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Setting the Plame Record Straight

Christopher Hitchens has written some incredible pieces on the Plame story, and his latest is no exception. Some readers are tired of hearing about it, but I think it is important that the record be set straight.

I had a feeling that I might slightly regret the title ("Case Closed") of my July 25 column on the Niger uranium story. I have now presented thousands of words of evidence and argument to the effect that, yes, the Saddam Hussein regime did send an important Iraqi nuclear diplomat to Niger in early 1999. And I have not so far received any rebuttal from any source on this crucial point of contention. But there was always another layer to the Joseph Wilson fantasy. Easy enough as it was to prove that he had completely missed the West African evidence that was staring him in the face, there remained the charge that his nonreport on a real threat had led to a government-sponsored vendetta against him and his wife, Valerie Plame.

In his July 12 column in the Washington Post, Robert Novak had already partly exposed this paranoid myth by stating plainly that nobody had leaked anything, or outed anyone, to him. On the contrary, it was he who approached sources within the administration and the CIA and not the other way around. But now we have the final word on who did disclose the name and occupation of Valerie Plame, and it turns out to be someone whose opposition to the Bush policy in Iraq has--like Robert Novak's--long been a byword in Washington. It is particularly satisfying that this admission comes from two of the journalists--Michael Isikoff and David Corn--who did the most to get the story wrong in the first place and the most to keep it going long beyond the span of its natural life.

The Democrats spent years pounding the President and those in his administration over the supposed intentional outing of a covert agent. It was stated as settled fact by almost every network journalist who reported the story that Joe Wilson proved the President lied in his 16 words in the State of the Union about Saddam seeking uranium from Africa. It was also stated as fact that Valerie Plame was a covert agent whose life was endangered as a result of her outing and that the outing was intentional and done by the administration as an act of revenge against Joe Wilson who dared to expose the President's lie. All of that was wrong, and it was disputed by statements from Novak at the time, but it was swallowed hook, line and sinker by a media desperate to destroy the Bush presidency.

If the media payed anywhere close to as much attention to recent revelations that have shown Joe Wilson and others to have been lying (or at the very least, guilty of malicious disregard for the truth) then Democrats who capitalized on those accusations would be paying dearly for it now. Of course, if journalists covered recent revelations as prominently as they played the original story, there would be some journalists paying with their credibility for the misinformation they passed on to their audiences.

Update: Sister Toldjah has some lying Wilson video and asks the question I thought I had asked in my post, but see that I left out, which is how do you think Wilson/Plame's book deal will be affected by this.

Forget the book, will this kill the movie deal? I guess they could always keep the script the same and just cast Jon Lovitz as Wilson. Yeah, that's the ticket. They could even cast his wife, Morgan Fairchild, as Valerie Plame.

Update II: The Wall Street Journal says the Armitage revelation shows the "internal dysfunction of the Bush Administration and the lack of loyalty among some of its most senior officials" and wonders why the President has allowed such insubordination to his policies.


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Comments (68)

Christopher Hitchens has pr... (Below threshold)
Syntax:

Christopher Hitchens has produced rhetoric and has been challenged repeatedly to produce proof of his claims. .......and we're still waiting.

This pretty much is a dead issue and leave it to Hitchens (and his followers) to bring it back up again.

What proof do you need besi... (Below threshold)
chad:

What proof do you need besides David Corn's own publications and Richard Armitage admitting he was Novak's source. (today's NY Times). Or did Hitchen's miracle those two things into existance.

Shush chad. The lefties go... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Shush chad. The lefties got what they needed from the story and now that the facts are coming to light, time to move on.

Or maybe its important to move on because the left can't retort about Plame anytime you question Wilson's claims, we can focus on that now.

But unfortunately it won't matter. I'll bet that history books have been written and will still be written that the leak came from the Bush inner circle. Only the right side of the blogosphere knows about Armitage and its meaning. That is a minority.

More Syntax Error if you as... (Below threshold)
epador:

More Syntax Error if you ask me.

Read today's Wall Street Jo... (Below threshold)
Diane:

Read today's Wall Street Journal opinion at www.opinionjournal.com. Almost better than Hitchens article!

This should have been a dead issue from the beginning--but was brought up many times by Joe Wilson & the rabid "hate Bush" crowd. Odd, we haven't heard much from them lately on this subject.

So Gonzalez didn't want to ... (Below threshold)
Davidlin:

So Gonzalez didn't want to know the identity of the leaker? Because? He probably knew it already. Probably the VP knew. So his boss knew. They all knew.
They seem to major in knowing stuff that they can't or won't pass along. Why is that?

I had forgotten, there's no... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

I had forgotten, there's no longer a commie under every bed to feed the right's paranoia. Now, it's the MSM.

I think there's medication for paranoia. perhaps you could all get a group discount?

Hugh:It's not para... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Hugh:

It's not paranoia when a news story, that occupies the headlines for months, proves to be a complete fabrication. Why is it that the left can make up anything they want to, and even after it is proven to be fantasy, they continue to quote it as fact.

Poor little Hugh, there's n... (Below threshold)
Tony:

Poor little Hugh, there's no longer his hero named Joe Wilson :'(

The record is crystal clear... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

The record is crystal clear that the WH wanted to use Plame's employment to get to Wilson. The record is clear that Libby leaked the info to Judith Miller and that Rove leaked to Matt Cooper. The record is clear that Libby has been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.

What I surmise from the Armitage involvement is that the right hand of this incompetent administration has no idea what the left hand is doing.

And, no, Joe Wilson is still my hero. Preferable any day to the thugs who work in and for this administration.


It was worse than being rep... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

It was worse than being repeated for months, it was repeated for years, at almost a fever pitch. Don't forget that it was Joe Wilson's claim that Bush lied about the 16 words that started the "Bush lied" mantra. We now know that "Bush lied" was a lie, but that is getting scant little attention.

This is a ploy that is repeated time and time again by Democrats and it works every time. Make an assertion, even when it is contradicted by facts (in this case by Novak's statement from day one) and then repeat it over and over again until it becomes conventional wisdom. When the facts emerge and it is clear that the entire thing was a liberal fantasy the damage will have been done and since the media was so instrumental in spreading the misinformation, they will give very little attention to the truth when it is revealed.

Hugh, what is clear is that... (Below threshold)
Tony:

Hugh, what is clear is that Libby was charged with lying about testimony. Exactly like Lorie says, you've swallowed the rest of the lies whole. But they're your hero Joe Wilson's lies, so I guess you're ok with that. What is clear is that Hugh will suspend reality to keep his hatred of Bush alive. Keep on keepin on Hugh. Well done.

Tony et al:I want ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Tony et al:

I want to set the rcord straight. I don't hate Bush, I just despise him. The last time I checked, there was no law agianst that, nor is there anything in the Constitution preventing me from expressing it.

Thank you.

Hugh,Its good that... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Hugh,

Its good that you admit that a proven liar is your hero. Had you any credibility you would have lost it right there. Of course you had zero cerdibility already so you had nothing to loose.

Now it's safe to take as a given that everything you post is a lie.

Can you imagine the movie b... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Can you imagine the movie based on this? Of course the opening title says "This is a true story..." I can see it opening with Valerie Plame in some kind of secret agent disguise skulking at some fancy, high society party surrounded by swarthy-looking people who speak with ominous accents. A flunky of some bigwig comes running in and whispers in the big guy's ear. He suddenly looks at Plame and shouts something in his native tongue. Men with machine guns come running into the room. A mad chase ensues throughout the mansion and Plame only escapes by the skin of her teeth.

In the next scene, she's back at Langley and asks what went wrong. Her handler tells her that she was sold out by the President to protect himself and discredit her husband. She asks, "Are you telling me that I was betrayed to protect a lie?"

Just checking, these were t... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Just checking, these were the same people who bitched about Starr's investigation, that at least led to Clinton losing his law license, right?
-=Mike

Hugh, I never said you coul... (Below threshold)
Tony:

Hugh, I never said you couldn't hate or despise him, that's putting words in our mouths. I'm saying your despising is clouding your judgement, which it has. Good day.

The silence from the Bush H... (Below threshold)
Bush Haters Exposed:

The silence from the Bush Haters, those wearer of head-gear crafted from tin (aluminum) is deafening!

movie continued....and then... (Below threshold)
moseby:

movie continued....and then Valerie and her handler fall to the ground and make mad passionate love. At one point, they form "the beast with 2 backs". In the throws of passion, Valerie will look at a picture of her husband lying next to her and think..."I married that jack-ass?" And then vomit up a K-ration that she ate on the C140 she took back to the USA.

Now we need an independant ... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Now we need an independant prosecutor to investigate the independant prosecutor,what a wicked web we weave. The most obvious attribute of a Demorat is the use of dishonesty. Truth is foreign to this group of disfunctional adolesencents playing grown ups.My proof you ask? just read any of Hughs posts.Case closed.

I wondering if its stories ... (Below threshold)
wilky:

I wondering if its stories like this that will keep the right from sitting home during the election cycles. I certianly want to sit, but damn, how can I allow people who not only bought into but helped pushed this be my leaders?

I also find that as a general rule, those that yell liar, more often than not, are the biggest ones.

Okay - let's all take a dee... (Below threshold)

Okay - let's all take a deep breath people.

Hugh: Reality check: JOE WILSON lied, not President Bush. VALERIE PLAME was NEVER a covert agent - therefore, no crime was committed in revealing her employment AND Richard Armitage - no friend of the President's has already admitted that HE is the one who revealed it.

Criticisms of the President's policy with substantive and ACCURATE backup (not the statements of people who were chastised by the U.S. House of Representatives as LIARS - that would be Joe Wilson) are one thing; blanket condemnations such as the endless "Bush lied" mantra which is, in itself, a lie if anyone bothered to actually read the State of the Union address word for word, are a waste of time, energy and breath. And while I don't seriously mind you wasting your breath, I do mind your wasting the time of the grown-ups with your infantile nonsense.

Is that clear enough? And by the way wilky - your comment about people who yell liar is very well taken and absolutely on point! And I will NOT be sitting out the election, nor will anyone I know.

The Libby indictment was ba... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

The Libby indictment was based on the reporters' recollections being different than Libby's. But because Libby worked in the Bush Administration, he was automatically assumed by Fitzgerald to be a liar.

A difference of recollection regarding a non-crime already confessed to by the perpetrator, is hardly perjury. This was Fitzgerald's last gasp at getting his Bush Administration trophy.

I want to set the rcord... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:
    I want to set the rcord straight. I don't hate Bush, I just despise him. The last time I checked, there was no law agianst that, nor is there anything in the Constitution preventing me from expressing it.

Is this or is this not one of the most pathetically transparent attempts at changing the subject (and cloaking yourself in victimhood) that has ever appeared on this site?

Some of you folks have lear... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Some of you folks have learned the Bush method of obfuscation really well. Say something. Then when what you say is proven wrong say something different. When that is proven wong slime the opponent.

No one has taken the trouble to deny the "truths" I pointed out. (1) Rove disclosed Plame's identity to a reporter; (2) Libby did the same; (3) Libby has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice (innocent until proven otherwise). Those are facts. You may not like them, you may deny them and lots of you will slime those who post them. But they are what they are.

The issue isn't about what happened to Wilson. The issue is what happened to his wife - oh, wait she probably deserved what she got cause she's married to the guy.

My guess was that the Libby... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

My guess was that the Libby indicitment/trial was to be ridden out until near the end of the Bush Presidency. It's purpose was to prolong the story as long as it was Bush Bashing Worthy. Also to justify Fitz's existence until people no longer cared about the Bush Admin. so Fitz could close the pointless case quietly.

Now that that has changed and this case will be an albatros around Fitz's neck, I wonder if they'll finally cut Libby loose and end this fiasco.

Just ignore Syntax, Hugh, e... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

Just ignore Syntax, Hugh, et al. They're just flinging monkey poo. It's sad and pathetic really.

jpm:Another lefty ... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

jpm:

Another lefty after the Bushies eh? I refer to my first post about pranoia. Oh here's Fitgerald's professional bio. Funny, a guy appointed by Bush after Bush. Wow...you do need those meds.

Career

Fitzgerald was born into a working-class Irish American-Catholic family in Brooklyn and grew up in the Flatbush neighborhood. His father (also named Patrick Fitzgerald) worked as a doorman in Manhattan. Fitzgerald attended Our Lady Help of Christians grammar school, Regis High School, a prestigious Jesuit Catholic school in Manhattan, and received degrees in economics and mathematics from Amherst College before receiving his JD from Harvard Law School in 1985.[1][2]
After practicing civil law, Fitzgerald became an Assistant United States Attorney in New York City in 1988. He handled drug-trafficking cases and in 1993 assisted in the prosecution of Mafia figure John Gotti, the boss of the Gambino crime family. In 1994, Fitzgerald became the prosecutor in the case against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others charged in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In 1996, Fitzgerald became the National Security Coordinator for the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. There, he served on a team of prosecutors investigating Osama bin Laden.[3] He also served as chief counsel in prosecutions related to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
On September 1, 2001, Fitzgerald was nominated for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois on the recommendation of U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald (no relation), a Republican from Illinois. On October 24, 2001, the nomination was confirmed by the Senate.

Hugh can't even get the bas... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Hugh can't even get the basic facts correct, so how can you expect him to figure this out. He's intellectually and morally confused.

Novak mentioned Plames name to Rove, not the other way around. Rove acknowledged he'd heard about her, too, like Novak had--at the time she was a bureaucrat in the CIA bureaucracy.

Even the hapless Mr. Fitz found no violation of espionage laws, the central point to the whole investigation.

If memory serves, Libby also didn't not shop the identity of Plame. It was a matter of fact, however, in this whole bureaucratic political game.

No proof exists for the central lib claim that this was another "right wing conspiracy."

So, you just need to "MoveOn.org" nothing to see here in this nonstory, other than the obvious dysfunctional liberal thinking on the subject.

This whole thing could have been wrapped up in 2003 if Mr. Fitzgerald was focused and serious about his charge (i.e., to find the "leaker"--he knew it was Armitage then--and to determine if espionage laws were broken--which was determinable from the words of the statute, and the "status" of Ms. Plame which were all readily obtainable).

It's not really a serious debate you're in here, Hugh, et al. You can't argue facts here, or you get killed.

Hugh, your last post is a p... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Hugh, your last post is a post without a point.

Are you attempting to say all Republican appointees are to be deemed authomatically credible, or competent, or capable by other Republicans, if not you.

I guess you really are a simple minded as we all thought.

Again, you are morally and intellectually confused, and lazy.

Hugh stated:<blockqu... (Below threshold)
MikeB:

Hugh stated:


(1) Rove disclosed Plame's identity to a reporter; (2) Libby did the same; (3) Libby has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice (innocent until proven otherwise)

(1) False. The reporter was aware of Plame's identity before his conversation with Rove. Rove did confirm it by stating, "Oh, you know that too". This by the reporter's own words.

(2) False. See above

(3) True. Libby was indicted.

So, you're 1 for 3.

- MikeB

MitchellTtry reading... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Mitchell
Ttry reading the indictment for the facts. Try reading soemthing before you deny the facts.


http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/documents/libby_pr_28102005.pdf#search=%22patrick%20fitzgerald's%20indictment%22

His past resume means nothi... (Below threshold)
Evan3457:

His past resume means nothing, Hugh, absolutely nothing. Although to a leftist, it means everything, because leftists judge actions not of their own weight, but in context of a person's ideological stance. Cases in point, both Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton are regarded as champions of women's issues by the left, and any peccadilloes of sexual misconduct are considered to be wiped away by that ideological record, presumably up to and apparently including rape and involuntary manslaughter.

In this case, the fact that Fitz was appointed by the two Presidents Bush to various positions means absolutely nothing. This investiation was a farce and a fraud, as the identity and motive of the leaker was known to the investigators within days, and thus the reason for the investigation vanished. The prosecution of Libby is thus totally disprortionate to the alleged "crime", and he will most likely be exonerated, or have the case kicked out of court in the alternative.

Rove and Libby did not disclose, they confirmed in a qualified way, and that's a huge material difference, as her identity was already known to both reporters in question, and as Ms. Plame is not covered under IIPA in any event, these confirmations are not criminal.

I just want to know. Are yo... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

I just want to know. Are you folks seriously saying that Fitzgerald was on a partisan hunt to get the Bush administration? Or are you saying he's just incompetent?

By the way, I love you qualified parsing of "disclose" Evan. You must have been on Clinton's side when he was parsing.

It ain't parsin' nothin', H... (Below threshold)
Evan3457:

It ain't parsin' nothin', Hugh.

A secret can only be disclosed once, by the first covered person who discloses it. After it gets out into the public, and knowledge of the fact by reporters clearly constitutes "getting out", it can't be "redisclosed", otherwise anyone who talks or writes about it thereafter could conceivably be charged with the crime, including (heh heh) you and me.

And it's a very real consideration whether a statement such as "Oh, you heard that, too?" constitutes a disclosure.

And you'd also have to prove that Rove knew she was covered under IIPA, before he made the "disclosure".

Hugh, it's not simply that these "crimes" don't qualify under IIPA for a reason; they don't qualify under just about ANY provision of IIPA. And if you don't believe me, ask Victoria Toensing, who wrote the doggone law in the first place.

Not quite the same as "what the meaning of the word is, is", Hugh.

Thanks Evan....you really o... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Thanks Evan....you really ought to read before you spout.

None of my posts have argued or asserted that the thugs committed any crime. My point was that to get Wilson they got his wife. But I suppose from your perspective that's probably OK

What? To hit back at politc... (Below threshold)
Evan3457:

What? To hit back at politcal enemies who've repeatedly told multiple lies aimed at hurting the Administration in pursuit of partisan politcal advantage, and in the process, damaging the nation's effort to defend itself?

That's not OK?

What color is the sky on your world, Hugh?

And, by the way, Hugh, was ... (Below threshold)
Evan3457:

And, by the way, Hugh, was your umbrage just as fervent when President Clinton spent almost the enitre 8 years of his Administration targeting his politcal enemies, as well as the parties to the Starr investigation, with every kind of dirty trick and many illegal activities, up to an including releasing confidential FBI files and Pentagon files through cutouts and third parties?

I wish to thank Hugh for hi... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I wish to thank Hugh for his posts. By sharing with others what he has to write, I have caused at least to people to switch party affiliations. Many moderate people find it hard to believe just how deeply BDS runs through the Democratic party. It is sad that the truth will not get the attention that DP lies did, but truth is also spread word of mouth and by the internet. Thanks to sites like Wizbang, we not only get to see the truth, we get to see some of the lefts reaction to it.

"This investiation was a fa... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"This investiation was a farce and a fraud, as the identity and motive of the leaker was known to the investigators within days,..." -- Evan3457

There was NOT a single leaker, but at least three:

1) Rove, leaking to both Cooper and Novak,

2) Libby, leaking to Miller,

and

3) Armitage, leaking to Woodward and Novak.

"Rove and Libby did not disclose, they confirmed in a qualified way,..." -- Evan3457

Wrong again. Rove brought up the subject with Cooper, and Libby brought up "Ms. Valerie Flame" with Miller.

Hugh, your link is not to a... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Hugh, your link is not to an indictment, but to a press release about the indictment.

You need to read it and see there is nothing about Mr. Rove, or the other points I've mentioned.

What, specifically, without me reading lengthy documents for you, is your quibble with my post about this case?

I'll be very surprised if you are able to post anything on this specific topic. It's like ADHD with you, you can't do more than paint broad, conclusory strokes--that aren't even true as we've seen above regarding Rove's role.

What do you "do" for a living besides posting here--you are by far the heaviest poster. I don't think a person (likely retired from some make-work government or education establishment job) such as you is in much of a position to opine about all these various subjects.

Facts and truth always conf... (Below threshold)
Buckeye:

Facts and truth always confuse the prescribed thinking of the libs. Their minds are closed to facts.

"VALERIE PLAME was NEVER a ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"VALERIE PLAME was NEVER a covert agent" -- Gayle

Actually, funny you should bring that up, because today's New York Times reports that she was. (I would provide the link, but a password is required).

In any case, this is what Patrick Fitzgerald had to say:

"Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community."

Valerie Wilson's friends, neighbors, college classmates had no idea she had another life.

The fact that she was a CIA officer was not well- known, for her protection or for the benefit of all us. It's important that a CIA officer's identity be protected, that it be protected not just for the officer, but for the nation's security.

VALERIE WILSON's COVER WAS BLOWN IN JULY 2003."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/28/AR2005102801340.html

Plame's status was classifi... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Plame's status was classified for lack of the CIA bureaucracy cleaning up its classification system.

She had no covert role, since you was no longer working in the field and had not been for over 5 years--the statute specifically requires more than 5 years.

There was nothing about her analyst position with CIA that necessitated a cover or classified status. She wasn't collecting info, and didn't travel. So, there is nothing to this red herring. No agents were burned.

Mr. Fitzgerald found no violation of the espionage acts, thus her "classified" status was irrelevant, and actually quite useless to her.

The fact that she didn't tell friends she worked at CIA means nothing. And, in fact, is not relevant to the inquiry under the statute.

Many people, including journalists, knew she worked there, and in any case, given her lousy record on finding WMD, looks like it didn't do her any good.

I wouldn't exactly claim NY Times as my source for this or anything else. You might read something of their past history and see that there have been a few "credibility problems" over there.

For instance, Hermie:... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

For instance, Hermie:

Witness for the Prosecution?
The New York Times is still victimizing innocent Dukies.
By Stuart Taylor Jr

Stuart Taylor is very non-partisan and a respected lawyer, unlike you, who attempts to play one in real life, but sadly, has failed.

Oh please Herman, stop it w... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

Oh please Herman, stop it with the sanctimony.

    Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community.

So? Was she a covert officer?

Because Fitzgerald's statement here didn't actually come to grips with the actual definition of a covert agent and whether or not it applied to Valerie Wilson.

    Wrong again. Rove brought up the subject with Cooper, and Libby brought up "Ms. Valerie Flame" with Miller.

Outright lying where people know better is a sign of desperation, Herman. And it's obvious you're REALLY desperate ... You probably still believe Jason Leopold.

So, factually gang, looks l... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

So, factually gang, looks like Fitzgerald LIED in the indictment:

In the Oct. 28 press conference announcing Libby's indictment, Fitzgerald claimed that "in fact, Mr. Libby was the first official known to have told a reporter when he talked to Judith Miller in June of 2003 about Valerie Wilson."

In fact, he knew Armitage had been the first, and he had already aggressively investigated Armitage at that point.

Wow. Think about that. Libby's lawyers are gonna have a field day when this thing gets going.

From the Isikoff article in... (Below threshold)
groucho:

From the Isikoff article in the current Newsweek:

"But officials at the White house also told reporters about Wilson's wife in an effort to discredit Wilson for his public attacks on Bush's handling of Iraq intelligence. Karl Rove confirmed to Novak that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA, and days later offered the same information to Time reporter Matt Cooper."

Hitchens has it partly right; he just stopped too soon. I agree it isn't that big of a deal and we should move on. Just another political unpleasantry brought to you by the dirty trickster/frat boy network running this country.

Wow, we need some serious c... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

Wow, we need some serious cleaning and sterilization in these comments. Lots of liberal monkey poo being flung about.

Mitchell:If I didn... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Mitchell:

If I didn't know better I'd think you were one of those ivory tower effites you nutcases constantly complain about. Would it be so awful if i were a retired government employee or a teacher?

Your ignorance is only out-weighed by your pomposity. You might want to actually read the indictment, paragraphs 17,20, 21 23, 31, 32 and 33. There you will find the facts about Libby. Not a left-wing screed but the facts. If you can't read (which I am beginning to believe about you) have someone read it to you.

.www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/documents/libby_indictment_28102005.pdf

And why shouldn't the Admin... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

And why shouldn't the Admin. be allowed to "discredit Wilson for his public attacks" which turned out to be lies? Is he off-limits because his wife was an analyst at CIA?

I don't think so. We have an open system in this country, and if someone tries to unfairly tarnish another, he is himself open to scrutiny.

We don't live in a police state where you get a pass if you work for the Stasi.

Teaching Civics class to you little boys is beneath this board. Repeat 5th Grade, please.

Hugh, if you could make a p... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Hugh, if you could make a point worth making, rather than regurgitating some conclusory argument, you'd be worthy of debate.

As it is, you need to get back to your in-basket at the DMV.

I only act pompous when I have to suffer fools like you.

You are intellectually and morally confused by your pathological fear of the real world and Mr. Bush. Seek help.

OMG, Hugh you MORON.<... (Below threshold)
DavidB:

OMG, Hugh you MORON.

Assuming you are writing about Count One, since none of the other contain the paragraph length required . . .

Paragraph 17, the only passage that refers to Plame . . .

. . . LIBBY advised Miller of his belief that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA.

Sort of damning, but hardly a smoking gun, and nothing that states that she was a CIA Officer.

Paragraph 20, nothing that refers to Plame or her status. In FACT, you moron it specifically states that there was no revelation.

LIBBY did not discuss Wilson’s wife with Russert.

Paragraph 21, again, no disclosure by Libby . . .

LIBBY spoke to a senior official in the White House (“Official A”) who advised LIBBY of a conversation Official A had earlier that week with columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson’s wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in Wilson’s trip. LIBBY was advised by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about Wilson’s wife.

Paragraph 23, again no disclosure that originates from Libby, but confirmation of a rumor . . .

in the afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone to Cooper, who asked whether LIBBY had heard that Wilson’s wife was involved in sending Wilson on the trip to Niger. LIBBY confirmed to Cooper, without elaboration or qualification, that he had heard this information too.

Paragraphs 31, 32 and 33 are charges that will have to be proven in the court to support the First Count. Again, nothing that can be used as fact without supporting evidence.

You really should learn to read and comprehend a little better. Your own link has been used to slap you stupid, oops, dumber!

I think we all agree that G... (Below threshold)
sejanus:

I think we all agree that Government’s rights need protecting, that the privacy of Government is supreme, that Government needs to be protected from unreasonable investigation and above all else, that Government’s right, nay duty, to tell the people what they need to know must not be abridged. If America doesn’t stand for this, what does it stand for?

What this case needs is a couple of opportunistic state troopers to enlarge and fabricate some facts, an eccentric, reclusive newspaper heir to fund a partisan investigation, a partisan publication to print every rumor and innuendo and a partisan prosecutor selected by a partisan judge with subpoena power, no scruples about badgering witnesses, an unlimited budget and the willingness to imprison people who won’t say what he wants them to say for years; to supervise the whole investigation, then you'll get to the bottom of it.

Sejanus

No, Herman, you're wrong, a... (Below threshold)
Evan3457:

No, Herman, you're wrong, and you're wrong in the exact same way that you've been wrong when I and others have argued with you on other websites, because

1) You don't understand the IIPA.
2) Everytime it's explained to you, you refuse to understand, or deliberately pretend that your error doesn't matter. I can't tell which.

In the first place, under IIPA, there can only be 1 leaker of the identity. Once it gets to the press, it cannot be leaked again, after the fact.

At least 1 reporter knew about Plame's identity and job, and probably MANY reporters, already knew it by the time Rove and Libby "leaked". This is old ground and your refusal to accept it does not change the legalities involved.

The CIA designation as "classified" is NOT the same as the IIPA designation "covert". The terms of the "covert" designation under IIPA have been explained in detail, MANY times, and she doesn't fit ANY of them. This is old ground and your refusal to come off the description "classified" is a Leftist subterfuge, and it also does not change the legalities involved.

It's very simple. Fitzgerald was supposed to investigate whether anyone violated any Federal law by leaking Plame's name and/or position. That's it. Armitage's accidental disclosure, not (apparently) aware whether she was covered under IIPA, and she wasn't in any event, closes the case in the 1st week of the investigation, with NO guilty parties. If the 1st disclosure is accidental, it does not matter legally what succeeding disclosures there were or were not. The secret is out. Game over.

That's why the succeeding investigation that resulted in the Libby indictment is a sham. Sooner of later, that indictment will be tossed as unprosecutable, either because the discovery process will prove too damaging to the prosecution's case by attacking the credibity of its puported witnesses, or because they will refuse to allow certain information necessary for the defense to be available for discovery, or because the prosecution cannot go forward because of the classified information needed to be used that cannot be made public.

Even assuming Armitage's disclosure was the first inkling any member of the press had of her "identity", and it wasn't, the succeeding "disclosures" or "confirmations" are NOT illegal, and cannot be made to be illegal, even if you hold your breath until your face turns blue.

The Left called this "Treasongate". There was no treason. So then they moved the goalposts, calling it an illegal consiracy. It isn't. So now, the party of Clinton, Clinton, Carville, Begala, and Blumenthal is going to move the goalposts again, by fulminating about "dirty tricks" and "frat boys". Why don't you throw in "fascist state" and Chimpy McHitler while you're at it, and sprinkle a few Cheneys, Haliburtons and Illegal Wiretappings on top. It's just as intellectually cogent, and it don't cost a penny more, except maybe in expiring brain cells.

It would all be so laughable if it weren't so damaging to the President, the necessary war effort, and to the national security.

Evan3457, you are spot on. ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Evan3457, you are spot on. Well said.

I'm waiting for the Libs to demand Armitage be tried for "treason" and "frog-marched" to federal lock-up. Ain't gonna happen, because it doesn't fit their delusion that this is some conspiracy to burn a red-bloodied covert CIA spy for whatever nefarious purpose the McBushHitler squad was dreaming up.

What a bunch of know-nothing hypocrites.

Evan3457,Putting a... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Evan3457,

Putting aside your stupid little IIPA nonsense, (which is BUT ONE of the potential laws that may apply in this case), we can define leak in a not altogether unreasonable way: the disclosure of classified information.

Fitz HIMSELF indicates that Ms. Wilson's employment status at the CIA was classified, a point you don't dispute.

So then, the number of people who disclosed Ms. Wilson's CIA status is the number of leakers, which would mean that there were at least three leakers (or would you have us believe that in disclosing classified information to Woodward, Armitage thereby declassified Ms. Plame's status??? -- That's ridiculous)

So there were three leakers, not one, as I indicated earlier.

If Karl Rove didn't do any leaking, Evan3457, and if Ms. Wilson's employment was not classified, then explain this comment found in one of Matt Cooper's emails:

"Spoke to Rove on double super secret background t Cooper's emails, ..."

Then explain why (according to Cooper) Karl Rove ends his conversation with Cooper saying, "I've already said too much,"

and then explain why Bush's CIA requested a criminal investigation to begin with after having explicitly begged Novak not to go public,

and then explain why today's New York Times reports that Ms. Wilson was indeed "covert"

and finally explain Fitz's statement (Oct. 2005), "VALERIE WILSON's COVER WAS BLOWN IN JULY 2003."

You got a lot of explaining to do, Evan3457. Get to it, if you're capable.


OK, Herman, I'll give it a ... (Below threshold)
Evan3457:

OK, Herman, I'll give it a go...

No, that is NOT the defiinition of a leak. A leak can be classified or unclassified information. It can be legal or illegal. Not every leak is illegal.

She may well have been classified, but that is not covert, as defined under IIPA. The leaks of this "classified information" are by now, well-known to Mr. Fitzgerald. If they were, in and of themselves, illegal, he'd have proferred charges. Since he did not, then they are not. To wit: if Libby's "leaks" are illegal under ANY law, then why were those counts not included in the indictments against him? That would make his case more compelling, if not actually stronger. Answer: because the prosecutor knows they aren't illegal.

No, Armitage's leak doesn't declassify Ms. Plame's status, but it does render all future leaks unprosecutable under IIPA. That's what I said, and that's what you would not or could not follow.

Matt Cooper's characteriztion or Karl Rove's confirmation is not categorized as a crime under the law, any more than Dean Wormer's placing of Delta House under Double Secret Probation is a catgorization under the law. In other words, it does not matter to the law what Cooper called it.

I don't why Rove said it, do you? In any event, Rove was once again there confirming something the reporter already knew...

Part II...There co... (Below threshold)
Evan3457:

Part II

...There could be many reasons why the CIA, or some faction within it, requested the investigation. What your side never wants to uncover is who requested the investigation and why, because it might lead to some embarassment for, not to mention prosecution of, the guys you have deluded youself into believing were the "good guys" in this sorry affair. You want to leave that question unanswered and focus on the fact itself, even though that fact is not proof of anything.

Novak himself answers why the CIA asked him not to publish Plame's name. It was apparently to avoid diplomatic embarassment, not because it could be costly in terms of assets or information:

"(Harlow) told the (Washington) Post reporters he had "warned" me that if I "did write about it, her name should not be revealed." That is meaningless. Once it was determined that Wilson's wife suggested the mission, she could be identified as "Valerie Plame" by reading her husband's entry in "Who's Who in America."

Harlow said to the Post that he did not tell me Mrs. Wilson "was undercover because that was classified." What he did say was, as I reported in a previous column, "she probably never again would be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause 'difficulties.'" According to CIA sources, she was brought home from foreign assignments in 1997, when Agency officials feared she had been "outed" by the traitor Aldrich Ames.

I have previously said that I never would have written those sentences if Bill Harlow, then CIA Director George Tenet or anybody else from the Agency had told me that Valerie Plame Wilson's disclosure would endanger herself or anybody."

Apparently, they never did. But that didn't stop Leftists from claiming the disclosure put her life in danger, and other similar balderdash.

The New York Times is simply wrong. It isn't the first time, and it won't be the last. She does not qualify under just about ANY of the provision of the IIPA...

Part III...If her ... (Below threshold)
Evan3457:

Part III

...If her "cover was blown", then why didn't he get that indictment from the jury? Answer: because he knows he can't get it, either because he lacks the evidence to sustain that charge, or that charge doesn't amount to an actual violation of the law or both. He also knows how piddling and inconsequential his indictments for perjury against Libby look, and he knows what a sap he looks like, and how pathetic his investigation seems, and so he has to dress it publicly with any plausible (non-indictment) charge.

Mark Levin's Blog at NRO takes on the details. First Fitzgerald's statement that you are so proud of quoting:

"Valerie Wilson's cover was blown in July 2003."

Here's what Levin said at the time:

"What I resent about this press conference is the effort by Fitzgerald to paint Lewis Libby as outing a covert CIA operative, jeopardize national security, and harm CIA recruitment. As many times as I have now read this indictment, I see obstruction, perjury and false statements. I see no charges relating to any of this rhetoric."

Later, he added:

"...you bet Fitzgerald smeared Libby during his press conference. All the talk about violations of national security, outing a CIA official, and harming CIA recruitment was nothing more than a well-rehearsed public relations speech intended to paint these indictments as something more than they are (albeit serious in their own right). And that is why, I believe, we have strained efforts now to accuse Libby of passing classified information without the benefit of an actual charge."

And finally, in the pretrial procedings, Libby's counsel asked Fitzgerald for "Any assessment done of the damage (if any) caused by the disclosure of Valerie Wilson's status as a CIA employee."

Fitzgerald's reply: "We have neither sought, much less obtained, 'all documents, regardless of when created, relating to whether Valerie Wilson's status as a CIA employee, or any aspect of that status, was classified at any time between May 6, 2003 and July 14, 2003." In other words, as a legal matter, Fitzgerald asserted her status as classified in the press conference, but when pressed for the evidence of that status by Libby's lawyers, said, in essence: "I know nuthink! I see nuthink! I hear nuthink!"

Further, as to the damage "revealing her status" caused the CIA, he replied to the request of Libby's counsel for an assessment of such damage: "A formal assessment has not been done of the damage caused by the disclosure of Valerie Wilson's status as a CIA employee, and thus we possess no such document." And this statement contadicts Fitzgerald himself, who, at the annoucement of the indictments played up the serious damage the disclosure of this "classified status" did to the CIA and our national security.

When was he lying, Herman, to the press, or to Libby's counsel? If the latter, that in itself is grounds for dismissal of the charges.

Levin concludes:

"And now, in his formal responses to Libby's counsel, Fitzgerald himself disputes and rejects his own very public comments about Libby and the significance of his case. Fitzgerald now admits no assessment of any purported harm by Libby was undertaken, meaning his rhetoric at the press conference was without any basis on this point. Indeed, he now argues that an assessment wasn’t even relevant to the charges. I find this utterly irresponsible. And as to the all important question of whether Plame’s “undercover” or otherwise “classified” status was leaked by Libby or anyone else, Fitzgerald never even sought documentary evidence (at least for the relevant time period) to make a determination."

Is that enough, Herman?

Read the WashPo this am and... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Read the WashPo this am and get a sense of reality starting to settle in among some of the more responsible liberals.

It all ends with Joe Wilson. A fraud and a fop.

Was Valerie Phlame... (Below threshold)
Jimbo:

Was Valerie Phlame a covert officer before she married Joseph Wilson? And, when did he learn this? From whom? Did she tell him? did she have permission to tell him? Did she "out" herself? Whom else did she tell?

In my opinion, now that so ... (Below threshold)
Jimbo:

In my opinion, now that so much has been disclosed, Mr. Fitzgerald should quickly and publicly drop ALL charges against Mr. Libby, and appologize to him. At least he should say that he misunderstood/misinterpreted his (Libby's) actions and testimony.

Wonder how Joe's lawsuit ag... (Below threshold)
kempermanx:

Wonder how Joe's lawsuit against the VP is going? HA HA HA!!

Where are all the dimorats ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Where are all the dimorats that were hot to use the Plame outing as an impeachment tool to drag the president out and hang him? Conyers was one that i'll get a message to if he's not hiding under the same rock with his best buddy Osama. Why would the president knowing the truth not come out with it, simple, he had the stupid impeachment dimorats by the short hair and they weren't smart enough to figure it out. Ninety nine percent of the dimorats in congress have proven themselves fools and liars and it's only Sept. What will happen in Oct that sinks their ship? It's coming and it's not going to be pretty. I'm betting on the 'truth' that saddam had piles of WMD to go with the 500+ items found by the U.S. military, you know that stuff that the U.N. inspectors wasted millions of dollars hiding for Saddam. Several Blogger's have proven by going through the captured documents that massive amounts of WMD was and may still be there.

Herman (the nonreading idio... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Herman (the nonreading idiot) said

"VALERIE PLAME was NEVER a covert agent" -- Gayle

Actually, funny you should bring that up, because today's New York Times reports that she was. (I would provide the link, but a password is required).

"

Gee Herman what about this transcript from CNN with JOE WILSON

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0507/14/wbr.01.html


WILSON: But the fact of the matter is, of course, that this is not a Joe Wilson or Valerie Wilson issue. This is an issue of whether or not somebody leaked classified information to the press, who then published it, thereby putting covert operations and a covert officer at some risk.
"

(Gee I guess if it is a democrat who leak classified ongoing operations to the NY Times then it doesnt count right, funny I dont see you complaining about that)

WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity


Damn Herman maybe you should call Joe Wilson up and tell him to stop telling lies to CNN about the covert status of his wife.

Idiots. You have to love them even when you show them how stupid they are.



Someone please tell me wher... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Someone please tell me where all the democrats are calling for Armitage to be hauled off to jail in handcuffs and distribute his perp shot pictures.

We heard for the last 3 years how serious this matter was and here we have the person who admits he is the one who did it and you hear birds chirping from Kennedy, Biden, Clinton, Kerry, Edwards, Byrd, etc etc etc.

Do you mean to tell me that these great unbiased reporters cant get one of these folks on the record to comment on these revelations. The story was front page news on and off for 3 years and you still have democrats on this board trying to hang Rove and Bush for this but what about the guy who ADMITS HE DID IT?

Not a peep.

Q: Why it is a smear for Ro... (Below threshold)
Sherlock:

Q: Why it is a smear for Rove to answer a reporter's leading question on a subject with a simple acknowledgement that he heard the same thing, but NOT a smear for Armitage to directly tell the reporter the same things directly?

A: When the second party is not a Bush ally, and thus cannot be used to attack Bush, there is no need to cry smear, since only Republicans were targeted by this charade.

The Democrats and the media have subjected the President to a witch-hunt for 3 years, all the while knowing it was a concoction, and all the while accusing the Bush administration of every form of lying and trickery imaginable, and using those accusations to weaken the will of the US to pursure terrorists, and to undermine its legitimacy in doing so.

Now suddenly it is time to move on.

So I am going to move on... on to a phase of my political maturation where (after once voting for Al Gore) I will not vote for a Democrat for dog-catcher, much less any position that has responsibility for my family's security. The Democrats have demonstrated that they suffer from the same set of misplaced sense of entitlement that the media does - their power and interests are more important to them than any sworn duty they have to others or to the truth.

Democrats are traitors. Every one of them has the blood of soldiers on their hands because they have done eveything possible to prevent victory - and the Plame farce demonstrates clearly that they have not done so out of any integrity, only opportunism.




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