by attacking Iran with nuclear weapons?

    Just another half-baked thought.... kinda fun to speculate.

  •  Please humor the naive (none)
    Why would Libby need to communicate w/ Miller in the very weird, very risky way?  Surely, there are more conventional, less icky means.

    Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be KILLED BY Cowboys.

    by GoMommyGo on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:35:47 AM PDT

  •  Has anybody ever read anything else that was (none)
    supposedly written by Libby?  Is it possible that this was not written by Libby?  I read the diary last night but was too sleepy to read the letters and pay attention to them.  They just seemed crazy to me and the idea that they are a code makes sense.  There is something so strange about this whole Miller-in-jail affair that I can't wait until it begins to publicly unravel.

    Judicial nominee stonewallers deserve a NO-vote.

    by macmcd on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:36:43 AM PDT

    •  One thing to do (4.00)
      Is dig up what we know about Libby's previous waivers. He gave pretty specific ones to Cooper, Russert, and Kessler, IIRC.

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

      by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:33:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess (none)
        I'm less interested in content then why it was leaked today.  It seems like an effort to both get the media off Rove's back by focusing them on the Miller/Libby Harlequin Romance, and also to buy time -- if Fitzgerald was ready to go on Monday (or early next week) with indictments, he probably didn't have these documents before and now he does.

        BushCo is not a united front.  They are, by all reports, a collection of warring camps all scrambling to save their own skins.  This seemed to be leaked by Powerline (possibly others, I don't know), and then picked up by the NYT, who according to Editor & Publisher didn't originally have the letters.  And the Power Tools are RoveHo's extrordinaire.

        Seems like an effort to stall the GJ and perhaps put a little more heat on the Cheney camp, IMHO.

        •  Do you have a link (none)
          To the E&P comment?

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

          by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:21:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Never mind (none)
          That's why one puts links in these fancy internets things, right?

          E&P is wrong. The letters were linked on the NYT front page when I started my morning's post, which was at an ungodly 4:30 or something. I'm not sure when they demoted them to two stories down (now linked off of a not-very-prominent Judy story). But they were front and center several hours before the "Powertools" were on this (clever moniker, btw).

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

          by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:27:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Heat on Cheney (none)
          Check this graph from the NYTimes this morning:

          On July 12, 2003, four days after his initial conversation with Ms. Miller, Mr. Libby consulted with Mr. Cheney about how to handle inquiries from journalists about the vice president's role in sending Mr. Wilson to Africa in early 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq was trying acquire nuclear material there for its weapons program[.]

          Who was the source for this (i.e., behind the "lawyer" that Johnstone and Stevenson cite)? Tenet???

          The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

          by semiot on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:30:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  go get the rest of it! now! (none)

      E&P said the NYT has the entire letter published in PDF form on their site but didn't provide a URL for it.  

      Someone here needs to get to the NYT site immediately and grab whatever letters are available, and whatever parts of letters are available, and post ALL of it here.

      What we're trying to do here is basically an intel analysis exercise, and what we need is the rest of the information because context is critical.  

      Excerpts from one letter aren't enough.  

      Someone please get the rest of it and post all of it here.  Including header information: dates & times sent and received, etc.

      (Yes, I've posted this comment more than once; sorry if that's improper; I don't abuse my privs on this site; this item -getting the rest of the letter(s)- is too important to let it slip or get swamped by the volume of postings.)

    •  Here is another link to the Aspen Institute (4.00)
      which I think bears looking into.

      Here's the link to the entry from Steve Clemon's The Washington Note  

      It is the announcement that "News has just reached TWN that Aspen Institute Berlin Director Jeffrey Gedmin, who worked at the American Enterprise Institute with Bolton and who directed AEI's New Atlantic Initiative, will be joining Bolton as one of his senior staff at the mission."

      Bolton -- Aspen Institute -- Iraq -- Iran -- Chalabi -- Miller.

      "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Lewis Carroll (CA-15)

      by kathyp on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:53:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aspen Institute (3.66)

        Aspen Institute ==> DOD Office of Special plans, i.e. non-CIA intelligence.

      •  New Atlantic Initiative - Push polling (none)
        Found this, while Googling the New Atlantic Initiative. It's from poll results reported at the Jewish Virtual Library.

        Push-poll to increase support for Israel settlement policy

        Do you believe that after the World Trade Center terrorist attack [9/11/01], if the United States forced Israel to give up territory to Yasser Arafat for a Palestinian state including the dividing of Jerusalem, that it would end terrorism against the United States, or would it encourage terrorism by rewarding those who support terrorism like Arafat? (New Atlantic Initiative/Chicago Sun Times, Oct. 15, 2001)

        Push-poll to support a future Iraq war

        If it is discovered that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were involved in state sponsored terrorism against the United States and Israel, which nation would you prefer to carry out the military missions against Saddam Hussein? (New Atlantic Initiative/Chicago Sun Times, Oct. 15, 2001)

        Dunno what this adds to the puzzle. Makes the "New Atlantic Initiative" look pretty fishy, though. (Also the Sun Times)

    •  Al Gore... (none)
      Al Gore is also an emeritus member... What's he doing there with the likes of Cheney, Miller, Armitage, Gergen, Hutchison, Condoleezza and Wolfy??? Is he just slumming it?

      Seriously... what up with that?

      We also have as members Madeleine Albright and Dianne Feinstein... Are these "Dems" in on the next great neo-con flim-flam? I doubt it... but maybe.

    •  Al Gore? (none)
      Emeritis members:

      Richard L. Armitage
      Judith H. Bello
      Richard B. Cheney
      Stephen Friedman
      David Gergen
      Albert Gore, Jr.
      Jim Hoagland
      Kay Bailey Hutchison
      David C. Jones
      Jan Lodal
      Jessica Mathews
      Judith Miller
      William Owens
      Condoleezza Rice
      Alice Rivlin
      Walter Slocombe
      John W. Warner
      William Webster
      Paul Wolfowitz
      R. James Woolsey
      Robert B. Zoellick

      What's AL GORE doing in there with Rice, Wolfowitz et al?

    •  Libby the Capo to Judy the soldier: script (none)
      [Imagine the gravelly voice of Brando in The Godfather:]

      Libby/Consigliere (in a monologue): Judy...[long pause]

      You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. [long pause again, and a significant nod of the head]

      You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. [long pause, but this time Libby/Consigliere stands up, looks down at Judy]

      Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in [eyes squinting strongly ] clusters, because their roots connect them. [Nods. She nods back. She stands up and faces him.]

      (Libby/Consigliere puts out his arms. They embrace and kiss cheeks.] Come back to work---and life.

      [Fade out.]

      Impeach Bush now!

      by Valtin on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:18:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The company that sponsored the Aspen meeting (none)
      Don't let the "Little" fool you: Buyout firm Forstmann Little & Co. has been home to some big names. The company, which specializes in telecommunications, technology, education, and health care investments, counts among its former advisory board members Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as George Shultz and Henry Kissinger. Since its founding in 1978, Forstmann Little has invested more than $10 billion in about 30 companies. It is led by the surviving founding group member, Ted Forstmann; Nicholas Forstmann died in 2001, and William Little died in 2000.
  •  scary (4.00)
    because I wanted to brush this off as a tinfoil hat theory, but the more I read those comments the more I think you're right.  
    It will be interesting to keep this letter in our thoughts as we watch upcoming events...
    •  I think it's a message for two reasons (4.00)
      First, because as I point out in this post, it seems like he was trying to telegraph intructions on how she should testify yesterday morning. If I'm right about this (and it would follow Rove's MO), then it suggests he's using whatever mode available to get messages to Judy.

      But also, this letter doesn't even correlate with what Libby people are leaking elsewhere. In Steno Sue's article from yesterday, a Libby source describes Judy's and Libby's communication about Plame as follows:

      According to a source familiar with Libby's account of his conversations with Miller in July 2003, the subject of Wilson's wife came up on two occasions. In the first, on July 8, Miller met with Libby to interview him about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the source said.

      At that time, she asked him why Wilson had been chosen to investigate questions Cheney had posed about whether Iraq tried to buy uranium in the African nation of Niger. Libby, the source familiar with his account said, told her that the White House was working with the CIA to find out more about Wilson's trip and how he was selected.

      Libby told Miller he heard that Wilson's wife had something to do with sending him but he did not know who she was or where she worked, the source said.

      Libby had a second conversation with Miller on July 12 or July 13, the source said, in which he said he had learned that Wilson's wife had a role in sending him on the trip and that she worked for the CIA. Libby never knew Plame's name or that she was a covert operative, the source said. [emphasis mine]

      But in his letter he says the following:

      ...I had voluntarily waived the confidentiality of discussions, if any, we may have had related to the Wilson-Plame matter.


      Because, as I am sure will not be news to you, the public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me, or knew about her before our call.


      If you can find a way to testify about discusions we had, if any, that relate to the Wilson-Plame matter, I remain today just as interested as I was a year ago. [emphasis mine]

      Now, there are several funny things here. First, in mid-September, Libby wouldn't say definitively that he had had a converastion about Plame. But Thursday, he sent a friend or lawyer out to make sure just such an admission was in the press.

      Second, it should be news to Judy--to all of us--that every other reporter said they didn't discuss Plame's identity. Because we know Cooper, at least (and Russert, too, although his testimony is famously cryptic) did discuss Plame's identity with Libby. As he describes:

      In that testimony, I recounted an on-the-record conversation with Libby that moved to background. On the record, he denied that Cheney knew about or played any role in the Wilson trip to Niger. On background, I asked Libby if he had heard anything about Wilson's wife sending her husband to Niger. Libby replied, "Yeah, I've heard that too," or words to that effect. Like Rove, Libby never used Valerie Plame's name or indicated that her status was covert, and he never told me that he had heard about Plame from other reporters, as some press accounts have indicated.

      Sure, Libby didn't tell Cooper Plame's name, but he did discuss enough to get to her identity--and Cooper certainly knew of Plame before the call!

      These two cryptic bits seem, to me, to send two messages to Judy.

      First, she should feel free to talk about the parts of their conversation that related to Wilson and Plame. Which is, of course, precisely what she insisted on doing. He was telling her to refuse to discuss related items (trumping up WMD claims, probably?).

      Second, he was giving her clear instructions on what to testify to--that she hadn't known about Plame before the call, that Libby did not discuss Plame's name or her NOC status.

      Which, since we're living in 1984 leads me to believe that Judy did come to Libby on July 8 2003 already knowing about Plame and that Libby did tell her of Plame's name and NOC status.

      I said in my earlier post that Judy likely couldn't comply with Libby's WaPo instructions without getting the NYT into jeopardy. I wonder, then, if she complied with these instructions.

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

      by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:57:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Link to Steno Sue's article (none)
        Is here.

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

        by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:58:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. (none)
          Great work.

          If we can source this, Fitzgerald might have a case against Libby for witness tampering.

          •  Don't know (none)
            Fitzgerald let Miller and Libby's lawyers know they wouldn't be charged with obstruction for talking to each other (per LA Times yesterday), so probably unlikely, though it certainly would be nice.
            •  Yeah, I've been thinking about that (none)
              Fitz may not have been dumb to restrict things to the Plame Affair (I really believe he's got the other stuff via another source).

              But damn, if he let Scooter tamper with Judy, I'll be really bummed. I mean, this is pretty bold stuff. Scooter said that Tate and (presumably) Bennett would read the letter, but did Fitz look at it before it was delivered?

              And have you considered whether Bennett is part of the attempt to get off of this? Sent around when it became clear a high-minded First Amendment defense wouldn't work? I'm sure Fitz isn't giving him attorney client privilege (because, as we all know, Judy Miller is a terrorist). But he's the kind of creep who might try to facilitate obstruction for the right price.

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

              by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:12:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I put nothing past (none)
                Bennett and his even creepier brother.  But who do you think leaked this?  My money is on Rove.  If Fitzgerald didn't have it before, he's got it now.
                •  I don't think Rove (none)
                  I can't imagine how he would have gotten them, unless Bennett is working to obstruct and he made sure Karl got copies. Both Judy and Libby would have all three letters, having either sent or received them. Honestly, I think NYT posted them, to clarify what went on with Abrams.

                  I think they're happy Bennett intervened and got a deal. But I think they still needed Abrams to make Judy's capitulation look less like a capitulation.

                  One more thing. It looks like the copies on the NYT are scans of the hard copies, not faxes. At least there's no transmission data included.

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

                  by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:57:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Who leaked (none)
                  Although, now that I look at the powerline copies, they look like they may be predecessor copies to the NYT ones. The NYT have much bigger margins and replicate the diagonal slant and cropped letterhead of the Abrams letter.

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

                  by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:00:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps if she cut a deal (none)
        with the SP, she can't comply with Libby's instructions, because Fitzgerald has other corraborating testimony. Perhaps Fitzgerald cut a deal with the NYTs, too. They met with the GJ, too, right? And there's another high-ranking administartion official who's also leaked to reporters, right?

        To me, this letter sounds sort of desperate -- as if he's saying -- "Of course I didn't want you to rot in jail... and of course all the reporters involved (including you, Judy) didn't know her name was Plame...and of course you're still part of the family and nothing will happen to you (even though you know a shitload).

        As always, Emptywheel, you are the sleuth extraordinaire.

  •  It's a threat (4.00)
    Very intriguing. Maybe he's just in love with her and they had a fling at the Aspen Institute in West Berlin. He's just trying to rekindle an old flame, but after her trip to Iraq and all those palaces, anyone short of a dictator won't do.

    Here's my guess: we're all in this mess together (connected at the roots); if one turns on us and one goes down, we all go down, together. Don't mess with us, Judy. Come back to your CIA assignment at the NYT and all will be well. (And how's the food?)

    Someone posted a comment yesterday about Fitzgerald having tricked her into perjuring herself. Anyone remember the argument?

    •  Aspen's HQ (none)
      Is "out West" in Colorado.
    •  Very good.... (4.00)
      is he telling her "watch out, even if I go down, I'm just part of one tree thats part of a whole cluster with deep, deep roots..."  This could be the message.
    •  Agreed (4.00)
      It's a threat.

      If I got this little horse-head-in-your-bed note, I'd read it as,

      "You had a bright future. It doesn't have to stay that way. You've got work to do, now. In case you're unclear on what I want to see from you, I'll give you a few examples. Did I mention that I know where to find you? We all do. All those friends you think you have - they're all connected to my influence. So do the safe thing and stay alive. Until you make the right move, you'll stay on my radar; heaven help you if you don't."

    •  CIA, No (4.00)
      Cheney and Libby hate the CIA.  How do you think this whole Ambassador Wilson thing started in the first place?

      Miller wasn't working for the CIA.

      She was part of an informal network of people who supported a bunch of issues around using the U.S. military to remake the Middle East in order to serve a bunch of interests -- oil, Israel, the Iraqi exile/Iranian intelligence group (Chalabi) -- that they held separately or together.

      The CIA has done a lot of creepy stuff, but they are not responsible for the Iraq War or for Judith Miller.

      "When you starve the beast, you starve the people. And the bathtub was a reference to New Orleans." -- bink

      by bink on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:15:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  DID hate... maybe not anymore? (none)
        They did hate the CIA, pre-Goss.  Tenet was the problem, not completely onboard.  Tenet got bought out, Goss came in and cleaned house.  How many jumped ship after Goss stepped in?  How many analysts were forced out?  How many loyalists were installed into influential roles?

        Further interesting speculation here at firedoglake blog, which seems to indicate the full text of the letter is out there???

        •  Here are the letters (none)

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

          by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:03:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  wow, what a letter (none)
            from his attorney.

            We already told her it was waived volutary. We told her agin a few weeks aggo. I will tell her lawyer once again.  Is Miller an idiot/ Or is she lying about her REAl source?

            •  C--None of the above (none)
              Libby was trying to get her not to testify. Once that hit a wall (because it clearly looked like an admission of guilt) he and Tate tried to cover up their past reluctance to let her testify. And much of this is an attempt to give Judy instructions on how to testify.

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

              by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:12:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Abrams letter is interesting as well... (none)
            esp. the final paragraph, where he notes that Libby's letter states, quite blatantly, that Miller's testimony will help him.  Whether Libby's statement is descriptive or PRESCRIPTIVE is an open question.

            Since Miller went to jail to protect Libby, Fitzgerald could show that Libby was attempting to influence her.  Certainly the mafia has been indicted on charges of witness tampering for less.  

            Further, for a lawyer like Abrams to note this in writing, means he is astonished that Libby would put such an intimation in writing.  Perhaps Fitzgerald will be too.

        •  full text of the letter *is available* (none)
          ... at this link

          Contextually, that last "code" paragraph is a BIG
          NEON NEO-CON non-sequitur.

          beware the "I" maladministration:
          Incompetent, Irrational and Irresponsible

          •  Thxs for the full text. (none)
            If (a big if) you take it at face value., it makes her look like an idiot. He says he already gave a waiver, it was voluntary, given to all reporters over a year ago. He then goes on to say that Miller's lawyer tole his that her 'stand' was unrelated to his waiver!

            Then, Fitzgerald! contacted him to call her lawyer to tell her it was a voluntary waiver, and futher her testomony would only help him!

            Or you can be cynical and say the line in the letter that says ' all reporters testified that I had not heard of Wilson's wife or heard about it from them" is telling her how to testify. That that is the story.

          •  It's got to be inserted. (none)
            Read the 3rd graf from the end, then the last graf, and it makes sense.

            "If you can find a way to testify about discussions we had, if any, that relate to the Wilson-Plame matter, I remain today just as interested as I was a year ago.

            Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers."

            This makes sense. The other graf feels inserted, to me.

            •  Could it be THIS Aspen instead? (none)
              A bunch of conservatives, meeting at the Aspen conference, as reported by Novak here. The theme? Bush-bashing.

              I can see where the White House would want these "aspens" to turn.

              Of course, if this is truly the meaning (and not just some trees somewhere), then the rest of it may have additional meaning, as well. Wonder if the Iran nuclear threat is what will make the aspens turn?

              Even as I post this, though, I'm doubting my own post. Surely they don't plan on using an Iranian nuclear threat as justification for something, and mentioning it in a communication that they know will be made public?

              I'm just not ready to be fitted for tin foil.


      •  She works for Rummy, not CIA. (none)
        Why else was she attempted to be used (or was used) as a means to burn the CIA?

        Because the DOD nerocons thought that the CIA wasn't sufficiently gung-ho on manufacturing evidence about Saddam's WMDs in order to go to war.

        That's why Tenet was ousted, and a hyperpartisan water carrier was inserted.

    •  Exactly (none)
      a love letter / a reminder / a  threat

      This is a perfect example of the mafia culture this administration embodies.  And our dear Judith is in the family.

    •  I like that interpretation. (none)
      Referring to "Aspen" and "West" meaning the "us" - "come" back to work instead of "go" - "connected at the roots" - basically they want her to stay in the club and - possibly - perjure herself by saying the right thing.

      "The responsibility of government for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate." -Winston Churchill

      by hopesprings on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:30:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I suspect. . . (none)
    That it is some kind of coded reference. . .I did a search of the Aspen institute site, and Miller has been quite heavily involved. Nothing turned up on Libby.

    Aspen seems to be a perfectly respectable, bipartisan establishment institute, by no means a bastion of neo-con ideology, but Miller's ties to make me think there's more to Libby's letter than meets the eye.

    •  Aspens (none)
      The bit about the aspens is a clumsy attempt to give the letter a poetic note expressing his, let's say, affection for her. It's corny, at best, but not coded. The coded part is the whole dissembling story about the waiver that was granted her by him last year and which she refused to take him up on. There's an awful lot of waffling and weasling about this waiver and supposed subtelties of obligation to a source and professional codes. I hope the whole thing comes out. She will go free even though she can hardly be completely innocent. We'll see. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Where have I heard that before?
      •  Could be both. . . (none)
        Does seem likely that it's a reference to the institute, which by the way, hosted a symposium on the media the day she went to jail. icle_August_23_2005.htm

        Whither the Media? Are They Broke, and Need Fixing?
        As New York Times correspondent Judith Miller spent her first night in jail after refusing to reveal sources from the Valerie Plame/CIA leak, a late night "Culture and the Media" session starred right-leaning New York Times columnist David Brooks; Newsweek's Evan Thomas; James Fallows, national correspondent for festival sponsor Atlantic magazine; and The New Yorker's Ken Auletta. Brooks initially asked to keep his comments off the record regarding his colleague's case, only to later go on the record saying, "If I thought my source was putting a CIA agent's life at risk, I'd burn him."

        •  Interesting quote there.... (none)
           "If I thought my source was putting a CIA agent's life at risk, I'd burn him."

          If one were to think Judy was aware of that quote, it's context of that Aspen Institute report makes one think Scooter gave her permission to proceed and that he wouldn't think ill of her if she did.

          It's odd, no matter how you look at it.  And fun to speculate...

          by kfred on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:17:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sept 22nd is Autumnal Equinox (none)
            The letter was written the 15th of September.  It was sent to her attorney and from there to Judy.

            It's not that far off date-wise, that could be perfectly innocent.  I see there are a few comments about that..


            by kfred on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:24:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Only way the media would investigate this (none)
          is if a stain on a blue dress or a cigar were involved.


  •  I read it the same way (none)
    We're all in this together, or some shit.

    Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving: it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.--Thomas Paine

    by peterborocanuck on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:48:20 AM PDT

  •  No. (none)
    If it was truly a hidden message or code you and I would never have been able to see it. This letter was published, its not a secret code.

    Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

    by ablington on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:48:38 AM PDT

  •  another theory (none)
    Maybe she's a John Denver fan ...
    and goes out to Colorado to sit amidst the Rockies and Aspens while listening to his old records.

    Seriously tho, interesting theory behind the Libby Letter.

    •  Exactly! It's a love letter, to wit: (none)
      Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
      Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
      Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
      Sunshine almost always makes me high

      If I had a day that I could give you
      I'd give to you a day just like today
      If I had a song that I could sing for you
      I'd sing a song to make you feel this way...

      •  Threat, not a love letter (none)
        If I got a love letter like that from anyone, it would give me the shivers - the creeps too!

        That last line is a threat - come back to work if you want to stay alive.

        The phrasing of the whole thing is so odd - that's intentional, to put the recipient on edge, highlight certain words.

        It's a form of communication meant for someone who has been brainwashed.  The key words with their double meanings and code meanings are designed  to stick in her mind after she's read them.

        Think Bourne Identity, Manchurian Candidate.

      •  n/t (none)
        I decided I was tired of living in the last century,
        so I took all my John Denver albums and transferred them to ...

        open reel tape - over 6 hours worth. ;)

  •  Does anyone know where Judy vacations? (4.00)
    Does she have a second home anywhere? Does anyone know? Wouldn't it be easy to see if she actually does have a home out West?

    Of course her 76-year-old husband Jason Epstein has medical problems which keep him confined to his New York apartment sharply limit his capacity to take Mediterranean cruises, so I doubt they spend a lot of time relaxing outside the city (at least in each other's company).

    But all snarking aside, I find that "Out West" thing very odd. West vs. East, etc. Aspens, roots, all of it. I'm a nut for English cryptic crosswords, and this is definitely one of those paragraphs that raises eyebrows...


    "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

    by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:58:13 AM PDT

  •  This should be recommended up (4.00)
    just for the entertainment value alone.

    But I think (and I do love conspiracies) there are inner meanings in this 'love poem.'

  •  Okay, I'll give it a shot. What the hell. (3.87)
    Note:  This letter may mean jack squat.  Keep that in mind.

    "You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now."
    Fall now means Stand Down.  It's okay to walk out of jail now. No one will silence you for what you know.

    "You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program."

    You won't be killed, you'll be going back to work (for us).

    "Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning."

    Already be turning means one of two things:  The Espionage investigators have turned one of Cheney's gang and he's already singing - probably Franklin who just pled guilty - OR Fitzgeralds already been turned.  The investigation has been fixed.

    Which can be discerned by finding the meaning of Out West.

    "They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."

    Fitzgerald is going to get the goods on all of them because all the investigations, AIPAC, Fitzgerald, are connected OR not just Fitzgeralds investigation, but ALL the investigations have been taken care of.  They have avoided disaster.

    "Come back to work---and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers."

    Says it all one more time to be perfectly clear.  You can go back to work now.  We won't have to kill you for what you know.  It's safe.  Either the investigators have broken the case and it's a moot point, or the investigations have been fixed and it's still a moot point.

    The final key, the one I can't figure out, is the one that would tell us which way it is going down:

    Out West, where you vacation

    (/tinfoil hat)

  •  track her (none)
    is there any way we can keep close tabs on her?  see if she does indeed head out to aspen and visit the think tank?

    i don't think it's a "code" we can crack - i think it's a reference they will both understand because of experiences or conversations they've had before.

    but it does seem to hint at some kind of change coming up behind the scenes, and that she is needed as a mouthpiece for their little cabal again.

    we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
    — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

    by zeke L on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:07:29 AM PDT

  •  "You will have stories to cover..." (4.00)
    As in: Judy, if you want to get out of jail and return to a normal life, I'm recommending strongly that cling to your "cover story."  

    "Stories to cover" = "cover story".  Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that one, huh?

    "It is fall now" -- well, no, it obviously isn't, as Kos points out -- unless you are referring to the fact that a bunch of cronies are about to take a giant fall together unless they stick to their collective "cover story."

    "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

    by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:13:24 AM PDT

    •  Aspen... (4.00) not the Aspen Institute. It is the  meeting of Rove and Novak and others at financier Teddy Forstmann's annual (private) retreat for movers and shakers. In Aspen.

      Arianna blogged about it. Novak wrote about it (and interestingly, he had never been invited before). Rove was an honored guest, who spoke (supposedly off-the-record) to everyone present... But I can easily imagine there was something else going on, behind the clusters...

      To borrow a word from Novak's lexicon, this letter is bullshit....

      "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

      by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:22:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ted Forstmann's weekend retreat in Aspen LINKS (4.00)
        Here's Arianna Huffington writing about Rove's appearance in Aspen. The column appeared September 17th, which is the first time I heard about it.

        Here's Novak also writing about it, in his column of September 22nd, 2005.

        There's also something on Andrew Sullivan's site, but if memory serves, it was just a link back to Arianna, and a comment that the "off the record" rule had been violated...

        "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

        by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:31:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Timeline (4.00)
          Libby's letter is dated Thursday, September 15th.

          Arianna blogged on September 17th, a Saturday, and writes about Rove's off-the-record remarks in Aspen.

          I think Forstmann's Aspen retreat lasted from Thurs. night (the 15th) through Sunday (the 18th), but I don't think I know any of the 200 or so invited guests (so can't check the formal schedule). Novak talked about "two full days of Bush-bashing."  

          Arianna tells us that mong the invited guests (drawn mainly from the world of business, journalism, politics, and the arts) were Harvey Weinstein, Brad Grey, Michael Eisner, Les Moonves, Tom Freston, Tom Friedman, Bob Novak, Barry Diller, Martha Stewart, Margaret Carlson, Alan Greenspan, Andrea Mitchell, Norman Pearlstein and Walter Isaacson.

          Charlie Rose moderated panel discussions.

          Apparently U.S. News and World Report mentioned Rove's appearance at the conference, too..

          "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

          by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:52:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I noticed that, too (none)
            Novak, Rove, and Libby are together out there?

            "I ain't always right, but I've never been wrong - seldom turns out the way it does in a song."

            by Glic on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:03:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  more on Ted Forstmann (4.00)
            Hello?!? Aspen?!? Cover story?!?! Read the columns and look at the dates here, people. This is no coincidence.

            Forstmann is one of those people who knows everyone, and who likes to be at the center of things. Don't let the handful of Hollywood names fool you into thinking that's Forstmann's only social register. In fact, most of the guests at his retreats aren't exactly household names, but are nevertheless very powerful in politics and finance.

            Forstmann is also a GOP donor and loyalist of very long date. Whether or not Forstmann himself is privy to the neocon Iraq War/Plamegate conspiracy, his annual movers-and-shakers weekend might have served as a convenient umbrella for others to have a quiet behind-the-scenes note-swapping session, well-guarded, far from Washington...  

            And by the way: why the hell would anyone invite Karl Rove to fucking anything at this point? That was my first reaction on reading Arianna's little scoop about Rove's appearance. How bizarre for Forstmann to invite Rove...  

            "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

            by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:13:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think Libby was out there in Aspen... (none)
              ..or we would have heard about that.

              But Rove, Novak, and a number of less illustrious neocons were in attendance.

              I wouldn't be at all surprised if Judith Miller had attended Forstmann's functions in the past.

              "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

              by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:26:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  One more possibility (none)
              All of the news that came out of that (off the record) weekend just slammed Bush. Rove got panned. It was really a sound rejection of the neocons by the power elite.

              So Libby might have been saying, "The power elite is turning on us, and we've got to band together to pull through this."

              But then, I don't know how Libby would know that already on September 15.

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

              by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:50:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Novak's "man on the street" comment. (none)
              ...saying Plame's job was common fodder for gossip at cocktail parties comes to mind.

              OpenSource volunteers needed to bring election accountability:

              by skids on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:06:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Yup, I think it's this aspen (4.00)
            The timing on it is just too much of a coinkydink, otherwise.

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

            by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:22:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Was Bolton there? (none)
            He's just got to be a part of this.
          •  Aspen in the summer/Aspen in the fall (4.00)
            Rove-Plame: The Word from Aspen

            07.06.2005 Arianna Huffington

            How is it that the second most powerful man in America is about to take a fall and the mainstream media are largely taking a pass? Could it be that the fear of Karl Rove and this White House is so great that not even the biggest of the media big boys are willing to take them on? Does the answer to that one go without saying?

            Chatter about the Rove story has come to dominate the downtime at the Aspen Institute's five-day Ideas Festival. Whenever participants are not in sessions, they're gathering in small groups and dissecting, analyzing, and speculating about the outcome of this surprisingly slow-breaking scandal.

            One such discussion took place just after David Gergen had finished a conversation with Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, which has sold 25 million copies in hardback! A cluster of high-powered media insiders quickly switched over to "The Gossip-Driven Reality." The well-informed suppositions were flying faster than the peloton at the Tour de France. I can tell you what was said, I just can't tell you who was saying it (Just look at it as an anonymous twist on the HuffPost BozBlog).


  •  some suggestions - (4.00)
    it's fall now = someone is taking a fall, or time for someone to take a fall (Libby?)
    • urging her to get back to work -= go back to what she was doing before (sorry i haven't followed the details of the theories on dkos about what she was up to, but generally that she went to jail to avoid testifying about the other things she was up to; the note urges her to get back to that initial task)
    • "they turn in clusters " - how about "turn" is "turn" i.e. some groups of people are talking to the prosecutor? so she should beware
    looks very much like a code to me

    hark! hark! the Clark!!

    by Errol on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:14:46 AM PDT

    •  This seems like the right tack to me. (none)
      The key facts are

      1. No one writes letters like this.  There is some very specific reason for it.

      2. If it is code or allusions, it would make no sense for the code or allusions to be so abstruse that Miller wouldn't get it.  The allusions or code must be pretty simple, or they have something pre-arranged.  But it seems like it must be one of these two things, based one point 1).

      That said, the interpretation seems pretty straightforward:

      "The prosecutors have already gotten a bunch of us who meet in Aspen (not the institute, I think) to fall in clusters (confess and incriminate each other for plea bargains--the usual prosecutorial method), so there's no additional information you have that would do anyone significant harm.  I assure you that if you testify, you will stay out of jail and your career will be okay."

      Something like that seems pretty obvious, but obviously not a reassurance he could give her directly.

      •  The Only Hitch Is: (4.00)
        If this is indeed a sign that they're all going down, it would be the 6.02*10^23rd time we've turned the corner against conservative evil.

        I have to favor the interpretation that it's saying the investigation has been fixed.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:45:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't worry, I have no hope of real convictions. (none)
          I'm sure they all have their collective limited version of the truth long worked out, and furthermore, I'm not sure how much real conviction meat could come from all this to begin with.  I really doubt an espionage act indictment; best case might be five guys flipping to knock Rove out of the White House, with maybe a small bit of real jail time.  But I think just because they might all be "confessing" is no reason to think anything substantial will come of it.
        •  6.02*10^23rd (none)
          I believe the informal name for the number you give in scientific notation (rounded to the nearest skosh) is 1 brazilian.

          I Am The King Of The Eleven Comment Diary

          by CalbraithRodgers on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:20:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  4 for avagadro's number (none)

          you are not what you own.

          by whitedawn on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:45:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  yes, sounds logical to me (none)
        could be "Out West" signals which Aspen he's referring to, i.e. not Aspen Institute
        I think there's something in the "get back to work" section too though, outlining her next assignment

        hark! hark! the Clark!!

        by Errol on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:58:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  agreed so far, but there's more (none)
        what are "biological" threats? why is it "come back to work" (Libby doesn't work for the NYTimes!) instead of "get back to work" or "resume work" or "go back to work"? and why is it "until then" - i.e., until when? until you "come back" you are in my thoughts and prayers? literal meaning makes no sense.

        hark! hark! the Clark!!

        by Errol on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:15:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  sounds plausible (none)
        but i think there is some menace to this letter that your take on it doesn't have

        when he says "get back to work, and until then you are in my thoughts and prayers"

        that, to me, is a pretty explicit threat.

        "until you get back to working for us, we've got our eye on you, don't think we will forget about you . . ."

        I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising.

        by The Exalted on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:35:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "turn" is spy jargon (4.00)
      "Turn" is spy jargon.  A term-of-art in HUMINT (human intelligence).  

      "Turn" is a verb often used to describe a covert agent switching to the opposite side while still appearing to work for their original "employer".  The agents turned... or  The agents were turned... or We turned the agents... etc.

      He used the word twice for emphasis.  

      Therefore, fairly obviously:  Groups of covert operators are switching sides.  

      Perhaps this supports the hypothesis that this Administration is infested with Iranian spies, e.g. Chalabi & co?   That would be the "Aspen / Chalabi" connection.  

      Or might it refer to various groups within the Admin or other centers of power, who are switching sides.  That would be the "Aspen / Rove et. al." connection.  

  •  Cloak and Dagger (none)
    Chickenhawks love the C & D because it's the closest they'll ever get to warfare or espionage in the "reality-based world".  BTW, see if we can get the folks at to take this up!
  •  I ran it through (4.00)
    the old Enigma machine I have laying around the house and here's what I came up with.... "if you squeal, you're dead."

    Whatever squeal means I don't know.

    If we're dumb. Then God is dumb. And maybe a little ugly on the side.

    by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:25:25 AM PDT

  •  additional suggestion (none)
    "Out West" is just a phrase to introduce the aspens - implying Aspen, CO but referring to Aspen Institute.  note that Aspen Institute is located in "the West" in contrast to, say, the Middle East

    hark! hark! the Clark!!

    by Errol on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:30:37 AM PDT

    •  meaning, "out west" is supposed to be (4.00)
      an innocuous way to bring into the letter the warning to her that a whole group of people (cluster) - involved with post Saddam planning, Chalabi, or something - a group that she previously trusted have been outed or  have themselves turned.

      hark! hark! the Clark!!

      by Errol on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:39:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sub program (4.00)
    "Aspen Strategy Group"  Judy's an emeritus member along with other notables.  link
    •  Emphasis on emeritus (4.00)
      The current crop is full of internationalists: Brent Scowcroft, Joseph Nye, Maddy Albright, Dick Lugar, Chuck Hagel. (Although Eliot Cohen and Robert Kagan should be noted, too.)

      But the emeritus group includes a bunch of these neocons:

      Richard L. Armitage
      Richard B. Cheney
      David Gergen
      Jim Hoagland
      Kay Bailey Hutchison
      Judith Miller
      Condoleezza Rice
      William Webster
      Paul Wolfowitz
      R. James Woolsey
      Robert B. Zoellick

      Note, Jim Hoagland has some coverage of Iraq that made Judy's look well-sourced and tempered by comparison.

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

      by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:19:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  secret code, but miller had to decipher it too (4.00)
    as soon as I read this, I was thinking "Get Smart" -- something's fishy.

    going along with the theory that there is a hidden message, let's look at the context. Judy's in jail -- no contact with the neocons to set up some complex code. If Scooter (or John Bolton, or whoever) wanted to get a message to her -- a message that COULD BE INTERPRETED AS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE -- he would have to do it using not a "secret code", but rather phrasing and word choice that would click with Judy but hopefully not with any law enforcement reading this message. In other words, the code can't be too in depth, but also can't be too obvious. In this contect, I doubt Scooter was worred about the press getting ahold of the letter -- and the much higher scrutiny that junkies like us would have.

    So, going line by line:
    "You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work---and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers."

    1. You went to jail in the summer, when things were rockin.

    2. Now it's the fall, things aren't look so good for the crew.

    3. We need you back, helping with our cover stories and supporting the company line -- this would be a veiled message "you're still part of the team, please stay as part of the team"

    4. Somebody has turned, and talked to prosecutors. And more will be turning.

    I agree with the previous commenter, this very well could be Franklin. When did the letter get written, compared to when Franklin spilled the beans?

    I think the use of "aspen" here could be one of 3 things:

    a) just a code word that would jump out at here, making her (and us) realize there was more to the letter than meets the eye.

    b) perhaps Aspen was a codename previously used in the Neo-Con crew to refer to the AIPAC/Chalabi conspirators? No exactly tied to the Institute, but using the Institute's name as a general reference for that whole group?

    c) at first I thought maybe Aspen refers to somebody in the Cheney camp, but after seeing the ties between the Aspen institute and Chalabi I doubt this.

    5. Come back to work-- and life. Simply put, toe the line or you're gonna get killed.

    Let's say there is no pre-planned secret code. By just assuming the word "Aspen" would trigger something in Judy's mind, I think this threat by Scooter is pretty obvious:

    Dear Judy--

    People are turning left and right. We need you on our side. Squeal and you're Dead.

    Love, Scooter


    •  By Georgie, I think you've got it! (none)

      The name is not the thing named, the map is not the territory. -- Gregory Bateson

      by semiot on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:49:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm having a hard time (none)
      with the death threat part, everything else sounds great.

      If she didn't toe the line, not probable, but if she didn't, wouldn't nailing her in a coffin be the last thing they'd want to do? I mean, wouldn't that kinda show to everyone that doesn't give a shit now, that there's more to this leak than meets the eye, and that it's pretty damn serious?

      •  Kill Her Prospects Rather Than Life? n/t (none)

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:40:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, Not a threat of phyisical violence...n/t (none)
      •  I also don't think it's literally a death threat (none)
        Would recommend changing the (pretty good, I'd say) interpretation to read:

        Dear Judy--

        People are turning left and right. We need you on our side. Squeal and you're going back to the pokey.

        Love, Scooter

      •  if this turns out as it could (none)
        the careers and lives of some of the most powerful and odious men in the united states will be in tatters

        it is most definitely a threat, perhaps even a death threat

        if she can f*ck these guys, what do they have to lose!

        I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising.

        by The Exalted on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:38:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agree. (4.00)
        I think it is pretty clear (to the extent this can be clear) that "fall" and "turning" refer to the fact the Fitzgerald flipped a neocon (probably Franklin).

        Thus, I think that Libby is signaling that he is either (1) off the hook; or (2) royally screwed.  I think probably the latter given the other language.

        Therefore, Judy's testimony is no longer damaging to him, and probably cumulative.  So, he is releasing her to go be the good little neocon she's always been, i.e. minister of propaganda at America's paper of record.

      •  It would just be (none)
        a single engine plane crash, like Paul Wellstone.  Maybe when Floyd Abrams is on board  too.  

        But Judy was overflowing with joy after her testimony, so she must think she carried the whole charade off.  

        Let's hope Fitzgerald has the goods on her from one of the other "aspens" that has "turned" and he can nail her for perjury.  If only!

      •  Discredit her in the media (none)
        Turn her editors and/or the public against her. Work=life. In other words, they can take everything away by exposing her. She needs to procede carefully. Not a full death threat- just the Dan Rather treatment.

        Dick should go Cheney himself in the George Bush.

        by Joe Willy on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 08:18:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "aspen" (none)

      Any of several trees of the genus Populus having leaves attached by flattened leafstalks so that they flutter readily in the wind.


      Of or relating to one of these trees.
      Shivering or trembling like the leaves of one of these trees

      Doc: I wish I had some other kind of news to give you.

      by CKOneMD on Sun Oct 09, 2005 at 11:29:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just a note (none)
    Scooter, apparently isn't that bad a writer.  He published the novel 'The Apprentice' that 'won praise from literary critics'in 1996 according to the Washington Post [url][/url]

    Heh.  Now I'm really wondering about this seemingly imbicilic letter.

    ...despite those nets of tuna fleets...we thought that most of your were pretty sweet...

    by moira977 on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:38:57 AM PDT

    •  I'm glad you found that (4.00)
      as I read that note this morning and thought it just sounded way too odd for a man who was not Judith Miller's husband.  If he's good at creative writing,
      well, maybe it was just a note.  But when I read
      about the aspen,etc. my first thought was, The men I know sure don't write like that.  
        If I was in jail, my husband (an engineer, not a creative writer) would probably send a card with "I love you so much and miss you so much!!!!"  and if it were my father (a writer) he'd jot down a joke or
      two before signing his name.  Others would scribble off "hope things turn out okay" or some quick, unsentimental note.
        The guys I know may be an odd bunch of get-to-the-point, spare the hankies, make 'em laugh to forget their troubles type of men. No flowery words for them.  But Scooter's note is unlike what I have seen guys write to friends.
        Could the aspen note be different because of Libby's creative writing?
        I have to go check out the aspen institute. This could be interesting!

      You can teach creationism in our school if we can teach calculus in your church.

      by offred on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:53:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a writer... (none)
        my notes to friends are still crap... :)  The only way I'd write something like this is with a particular "audience" in mind.  That is, I'd write it by design to convey some intended meaning.  Unless, he's just trying to show off for "posterity", which doesn't seem likely.

        --Bush lied, 1000 died

        by indyjones48 on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:25:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The strange thing is (none)
        that it isn't the whole letter that's that "poetic". That last part just doesn't jive with the rest of it, so it stands out like a sore thumb.

        "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

        by Donna in Rome on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:48:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A literary writer. I'll be damned. (none)
        A literary writer cultivates extensive language skills and  knowledge of fiction that non-literary types, for the most part, don't (have no reason to). Thus:

        1. Such a writer is probably more disposed than most to think of such a stunt in the first place. Doing it for real would depend on ego--and whether the target affects the writer emotionally -- see 2.

        2. Peer recognition is intoxicating. If the target is another writer--especially one our literary writer respects--the challenge would be hard to resist. If our writer is in love with his audience, s/he will risk almost anything to woo and be praised.

        3. A published literary writer with novels earning high marks from critics is probably recklessly disposed to believe s/he is capable of weaving a secret message into the flabby morass of literary-sounding mumbo-jumbo, thus successfully evading detection. The letter's funky syntax, dubious meaning, the weird allusions--are supposed to look and sound like the "meaningless crap" that literary writers write. The rubes won't know the difference.

        Or so old Scooter seems to have gambled.

        Is nothing secular?

        by aitchdee on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 04:31:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  and he went to Yale (none)
      you would think that he wouldn't have been able to graduate if he couldn't write.  but then again, shrub went there too.
  •  Interesting MSN hit (4.00)
    A search of Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program found the report below. It isn't the solution, but for general interest the portions which mention Judith Miller are quoted.


    This study also suggests that during the three time periods under investigation, too few journalists recognized that certain answers were not being given -- or that their assumptions about the answers they would find while reporting on WMD stories shaped not only what they ended up writing, but what they looked for in the first place. William Jackson, Jr., writing in Editor & Publisher Online, noted about NY Times reporter Judith Miller, for instance, that she was "a booster of the invasion who had hyped the
    threat of weapons of mass destruction" and had "essentially surrender[ed her] detached judgment to the Pentagon" (6/17/03 and 7/2/03).

    When journalists did take on the administration -- especially when the White House's perspective formed the "conventional wisdom" -- their stories were often buried or their criticism was more implicit than explicit.
    In late October 2002, for example, as Americans worried about how the country was going to respond to the twin threats of Iraq and North Korea and looked to the President for guidance, the NY Times ran a lengthy article by reporter Judith Miller, its expert on WMD and bioterrorism. The story was 1833 words -- more than twice the length of a typical story. Her lead signaled the importance of the piece:
    President Bush's release of an audacious new strategy last month for defending America against future foreign threats stunned Washington and even some close allies. The 33page document, titled the "National Security Strategy of the United States," ostensibly departed from what had been the longstanding conventional wisdom about American strategy. (10/26/02)

    While Miller's piece quoted several Republican spokespeople, her framing of the issues let critical Democratic voices dominate. Because the piece appeared at a time of great popularity for President Bush, one might assume that the NY Times would have prominently featured the story in order to educate its audience about potentially serious flaws in the White House's foreign policy white paper as well as to
    demonstrate the independence of its journalistic voice. Yet the Times' editors buried Miller's article. It appeared on a Saturday -- the day of the week with the lowest readership. It was not a front-page article, nor even an A section piece. It appeared in the Arts and Ideas, "B," section -- on page 9.

    As the month of May passed, and any Iraqi WMD remained elusive, reporters became increasingly cynical about their existence. But even late in the month few news reporters (as distinct from columnists or commentators) frontally challenged administration assertions about the existence of WMD or about the conduct of the search. However, by the simple expedient of juxtaposing contradictory statements, report-
    ers left readers with the impression that the administration's statements and conclusions were suspect. Judith Miller and William Broad did just that in a New York Times page-one lead on May 21:
    United States intelligence agencies have concluded that two mysterious trailers found in Iraq were mobile units to produce germs for weapons, but they have found neither biological agents nor evidence that the equipment was used to make such arms, according to senior administration officials. (5/21/03)
    However, the overall impression made by Miller and Broad's article was that the trailers provided proof of Hussein's WMD program -- an impression made, in large measure, by the page-one headline: "GERM WEAPONS; U.S. Analysts Link Iraq Labs To Germ Arms."
    Sabrina Tavernise, also writing for the NY Times, also juxtaposed contradictory or at least curiously different statements when speaking about the discovery of the trailer suspected as being a mobile biological weapons laboratory:

    It was parked, missing its wheels and stripped by looters, about 50 feet from the entrance to Al Kindi, Iraq's largest missile research and testing complex, near Mosul. Soldiers had been guarding the gate for weeks but had never noticed the trailer, the major said. The soldiers found [inside] an air compressor, refrigerator, fermenter and dryer -- all items associated with a biological weapons laboratory, Major Handelman said." (5/10/03)

    It's an interesting report.

  •  Insane (none)
    Absolutely unbelievable that there would be multiple threads on this.

    I wish I'd seen this coming and doubled down on aluminum futures.

  •  How strange... (4.00)
    That the stories "you will have to cover" are stories she's already covered?


    1. "We need you to continue covering for us with these stories"

    2. "We will continue covering for you with these stories"

    or, my favorite,

    1. "The arrangements (financial, plausible deniability,  etc.) that we gave you for these stories will remain in place. You're still covered."
    •  Or - in your testimony (none)
      the things you'll have to cover up for us about are:

      the WMDs, Iran, biowarfare, terrorists

      The Plame stuff we're square on, but remember to stay away from the rest!

      Didn't the Times and others report that a big part of her negotiations before testifying concerned limiting her testimony only to Plame?

  •  Aspen = Les Aspin?? (none)
    This is perhaps just a weird coincidence, but when JM was a rising reporter in the 1980s, she was living in Georgetown with Wisconsin congressman Les Aspin...who went on to become Clinton's Secretary of Defense.
  •  War with Iran (4.00)
    It is fall now- you don't introduce a new product in August.

    Aspens are turning, connected at the roots- next neocon foreign policy initiative- preemptive war with Iran to dominate the headlines, distract from GOP corruption, set up midterm elections. They are going back to their roots- allow another terrorist  attack on the U.S. and clusterbomb another country, paint the Dems as soft on terror just in time for the elections.

    They only have three years left to complete their agenda, but must put us past the point of no return in Iran before the midterms.

    If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

    by Joe Sixpack on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:07:56 PM PDT

  •  Don't overinterpret (4.00)
    He's obviously telling her to leave jail, which requires testifying.  That means a) she was staying in jail to protect something of value to both of them and b) that something is either safe or doomed so she might as well be out doing stuff.  The "aspens turning" obviously refers to something happening but we're obviously not going to figure it out.  Heck, she may not even know.  If the message is "go ahead an testify so you can get out" she doesn't need to know why at this point.
    •  I agree (none)
      As much as it's a warning, it could also be a way of saying the coast is clear, there's a hopeful future, so long as everyone is on the same page (cluster), etc.

      But I am pretty damn sure that the allusion is to Rove and others in Aspen at Forstmann's conference. The timing, among other things, is perfect.

      "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

      by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:18:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OCTOBER SURPRISE (none)
      who knows what that might be..
    •  there's more, go get it! (none)

      E&P said the NYT has the entire letter published in PDF form on their site but didn't provide a URL for it.  

      Someone here needs to get to the NYT site immediately and grab whatever letters are available, and whatever parts of letters are available, and post ALL of it here.

      What we're trying to do here is basically an intel analysis exercise, and what we need is the rest of the information because context is critical.  

      Excerpts from one letter aren't enough.  

      Someone please get the rest of it and post all of it here.  Including header information: dates & times sent and received, etc.

      (Yes, I've posted this comment more than once; sorry to be "pulling the fire alarm" or whatever, but we absolutely need the rest of the information in order to get the best analysis, and someone needs to go get it immediately before it gets yanked.)

      •  Here's the link (none)
        To the letters

        Note, these aren't copies of a fascimile--they're scans of hard copies. At least there's no fax notation on them.

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

        by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:47:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  got it; thanks (none)

          That link goes to a download, 3.1 mb, total of 8 pages of stuff, consisting of three letters.

          Anyone who's serious about analysis of this stuff, go there now and get the material and get on the case.

          Damn, I'd be on this right now but I have an appontment in ten minutes and won't be back until tonight.

          Goldsmith, start a second diary, time to go into serious intel mode here with tight focus.  If I had the time I'd email you a template for how to do this right now; think of it as an outline organized by topic, where the readers' responses to each topic flesh out the outline.  

  •  They're clowns! (4.00)
    Second Google hit on searching "Out West" turns up the Los Angeles chapter of the International Laurel and Hardy Society.

    But seriously, it certainly sounds like he's trying to convey something more than casual best wishes.

  •  the line about biological threats.... (4.00)
    makes me very nervous. It implies future tense.

    "Christians believe in the Prophets - peace be among them. Bush believes in the profits - and how to get a piece of them." -George Galloway

    by bostonjay on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:15:36 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, and (none)
      way too specific.  Unless it's avian flu--and that is not Judy's beat--why pick out one of a slew of possible terrorist threats--chemical weapons, suicide bombs, dirty bombs, etc etc

      Buy stock in whoever makes Cipro

      •  It's NOT a far-fetched reference.... (none)
        ...because Judy in part made her reputation writing about biological weapons. Calling them a "poor man's hydrogen bomb," Miller actually co-authored a whole book on the subject in 2001 with two other New York Times writers. Germs:  Biological Weapons and America's Secret War was published on October 2, 2001.

        I bought and read the book in the immediate aftermath of the mysterious anthrax attacks. I thought to myself, "Wow, what a lucky break for these writers! They sure caught the zeitgeist by writing and researching a book like this. Talk about good timing!"

        At the time, I didn't know Judith Miller from any other Times journalist, and didn't recognize the other bylines either (Stephen Engelberg, William Broad). I also remember -- and this is not to be catty, but just to remark on my impressions -- that the book was a very sloppy piece of writing, and that the prose was quite flat throughout. I didn't learn very much from it, and was surprised that three Times writers couldn't come up with something better.

        Interesting that we never caught the anthrax killer(s), and interesting that there was all that talk/spin at the time about its "weaponized" quality, and thus the possibility of a foreign government being involved...

        "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

        by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:35:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "there WILL BE..." (none)

      The phrasing "there WILL BE..." is a hard prediction, not soft, not "there might be" or "maybe" or anything else.  It's definitive, as if he's talking about a train schedule.  "The 5:05 train will depart from this station on time..."

      He knows something definitive.  And what he purports to know is not good.  

  •  This doesn't make sense... (none)
    Sure it may have been difficult for Libby to communicate with Judy in jail, but if he really wanted to get a secret message to her, couldn't he just do it via her attorney?   Afterall attorney-client privilege still stands even when in jail, doesn't it?
  •  In furtherance of the metaphor... (4.00)
    "Aspen roots also have the unusual ability of staying alive underground for many years "

    It is a good metaphor to indicate that even if "fire burns down the forest", ie the movement takes a hit, it can come back when the conditions are ripe.

    Charter Member - ePluribus Media

    "What is the noble cause?" Cindy Sheehan

    by just us on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:21:53 PM PDT

  •  "Come back to work" only 4 coworkers (4.00)
    If you're writing a get-well note to a friend, and you admire what they do, how do you phrase your wish for them to get back to doing the work that is so important?

    If you're their employer, or a fellow employee, you say
    "Come back to work"

    If you don't work with them, you say something like
    "Get back to work and fight the good fight"

    You don't say "come back" to someone who hasn't gone away from you.

  •  Don't be so literal ... (4.00)
    ...when Judy puts her one-letter-here, one-letter-there decoder template over this note, it reads:

    "Money transferred. Paid in full."

    Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:28:17 PM PDT

    •  Somehow we need to be transported to 1998 (4.00)
      when the media was literally camped out on the White House grounds trying to understand the meaning of "it wasn't sex" and chasing after stains on blue dresses.

      The same media could dissect this letter and come up with the translation in a couple of days. Where's that media now?

      •  No They Couldn't (none)
        This letter appears to be about government or current affairs or stuff like that. Nobody in the media has had a staff that could get anywhere with this for 15 years or more.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:51:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why (none)
    If he in fact had given her an ok to name him as the source, did she languish in jail all this time?  Something is definately rotten in Denmark, and it's name is Scooter.  None of this story including Jugith's makes any sense.
    •  What's more terrifying than jail? (4.00)
      What is so horrific that Ms. Miller was willing to stay in jail rather than take every possible out, as quickly as possible? Why wait even a week?

      Either 1. It's damned rewarding to be in jail or 2. It's damned terrifying to be outside.

    •  Did Miller go to jail as a power play? (4.00)
      Imagine you're Judith Miller: you're in a powerful position to bargain, but you have only one chip to barter with - your testimony before Fitz.

      How do you preserve the value of your bargaining chip until you've got the deal you wanted? If you testify, your chip no longer has value. To get the best deal, you need the ability to choose when you cash in your chip.

      So you refuse to testify until you can cash in your chip for its highest value - when it's the only one left unplayed.

  •  More fun with Aspen Institute (4.00)
    Coincident coincidance from Steve Clemons at The Washington Note:
    Now John Bolton is reportedly gathering a new group of staffers loyal specifically to him.

    News has just reached TWN that Aspen Institute Berlin Director Jeffrey Gedmin, who worked at the American Enterprise Institute with Bolton and who directed AEI's New Atlantic Initiative, will be joining Bolton as one of his senior staff at the mission.

    Jeffrey Gedmin's bio at Aspen Institute...

    Some insight (courtesy Amazon readers) into his writing style...

    Thanks for posting this.  Very interesting thread...

  •  Does she have family "out West"? (none)
    If so, they should be worried.  Sounds like a veiled threat.  Sort of like:  Sleep with the fishes.
  •  Just a guess.... (4.00)
    You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now.
    ---I'm taking the fall for Rove.

    You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program.
    ---Play ball and we'll give you more juicy "access." (Threats.)

    Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning.
    ---We know where you live.

    They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them.
    ---We're in this together and what comes around will go around.

    Come back to work---and life.
    ---Do what I'm asking you to, and live.

    Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers.
    ---Please, for your sake and my conscience.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:47:03 PM PDT

  •  Aspens where she vacations? (none)
    That is the highlight of fall? Trees that turn yellow? How about the ones that turn brilliant reds and oranges and yellows here in the east? The brilliance of autumn was one thing I really missed when I lived in the west where there were aspens.

    If that isn't all a code he has missed the point of autumn.

    •  Good point... (none)
      the aspens turning yellow are really not all that impressive.
      •  really? (none)
        I would disagree.  I lived in Colorado for five years, and I thought the aspens were pretty amazing.  Not just yellow, but brilliantly golden against the deep blue sky.  Photos here and here.

        Sure, they're not the orange & red maples of New England, but I wouldn't dismiss them so quickly.  Pick up any landscape calendar of Colorado, and you'll see golden aspens.

        •  Disagree, (none)
          but then I am from New England and miss it.

          I do live in MT now and see plenty aspens.

        •  I'm not saying they aren't pretty (none)
          But thinking she lives in the east...comparatively the trees put on a more awesome show, breath taking.

          With the way he is writing it seems like he would use word autumn and not fall as well. Sounds like fall means "to fall"...together with the joint roots.

          I could be wrong, it just struck me as odd. But perhaps she has spoken to him in the past about how much she likes seeing the aspens change. I don't know how close they are.

  •  Operation Yellow Elephant (none)
    Yellow is an interesting color. Especially when something 'turns'.
  •  It is simple: (none)
    I think that the KOS tribe has plucked out the significant references, and everything is clear at this point forward in the message.
    Miller, as we have known for sometime, is a professional as spreading dis-information for the administration.
    The administration has bought or bribed reporters, why is it such a hard stretch to believe that Miller (probably not bought or bribed) is part of the true believers core.
    The Aspen group is one of those think tanks, probably the think tank where Miller officially came on board.
    Her job, and she probably suggested this herself, is to "spread democracy" through pushing administration articles through the NY Times - with the goal of bringing Democracy to the Middle East.
    Can't you see how noble and pragmatic the neo-cons think they are?
    Libby is simply telling Miller that she can turn on him, but he won't turn on her. Her work is not to stay in a jail cell. She has now done considerable work to rehabilitate her image in the press and in the public, and a lot to distance herself from the administration. Now she is set to go back and start planting the administration's slant on - here Libby actually lists them - Iraqi elections (going great!), suicide bombers (nothing at all to do with the U.S. invasion), biological threats (Al Qaeda has them everywhere), and the Iranian nuclear program (with Bolton's help we'll have a U.N. resolution in place by Christmas).
    The clusters is an obvious refernece to the Neo-cons stupid domino theory - one democratic nation in the Middle East and they'll all become democratic.
    Come back to work - For The Neo-Cons.
    •  Sounds Like It (none)
      This is what it sounds like ...

      But it seems very unlikely to me that Miller is being rewarded with something as a simple as a "bribe."  I think that she is weak and her ego and vanity are so hungry that they need the access to influence and power that the Libby connection provides.  No money changing hands -- What she gets is the juice she needs to keep her brain from exploding.

      If you've ever known this kind of person, you'll get what I mean.

      "When you starve the beast, you starve the people. And the bathtub was a reference to New Orleans." -- bink

      by bink on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:05:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My impressions... (none)
    Was that when she went into jail, things weren't so bad for the people in power.  It was sunny, bright... summer.  Now it's turning colder.  Seasons have changed for the White House and the GOP.  Katrina, indictments, investigations, Iraq, etc, etc.

    We all have a lot of work to do to distract people from the negative stories.  We need to try to divert their attention away from the bad news in Iraq to the elections in Iraq.  We need to link terrorism to Iran and its nuclear programs in even stronger ways to justify going after them soon.  (Or if you want to get truly paranoid, 'we need some new event that will get the public's support for what we do in Iran, we're thinking biological threat.')

    As most people say, the Aspen reference could be a reference to the need for unity, how they're all connected and if one of them is 'turned', they could all be 'turned' (indictment, accusation, exposure, etc.)

    I've been looking for references to secret societies and conspiracy theory to see what the "tin hats" think goes on 'out west'.  There are references to Bohemian Grove in California, but as far as I can tell it's an all-male retreat for the powerful and ultra-rich.  That may not work for Judy (at least if she's meant to be a participant in this reference and it's not a reminder of who's in charge.)

    Ultimately, I think we'll read too far into this or read it inaccurately, but it's fun to speculate.  If there is a hidden message, there's a reason why actual code isn't being used... that can be deciphered accurately.  Euphemisms, references, and personal anecdotes depend largely on perspective, personal knowledge and experience.

    If there is no left, the center cannot hold.

    by JAS1001 on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:03:52 PM PDT

  •  Cardboard hat time? (none)
    This is so far out I can't even begin to...

    But ya know...


    People just don't talk or write like that.


    They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them.

    To me, I don't see how you couldn't interpret this as meaning the ship's going down because the aspens are tied together in some way and when one talks they all talk. The one long string you might say. Deciphering "aspens" seems the key.

    I can't fucking believe I'm buying something this far out...but it a threat or a warning? It's definetly one or the other. Unless this guy is just a nut case.

  •  Coded yes, but (4.00)
    there's something morose in the overall tone. If he were a Kossack, this would be a GoodByeCruelWorld diary.

    My reading says that he's telling her to give up trying to protect anyone. The game is over. The rats fleeing the sinking ship will be flipped. This won't be such a difficult task, now that the outer shell gas been cracked. These people have such a documented interconnection, that denials will be laughable.

    Of course, he's hoping against hope that, somehow, they will wiggle out of it. That's why he doesn't come right out and say, "We are so fucking busted."

    That's how it reads to me.

  •  holy shit (none)
    and i thought i was just being goofy!
  •  I think 'turning' means the same as (none)
    'flipping'. Miller flipped, pushing the pressure up to Libby. Libby, seeing an orange jumpsuit, has also flipped. The Reds are glowing and falling, feeling the cold air of autumn.

    Libby mentioned that he is worried. Ah, the colors of FALL - yellow, orange, red. Watch them flutter down, down, down.

    I love blue - it's calm, serene waters, the sky - nver constant; but always present in nature, the Earth and politics.

  •  Will Cheney flip (none)
    and push it up? Why did Bush get a personal lawyer? What thank-you can the new Supreme Court justice give to Bush to show his appreciation?


  •  Fall, followed by scary stuff, is interesting (none)
    I don't know what the letter means, but it sure reads like message-sending. I wonder if the allusion to Fall, juxtaposed with various disasters, isn't meant to imply that bigger issues will neutralize Fitzpatrick's GJ. That is, stick with us, don't worry, this will all be taken care of by Big Things this Fall.

    Let's hope not. But I get concerned when these people look cornered.

    Anyway, the tinfoil name-callers can get lost. This is clearly speculation, and interesting to anyone with an open mind. But no one is claiming to know what it really means. It just looks weird.

    •  Yes, I agree scary... (none)
      but he lists things that have already happened in the past.

      Very next sentence (read: future), however, he says "Out West..."

      He is saying therefore, that she will have some disaster of that nature to cover "Out West" in the near future.

  •  Libby CODE Letter (none)
    It sounds like a plea for loyalty along with a subtle threat. Miller is being reminded of the large neocon network in place. She is also being told of the strategy. Because Miller's been isolated from communicating directly with her superiors, it may seem the ganf is collapsing, Libby is reminding her that their stategy comes in waves; for the moment it looks like the cabal is going down, but if they stay together they can ride this attack out and survive. Libby also has some intimate knowledge of millier and palces a subtle threat.

    My take is that if Libby is resorting to writing bad code himself their resources and support has been diminished greatly. The cabal is in a desperate state, the "last throws" if you will, and Miller is better off cutting a deal with the LAW.

  •  Libby is threatening Miller via a faux Nostradamus (none)
    Google for Aspen and Nostradamus, and you find:
    >The author is known as the Nostradamus of the 90's in the media. ...
    >Sollog even put ASPEN the location in the first line of the XMAS PROPHECIES! .

    Clearly, her head is going to roll by XMAS if she does not co-operate with (the DC bombing?) plan!

  •  The meaning is clear if you use (4.00)
    The "Being There " and Chauncy Gardner logic ;

    President "Bobby": Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
    [Long pause]
    Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
    President "Bobby": In the garden.
    Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
    President "Bobby": Spring and summer.
    Chance the Gardener: Yes.
    President "Bobby": Then fall and winter.
    Chance the Gardener: Yes.
    Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.
    Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
    Benjamin Rand: Hmm!
    Chance the Gardener: Hmm!
    President "Bobby": Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time.
    [Benjamin Rand applauds]
    President "Bobby": I admire your good, solid sense. That's precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.

  •  OK, I'll play..... (none)
    Stories to cover......

    stories = fictional narratives
    cover = to validate by reporting them as true


    stories = non-fictional accounts of real events
    cover = conceal, obfuscate, disguise

    pass the reynolds wrap.....

    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." -- H. L. Mencken

    by roxtar on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:37:04 PM PDT

    Follow this link, look at the bottom.

    Now who the hell is A.R. and why can;t he/she be publically identified?

    I know some will say its not the same Judy Miller....but it fits the Code!

  •  This is kind of fun! (none)

    Not that we'll ever figure this out, but...

    Right before that suspicious paragraph (two paragraphs before it actually) is the line:
    I believed a year ago, as now, that testimony by all will benefit all.

    "will benefit all"?  To me, that's an odd way to put things.

    I think he now wants her to testify and he's telling her exactly what to say (in the previous paragraphs).  In return, she'll be rewarded with her old job(s) and insider stores.  And, as others have speculated above, it may also even be a threat about what will happen if she doesn't testify the right way...

    My guess is he wants her to contradict the testimony of somebody else in order to muddle things for the grand jury.

    (That was fun.  Too bad there's no "key" in the back of the book.)

    Life is like this analogy...

    by shock on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:46:45 PM PDT

    •  welcome to the world of intel... (none)

      What we're doing here is basically an exercise in intel analysis.

      And yes, it is fun.  Like solving puzzles.  

      This is a grassroots/amateur version of what people do at NSA, CIA, FBI, and the detective bureaus of large police departments.  

    •  You've focused on words... (none)
      ...Fitz can use to create a case for witness tampering.  Got to hand it to Libby, the guy has some cojones.  This is a very risky play for him.  I have to believe he is going down, or else he would not do it.
      •  If Libby goes down... (none)
        ...and if he's the biggest to go down, it's because he's volunteered to take the fall.

        Someone will.  Rove is ideal, but he's the biggest coward in the bunch.

        BTW - anybody ever read "The Crying of Lot 49?"


  •  i haven't read this yet (none)
    But when i saw that note, i felt like I was reading a wrod puzzle. Hope you found something, and good going following up on this.

    Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

    by Earl on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:50:22 PM PDT

  •  Aspen istitute summer Celebration (none)
    Here's a link to the "Summer Celebration."

    Somebody turning on somebody?

    Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

    by Earl on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:56:12 PM PDT

  •  Heh (none)
    I agree the roots connected is a veiled attempt at saying she's connected to everything the administration is implicated in. To never forget that.

    Also, here's a wild theory,

    Aspen -> known for its skiing -> term for doing coke.
    Miller's a cokehead. A secret which they could easily exploit if necessary.

    'We have a single system...the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold.' Henry Adams

    by jorndorff on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:05:08 PM PDT

    •  "They turn in clusters" (4.00)
      I think the operative word is "turn", as in "flip". Obviously, as soon as one of the "21 Administration Officials Involved In Plame Leak" starts plea bargaining, others will be forced to either implicate or be implicated.

      Is Scooter warning Judy not to start this chain reaction, or confiding that he himself is "turning" and suggesting a scenario whereby his and Judy's self-preservation interests might be linked?

      I agree that lack of fresh news is causing us to getting into all this conspiracy theory nonsense, and that if it weren't this, it would be something else, but the fact remains that this is very weird letter and that our access to its contents is the result of an intentional leak by someone in the Bush Adminstration.

      To me the most interesting question is why this stuff was leaked to the conservative PowerLine blog? Is it part of a coordinated spin to protect the whole Adminstration or is it a sign of civil war? Imagine Cheney & Rove squaring off against each other in a neocon Celebrity Deathmatch!

      Another question: who is the target reader for this leaked letter?  


      •  A good suggestion! (none)
        This is one of the best suggestions in the thread.  There are rumours of a Bush/Cheney feud, and certainly Cheney has been all but invisible lately.   (Fuck yourself moment aside.)   Perhaps Rove/Bush are about to turn on Cheney/Liddy.   (Great image:  Pinnocio biting Jeppeto in the ass!  Someone photoshop this, and remember that Pinnocio looks like Alfred E. Neuman.)    

        One thing is obvious to me from the letter:   Liddy is reminding Miller to stick by a planned "cover story."   I definitely think the turning/connected by their roots comment is a warning, not a threat or reassurance.   Key word is "They," which is very excluding, not including, as opposed to  "Aspens are connected by their roots"--which would be encouraging and inclusive.

  •  Judith is such a Neo-Con Hack (none)
    Who is she protecting?

    My gut feeling has always told me that it is Achmed Chalibi....friend of Cheney and the seemingly sole source of all the bad CIA intelligence and Miller's lover.....???

    I don't think your dairy is half baked at all. It makes sense to me.

    The CIA took the fall for the war. Miller is obviously in the neo-con circle.

    Who is she protecting? Herself and her glorious moment in the spotlight and the neo-con agenda and its administration heads.

    Remember when the US freaked out and destroyed Achmed's house and stole his computers........ because, I wonder why? Good reporting on Iran.....and Judy the reporter? I will bet that computer had some verrrrrrrry interesting info on it.

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:13:20 PM PDT

  •  I favor the "they're turning" angle (4.00)
    Here's my speculation.

    First, this all needs to be put in context.  I agree this is probably code, and as such it could be interpreted to mean a hundred different things.  Therefore, how could Fitz or any other prosecutor try to impose "their interpretation" as the factual one?  There is no smoking gun there, so this is the safest way to corroborate stories and send messages.  If any legal minds want to weigh in on this, I'd like to know, but I'm guessing this letter is how they get around the conspiracy and obstruction angles.

    Go read ALL 3 letters on the NYT site... they're quite fascinating.  Also keep in mind that Joe Tate (Libby's counsel) may have leaked the Miller's talking story to the Philly Inquirer on Thursday, and there's some interesting conclusions that can be drawn.  The common thread that relates all three is simple: CYA, and that's why they've been made public.

    I'll begin with the presumption that what got this whole ball of wax started was Fitzgerald's letter to Tate, in which he questions why Miller hasn't yet testified if Libby has supposedly voluntarily released her (this is all inferred by reading Tate's reply to Fitz, which is public).  I'd be willing to bet that Fitz's got Libby by the short and curlies --- and Libby knows this.  This letter is a not-too-subtle threat to indict him on obstruction of justice wrt not releasing Miller from the confidentiality promise.  SO Tate goes into damage-control mode, brokers a deal with Fitz and Bennett (the NEW lawyer for Miller, interestingly enough), and lays out a cover story with Libby and Miller: she was free to testify at any time, but apparently Floyd Abrams (the old counsel) didn't get the message.  This was all made public by Tate in the release of both his and Libby's letters (practically coincident with the Inquirer's "scoop", another interesting fact).  This cover story is relayed to Miller through Libby's letter (probably bypassing Abrams and Bennett, for plausible deniability purposes.)

    Abrams is now set-up as the fall guy here, but he retaliates with his letter dated Sept. 29th (right after the Philly Inquirer article), to set the record straight and say that Libby and Tate made no such offers a year ago, and that the official story regarding Miller's unwillingness to testify has to do with her concerns that the waiver was coerced and therefore would violate "journalistic principles" (which is also a convenient excuse for her refusal to now testify about any other "sources".  This letter is also made public to provide CYA for Abrams, who I think is now out of the loop regarding Miller, and Bennett is now running the show.

    My take on all this is that Fitz has gotten someone to flip on Libby, Miller's testimony may reveal something that will show Libby to be involved in violation of IIPA, the Espionage act, or even something more mundane like perjury.  Libby was damned if he did, damned if he didn't on Miller, because if she didn't testify, Fitz indicts on obstruction charges.

    Which brings me back to the "they're turning" angle.  Libby probably knows his goose is cooked, he wants Miller to know that others are talking as well, and offers protection, i.e. stick with me and the deal we brokered, and I'll make sure you're ok.  My speculation is that this plan was all hatched at the Aspen meeting others mentioned above, hence the references (it's all too coincidental that the Aspen meeting occurs right around the time that Libby contacts Miller).  Clearly what both Miller and Libby DON'T want to happen is that Fitz keeps Miller in jail, possibly with criminal contempt charges, and somehow gets her to testify about EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY.  Miller's talking now to protect other sources (possibly Chalabi, Cheney and others in the neocon cabal, since the terms of the deal limit her testimony to only the Plame affair and (mostly) Libby.  I think a reason why Libby's letter was made public, clumsy though it is, was to alert others who might squeal that the same restrictions apply, stick with me, I'll take care of you, if you don't, well....

    Where it all goes from here is anyone's guess, but I have a feeling that Fitz's nailed Libby with Miller's testimony.  Which is not necessarily bad for Libby, it may give him leverage to pit faction against faction within the Administration (i.e. I'll squeal on them if you protect me).  No matter how it all plays out, I think Libby will broker a plea deal with Fitz in exchange for immunity and testimony against a higher up.  I also think Libby will NEVER testify against Cheney and that Cheney's untouchable in this whole scheme.

    What I think might happen, and I know this is very very controversial, but it seems all too convenient given current events,the little we know about that Aspen conference, and whatever shadowy ties may connect the neocon cabal... Fitz will eventually indict (or at least threaten to indict) Bush.

    Bush is not one of them, never has been.  He's unpopular and dragging the neocon "cause" through the mud.  Now is the time to ditch him.  It's time to pull a Richard Nixon and end this.  Cheney will resign, stating poor health.  Bush will appoint a popular Republican as VP (possibly Giuliani), someone who is involved with the neocon crowd.  On cue, indictments or threats of indictment against Bush will appear, Bush will be forced to resign, new VP is now prez.  New prez pardons both Bush and Cheney, and there you go.  Nobody goes to jail.  No secrets are revealed, no dirty laundry aired.  Fitz works it all the way to the top, only to get nothing.  The people in power stay in power.

    Sure, there may be some "cleaning house" along the way, but otherwise it's business as usual.  The power players still hold the power. And for those booted out, there's always a lucrative K street or consulting job out there.

    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

    by viget on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:20:34 PM PDT

    •  Comprehensive and interesting... (4.00)
      ...I'm with you up until the Bush thing, except for this: I don't believe Fitzgerald has agreed to call Judy just once.  In other words, it is always the prosecutors prerogative to recall a witness if he deems it necessary.  So, she could easily be recalled.  She might claim that wasn't the deal, but the prosecutor could just wave her off.

      Additionally, even if Fitz agreed to the limitations Judy believes and will stick to them, there's nothing to stop him from convening another grand jury and calling Judy to testify before that one.  I think any deals made are only made with THIS grand jury.

      •  Has anyone thought that Miller talked to Cheney (none)
        and libby and rove were willing to go down to protect them?(cheney and bush who both knew and pushed this) Miller got her testimony limited to libby; she can't be asked - under oath - about talking to cheney. In the letter Libby is reiterating "just talk about me -- no one else who may be connected."  Maybe they are also protecting Bolton -- who was cheney's boy remember - who is now gloriously ensconsed in, and trying to wreck the UN. Bolton proposed that UN dues be voluntary to the horror of those from other countries! This stinks.

        prosecutor may get big assistants, Rove and libby, (and that scum Novak, I hope) but not likely the top two horrors, POTUS AND V-POTUS.



        The critical Office is Secretary of State; they run the elections. Let's find superb candidates ! Sam

        by samddobermann on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 07:34:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Timing questions (none)
      Why do you say Abrams' letter came after the Inquirer article? It seems to me that it's the proximate cause of the deal--they needed to get Tate's earlier attempts to discourage Judy to testify on the record. They got it (and maybe a verbal explanation we don't know about), and voila, Judy's agrees to the deal. The Libby call can't be the proximate cause of her accepting a deal (10 days between call and release). Nothing else makes sense.

      Also, note that Libby's letter would have been sent just before everyone went out to Aspen. Not after. He may have been trying to say, "Judy, talk, so you can get to a relatively safe place in Aspen by this weekend where we can talk."

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

      by emptywheel on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:39:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  very interesting, but (none)
      >I think Libby will broker a plea deal with Fitz in exchange for immunity and testimony against a higher up.  I also think Libby will NEVER testify against Cheney

      Who's "higher up" than Libby other than Cheney & Bush? And for your plan of Cheney resigning before Bush to work, Libby can't have testified against Bush but not Cheney.

      But your main point that they may be able to retain power by having Bush & Cheney (& Rove & Libby?) step down and be pardoned is pretty chilling.

      •  Rove (none)
        Rove is higher up than Libby.
      •  To name a few names... (none)
        ...Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Bolton, Wolfowitz, etc., you know the usual players.  While a Chief of Staff is certainly privy to pretty much everything his boss knows, it doesn't necessarily give him the power to order around cabinet secretaries and other officials.  Libby (I don't think) had the kind of security clearances to know about Plame, he must have gotten that information from somewhere else.  Who told him?  These are the kind of people Libby might flip on before Cheney.  Even if Cheney and Libby were actually giving the orders to Rumsfeld, et al., Libby at least can claim plausible deniability and say it was the other way around to protect Cheney.

        My point is, with this admin, the buck stops with Cheney.  He will NEVER go down.  Ergo, someone below him will take the fall, and to satisfy Fitz, it's gotta be someone really high up (at least head of a department) or even Bush.

        Rove, Libby, etc., these guys are small potatoes to Fitz.

        People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

        by viget on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 11:20:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You are going on (none)
      my hotlist. Damn.
    •  A question to viget: (none)
      In the paragraph before the aspen part Libby says,

      "If you can find a way to testify about discussions we had, if any, that relate to the Wilson-Plame matter, I remain today just as interested as I was over a year ago"

      Interested in what? Was he asking her to get a deal to limit her testimony to Plame? And in saying he'd then be "interested," what would he be interested in? Did she offer him something? Who's in charge here?

      •  Hmm...that jogs the memory a bit (none)
        Damn, I wish I'd have hung on to that little bit...I remember hearing something that said Miller's testimony was limited in scope, that she wouldn't be offering anything except within that scope.

        I'd swear it was confined to Libby and Libby alone, and nothing else in regards to the Plame Affair.

      •  Ehh.. (none)
        I think that's just usual political bluster.  He knows anything she might say, remeber he and Tate are making it look like they're cooperating fully with Fitz, so's that Fitz doesn't indict Libby on obstruction charges.  So that whole bit is just a bit of cya for the public, I don't think it's any message to Judy per se.

        People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

        by viget on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 11:23:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bush has been left to his own (none)
      devices since Katrina.

      with aluminum foil hat firmly in place:

      If you remember, Cheney was conspicuously absent for the first week after Katrina hit. He was no where to be found and everyone thought it odd at the time. All the while he was in Colorado. Condi is in New York on a shopping spree. You can't convince me they didn't know what was happening. GW was hung out to dry.

      Meanwhile the shrub, with no one to tell him what to do, lets NOLA decend into chaos. His true incompetance is allowed to shine. And since then we have seen nothing but infighting and backbiting from GW's staff. With no one around like Cheney or Rove to keep them in line or make them obey the nutcase emperor.

      This may be why GW was chosen in the first place. The man has been out of his league since the fifth grade.

      Ok, now to take that hat's stuck oh noooooo....


      Reality is that which, once you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -- Philip K. Dick

      by brenda on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 07:15:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mystery and Political Intrigue (none)
    This is the funnest diary I've seen in a long time. And, ya know, it's perfectly legit because of one little character in the title: "?".

    I have no idea if that's code or not. I doubt there will ever be a way to know. But I have to agree that those aspen roots sound pretty metaphorical. Could be a call for loyalty, or even more intriguing, a warning or threat. I can't wait for the movie. :)

  •  How many people know this detail about aspens? (none)
    In my experience, even in Colorado very few people are aware that a grove of aspen trees can represent a single organism -- i.e., that "their roots connect them." I mean, really... how may people know this bit of trivia? (Perhaps a quick poll in answers to this comment?)

    That's a very unlikely detail for a person to mention without prompting. If the passage is metaphor, I would suggest either (1) Mr. Lewis put some research into his construction of the metaphor, or (2) someone else wrote it for him.

    Note: I'm not the dKos member Cup O Joe. Although we have similar usernames, his real name actually is Joe, whereas I merely like coffee.

    by CupaJoe on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:28:05 PM PDT

    •  Did I say Mr. Lewis? I meant Mr. Libby. Sorry. (none)

      Note: I'm not the dKos member Cup O Joe. Although we have similar usernames, his real name actually is Joe, whereas I merely like coffee.

      by CupaJoe on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:29:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Libby explains it in the letter (none)
      >very few people are aware that a grove of aspen trees can represent a single organism

      True - it's definitely the first time I've heard it, but Libby explains in his letter that the reason Aspens turn together is that they're connected at the roots.

  •  Libby accepting deal? (none)
    In the paragraph before the aspen part Libby says:

    "I admire your principled fight with the Government..." blah, blah, blah.

    And then he says:

    "If you can find a way to testify about discussions we had, if any, that relate to the Wilson-Plame matter, I remain today just as interested as I was over a year ago."

    Interested in what? Was he asking her to get a deal to limit her testimony to Plame? And in saying he'd then be "interested," what would he be interested in? Did she offer him something?

  •  It's just like the old Kremlin (none)
    Who's in charge?  What did this speech signify?

    My response got so wordy, I decided it was better as a diary.

    I carried water for the elephant; Back and forth to the well I went; My arms got sore and my back got bent; But I couldn't fill up that elephant

    by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:43:51 PM PDT

  •  Let's not (none)
    forget that Libby is a novelist. He wrote "The Apprentice," which was apparently highly acclaimed. And the fact that it was highly acclaimed means he almost certainly sucks at writing prose. So maybe this little exercise in shitty prose is completely par for the course for this guy.
  •  This is Creeping Me OUT! (none)
    OK, I am late to the party (hanging with my kid all day) and I am NOT a tin-hattie, but this is too weird --

    Has every one read Steve Clemons at The Washington Note?  If you haven't YOU MUST!!:

    News has just reached TWN that Aspen Institute Berlin Director Jeffrey Gedmin, who worked at the American Enterprise Institute with Bolton and who directed AEI's New Atlantic Initiative, will be joining Bolton as one of his senior staff at the mission.

    So, Aspen, Berlin, Iran....  The Clemon's money graph:

    Another article that probably underscores why Bolton wants Gedmin so badly -- and why we should all be concerned is Plan B for Iran which ran in the Weekly Standard -- and which was aptly critiqued by Jim Lobe here. Many observers believe that beyond George Bush's blind loyalty to those who blindly serve as his spear-carriers, the only logical reason to have Bolton at the U.N. is to have him there to knock heads and rip up the U.N. if it fails to heed American will regarding Iran and its nuclear program.

    Remeber, Kosovars, Bolton visited Judy in prison....

    But what does this all mean?  This is so scary.  The way to discover if this is random coincidental bullshit or something very serious:

    Where does Judy take her vacations?

    Save your tears for the living

    by immanentize on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:56:51 PM PDT

  •  I've seen this kind of code writing before (none)
    It came in a prison gang case.  Because all prison communication is read, the gang members develop codes, fairly sophisticated.  Most members know that certain words designate certain leaders or members, and the actions to be taken are very vaguely referenced.  I.e. "I have confidence that the florist will take out his aunt Juanita before her birthday."  Florist = Mr. Rose.  "take out" = kill.  Aunt Juanita = Juan (rival gang member).  

    Sometimes these letters seem stilted because there is also a code such as (A) use the first letter of each word, or (B) look at words used only after commas, or some combinations of word order or punctuation activated clues.

    [Libby] closed the letter [to Judy Miller] on this personal note (although he wasn't quite right on when autumn begins): "You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work---and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers."

    Essentially, most of the Kossacks have it right.  It is generally a threat that she better keep with the program of disinformation and propoganda.  The Aspens is probably a reference to the Aspen group.  Stories to cover is probably a reference to the propoganda pushed by the Aspen group, and her role in doing so.  Turning is probably a reference to a snitch, but could also be a reference to activation of a cell.  The roots and clusters could also assure Miller that Libby and Rove have been assured of a pardon after the 2008 elections.  I.e. we share the same roots, with Bush and Cheney, they'll take care of me, you keep the movement going.

    •  American soldiers used code like this (none)
      during WWII to evade censors.  My mom talked about her family getting a letter from her brother, who was overseas, but they didn't know where.  He talked about the old ice box out on the land behind the house.  My grandparents figured out that he was in Iceland.
    •  And, Leo Strauss... (4.00)
      wrote like this.  In fact, writing text like this, that had meanings on several levels, was what he did and what he encouraged his neo-con minions, like Wolfowitz, to do.  

      One of methods Strauss used to interpret books was structural analysis (as opposed to post-structural), and he often examined how authors played with time and tense (past, present, future).  Strauss also wrote his text in this way.  

      The creepy passage you have quoted is one I think we should focus on (at least to start).  

      Let's look at it's structure from a binary standpoint:

      (1a) "You went to jail in the summer." (Past/History)

      (1b) "It is fall now." (Near future; it wasn't fall, but fall is coming.)

      (2a) "You will have stories to cover... (Past/history)

      (2b) "Out [W]est, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning."
      (Near future; something is coming/about to happen?)

      I think we all can agree that the test of (2b) is odd locution, to say the least.  I think it is definitely the payoff here, and it could be limited to the Fitzgerald situation, i.e. the interpretation advanced above that some neocon (maybe Franklin) has been flipped.  I think this is likely.

      However, given the very public clairvoyance of neocons/PNAC on matters of national security, we should not totally discard his SUBSTANTIVE reference to her stories.  

      As you suggest, this reference might imply that a cell has been activated.  It also might refer to some other disaster that is going to occur.  

      It is certainly interesting that the "W" in "Out West" is capitalized.  Is this a reference to George W. Bush?  

      I would also be interested in both the literal meaning of "where you vacation", i.e. finding out where Judy vacations, and the figurative, i.e. does vacation have any other significance.  With regard to the latter point, we can note that George W. was on vacation immediately preceding both 9/11 and Katrina.

      Finally, the "aspens will already be turning" is also tangled locution.  And, it is tangled in the manner of Strauss, i.e. temporally.  In other words, "will already" is contradictory with regard to time.  "Will" means future, while "already" means past.  This therefore could have a meaning other than the one we've come up with, i.e. Fitzgerald has flipped some witnesses.  

      I have to admit, I'm stumped on the "will already."  He could mean that a plan she is aware of is about to be executed.  This would suggest a different meaning for "aspens" and "turning."  Both words could be code among neocons as suggested here as well.

      As I mentioned above, there is a Professor at a University in Canada (Toronto maybe?), who is an expert on Strauss and how to read his text.  I think it would be interesting to get her opinion.

      •  Maybe "Out West" refers to George (none)
        Bush ("W", West Wing), and they're going to out him--i.e. he's going to get the blame, they can ditch him, and preserve the neocon agenda.  In line with some comments upthread.

        ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

        by bibble on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 05:42:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Shadia Drury? (none)
        Is that the one.  Her books are very interesting.  She wrote "Leo Strauss and the American Right."  I also have her recent book on Terrorism, but haven't read it yet.
  •  Aspens (none)
    Sounds like "We're all in this together. There's no reason for any one person to be singled out as responsible." So keep specifics and details to an allowable minimum.

    I don't know the facts of the case like everyone else and haven't read all the comments. But that's just a quick thought after seeing the parts about aspen roots being intermingled.

  •  How far does this go back though... (none)
    U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago charged in court papers that Shenon blew the cover on the Dec. 14, 2001, raid of the Global Relief Foundation, which was suspected of funding Islamic terror operations.

    "It has been conclusively established that Global Relief Foundation learned of the search from reporter Philip Shenon of The New York Times," Fitzgerald said in an Aug. 7, 2002, letter to the Times' legal department.

    Times lawyer George Freeman told The Post the newspaper denies there was any tip-off and would fight the request for phone records.

  •  "Come back to work" vs return to work (none)
    "Come back" is clearly a 'return to me or us'. An American would say 'return to work' if she was going elsewhere like the NYT. He clearly is asking her to drop this foolishness, do the right thing, and come back to the fold.

    And after reading this I am scared. They really don't care if the whole world knows they are going to do try to lie us into a war with Iran, just like they did with Iraq.

    •  Agreed. (none)
      This guy has big cojones to write such a letter.  On one level, it's like a big middle finger to the US Attorney.

      On another level, I think your focus on the "come back to work" is interesting also from a temporal perspective (see my post above vis-a-vis neocon use of time and structural analysis.)

      Odd locution to say the least.

  •  time for a second diary, tight-focus (none)

    Goldstone, how'bout opening up a second diary on this topic, where we can get to work on this in a more organized manner.

    This diary so far has been good for brainstorming and getting ideas on the table, but it's also somewhat loose.  

    Comments in the second diary would be limited to focused analysis and plausible hypotheses backed by evidence.  No snarks, no sarcasm, no idle banter, no digressions, just stay on focus and on target.  Stick to facts, hypotheses, and supporting evidence; tight analysis.  

    Someone needs to go to the NYT site and dig up the rest of this letter, which the NYT has published as a PDF; and dig up any other letters they have obtained; and post ALL of it here so we have all the data rather than edited snippets.  There is not a copyright issue, the docs do not belong to NYT, so you can  put all of them here in full.  

    The way to set up the diary would be to post each doc in its entirety, and then set up each hypothesis and each piece of supporting evidence as a separate comment, and then folks would post their comments on each of those topics as responses to it.  Keep things in organized threads.  Think of an outline format and do that.  I'd set it up if I had the time but I have an appointment shortly & have to scoot for now.  

    In any case, Goldstone, you broke the story here, so you should get first shot at doing the follow-up diaries.  Or if you don't want to, say so, and I'll take it up tonight.  Regardless of who does it, Kos or someone with equivalent privs should do what's needed to keep these diaries on the Recommended list for at least 24 hours so they don't get nudged out by the normal process of new diaries coming up and crowding out anything older than a few hours.  

    •  The docs can be seen for free (none)
      •  everyone: go there now (none)

        Everyone: click that link, and download that stuff now.  3.1 megs, total of three letters, total of 8 pages, the last page appears to be blank.  

        Then start Googling.  Google is very much like something NSA has (minus the ads!) for doing research & analysis.  It's a powerful intel tool if you know how to use it.  Read the stuff on advanced searches and get going on it.

        Note: think of Occam's razor.  If you have a hypothesis, look for data that support it and more importantly, data that contradict it.  The goal of hypothesis testing is to try to shoot down your hypothesis, and then if it still stands up, it might be viable.  

        Again, we need another diary to get tight-focus analysis going.  I'd post it right now but Goldsmith deserves the credit for this and I've got an appointment in five minutes.  Be back tonight...

  •  Aspen = Alsos? (none)
    Okay, here's my tinfoil hat contribution.  What if instead of the Aspen Institute, aspen refers to the Alsos mission, which reported on German efforts to develop biologic weapons as well as nuclear weapons in 1945?    This is nicely described in Thomas Power's book "Heisenberg's War" and in Samuel Goudsmit's "Alsos".  

    The neocons are heros in their own minds, so maybe its a allusion to  their heroic collective efforts to prevent spread of WMD.  Alsos is Latin for aspen and is well known to folks working on WMD.  It comes from Operation Alsos which was an effort to find out what had the Nazi scientists working on atomic bombs (and biologic weapons) succeeded in doing.   Judy was big on this (remember she wrote a popular book on biologic terrorism and was a target of the post9/11 anthrax bomber).  Does anybody have her book on this and is the alsos mission in the index?

    So is the Scoots trying to remind Judy that she has a higher duty to support him since Darth Cheney is the only thing stands between us and sudden death from those WMD, especially biological terrorism?  

    This kind of speculation is kinda fun, but it also shows that we don't have better things to do on a Saturday night.

    •  Interesting. (none)
      See my post regarding interpreting Strauss vis-a-vis time.

      In a nutshell, I think the reference to "aspens will already be turning" is odd locution to say the least.  He is implying both past and future with this statement.  This could lend credence to your Alsos theory.

      •  i dunno... (none)
        In a nutshell, I think the reference to "aspens will already be turning" is odd locution to say the least. He is implying both past and future with this statement. This could lend credence to your Alsos theory.

        I dunno. I concede that the entire last paragraph of this letter is damned suspicious, but it seems to me that he's saying:

            by the time you receive this message, the "aspens will be turning".

        Maybe it's a just a midwestern colloquialism, but it doesn't seem so odd to me.

        Kinda like the "we have to get left by 5pm" that a certain hick-ish ex-girlfriend's family used to say all the time (they were from N. Dakota).

        Gotta admit tho, this is an interesting thread.
    •  No Alsos in the index of "Germs.." (none)
      If you have a membership to Amazon, one can search within the book.  

      You know, I never could bring myself to even browse the book when it was in bookstores. Skimming it is very enlightening: it's a neat little work of terrorism in itself.  Never mind stuff that actually could kill us, like the incompetent/amoral individuals who are determined to dismantle our government. Miller is out to scare the shit out of the middle-brows with a cast of Muslim bogeymen.  You can almost see the PNAC powerpoint as you skim the chapters...Iraq, moving on to Iran (she makes sure to head that chapter "The Evil Empire." )  It's difficult to completely dominate a region without knocking out the big, uncooperative governments.  

  •  sin of omission (none)
       What strikes me about this idea of code, is the same as osama bin ladin talking to his followers in code when a video is published in aljazera.  When Miller went to jail , the media kept saying , why she should even go to jail if she never even wrote a story on the cia leak. This struck me as a rational arguement, until now. They seemed to be giving her a medal for the fact that she never wrote a story. Maybe, the fact she never wrote a story is just as important as what she talked to libby about. I believe all the other reporters have done stories or have commented on talk shows. Maybe she knew too much from the start and knew from inside information that this kind of story would be too hot to handle. I know that in an artistic image , negative space, or the background can be just as important as the foreground image. Did she have a story ready to publish in the wings? If she were not some kind of insider, a reporter as ambitious as herself, would have jumped at the chance to publish some kind of story on this case especially after Novack published his story, clearing the path for the other stories that followed by other journalists.  Now Libby tells her there are new stories to write in the future. I find this kind of ironic.
    •  the non-story (none)
      I think she definitely had something to write but didn't. And of course we know she was not "waiting for a waiver"....I think she spent her time in jail negotiating what she'll get in return for not writing/talking about something -- maybe she'll get fed stories about Iranian nukes, biological threats, etc.
  • means... (none)
    ...there's a treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  •  Notice the date on the letter? (none)
    September 15th.  It took her two weeks to hammer out the agreement with Fitz regarding the scope of her testimony.  Interesting.
  •  I bet 007 would know what it meant in a second. (none)

    Don't blame me, I am still trying to figure out what is on the Blue dress :) eaglecries

    by eaglecries on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:54:41 PM PDT

  •  My Tin-Hat's Worth... (none)
    I've got my tin hat on for a moment, so c'mon with me gang, break out the decoder rings and tinfoil!

    Libby says "you went to jail in summer".  Could this be a metaphore regarding the standing of the administration?  Indeed, when she went off to jail, the administration was still intact and viable.  "It is fall now" - the administration is entering its twilight (zone).  So much has happened since she donned the correctional orange, and none of it good.  Follow this with the Aspen metaphor, "...the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them", and it starts to sound like a subtle "EJCET! EJECT EJECT! BAIL NOW, OR GET CAUGHT IN THE BACKLASH!!!  everybody'sdoin'it..."

    Dunno how much truth there is to this interpretation, but what the hell, it's an amusing exercise of imagination.  Okay, I'm taking my tin hat off now 'cause it's making my scalp itch...

    There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure. -Eisenhower

    by A DC Transplant on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:58:31 PM PDT

  •  UNTIL THEN... (none)
    Sorry I'm late to the party, but this is just too good to stay away from.

    "Come back to work - and life."
    "Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers."

    It sure looks like a warning to me.  "Come back" instead of "go back," followed by "and life."

    So until Miller "comes back to work and life" she will remain in his thoughts and other words, "until you come back to work and life, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers."

    Libby's got some guts, no doubt, to write such a creepy letter.


    Bush can't even spell Iraq, let alone find it on a map.

    by Bozos Rnot4 Bush on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 04:04:12 PM PDT

  •  It's interesting.... (none)
    ..... that E&P specifically quoted the "aspens turning" para out of all the other content in the letters. I guess they too noted that the para is obviously suggestive and suspicious and wanted to put it out there. I think people are on the right track by discussing this.

    My guesses:
    "biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program"
    This suggests that Iran is a go and the bio threats may be part of the excuse to go in and they need Judy to do more lying--er, I mean more reporting on it.

    "Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning"
    This merely gets us to the following section.

    "They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them"
    This suggests that if Judy turns or flips, she'll be going down herself because that will lead to others going down and themselves then turning and exposing Judy's true involvement in this mess. (note: it would actually be pretty funny to see these fuckers going down one by one and the free-for-all that would ensue as they all try to turn on one another hoping to save themselves.)

    "Come back to work---and life. Until then, you will remain in my thoughts and prayers."
    Come back to work for US. Until then, you'll NEED prayers.

    Gee this is fun!

  •  Rove could be chuckling at us tonight: (none)

    A cut and paste post from

    "The Powertools have done it again -- bent over and offered themselves up as BushCo. leak toys. They have somehow "mysteriously" been provided with letters between Libby, Miller and their attorneys.

    Sayith the Hindlicker:
    I still think it almost inconceivable that Judith Miller, or anyone else, would sit in prison for three months, if all she needed to get out was a letter from Libby saying, in effect, "I meant what I said a year ago," without ever asking Libby for such a letter or communicating to him that it was on his behalf that she was in prison. That scenario, as outlined by Abrams, seems senseless to me. It also doesn't explain, as Paul noted last night, why Miller stayed in jaiil for another ten days after getting Libby's letter.
    Haven't had a chance to go over them in detail yet, but on the surface it strikes me as a salvo back at the NYT editorial of this morning:
    Why, then, did she agree to testify yesterday? Could Ms. Miller have gotten the permission earlier? Why didn't she just pick up the phone and ask?

    When a journalist guarantees confidentiality, it means that he or she is willing to go to jail rather than disclose the source's identity. We also believe it means that the journalist will not try to coerce the source into granting a waiver to that promise - even if her back is against the wall. If Ms. Miller's source had wanted to release her from her promise, he could have held a press conference and identified himself. And obviously, he could have picked up the phone. Ms. Miller believed - and we agree - that it was not her place to try to hound him into telling her that she did not need to keep her promise.
    I really do think this is a Rove orchestrated distraction. There has long been a rumor of big animosity between Cheney's office and RoveCo. over who fucked up in TraitorGate, and who will take the fall, with Rove's and Libby's lawyers doing amusing "anonymous source" battles in the press. To focus all the attention on Miller and Libby's pointless kabuki seems meant to keep the heat off of Rove himself. Nothing more.

    Predictably, the only thing the Tool Time crowd can stop rimming themselves about is to put into play another distracting piece of BS from their Sith Lords."

    Another possibility. Maybe Rove has gotten over his kidney stones. But if he can do this and still orchestrate the New Orleans reconstruction, I wouldn't buy real estate down there.

  •  By publishing the letter, the NYT (none)
    may simply have acted to save Miller's life. Whatever the deal was that Libby was interested in, in exchange for her finding a way to limit her testimony to Plame, it makes it possible for her to leave jail and live. She may have been in her own self-imposed witness protection program. And the only guarantee of her safety is this thinly veiled but very public agreement. In other words:

    If you can find a way to limit your testimony to Plame, I can agree to let you live.

    If anything happens to her, this published letter may very well incriminate him.

  •  Bolton hires Aspen Institute Director as #2 (none)
    ohn Bolton: Crazy Von Mustache is Baaa-acccck!
    by Melody Townsel

    Our friend Steve Clemons over at the Washington Note is reporting that the Mustachinator is forging new ground in Bushco's race to push the envelope of dysfunctional loyalty. This week, well-placed sources tell Clemons that Joltin' Bolton is tapping Jeffrey Gedmin as a senior member of his staff.

    UPDATE: It's official. Gedmin is now the Deputy Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the United Nations. Steve Clemons has just confirmed that Gedmin will be named as John Bolton's No. 2 at the United Nations and will carry the formal title of "Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations."

    Aspen Institute Berlin

    Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin is director of the Aspen Institute Berlin. The Aspen Institute is an independent non-profit and non-partisan organization for international affairs and transatlantic relations. The director oversees all operations within the institute, directs programs, gives lectures, and writes articles regularly for a host of publications in Germany and abroad.

    Perception trumps Reality until a category 5 Reality blows all the spin away

    by lawnorder on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 04:53:36 PM PDT

  •  wow that was a lot to read. (none)
    heres my contribution....
    first he call this, "The Wilson-Plame matter" odd, i think, he refrences that three times  in this letter.
    once in the 3rd para he say" ...waived the confidentiality of discussions,if any, we may have had relaated to the wilson-plame matter"

    he tells her what to say exactly: "because as i am sure will not be news to you, the public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss ms. plame's identity with me, or knew about her before the call."

    he mentions that he has said all of this "over a year ago" at least four times, he repeats a couple of other things, it seems like those were his important points, to us, the news will be reporting on those obviouse points.

    these sentances where the strangest to me,
     "went into jail in summer. It is fall now."
    such simple sentances, and the words, "into", and "in" it just sounds awkward

    one other thing that i noticed that i didnt see anyone else mention, he says she went "into jail"  she was actually in prison.

  •  Maybe he knew exactly what he was saying? (none)
    "although he wasn't quite right on when autumn begins"..
  •  All letter scanned here (none)

    Perception trumps Reality until a category 5 Reality blows all the spin away

    by lawnorder on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 05:17:11 PM PDT

  •  asdf (none)
    Cspan2 has Andrea Mitchell about Iraq media coverage
  •  Aspen Institute (none)
    This is an awesome diary.

    I still keep coming back to the Aspen Institute and Judith Miller being an expert on nuclear proliferation.

    Miller is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group. She is a major player in what is billed as the "masters of the universe" get-togther in Aspen for the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival. Only this year she was in prison.

    She doesn't go as a reporter but as a weapons of mass destruction expert.

    She participated in an Aspen Institute delegation to Pakistan early 2002 with Philip Zelikow as Director of the Institute's delegation- 3 months after 9/11! She didn't go as a reporter.

    Aspen metaphor carries significance in this letter. It is out of context otherwise. Judith isn't vacationing in Aspen like everyone else would-skiing, etc. She goes there to meet other
    "masters of the universe". She is one.

    Very probably Judith knew who Valerie Plame was through her "work". Why would Libby go on and on about how many times he gave a voluntary waiver.
    Wouldn't she have know about that before she decided to go to prison?

    What changed now for Miller to decide to testify?

    This letter is oddly lacking, on its face, any real information or reason for it to have been written.

  •  Too many comments (none)
    I apologize if this has already been posted, but I got about halfway through the comments and lost interest. (By the same logic, even if it has been posted, it might be worth posting, again.) As I was reading other stories, I ran across this.

    Three recent letters from people involved in the case and the experiences of other reporters suggest that a similar deal may have been available for some time, raising questions about why Ms. Miller decided to testify now. (Read the Letters)

    A lawyer who knows Mr. Libby's account said the administration efforts to limit the damage from Mr. Wilson's criticism extended as high as Mr. Cheney. This lawyer and others who spoke about the case asked that they not be identified because of grand jury secrecy rules.

    A few comments.

    Question: If you were writing a letter that had the potential to show up in a special prosecutor's hands, and you had legal training, would you put in any extra words beyond what you absolutely had to say? Would you write "You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program", or would you write "You will have stories to cover."?

    Giving Miller a laundry list of stories that she will/should/could "cover" (double meaning) doesn't fit the subject of this letter, reiterating his release of her to testify, at all. It is an odd addition.

    As for the Aspens "turning", my first thoughts went along the lines of Novak's report that the conservatives are turning on Bush. I've never believed that Bush was anything more than the affable loon that everybody wants to have a beer with, serving as a front man for the Vulcans. You do remember the Vulcans, don't you? Cheney, Rice, and the rest of the neocons who flew into Austin weekly to school their young protege on international affairs, deepening his debt to them if his run for office was to succeed?

    These people are insane ideologues, willing to do anything (like invade Iraq) in order to establish their dream of Pax Americana. (Have you ever read Dick Cheney's Song of America? They're not about to let little things like losing the war in Iraq, or the loss of a front man like Bush stop them. They want to destabilize/invade Iran and Syria, already.

    All the same, I object to "Libby was speaking in code." It's too tin-foil-hattish. I'd prefer to call it a "hidden meaning". I'd bet I'm not alone in sometimes writing things that only my wife, for example, would understand when I send her an email.


    Dearest Judith,

    We may have to write off our figureheads. Fitzgerald has enough evidence to put a few of them away, now. But, as you know, we're in control and we need to get moving on this Pax Americana thing. Get it over with. Take down (Cheney? Bush? Me?) and get back to work. We need you to write the same kind of stories you wrote in the run-up to Iraq about (Iran? Syria?) so we can get on with the invasion before it's too late.



    P.S. - They'll see how right we were, some day, and then we can all return to power.

    Like al Qaida and the Taliban, these guys are patient. Cheney waited almost 20 years for this shot. His devotees can wait a while longer for the tide to turn, again.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 06:36:38 PM PDT

  •  Philip Zelikow (none)
    This easily googled on Philip Zelikow-

    He and his unpaid committee called the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board "Piffy" enjoy access to levels of information above "top secret", called code word.

    Common Dreams link

    This doesn't connect Judith Miller, but puts her in places with access to those who have privileged intelligence information.

    Zelikow was the Director of Aspen Strategy Group for the 2002 trip to Pakistan that Miller served as a delegate for.

    His bio for the trip lists him as a career diplomat and on staff National Security Council for Bush I. More details about his career and connections to Bush I and II and 9/11 investigation.

    "Aspens" may be the code word for Aspen Institute
    Strategy Group.

    Link to the Pakistan Delgation in Jan. 2002 here

  •  decoding (none)
    "turn in clusters' with anagrams"
    Given Miller's rep as a very friendly interviewer, and her nickname in Iraq (Egregious Cunt), a lexical analysis produces the following possibilities:

    Has Judy made a deal with the White House? SLUT TURNS NICER
    Is she going back to work? SLUT INC RETURNS
    Is Libby controlling her now? CRETIN RUNS SLUT
    What bogus info did Mr. Mustache give her in jail? CUNT UN LIST ERRS

    Mother Nature bats last.

    by pigpaste on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 07:32:12 PM PDT

  •  They're playing Adventure. (none)

    > You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. All around you, Aspens are turning yellow.

    > Climb tree

    > There is no tree here.

    > Go West

    > You can't go West! West is where you vacation!

    > Hint

    > They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them.

    > Go East

    > You are standing in a newsroom. You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program.

    •  hehe (none)
      > You are standing in a newsroom. You will have stories to cover--Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program.
      > Report on the truth.

      > You are eaten by a grue.
  •  My two cents (none)
    (If anybody's till reading this far down):

    "It is fall now" It's time for someone to take the fall. My guess is he's signaling he has to fall on his sword and he's the chosen scape goat so it doesn't go up to Cheney or else it's some other patsy they've chosen- perhaps Judy herself especially if she's not careful. Either that or he's simply letting her know that things have changed since she went in.

    "You have stories to cover" Note that cover is maybe a play of covert "cover" or else to "cover up" as in helping the Neo Cons do their work fooling the American people. Also, note which stories he's telling her to cover when she gets back to work. Maybe the real story she needs to get back to cover is the pre-arranged story and Scooter's letter is a firm reminder of what might happen if she doesn't heed the warning.

    "The Aspens will... be turning" What color do leaves turn in the fall? I agree that using Aspen of all things was the real tip-off to Miller (and to us) that something was unusual in this letter. I CANNOT believe Fitzgerald didn't see through this.

    "Their roots connect them." Be careful what you say when you testify and when you write your book. We are all connected. If one of us falls, we all fall. And we also know where you live and how to get back at you.

    "Come back to work--- and life." Note he says come back, not get back. Does she work with Libby? I think we know the answer to THAT question. The second part almost sounds like a veiled threat, doesn't it?

    By the way, her husband is like 76 or something, and she's been rumored to be a Neo Con Mata Hari seducing Chalabi and others, so maybe Scooter's a fan like McClelland or Rove was a fan of Guckert's? This shit is VERY interesting. There's something here!

    Dick should go Cheney himself in the George Bush.

    by Joe Willy on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 08:28:38 PM PDT

  •  I know this is a stretch (none)
    and its late BUT ...I used the touchgraph Goggle Browser ( and entered the aspen institute address and the New American Century site was linked to it. Libby is one of the Charter members.
  •  For what it's worth, googling Chalabi and Aspen (none)
    brings up the following profile of one Jeff Gedwin

    The Friendly American
    by Kirsten Kueppers, 29.4.2003

    When one's occupation doesn't trap one in the morning and then spit one out at 6:00 PM.  When one is one's own occupation and work never stops.  When one has no boss, but is the Direktor and heads up an Institute that's supposed to bring Americans and Europeans together.  When one is the American in Berlin, the days are filled with deadlines and people recognize one's face on the TV and cars slow on the street and drivers shout and when it seems that the whole world is full of people who either hate or love you, nothing in between.  When all this comes together, then one has to get up early to get things done.

    Jeffrey Gedmin, the Director of the Aspen Institute, Berlin, has been awake today since five.  Now it is nine and Reinhard Buetikofer wh has come to meet him at a cafe in the government center for breakfast, slings himself into a chair and cheerfully orders tea.  And right away there's controversy.

    Jeffrey Gedmin supports the war.  He's been repeating it everywhere: on Sabine Christiansen's show, in newspaper articles and on the radio.  "What do you want?  A picture of Saddam Hussein having a beer with Ussama Bin Laden?" is what he started asking in the fall, long before the war in Iraq got underway.  Gedmin was openly annoyed by the German Chancellor, by the local peace demonstrations and defended the American incursion into Iraq with caustic language.

    That this fellow is sitting down with a Representative of the Greens, his "good friend Reinhardt Buetikofer" as he says, one who is trusted by the German government, which the neo-conservative Gedmin criticizes with such vehemence that one might think there's nothing to communicate, and engages in joking banter is enough to make one think.

    But that's exactly what sets the 44 year old Jeffrey Gedmin apart.  This tall man in a grey suit, who's been directing the Berlin Aspen Institute for over a year, who introduces himself to strangers with "Hi, I'm Jeff" and who's style has  totally transformed the Institute, started in 1974 as a think tank.  The relationship between Germany and America is currently not the best.  Jeffrey Gedmin's job is to worry about that.  But, instead of looking for union, he runs around and makes trouble.  He projects power and polarization and meets his opponents for breakfast.  What with this man?

    The Aspen Institute is still a pretty bungalow on Schwanenwerder Island in the harbor, with a view of sailboats and water, financed by the Berlin Senate and staffed by a handful of co-workers and a cellar full of secretaries and one main employee.  What used to be elite events have been moved into the cafes of the city where his many guests include, Henry Kissinger, Angela Merkel, along with the likes of Ralph Nader and the soon-to-be Premier of the Iraqi National Congress, Ahmed Chalabi.

    "I'm more interested in critical conflict than consensus" he says.  Jeffrey Gedmin used to be a high school teacher.  Perhaps that's why.

    He visits the bars in Kreuzberg on his discussion rounds, visits students in their digs in Prenzlauer Berg and talks with bus riders and the onhangers of the CDU.  It's this constant churning in all directions, together with Gedmin's relentless support for the US Administration's war that has made the Aspen Institute a topic of conversation.  That's why the phone is constantly ringing, the invitations are stacking up on the secretaries' desks and there's always a new journalist at the door when Gedmin arrives by taxi at the entrance.

    So Gedmin blows into the Institute.  It's 11:30 and everyone is waiting: the assistant, the technician, the reporter, a policeman.  The police official is present because when the secretary opened up there was yet again something ugly hanging on the door.  As so often in recent weeks, there was a transparent "Hate the American" on the door.  Gedmin's been getting lots of emails--fan mail and hateful tirades from opponents who wish him death by Napalm, call him "Jew F!cker" and otherwise do not wish him well.
    "On good days I don't take it personally," Jeffrey Gedmin says.  He looks out the window.  The sun is shining.  Today is a good day.

    If you ask, in spite of this, how comes it that someone can ellicit such strong emotions, you just have to watch what happens a few minutes later when a bus of American tourists arrives.  They're the "Patrons of the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra."  The Aspen Institute is part of their Berlin tour program and Gedmin is supposed to enlighten them about the current German-american relationship.

    He speaks for an hour.  "Had we not put the subject of Saddam Hussein on the agenda, Gerhard Schroeder would never have taken interest in the human rights violations there," Gedmin yells.  He pauses for effect.

    The rich ladies from Michigan sip their apple juice and look sceptical.  They do not know this fellow who sits himself at their table like a sympathetic young man and speaks and gestures like a practiced politician.  Gedmin says the American President gets bad press in Germany; that the United Nations has proven itself as tired debating club in the face of international conflict; that the Americans sent their children to war and that Germany had tried its best to destroy the mission.  And in that case, one can't really speak of an allied partner anymore.  He doesn't believe America will attack Syria.  He tells a few jokes.  He says he knows almost nothing.  He mentions the Pentagon and his listeners suspect that he has a whole head full of information, numbers and background knowledge; and he tells what his friends in the Bush Administration are thinking and relates what the cabbies in Berlin think.  He seems to be an honest man.

    It only last a little more than 60 minutes.  The ladies came with a different perspective; now they have a new idea.  Now they stand in the sun on the lawn and get their picture taken, arm in arm with their friend, Jeffrey Gedmin.  It all looks very American, for a moment.

    But then one can't stay with these new supporters because another journalist is waiting.  Gedmin flies down the hall past his staff, who are all very happy with their boss.  "We don't have to agree with him," says the Assistant "he can take criticism."  "Those who wanted to go to the peace marches, got leave," relates one.
    Perhaps it's because Gedmin isn't playing the big winner, even though the capture of Baghdad went quicker than expected.  Maybe it's just the familiarity that suggests equality.  The lady at the reception desk says, "He's still our Jeff."

    And perhaps that's what Jeffrey Gedmin wants to show the Germans: that one can disagree and still not hate.

    A few minutes later, he's off in his car to the city.  He flies into the American coffeehouse, "Starbucks" in the Friedrichstrasse.  He's in such a rush that his hair is blown back.  "Starbucks" is Gedmin's second office.  One after the other he meets with an Iranian exile, two Berlin students of politics and a BWL-Professor from Nuerenberg.  There's a bit of fighting, little consensus, lots of discussion, and only the professor pats him on the back and says "Thank you for freeing Iraq."

    At 7:30 Jeffrey Gedmin looks pretty tired and rubs his eyes.  Now he's headed for the fitness studio.  Then he has to write an article for the Washington Post.  Tomorrow he'll get up at 4:30.

    3-D Republicans=deception, disservice and debt

    by hannah on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 05:15:44 AM PDT

  •  Why did U.S. government invade Hussein's Iraq? (none)
    PBS interview of Margaret Thatcher about Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, and how the U.S. and British governments dealt with the situation ... very candid, and quite interesting reading.  In fact, a confirmation that the current "Operation Iraq Liberation" (OIL), oops, I'm sorry, they changed the name: "Operation Iraq Freedom" is, indeed, all about oil.  Period.  Weapons of Mass Destruction were never a concern, as the powers that be have always been quite aware of Saddam Hussein's war stash, or more precisely, his lack of war stash this go around, since "Operation Desert Storm" obliterated Saddam's weapons ....
  •  Where Does Miller Vacation???? (none)
    In Florida.  Not anywhere out West.

    •  the relevant passage (none)
      Why isn't it in the Times? Miller tells Matthews that she hasn't talked to her newspaper and is "on vacation in Florida."

      On vacation in Florida? She has the second-biggest Iraq story of the day (after the successful election) and vacation is keeping her from phoning in this scoop?!

  •  Code language from Libby to Miller (none)
    It might interest everyone to know that John Bolton just named James Gedmin of the Aspen Institute as his deputy at the UN. I guess aspens do change color in clusters and are connected at the root. Isn't Judy now assigned to the UN for the NYT? They do need her to rev things up against Iran and Syria.
  •  Symbolism (none)
    Looked up symbolism+aspen. Christ's cross was supposedly made of Aspen and Judas supposedly hanged himself from an Aspen.
  •  Yellow: what's not said... (none)
    The predominant trait of Aspens turning is their vibrant yellow hue--people out West talk incessantly about it this time of year.  I think that the code of this letter speaks to what isn't there, namely the mention of yellow, and the subtext therein:

    Simple definitions, from 1
    cowardly or treacherous; "the little yellow stain of treason"-M.W.Straight; "too yellow to stand and fight"

    Usage, symbolism, colloquial expressions
    Yellow is a bright cheerful color, but in the English language, yellow is associated with cowardice. A coward is said to have a "yellow belly". It can also mean that something is tainted, as in the expression "yellow journalism".
    Yellow, in international political organizations, is the color for liberalists (see Political party).
    Yellow is also a colour associated with being scared, or afraid.

    And from the Straight Dope:
    The color yellow has traditionally been associated with cowardice, treachery, inconstancy and jealousy. Brewsters says that in France, the doors of traitors' houses were daubed with yellow. The medieval yellow star (continued by the Nazis) branded Jews as having "betrayed Jesus." In medieval paintings, Judas Iscariot (ultimate symbol of treason) is portrayed wearing yellow garments. In Spain, victims of the Inquisition wore yellow, to imply they were guilty of heresy and treason. On the American frontier in the early 1800s, a "yellow-dog" was anything worthless.
    The combination of yellow (cowardly, treacherous) with the belly or guts (stamina, grit, heroism) seems pretty obvious. A person with guts is a person with courage. The combination yellow-bellied was thus a double way of saying the person had no courage. That usage first appeared around 1925 in the U.S.
    But why yellow? It's not an easy derivation to trace. Slightly before the appearance of "yellow-bellied," Asians were the "yellow" race and the term "yellow peril" was used to refer to the insidious Asian "threat" (with the implicit connotation of treachery and deceit) from the 1890s through 1910. But no source suggests any connection between these terms and "yellow-bellied," other than the common use of the word yellow to imply deceit. So it is unlikely that yellow-bellied has racist undertones...

    Combine this color analysis with the connecting "roots" (the roots... of conspiracy, the roots...of treason), and Libby is telling Miller that it's OK to talk about anything because he knows that other people already have, and the shit is going to hit the fan.

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