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Plame Meme Watch

A comment by mantis alerted my to a dimension of the Libby indictment that I had completely overlooked - the meme building.

Make no mistake, both sides are spinning today indictments The question is which ones are taking hold, and which are dying on the vine?

It's time to put your detective hats on and find the emerging memes and highlight them. Remember the comment system flags comments with over 5 links as spam, so stick to one meme per comment.

Happy hunting!


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» Kuru Lounge linked with What was that about defenses and offenses

Comments (24)

No links, but there's two m... (Below threshold)

No links, but there's two memes spreading:

1. The Democratic politicians meme is the following with regard to the indictment: "This case is bigger than the leak of highly classified information. It is about how the Bush administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq."

I saw those words from Kennedy, Harry Reid and Pelosi.

2. The meme I see spreading throughout the blogs is that Libby nor anybody else was charged with exposing Plame's identity because of his false statements and perjury. That prevented Fitzgerald from being able to do so.

I am seeing some lefties <a... (Below threshold)

I am seeing some lefties ranting that if Judith Miller had not gone to jail for so long that they would have been able to keep bush from winning with this as an Oct 2004 surprise.

Listening to Hannity at the... (Below threshold)

Listening to Hannity at the start of the show:

"Libby is not being indicted on IIPA. It's an indictment for violation of the law that occurred during the investigation of the case, and doesn't say anything about Plame's cover being blown."

Went on a run, did a little homework, then turned the show back on at the start of the third hour:

"Libby is not being indicted on IIPA. It's an indictment for violation of the law that occurred during the investigation of the case, and doesn't say anything about Plame's cover being blown."

What I wish would be pushed... (Below threshold)

What I wish would be pushed is:

The indictment backs the proposition that Wilson was untruthful in his Op-Ed, in his book and in his testimony to congress.

[From the indictment:

6. On or about June 11 or 12, 2003 the Under Secretary of State orally advised Libby in the White House that, in sum and substance Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that State Department personnel were saying Wilson's wife was involved in the planning of his trip.

7. On or about June 11, 2003 Libby spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson's trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.]

Wilson lied in his op-ed about what he found in Niger and lied when he said that the administration knew the Niger story was a flat out lie. In effect he accused the administration of lying when he in fact was the one doing the lying.

He entered the political arena willingly and and challenged the administration when the administration fought back it shouldn't have come as a suprise, and since his wife used her position to suggest him for the mission she shouldn't have been surprised that she became involved.

The next thing I would bring out is what incredibly poor judgement this shows on behalf of a "covert" agent and her spouse to become involved in such a politically charged debate while trying to keep her involvement secret.

Finally I would bring out that this started because of the 16 words, which are in fact truthful. I would say something like "When the President uttered those 16 words and set this chain of events in motion, he told the truth. Unfortunately we let ourselves be harrased into withdrawing those words by the press. The British stand by their assertion and we do too."

I would ignore the indictment as much as possible other than to say something like this is an active case I won't discuss details but Scooter Libby has been a dedicated government servant all his life and he made a serious mistake as have others before him.

Wont happen but thats how I would handle it.

Wait a second... Mantis sai... (Below threshold)

Wait a second... Mantis said something intelligent???? That would be twice in the same year?!?

Heck, I agreed with him once this year that event that exceed my quota. You gotta link this!


You know I love you mantis. ;-)

Hmmm.So does this ... (Below threshold)


So does this mean that Libby could subpoena Wilson to testify in his criminal trial? Both to establish, on the record, what happened and when but possibly also to establish if in fact Wilson had talked to reporters and that they learned about Plame from Wilson? And possibly to gain testimony that might be used in the civil trial?

And something else has bothered me for some time.

It just seems odd that Kristof would trust Wilson as his source for the May 6th article. On what basis did Kristof trust Wilson? What were Wilson's bona fides that he actually went on a mission for the CIA?

This is something that I have never seen a really good explanation for. I mean how would Wilson prove that he went to Niger on contract with the CIA on behalf of the VP's office? Did they give him a certificate or something? A t-shirt "I went to Niger for the CIA and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"?

Seriously. If I walked into Kristof's office and told him I went on a secret mission for the CIA to back-assistan, how would I prove it? A pay stub?

I realise that the current discussion is about Libby. But I can't help but think that there are a *lot* of very curious loose ends out there.

Two memes I've seen:<... (Below threshold)

Two memes I've seen:

1) The Vikings could have collapsed, given all their off-the-field problems, but their victory last week against the Packers showed a lot of character, and they could come back to win their division.

2) I like peanut butter.

"So does this mean that Lib... (Below threshold)

"So does this mean that Libby could subpoena Wilson to testify in his criminal trial?"

It's possible, but I doubt it. Even though the Right has consistently tried to make this about Wilson, the fact is he could be the biggest liar in the world and it wouldn't change whether or not Libby lied to the Grand Jury and obstructed justice. This is a classic red herring. The Right would like to somehow establish that if they can cast doubt on Wilson's credibility, it somehow means Libby is innocent. At this point, they're not connected.

Legally, you are right they... (Below threshold)

Legally, you are right they aren't connected, but politically they are and for the administration right now this is mainly a political problem.

Chris,Up unti yest... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:


Up unti yesterday when the indictments were issued, this WAS about Wilson and Plame. They are what started the whole sordid affair. That makes it far from a 'classic red herring'.

The only part of your post that makes any sense is "At this point, they're not connected." On that point, I agree with you.

However, if I were Libby, and I knew I was innocent, I would not only subpoena Wilson and Plame, I would also subpoena every witness Fitzgerald called in front of the grand jury just to get everything out in the open. That should kill just about every whacko conspiracy theory The Left has about this whole incident.

- I’m not convinced the GJ ... (Below threshold)

- I’m not convinced the GJ has any right to even ask for information covered under executive privalege, namely private conversations between executive branch officials, unless a crime has been proven. Since almost every legal expert says that all Libby had to do is refuse to answer under that statute or plead the fifth, its doubtful its a chargable offense to lie/evade in any connection with said conversations. Actually the case is even weaker since Libby DID provide what the GJ now believes is the truth in the form of his own notes. The last time I checked you cannot be required to incriminate yourself.

- As far as conspiracies, isn’t that the crux of the lefts claims in this whole matter. You have an ex-official and his party circuit wife, in concert with the rabid left wing media, proping up this whole absurd non-story to get as much “face time” as possible for the anti-war movement. Looks like an agenda to me.

- This 11th hour input from official “A” is most interesting. Pundits are yammering that it was Rove, doing some last minute tap dancing in order to avoid an indictment. There is every possibility that this will turn out to be yet another “Rovian evil wave” maneuver, setting the left up for a spectacular downer in the end. Just a thought - Have a nice day

Chris,Your confusi... (Below threshold)


Your confusing issues. Libby will spend the next 12 months or so trying to convince a jury, not that he is innocent of the charges (technically he is guilty), but that he does not deserve to got ot jail or even be charged. Wilson and his cohorts (you can add Larry Johnson to the mix)will do that just fine. Libby will portray himself as doing his job and outing not a covert CIA agent, but an elaborate scam to undermine an administration. This WILL get ugly in a very good and just way.

What Chad, ed and Sheik Yur... (Below threshold)

What Chad, ed and Sheik Yur Bouty wrote.

Those might be memes, but they are ever so right memes. Perhaps it's time to let the truth be the meme or memes because the speculative memes, to my view, currently...people often forget that the truth is almost always far more straightforward than convoluted speculation about what it might be or should be. They don't call lies "tall tales" for nothing.

And I still cannot quite ge... (Below threshold)

And I still cannot quite get over the high level of foolishness in "hi, my name is Joe Wilson, and this is my wife in the headscarf and sunglasses and we're being photographed for the centerspread (and cover!) for Vanity Fair in a convertible automobile in our home town of Washington, D.C., where my wife works and behind us can be seen her workplace, maybe, and just read our interview and I'll tell you all about our details and where we've been and about what I know and that I've been an Ambassador in foreign lands and work for John Kerry's Presidential campaign and did you know that NO ONE KNOWS my wife works for the CIA, so don't let that get past you, dear readers..."

If covert, Plame's status with the CIA had to be among the most quirky ever. It is not at all surprising to me that many others were equally confused by the quirkiness, certainly confused about who she was, why, why they did or did not mention her name and to whom if they did, or didn't, and when, perhaps not, I think I may have, no, I never did...

It seems like it just might have been the objective here to flush out the media. But what do I know, I'm merely speculating.

That's my meme and I'm sticking to it.

So, -S-, I assume you've ju... (Below threshold)

So, -S-, I assume you've just started following this story. Because otherwise you'd know that the whole Vanity Fair issue came out after Novak's article, and after Valerie Plame was no longer covert. Criticize Wilson for being a camera hound if you like, but your whole rambling paragraph is apropos of nothing.

And I still think a lot of you aren't getting it. It doesn't matter if Wilson is the biggest liar in the world. It doesn't matter if Libby was doing God's work and fighting a nefarious conspiracy by rogue CIA agents. He hsn't been indicted for his actions. He's been indicted for lying about them to the Grand Jury and FBI agents. I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe an indicted person has unlimited subpeona power to just bring anyone in for questioning and conduct a fishging expedition for information that has nothing to do with his defense. He has to show that the witnesses testimony will be germane to his case. Again, that's my understanding.

And from a logical standpoint, any arguments he might make about how pure and noble his motives were is undermined by the fact that he didn't feel he could tell the truth about what he did.

I know the White House has done a good job of convincing willing believers that somehow this case hinges on Wilson's honesty, but I'm sorry to inform you that it doesn't. Even if Wilson is the one who told every reporter about his wife's identity, it doesn't matter. The issue is whether Libby lied to the Grand Jury and investigators. Period.

Chris:It's good to... (Below threshold)


It's good to see you agree that committing perjury and obstructing justice are serious offenses. Where were people like you 7 years ago?

Plame's covert status was blown by herself in 1999. That is an undeniable fact, especially since there were no indictments handed down for that phantom crime.

Unfortunately, Chris, it's ... (Below threshold)

Unfortunately, Chris, it's assumptions that have gotten the mess into the gunk it is today.

Are you soliciting for ideas, an explanation? Sorry, no will do. But if information was a gator, your chicken dinner would be gone by now.

Alright, I had a pause and ... (Below threshold)

Alright, I had a pause and now I feel sorry that Chris may have lost his chicken dinner to the speedier informational gator, so I went ahead and grabbed a reasonably easy link that might be meaty enough:


While I was writing about the Who's Who In America content written and submitted for publishing by Joe Wilson himself earlier than it was covered here in Wizbang (no credit issues, just saying this issue has been discussed extensively here over the months, and Wizbang/Kevin A. wrote a good summation thread about the salient of salient points, in that link above and from whence I quote this applicable portion):

Melvin Schuetz from Baylor's Moody Library forwarded Joseph Wilson's bio from the 2003 edition of Who's Who in America [Volume 2 (L-Z)].

He notes:

Wilson's entry carries over about 5 lines to the next column, which is why it cuts off in mid-sentence at the end. The relevant text is "m. Valerie Elise Plame, Apr. 3, 1998," which not only appears in the 2003 edition, but ALL editions from 1999-2005!

So, via Who's Who, the name "Valerie Plame" has been associated publicly with Joe Wilson since the Clinton era - nice secret... ***

To add some gravy on that meat: Wilson, himself, the very man who later accuses specific Republicans (what, no Democrats in there?) of "exposing (his) wife's cover," provided Valerie Plame's CIA "cover" identity in that very internationally available document. Not his wife's married name, but the identity she supposedly was using, had used (perhaps did but it's not a violation of any laws to name employees of the CIA nor even "secret"/covert agents UNLESS the naming qualifies under the laws that establish recriminations and the conditions necessary for any violation to have occured), as that employee. And then provided the world with photographs of that identity to match his wife afterward, thus, eliminating any mystery as to any possible covert identity.

Sorry, -S-, but linking to ... (Below threshold)

Sorry, -S-, but linking to another blogger's opinion does nothing to substantiate what you're saying. All you've shown is that Kevin can be just as wrong as you are. Besides, Kevin's claims were thouroughly debunked in the comments section.

No matter how many times the whole "Who's Woo/Vanity Fair" meme gets debunked, it keeps getting thrown out there, as if after all this time it will suddenly trurn out to be true. And I've noticed that every time it's rebutted, no one ever comes back with a direct response. So I'll ask a couple of simple questions:

If the fact that Joe Wilson was married to Valerie Plame was NEVER a secret, how is the Who's Who listing relevant to Plame's cover being blown?

If her cover was blown when Novak wrote his column, how is her appearance in Vanity Fair AFTER the column appeared relevant to her cover being blown?

Oh, and a bonus question. Please provide a link to a quote from Wilson claiming that Cheney sent him to Niger. (The closest I've seen on this one is someone pointing out thathe used the words "Vice President" and "Niger" in his op-ed.)

Linking to other informatio... (Below threshold)

Linking to other information won't do anything to make you understand it, either, Chris. The woebegones go those who refuse to accept reality in favor of hyperbole. Keep wishing, you might just chase off that alligator, but you won't get your chicken dinner back.

I'm curious, Chris, if you ... (Below threshold)

I'm curious, Chris, if you consider Who's Who in America also to represent "another blogger's opinion,: as with also Joe Wilson's self-written entry in the publications and republications of his content? If that's "blogger opinion," then, you know, we're all secret agents.

<a href="http://www.cia.gov... (Below threshold)

"Reexamining the Distinction
Between Open Information and Secrets"

by Stephen C. Mercado

"Open sources often surpass classified information..."

Stephen C. Mercado is an analyst in the CIA Directorate of Science and Technology.

LAST THING (should have Not... (Below threshold)

LAST THING (should have Notepad edited, sorry, prior to publishing each developing comment here)...

And that is, that Valerie Plame's "cover" may just have been to have her cover "blown." The covert nature of this issue just may be to be exposed as covert, but so far, most in media seem to be unaware of that.

Do you mean to tell me you ... (Below threshold)

Do you mean to tell me you linked to a previous post so I could work my way through a maze of links just so I coud see that Wilson and Plame really were in Who's Who? My God, no one's even disputing that. What is in dispute, for the last of you diehards who can't think logically, is whether the Who's Who listing "outed" Valerie Plame. The answer is NO. All it revealed was that Wilson had a wife. Their neighbors, their relatives, people that went to their wedding, all knew that. You can keep referring to it as often as you want, and it doesn't change a thing. Valerie Plame's existence was never a secret. Why do you keep beating that poor dead horse?

As for the Mercado post, I'm sure it's interesting reading, but I fail to see what it's relevance is. The time to question a security classification is not after you've revealed it to the press.

Also, you're nothing if not consistent. You continue to come up with these theories from outer space that generally begin with "I think..." and then take off into the stratosphere, with absolutely no connection to reality.

And finally. The three questions I asked were pretty basic. Once again, they go unanswered. I expected nothing less. And just to save you some wasted typing, when I ask how Plame appearing in Who's Who blew her cover, the appropriate response is not to once again point out that she was in Who's Who. You can save the breathless statements like "Melvin Schuetz from Baylor's Moody Library forwarded Joseph Wilson's bio from the 2003 edition of Who's Who in America." Ooh, Baylor's Moody Library. He sounds really official. It's like a bad infomercial. Was he wearing a white lab coat when he sent it? You don't need some big source to know what's in Who's Who. It's a pretty readily available publication.

And as for your garble about chicken dinners, I still have no idea what that's all supposed to mean.






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