View Full Version : Rove the man behind the outing of CIA Operative?

July 11th, 2005, 09:56 PM
Karl Rove could be coming under increasing scrutiny for actions that Pres. George Bush 1 declared were treasonous and Pres. George Bush 2 stated were grounds for being fired.

How will this play out?

Or does it depend on your definition of the words "treasonous" and "fired"??



Top editors of the NY TIMES made the decision Monday afternoon to turn up the heat on White House adviser Karl Rove.

The TIMES is planning to lead Tuesday editions with growing calls for Rove's resignation, newsroom sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT, a powerplay in this summer's DC all-star game of high stakes finger pointing and intrigue.

While TIMES reporter Judith Miller remains jailed for refusing to testy about sourcing before a grand jury investigating the outing of a CIA "operative," the paper's editors are splashing Rove's own lack of detailed explanation detailing his press contacts.

"Scott McClellan, Bush's spokesman, repeatedly declined to say whether he stood behind his previous assertions that Rove played no role in the matter or whether the president would follow through on his pledge to fire anyone in his administration found to be involved," reports the NYT's David Johnston, Adam Liptak and Richard Stevenson in their front page lead.

"Democrats demanded the White House provide a full public explanation of any role played by Karl Rove in disclosing the identity two years ago of a CIA operative, turning up the political heat on a long-simmering case just as President Bush heads into a critical period in his second term. But the White House declined to answer any questions about Rove's involvement."

July 12th, 2005, 11:16 AM
Does anyone have any opinions about who the second leak might be? I'd put my money on Scooter Libby, either directed or encouraged by Dick Cheney.

July 12th, 2005, 11:24 AM
The thing that annoys me is the "loophole" they seem to be expressing. That since karl did not LITERALLY give the name out, but simply said "hei wife is a CIA agent" than he cannot be convicted.

I think that is utter BS. people that are that high in the governmental structure should have more respect for things like this, and even hinting at things, especially during times of elections, should be looked at VERY carefully.

maybe Karl should be moved to a "safer" office in Iraq or Afganistan, just to make sure nothing happens to him.....

July 12th, 2005, 12:42 PM
I don't think the judge is going to be fooled by Rove's semantics acrobatics. He seems to be proceeding with this case very carefully.

July 12th, 2005, 01:31 PM
As carefully as MJ's prosecutors?

And we all know that semantics is not the best defense. It id not work for Clinton....

But that depends on what your definition of "is" is... ;)

July 12th, 2005, 09:08 PM
Here is a link to Tuesday's White House press conference where WH Spokesman Scott McClellan tries to dance around the Rove story:

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Another_day_Press_savages_White_House_over_Rove_07 12.html

Another day: Press savages White House over Rove, again
RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/)

July 12th, 2005, 09:32 PM
I'm relieved to see that someone else besides me reads Rawstory.com

July 13th, 2005, 10:34 AM
I'm relieved to see that someone else besides me reads Rawstory.com

I find Rawstory has great links to breaking news (and is a terrific counterpoint to Drudge).

Here's some new info on Rove from Rawstory:

Exclusive: GOP talking points on Rove seek to discredit Wilson
RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/)

http://www-hoover.stanford.edu/pubaffairs/newsletter/01spring/images/rove.jpgRAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) has obtained an exclusive copy of Republican talking points on Bush adviser Karl Rove's leaking the name of a CIA agent to a reporter, circulated by the Republican National Committee to "D.C. Talkers" in Washington.

The document, emblazoned with the words "Special Edition" and dated Tuesday, seeks to discredit claims put forth by Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose wife was 'outed' as a covert operative by a conservative columnist. After obtaining copies of emails sent from a Time reporter to his editor, Newsweek fingered Rove as a source for the leak which disclosed the agent's identity.

The talking points mirror a release (http://rawstory.com/news/2005/RNC_RESPONDS_ON_ROVE_PARTISAN_POLITICAL_ATT_0712.h tml) by Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman earlier Tuesday, in which he declared the attacks on Rove were spawned by the 'MoveOn' wing of the Democratic Party. MoveOn later accused the White House of a 'cover up.'

The talking points, acquired by RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/), follow.

http://rawstory2.com/images/other/rovetalk1.jpg http://rawstory2.com/images/other/rovetalk2.gif http://rawstory2.com/images/other/rovetalk3.gif http://rawstory2.com/images/other/rovetalk4.gif http://rawstory2.com/images/other/rovetalk5.gif

July 13th, 2005, 11:50 AM
I love RawStory!

TLOZ Link5
July 13th, 2005, 01:47 PM
By Ted Rall
Tue Jul 12, 7:06 PM ET

NEW YORK--In war collaborators are more dangerous than enemy forces, for they betray with intimate knowledge in painful detail and demoralize by their cynical example. This explains why, at the end of occupations, the newly liberated exact vengeance upon their treasonous countrymen even they allow foreign troops to conduct an orderly withdrawal.

If, as state-controlled media insists, there is such a creature as a Global War on Terrorism, our enemies are underground Islamist organizations allied with or ideologically similar to those that attacked us on 9/11. But who are the collaborators?

The right points to critics like Michael Moore, yours truly, and Ward Churchill, the Colorado professor who points out the gaping chasm between America's high-falooting rhetoric and its historical record. But these bête noires are guilty only of the all-American actions of criticism and dissent, not to mention speaking uncomfortable truths to liars and deniers. As far as we know, no one on what passes for the "left" (which would be the center-right anywhere else) has betrayed the United States in the GWOT. No anti-Bush progressive has made common cause with Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan or any other officially designated "terrorist" group. No American liberal has handed over classified information or worked to undermine the CIA.

But it now appears that Karl Rove, GOP golden boy, has done exactly that.

Last week Time magazine turned over its reporter's notes to a special prosecutor assigned to learn who told Republican columnist Bob Novak that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. The revelation, which effectively ended Plame's CIA career and may have endangered her life, followed her husband Joe Wilson's publication of a New York Times op-ed piece that embarrassed the Bush Administration by debunking its claims that Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium from Niger. Time's cowardly decision to break its promise to a confidential source has had one beneficial side effect: according to Newsweek, it indicates that Karl Rove himself made the call to Novak.

One might have expected Rove, the master White House political strategist who engineered Bush's 2000 coup d'état and post-9/11 permanent war public relations campaign, to have ordered a flunky underling to carry out this act of high treason. But as the Arab saying goes, arrogance diminishes wisdom.

Rove, whose gaping maw recently vomited forth that Democrats didn't care about 9/11, is atypically silent. He did talk to the Time reporter but "never knowingly disclosed classified information," claims his attorney. But there's circumstantial evidence to go along with Time's leaked notes. Ari Fleischer abruptly resigned as Bush's press secretary on May 16, 2003, about the same time the White House became aware of Ambassador Wilson's plans to go public. (Wilson's article appeared July 6.) Did Fleischer quit because he didn't want to act as spokesman for Rove's plan to betray CIA agent Plame? Another interesting coincidence: Novak published his Plame column on July 14, Fleischer's last day on the job.

If Newsweek's report is accurate, Karl Rove is more morally repugnant and more anti-American than Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden, after all, has no affiliation with, and therefore no presumed loyalty to, the United States. Rove, on the other hand, is a U.S. citizen and, as deputy White House chief of staff, a high-ranking official of the U.S. government sworn to uphold and defend our nation, its laws and its interests. Yet he sold out America just to get even with Joe Wilson.

Osama bin Laden, conversely, is loyal to his cause. He has never exposed an Al Qaeda agent's identity to the media.

"[Knowingly revealing Plame's name and undercover status to the media]...is a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and is punishable by as much as ten years in prison," notes the Washington Post. Unmasking an intelligent agent during a time of war, however, surely rises to giving aid and comfort to America's enemies--treason. Treason is punishable by execution under the United States Code.

How far up the White House food chain does the rot of treason go? "Bush has always known how to keep Rove in his place," wrote Time in 2002 about a "symbiotic relationship" that dates to 1973. This isn't some rogue "plumbers" operation. Rove would never go it alone on a high-stakes action like Valerie Plame. It's a safe bet that other, higher-ranking figures in the Bush cabal--almost certainly Dick Cheney and possibly Bush himself--signed off before Rove called Novak. For the sake of national security, those involved should be removed from office at once.

Rove and his collaborators should quickly resign and face prosecution for betraying their country, but given their sense of personal entitlement impeachment is probably the best we can hope for. Congress, and all Americans, should place patriotism ahead of party loyalty.

Copyright © 2005 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

July 14th, 2005, 08:56 AM


Blogged by Brad (TheBradBlog@cville.com) on 7/13/2005 @ 2:45pm PT...

JOE WILSON: 'The President should fire Rove'!
The Ambassador Strikes Back, Answers to the Right Wing Spin Machine


Ambassador Joseph Wilson fired back today at the Rightwing Spin Machine, which, having been issued marching orders late yesterday in a set of talking points from the RNC (http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Exclusive_GOP_talking_points_on_Rove_seek_to_discr e_0712.html), is once again hoping to distract from the potentially treasonous crimes that George W. Bush's top political operative and Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, is alleged to have committed.

In a phone discussion early this afternoon, Wilson told The BRAD BLOG (http://www.bradblog.com/) in no uncertain terms that "the President should fire Rove."

He told us that he'd be appearing on NBC's Today Show tomorrow morning and would be repeating that call.

As well, he told The BRAD BLOG (http://www.bradblog.com/) that he planned to read a letter on air which he received from Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush shortly after an article of his (http://www.politicsoftruth.com/editorials/saddam.html) was printed in the San Jose Mercury News, on October 13, 2002, in which Wilson related his concerns about the pitfalls of the approach to Iraq being taken at the time by both the U.N. and the U.S.

In reply to that article, Wilson said that the former President wrote that he had "read your article and I agree with a lot of it."

Additionally, Wilson explained, Bush 41's own National Security Advisor, Brett Scowcroft, had contacted him to ask whether he "could walk on over to the White House with the letter" at the time. Which apparently he did.

Wilson also had sent the article to Bush 41's Secretary of State, James Baker.

"None of them responded saying you’re a Democratic partisan hack and your views suck," said Wilson.

The above points are notable, because armed with those RNC talking points, Rush Limbaugh, Fox "News" and Friends have today kicked into overdrive smearing and lying about Wilson, claiming that he was against the Iraq War from the get-go.

If fact, Wilson, who was in charge of the Embassy in Iraq during the first Gulf War under Bush 41 (he was the last American to speak personally with Saddam Hussein before the war begain, and was responsible for taking care of some 125 Americans who had sought refuge in the American Embassy there when they were not allowed by Saddam to leave the country just prior to the war), says that it was "a full eight months" after he was sent by the CIA to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium there, "before I had said anything publicly about what America should consider in regard to a war with Iraq."

"My real concern was always WMD," he told us, "not Regime Change."

That concern was expressed in the October 2002, San Jose Mercury News editorial which apparently George W. Bush's own father and National Security Advisor tended to agree with. Wilson's trip to Niger occurred a full eight months earlier, in February of that same year.

We asked him if he had heard Fox "News'" John Gibson make his deplorable and irresponsible statement yesterday (http://www.oliverwillis.com/2005/07/12/fox-news-anti-national-security/) which said that "Karl Rove should receive a medal," because Wilson's wife, covert CIA asset Valerie Plame, "should have been outed."

"Where I come from," slurred Gibson, "we do not want secret spy masters pulling the puppet strings in the background.

Gibson's "logic", such that he has any, seems to be based on the unsupported claims that Plame -- or Wilson's "little wifey" as Gibson condescendingly referred to her -- was "pulling the puppet strings" of national policy from her covert position in the CIA, by sending Wilson to Niger. That was, in Gibson's false claim, because Wilson, "was opposed to the War in Iraq, opposed to Bush policy, and pointedly and loudly said so."

No, he didn't, Mr. Gibson. Never mind those pesky facts (http://www.alternet.org/stories/19271). It's only Fox "News" you work for, so we realize such facts are hardly relevant to you receiving your paycheck there.

"That is something that should be out in the open," blathered Gibson, "And the person doing it should be identified and should own up to it. So Rove should get a medal, if he did do what he says he didn't do."

In response, Wilson simply said, "Well, that's a lie. But no surprise there."

In the meantime, despite such pesky facts, the wingnuts also continue to claim that Plame was, in fact, not even a covert asset at the time of her outing.

The BRAD BLOG (http://www.bradblog.com/) has learned from several sources, as also confirmed in Time magazine (http://foi.missouri.edu/iipa/nocnoc.html) that Plame was indeed a "NOC", an agent with "nonofficial cover", the most valuable, secretive and vulnerable of CIA assets.

In regard to whether she was covert or not at the time of her outing by Rove, Bob Novak or whoever his "two senior administration sources" were, Wilson said, "What I can say is, that the CIA looked at the evidence of what had happened and referred the case to the Justice Department. That means that the CIA may think that a crime has been committed."

On Rightwing Hackery hoping to cynically deflect from the seriousness of the potentially treasonous crime committed by claiming that "Wilson lied" about his wife's involvement in sending him to Niger, Wilson says, "In actual fact, all I've done is repeat what the CIA itself has said since July 22nd, 2003 as reported initially in Newsday by Knut Royce and Tim Phelps."

That Newsday article (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4190.htm) says [emphasis added]:

A senior intelligence official confirmed that Plame was a Directorate of Operations undercover officer who worked "alongside" the operations officers who asked her husband to travel to Niger.

But he said she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment. "They [the officers who did ask Wilson to check the uranium story] were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising," he said. "There are people elsewhere in government who are trying to make her look like she was the one who was cooking this up, for some reason," he said. "I can't figure out what it could be."

"The CIA said [my wife] was not the person to have authorized my trip. They've repeated that time and time again."

And the Bush Apologists, who suddenly don't seem to care all that much about National Security after all, keep repeating the opposite. Time and time again.

July 15th, 2005, 01:10 AM
Well, Rove claims he never used her name...


Source: Rove Got CIA Agent ID From Media

WASHINGTON (AP) - Presidential confidant Karl Rove testified to a grand jury that he learned the identity of a CIA operative originally from journalists, then informally discussed the information with a Time magazine reporter days before the story broke, according to a person briefed on the testimony.

The person, who works in the legal profession and spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, told The Associated Press that Rove testified last year that he remembers specifically being told by columnist Robert Novak that Valerie Plame, the wife of a harsh Iraq war critic, worked for the CIA.

Rove testified that Novak originally called him the Tuesday before Plame's identity was revealed in July 2003 to discuss another story. The conversation eventually turned to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was strongly criticizing the Bush administration's Iraq war policy and the intelligence it used to justify the war, the source said...

July 15th, 2005, 10:28 AM
But, as Wilson stated in the Rawstory interview, he only has one wife.

July 15th, 2005, 11:07 AM
But, as Wilson stated in the Rawstory interview, he only has one wife.

Stay tuned -- Now the RNC and others will try to claim that this is just another Wilson lie.

July 18th, 2005, 08:40 AM
Follow the Uranium
Published: July 17, 2005 (NY Times)

"I am saying that if anyone was involved in that type of activity which I referred to, they would not be working here."
- Ron Ziegler, press secretary to Richard Nixon, defending the presidential aide Dwight Chapin on Oct. 18, 1972. Chapin was convicted in April 1974 of perjury in connection with his relationship to the political saboteur Donald Segretti.

"Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't have the president's confidence."
- Scott McClellan, press secretary to George W. Bush, defending Karl Rove on Tuesday.

WELL, of course, Karl Rove did it. He may not have violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, with its high threshold of criminality for outing a covert agent, but there's no doubt he trashed Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame. We know this not only because of Matt Cooper's e-mail, but also because of Mr. Rove's own history. Trashing is in his nature, and bad things happen, usually through under-the-radar whispers, to decent people (and their wives) who get in his way. In the 2000 South Carolina primary, John McCain's wife, Cindy, was rumored to be a drug addict (and Senator McCain was rumored to be mentally unstable). In the 1994 Texas governor's race, Ann Richards found herself rumored to be a lesbian. The implication that Mr. Wilson was a John Kerry-ish girlie man beholden to his wife for his meal ticket is of a thematic piece with previous mud splattered on Rove political adversaries. The difference is that this time Mr. Rove got caught...

Even so, we shouldn't get hung up on him - or on most of the other supposed leading figures in this scandal thus far. Not Matt Cooper or Judy Miller or the Wilsons or the bad guy everyone loves to hate, the former CNN star Robert Novak. This scandal is not about them in the end, any more than Watergate was about Dwight Chapin and Donald Segretti or Woodward and Bernstein. It is about the president of the United States. It is about a plot that was hatched at the top of the administration and in which everyone else, Mr. Rove included, are at most secondary players.

To see the main plot, you must sweep away the subplots, starting with the Cooper e-mail. It has been brandished as a smoking gun by Bush bashers and as exculpatory evidence by Bush backers (Mr. Rove, you see, was just trying to ensure that Time had its facts straight). But no one knows what this e-mail means unless it's set against the avalanche of other evidence, most of it secret, including what Mr. Rove said in three appearances before the grand jury. Therein lies the rub, or at least whatever case might be made for perjury...

This case is about Iraq, not Niger. The real victims are the American people, not the Wilsons. The real culprit - the big enchilada, to borrow a 1973 John Ehrlichman phrase from the Nixon tapes - is not Mr. Rove but the gang that sent American sons and daughters to war on trumped-up grounds and in so doing diverted finite resources, human and otherwise, from fighting the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. That's why the stakes are so high: this scandal is about the unmasking of an ill-conceived war, not the unmasking of a C.I.A. operative who posed for Vanity Fair.

So put aside Mr. Wilson's February 2002 trip to Africa. The plot that matters starts a month later, in March, and its omniscient author is Dick Cheney. It was Mr. Cheney (on CNN) who planted the idea that Saddam was "actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time." The vice president went on to repeat this charge in May on "Meet the Press," in three speeches in August and on "Meet the Press" yet again in September. Along the way the frightening word "uranium" was thrown into the mix...

Once we were locked into the war, and no W.M.D.'s could be found, the original plot line was dropped with an alacrity that recalled the "Never mind!" with which Gilda Radner's Emily Litella used to end her misinformed Weekend Update commentaries on "Saturday Night Live." The administration began its dog-ate-my-homework cover-up, asserting that the various warning signs about the uranium claims were lost "in the bowels" of the bureaucracy or that it was all the C.I.A.'s fault or that it didn't matter anyway, because there were new, retroactive rationales to justify the war. But the administration knows how guilty it is. That's why it has so quickly trashed any insider who contradicts its story line about how we got to Iraq, starting with the former Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill and the former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke.

Next to White House courtiers of their rank, Mr. Wilson is at most a Rosencrantz or Guildenstern. The brief against the administration's drumbeat for war would be just as damning if he'd never gone to Africa. But by overreacting in panic to his single Op-Ed piece (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/06/opinion/06WILS.html) of two years ago, the White House has opened a Pandora's box it can't slam shut. Seasoned audiences of presidential scandal know that there's only one certainty ahead: the timing of a Karl Rove resignation. As always in this genre, the knight takes the fall at exactly that moment when it's essential to protect the king.

July 18th, 2005, 11:08 AM
Top Aides Reportedly Set Sights on Wilson

Rove and Cheney chief of staff were intent on discrediting CIA agent's husband, prosecutors have been told.

By Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten, Times Staff Writers


WASHINGTON — Top aides to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were intensely focused on discrediting former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV in the days after he wrote an op-ed article for the New York Times suggesting the administration manipulated intelligence to justify going to war in Iraq, federal investigators have been told.

Prosecutors investigating whether administration officials illegally leaked the identity of Wilson's wife, a CIA officer who had worked undercover, have been told that Bush's top political strategist, Karl Rove, and Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, were especially intent on undercutting Wilson's credibility, according to people familiar with the inquiry...

L.A Times, July 18, 2005

July 19th, 2005, 08:01 AM
07.18.2005 Tom Watson (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/tom-watson/the-bush-theory-of-evolut_4353.html)

The Bush Theory of Evolution (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/tom-watson/the-bush-theory-of-evolut_4353.html)

So there are still some right-leaning fundamentalist Republicans who don't believe in the evolution of the species? They ought to look to their guy in the White House, who is clearly engaging in some natural selection of the political kind, as he tries desperately to deal with the exploding Karl Rove national security treason scandal. Dig this evolution (tip to Kos (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/7/18/124043/937)):

September 29, 2003:

McClellan: "If anyone in this administration was involved in it [the improper disclosure of an undercover CIA operative's identity], they would no longer be in this administration."

September 30, 2003:

Bush: "If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."

Earlier Today (July 18, 2005):

Bush: "If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."

Do they call that survival of the fittest? Evolution? Better yet, let's call it creationism - exactly the same kind of the "meaning of is is" creationism engaged in by backpedaling, dishonest politicians who would rather hem and haw than to stand up.


How about loyalty to the thousands of CIA field operatives, to our special forces, to our spies, and to the hundreds of thousands of Americans in uniforms - none of whom would ever pick up the phone and call Bob Novak. This President (http://tomwatson.typepad.com/tom_watson/2005/07/this_this_this_.html) doesn't understand that kind of honor - the kind that goes with these words: duty, honor, country.

July 19th, 2005, 01:01 PM
The justification to invade Iraq wasn't based on "bad intelligence," it was based on "manufactured intelligence."

Every smart person realizes that the decision to invade was made in the days following 9/11/2001 as the Wolfowitz Doctrine was implemented. That doctrine states that to ensure the security of the United States (energy security and security from terrorists) it is necessary to bring about a democratization/westernization of the Middle East (particularly Iraq, Iran, Syria) through force (i.e. regime change). If Bush/Cheney had come right out and said that this was now the foreign policy of the U.S. (like Manifest Destiny), then it would be a lot easier to support them - or at least respect their intentions. Instead they began to manufacture intelligence and manipulate public fear about WMDs and Al Queada training camps and create a whole web of lies.

They are a sneaky, underhanded bunch who will do and say anything to keep their power. I am surprised that most Americans don't see it.

July 19th, 2005, 01:22 PM
They do not WANT to see it.

Seeing it would mean that they were wrong in what they were thinking.

Just like a lot of people will not report being beaten or swindled because of the lack of respect they fear.

July 20th, 2005, 10:57 AM
From RawStory.com 7.20.05...
http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Wall_Street_Journal_enters_Rove_fray_State_Dept._m emo_made_clear_info_shouldnt_be_shar_0719.html

Wall Street Journal enters Rove fray: State Dept. memo made clear info 'shouldn't be shared'

RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/)

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/images/Rove_Karl-HC-GD74212032004110516.gifA classified State Department memo that may be pivotal to the CIA leak case made clear that information identifying an agent and her role in her husband's intelligence-gathering mission was sensitive and shouldn't be shared, according to a person familiar with the document, the (paid-restricted) Wall Street Journal reports (http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112170178721288385,00.html?mod=todays_us_page _one) Tuesday. Excerpts follow.


News that the memo was marked for its sensitivity emerged as President Bush yesterday appeared to backtrack from his 2004 pledge to fire any member of his staff involved in the leaking of the CIA agent's name. In a news conference yesterday that followed disclosures that his top strategist, Karl Rove, had discussed Ms. Wilson's CIA employment with two reporters, Mr. Bush adopted a different formulation, specifying criminality as the standard for firing.

The memo's details are significant because they will make it harder for officials who saw the document to claim that they didn't realize the identity of the CIA officer was a sensitive matter. Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, may also be looking at whether other crimes -- such as perjury, obstruction of justice or leaking classified information -- were committed.

On July 6, 2003, former diplomat Joseph Wilson wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times, disputing administration arguments that Iraq had sought to buy uranium ore from Africa to make nuclear weapons. The following day, President Bush and top cabinet officials left for Africa, and the memo was aboard Air Force One.

The paragraph in the memo discussing Ms. Wilson's involvement in her husband's trip is marked at the beginning with a letter designation in brackets to indicate the information shouldn't be shared, according to the person familiar with the memo. Such a designation would indicate to a reader that the information was sensitive. The memo, though, doesn't specifically describe Ms. Wilson as an undercover agent, the person familiar with the memo said.

According to the person familiar with the document, it didn't include a distribution list. It isn't known if President Bush has seen the memo.

The piece also reveals a response from Ari Fleischer:

Mr. Novak attempted to reach Ari Fleischer, then the White House press secretary, in the days before his column appeared. However, Mr. Fleischer didn't respond to Mr. Novak's inquiries, according to a person familiar with his account. Mr. Fleischer, who has since left the administration, is one of several officials who testified before the grand jury.

July 21st, 2005, 08:22 PM
From RawStory.com Thursday July 21, 2005

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Report_Bloomberg_to_reveal_Rove_Libby_gave_false_t e_0721.html

Report: Bloomberg to reveal Rove, Libby gave false testimony
RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/)

Bloomberg News has slotted a story alleging that senior Bush advisor Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff 'Scooter' Libby provided false testimony to the special prosecutor to a Washington-based grand jury, RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) has learned.

The story is expected to hit after midnight, when Bloomberg typically moves stories.

Patrick Fitzgerald, the Chicago special prosecutor appointed to investigate the outing of former covert agent Valerie Plame Wilson, may also be looking at whether other crimes -- such as perjury, obstruction of justice or leaking classified information -- were committed.

Bloomberg has been among the head of the pack in breaking elements of the CIA leak scandal; they recently hired former Wall Street Journal editor Al Hunt. Newsweek revealed several weeks ago that a Time reporter's email fingered Rove in the leak.

The story dovetails with an account (http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=10016) provided by investigative blogger journalist Murray Waas earlier this week.

"White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed CIA officer Valerie Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper during Rove's first interview with the FBI, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter," Waas wrote.

"The omission by Rove created doubt for federal investigators, almost from the inception of their criminal probe into who leaked Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak," he continues, "as to whether Rove was withholding crucial information from them, and perhaps even misleading or lying to them, the sources said."

"Also leading to the early skepticism of Rove's accounts was the claim that although he first heard that Plame worked for the CIA from a journalist, he said could not recall the name of the journalist," Waas added. "Later, the sources said, Rove wavered even further, saying he was not sure at all where he first heard the information."


July 22nd, 2005, 08:07 AM
For Two Aides in Leak Case, 2nd Issue Rises

July 22, 2005


This article was reported by David Johnston, Douglas Jehl and Richard W. Stevenson and was written by Mr. Johnston.

WASHINGTON, July 21 - At the same time in July 2003 that a C.I.A. operative's identity was exposed, two key White House officials who talked to journalists about the officer were also working closely together on a related underlying issue: whether President Bush was correct in suggesting earlier that year that Iraq had been trying to acquire nuclear materials from Africa.

The two issues had become inextricably linked because Joseph C. Wilson IV, the husband of the unmasked C.I.A. officer, had questioned Mr. Bush's assertion, prompting a damage-control effort by the White House that included challenging Mr. Wilson's standing and his credentials. A federal grand jury investigation is under way by a special counsel to determine whether someone illegally leaked the officer's identity and possibly into whether perjury or obstruction of justice occurred during the inquiry.

People who have been briefed on the case said the White House officials, Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby, were helping prepare what became the administration's primary response to criticism that a flawed phrase about the nuclear materials in Africa had been in Mr. Bush's State of the Union address six months earlier.

They had exchanged e-mail correspondence and drafts of a proposed statement by George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, to explain how the disputed wording had gotten into the address. Mr. Rove, the president's political strategist, and Mr. Libby, the chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, coordinated their efforts with Stephen J. Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser, who was in turn consulting with Mr. Tenet.

At the same time, they were grappling with the fallout from an Op-Ed article on July 6, 2003, in The New York Times by Mr. Wilson, a former diplomat, in which he criticized the way the administration had used intelligence to support the claim in Mr. Bush's speech.

The work done by Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby on the Tenet statement during this intense period has not been previously disclosed. People who have been briefed on the case discussed this critical time period and the events surrounding it to demonstrate that Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby were not involved in an orchestrated scheme to discredit Mr. Wilson or disclose the undercover status of his wife, Valerie Wilson, but were intent on clarifying the use of intelligence in the president's address. Those people who have been briefed requested anonymity because prosecutors have asked them not to discuss matters under investigation.

The special counsel in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has been examining this period of time to determine whether the officials' work on the Tenet statement led in some way to the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity to Robert D. Novak, the syndicated columnist, according to the people who have been briefed.

It is not clear what information Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby might have collected about Ms. Wilson as they worked on the Tenet statement. Mr. Rove has said he learned her name from Mr. Novak. Mr. Libby has declined to discuss the matter.

The effort was striking because to an unusual degree, the circle of officials involved included those from the White House's political and national security operations, which are often separately run. Both arms were drawn into the effort to defend the administration during the period.

In another indication of how wide a net investigators have cast in the case, Karen Hughes, a former top communications aide to Mr. Bush, and Robert Joseph, who was then the National Security Council's expert on weapons proliferation, have both told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that they were interviewed by the special prosecutor.

Ms. Hughes is to have her confirmation hearing on Friday on her nomination to lead the State Department's public diplomacy operation. Mr. Joseph was recently confirmed as under secretary of state for arms control and international security. As part of their confirmation proceedings, both had to fill out questionnaires listing any legal matters they had become involved in.

Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby did not meet face to face while hammering out the critical points that were desired for the Tenet statement, the people briefed on the case said.

In its final version, the Tenet statement, through its language and tone, supported the contention that senior White House officials were focused on addressing the substance of Mr. Wilson's claims. It did not mention Mr. Wilson or his wife, and Mr. Libby made it clear that Vice President Cheney did not send Mr. Wilson to Africa, a notion some said Mr. Wilson had suggested in his article. The defenders of Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby contend that the statement underscores that they were not trying to punish Mr. Wilson.

A former government official, though, added another element to how the statement was prepared, saying that no one directed Mr. Tenet to issue it and that Mr. Tenet himself felt it was needed. The statement said that the "C.I.A.'s counterproliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn."

In Mr. Wilson's article, he recounted a mission he undertook to Niger in 2002 seeking information about a purported effort by President Saddam Hussein of Iraq to acquire uranium there, his conclusion that the effort had not occurred and the filing of his report.

In his State of the Union address in January 2003, Mr. Bush cited reports that Iraq had sought to acquire a form of uranium in Africa as evidence of Mr. Hussein's intentions to gain weapons that he might provide to terrorists, use to threaten the United States or employ against other nations in the Middle East.

Lawyers with clients in the case said Mr. Fitzgerald and his investigators have shown interest in a classified State Department memo that was provided to Colin L. Powell, then the secretary of state, as he left for Africa on Air Force One with Mr. Bush and his top aides on July 7, 2003, a day after Mr. Wilson made his accusations public.

The memorandum identified Ms. Wilson by name and described her as having a role in her husband's selection for the mission to Niger. A government official said the paragraph in the memorandum identifying Ms. Wilson was preceded by the letter S in brackets, a designation meaning that contents of the paragraph were classified secret. The designation was first reported on Thursday by The Washington Post.

The investigators have been trying to determine who else within the administration might have seen the memo or learned of its contents.

Among those asked if he had seen the memo was Ari Fleischer, then the White House press secretary, who was on Air Force One with Mr. Bush and Mr. Powell during the Africa trip. Mr. Fleischer told the grand jury that he never saw the document, a person familiar with the testimony said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the prosecutor's admonitions about not disclosing what is said to the grand jury.

Mr. Fleischer's role has been scrutinized by investigators, in part because his telephone log showed a call on the day after Mr. Wilson's article appeared from Mr. Novak, the columnist who, on July 14, 2003, was the first to report Ms. Wilson's identity.

In his column, Mr. Novak referred to her by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, which she had used when first employed by the C.I.A. Mr. Fleischer has told the grand jury that he did not return Mr. Novak's call, a person familiar with the testimony said.

Mr. Rove has also told the grand jury that he never saw the memorandum, a person briefed on the case said. Democrats who have been eager to focus attention on the case have urged reporters to look into the role of several other administration officials, including John R. Bolton, who was then under secretary of state for arms control and international security and has since been nominated by Mr. Bush to be ambassador to the United Nations.

In his disclosure form for his confirmation hearings, Mr. Bolton made no mention of being interviewed in the case, a government official said. In the week after Mr. Wilson's article appeared, Mr. Bolton attended a conference in Australia.

In addition to ferreting out the original leak, the grand jury is examining the truthfulness of its witnesses, comparing each account with previous testimony. One apparent area of interest is the conflicting accounts given by Mr. Rove and Matthew Cooper, a Time magazine correspondent who has said he spoke to Mr. Rove about Ms. Wilson, about why they spoke on July 11, 2003.

Mr. Rove, said a source familiar with his testimony, told prosecutors that the conversation began under the pretext of discussing welfare reform.

But Mr. Cooper said he had no record or memory of actually talking to Mr. Rove about welfare reform, instead only discussing the Wilson case in their brief chat. The grand jury focused on that apparent discrepancy, Mr. Cooper wrote in an account in Time this week.

Anne E. Kornblut contributed reporting for this article.

July 22nd, 2005, 03:22 PM
Rove and his entire network should be fired and God , please follow Truman's advice
to dismantle the CIA

July 22nd, 2005, 08:20 PM
http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Advance_Colleague_of_outed_agent_seeks_to_setrecor d_st_0722.html

Advance: Colleague of outed agent seeks to 'set the record straight'

RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/)

Copy of my testimony to be presented on Friday, 22 July 2005 before a joint session of Congressional Democrats. / CORRECTING THE RECORD ON VALERIE PLAME / Larry C. Johnson

I submit this statement to the Congress in an effort to correct a malicious and disingenuous smear campaign that has been executed against a friend and former colleague, Valerie (Plame) Wilson. Neither Valerie, nor her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson has asked me to do anything on their behalf. I am speaking up because I was raised to stop bullies. In the case of Valerie Plame she is facing a gang of bullies that is being directed by the Republican National Committee.

I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985 as a member of the Career Trainee Program. Senator Orin Hatch had written a letter of recommendation on my behalf and I believe that helped open the doors to me at the CIA. From the first day all members of my training class were undercover. In other words, we had to lie to our family and friends about where we worked. We could only tell those who had an absolute need to know where we worked. In my case, I told my wife. Most of us were given official cover, which means that on paper we worked for some other U.S. Government Agency. People with official cover enjoy the benefits of an official passport, usually a black passport--i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card. It accords the bearer the protections of the Geneva Convention...

We must put to bed the lie that she was not undercover. For starters, if she had not been undercover then the CIA would not have referred the matter to the Justice Department. Some reports, such as one in the Washington Times that Valerie Plame’s supervisor at the CIA, Fred Rustman, said she told friends and family she worked at the CIA and that her cover was light. These claims are not true. Rustman, who supervised Val in one of her earliest assignments, left the CIA in 1990 and did not stay in social contact with Valerie. His knowledge of Val’s cover is dated. He does not know what she has done during the past 15 years...

As noted in the joint letter submitted to Congressional leaders earlier this week, the RNC is repeating the lie that Valerie was nothing more than a glorified desk jockey and could not possibly have any cover worth protecting. To those such as Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, P. J. O'Rourke, and Representative Roy Blunt I can only say one thing—you are wrong. I am stunned that some political leaders have such ignorance about a matter so basic to the national security structure of this nation.

Robert Novak’s compromise of Valerie caused even more damage. It subsequently led to scrutiny of her cover company. This not only compromised her “cover” company but potentially every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company or with her.

Another false claim is that Valerie sent her husband on the mission to Niger. According to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report issued in July 2004, it is clear that the Vice President himself requested that the CIA provide its views on a Defense Intelligence Agency report that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium from Niger. The Vice President’s request was relayed through the CIA bureaucracy to the Director of the Counter Proliferation Division at the CIA. Valerie worked for a branch in that Division...

So where are we? The President has flip flopped and backed away from his promise to fire anyone at the White House implicated in a leak. We now know from press reports that at least Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are implicated in these leaks. Instead of a President concerned first and foremost with protecting this country and the intelligence officers who serve it, we are confronted with a President who is willing to sit by while political operatives savage the reputations of good Americans like Valerie and Joe Wilson. This is wrong.

Without firm action by President Bush to return to those principles he promised to follow when he came to Washington, I fear our political debate in this country will degenerate into an argument about what the meaning of “leak” is. We deserve people who work in the White House who are committed to protecting classified information, telling the truth to the American people, and living by example the idea that a country at war with Islamic extremists cannot expend its efforts attacking other American citizens who simply tried to tell the truth.

July 22nd, 2005, 10:40 PM
http://rawstory.com/news/2005/LA_TIMES_MOVES_WORD_ROVE_PERJURY_TO_FRONT_PA_0722. html


RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/)

WASHINGTON -- The special prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation has shifted his focus from whether White House officials violated a law against exposing undercover agents to determining whether evidence exists to bring perjury or obstruction of justice charges, according to people briefed in recent days on the inquiry's status, the LOS ANGELES TIMES will report Saturday, RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) has learned.

The LA Times piece is titled: "CIA Probe Moves from Leak Source to Perjury, Obstruction."

THE WASHINGTON POST will move a similar page one story Saturday as well.

According to lawyers familiar with the case, investigators are comparing statements to federal authorities by two top White House aides, Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby, with testimony from reporters who have acknowledged talking to the officials.

The sources also said prosecutors are comparing the various statements to the FBI and the grand jury by Rove, who is a White House deputy chief of staff and President Bush's chief political strategist.

July 23rd, 2005, 07:28 AM
latimes.com (http://www.latimes.com/) : Nation (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/)

July 23, 2005

CIA Leak Investigation Turns to Possible Perjury, Obstruction
By Douglas Frantz, Sonni Efron and Richard B. Schmitt, Times Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — The special prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation has shifted his focus from determining whether White House officials violated a law against exposing undercover agents to determining whether evidence exists to bring perjury or obstruction of justice charges, according to people briefed in recent days on the inquiry's status.

Differences have arisen in witnesses' statements to federal agents and a grand jury about how the name of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, was leaked to the press two years ago.

According to lawyers familiar with the case, investigators are comparing statements by two top White House aides, Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, with testimony from reporters who have acknowledged talking to the officials.

Although no one has suggested that the investigation into who leaked Plame's name has been shelved, the intensity of the inquiry into possible perjury charges has increased, according to one lawyer familiar with events who spoke on condition that he not be identified.

July 23rd, 2005, 07:34 AM

washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com/)

Testimony By Rove and Libby Examined
Leak Prosecutor Seeks Discrepancies

By Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei, Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, July 23, 2005; A01

Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has been reviewing over the past several months discrepancies and gaps in witness testimony in his investigation of the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to lawyers in the case and witness statements.
Fitzgerald has spent considerable time since the summer of 2004 looking at possible conflicts between what White House senior adviser Karl Rove and vice presidential staff chief I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby told a grand jury and investigators, and the accounts of reporters who talked with the two men, according to various sources in the case...

Prosecutors have also probed Rove's testimony about his telephone conversation with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in the crucial days before Plame's name was revealed in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak...

The prosecutors have appeared keen to see if they can fill in some gaps in Rove's memory about how he learned about Plame, and they have repeatedly asked witnesses if Rove told them how he knew about Plame. Rove testified early in the investigation that his information about Plame came from Novak, his attorney said. Rove testified he also may have heard about her from another reporter or administration official who had heard it from a reporter, but he could not recall the second source of his information, his attorney said.

Staff writer Howard Kurtz contributed to this report.

July 23rd, 2005, 08:12 AM

07.22.2005 Lawrence O'Donnell (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/lawrence-odonnell/the-roveluskin-leaks_4551.html)

The Rove-Luskin Leaks (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/lawrence-odonnell/the-roveluskin-leaks_4551.html)

In the 21 days since I broke the story that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source, Rove's lawyer, Bob Luskin, has been working the press everyday with a new defense angle that, once committed to print in Newsweek, the Washington Post or the New York Times, gets added to the Republican party's talking points on the scandal. Luskin's first response to my revelation was to say that, well, yes, Rove did talk to Cooper about Joe Wilson's wife but he did not "knowingly" disclose classified information -- knowingly being the essence of Rove's criminal defense (as I have previously discussed (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/lawrence-odonnell/roves-i-did-not-inhale_3637.html)).

After getting a lot of embarrassing attention for trying to deny to the Washington Post that Rove was the person who finally gave Cooper a specific release to testify, Luskin has gone undercover and now rarely attaches his name to the defense briefs he dictates to reporters, all of whom would love to use a source other than Luskin but no one in the prosecutor's office is leaking, so they're stuck with Luskin. The Washington Post usually identifies him as a source familiar with Rove's grand jury testimony, but Luskin has managed to negotiate a more indirect label with the Times where he appears as a source who has "been briefed on the case." The Times always points out that the source is sympathetic to Rove. Today's Times piece says that Luskin's latest description about how Rove and Lewis Libby worked together (the prosecutor might say conspired) to respond to Joe Wilson's Op-Ed piece was leaked to the the Times "to demonstrate that Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby were not involved in an orchestrated scheme to discredit Mr. Wilson or disclose the undercover status of his wife, Valerie Wilson, but were intent on clarifying the use of intelligence in the president's [State of the Union] address."

That will be Rove and Libby's defense against a possible conspiracy count in the prosecutor's eventual indictment.

It is important for Luskin to get his defense started now because he knows that what one appeals court judge in the case called "the plot against Wilson" is going to become public when the prosecutor reveals everything he has already revealed only to the judges.

Rove is obviously in charge of the day-to-day strategy of what Luskin leaks to the press. Rove is stealing a page from the Clinton scandal management playbook. He is trying to set the stage for the day the prosecutor turns over his cards. Rove-Luskin will then call it all "old news."

Everything Rove-Luskin has leaked has been printed in a form most favorable to the Rove defense without a word of leaked input from the prosecutor. When the prosecutor tells his story, don't expect him to accept Rove's currently uncontested claim that he does not recall who told him that Wilson's wife was a CIA agent and don't expect the "old news" spin to work. When the prosecutor has his day, he is going to make new news.

July 25th, 2005, 03:25 PM
This opinion piece by Frank Rich in the Sunday NY Times is receiving lots of attention.

RawStory.com has a number of links to articles that follow-up to this.

Eight Days in July

July 24, 2005

PRESIDENT BUSH'S new Supreme Court nominee was a historic first after all: the first to be announced on TV dead center in prime time, smack in the cross hairs of "I Want to Be a Hilton." It was also one of the hastiest court announcements in memory, abruptly sprung a week ahead of the White House's original timetable. The agenda of this rushed showmanship - to change the subject in Washington - could not have been more naked. But the president would have had to nominate Bill Clinton to change this subject.

When a conspiracy is unraveling, and it's every liar and his lawyer for themselves, the story takes on a momentum of its own. When the conspiracy is, at its heart, about the White House's twisting of the intelligence used to sell the American people a war - and its desperate efforts to cover up that flimflam once the W.M.D. cupboard proved bare and the war went south - the story will not end until the war really is in its "last throes."

Only 36 hours after the John Roberts unveiling, The Washington Post nudged him aside to second position on its front page. Leading the paper instead was a scoop concerning a State Department memo circulated the week before the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife, the C.I.A. officer Valerie Plame, in literally the loftiest reaches of the Bush administration - on Air Force One. The memo, The Post reported (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/20/AR2005072002517.html), marked the paragraph containing information about Ms. Plame with an S for secret. So much for the cover story that no one knew that her identity was covert.

But the scandal has metastasized so much at this point that the forgotten man Mr. Bush did not nominate to the Supreme Court is as much a window into the White House's panic and stonewalling as its haste to put forward the man he did. When the president decided not to replace Sandra Day O'Connor with a woman, why did he pick a white guy and not nominate the first Hispanic justice, his friend Alberto Gonzales? Mr. Bush was surely not scared off by Gonzales critics on the right (who find him soft on abortion) or left (who find him soft on the Geneva Conventions). It's Mr. Gonzales's proximity to this scandal that inspires real fear.

As White House counsel, he was the one first notified that the Justice Department, at the request of the C.I.A., had opened an investigation into the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife. That notification came at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2003, but it took Mr. Gonzales 12 more hours to inform the White House staff that it must "preserve all materials" relevant to the investigation. This 12-hour delay, he has said, was sanctioned by the Justice Department, but since the department was then run by John Ashcroft, a Bush loyalist who refused to recuse himself from the Plame case, inquiring Senate Democrats would examine this 12-hour delay as closely as an 18½-minute tape gap. "Every good prosecutor knows that any delay could give a culprit time to destroy the evidence," said Senator Charles Schumer, correctly, back when the missing 12 hours was first revealed almost two years ago. A new Gonzales confirmation process now would have quickly devolved into a neo-Watergate hearing. Mr. Gonzales was in the thick of the Plame investigation, all told, for 16 months.

Thus is Mr. Gonzales's Supreme Court aspiration the first White House casualty of this affair. It won't be the last. When you look at the early timeline of this case, rather than the latest investigatory scraps, two damning story lines emerge and both have legs.

The first: for half a year White House hands made the fatal mistake of thinking they could get away with trashing the Wilsons scot-free. They thought so because for nearly three months after the July 6, 2003, publication of Mr. Wilson's New York Times Op-Ed article (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/06/opinion/06WILS.html) and the outing of his wife in a Robert Novak column, there was no investigation at all. Once the unthreatening Ashcroft-controlled investigation began, there was another comfy three months.

Only after that did Patrick Fitzgerald, the special counsel, take over and put the heat on. Only after that did investigators hustle to seek Air Force One phone logs and did Mr. Bush feel compelled to hire a private lawyer. But by then the conspirators, drunk with the hubris characteristic of this administration, had already been quite careless.

It was during that pre-Fitzgerald honeymoon that Scott McClellan declared that both Karl Rove and Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, had personally told him they were "not involved in this" - neither leaking any classified information nor even telling any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the C.I.A. Matt Cooper has now written in Time that it was through his "conversation with Rove" that he "learned for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the C.I.A." Maybe it all depends on what the meaning of "telling," "involved" or "this" is. If these people were similarly cute with F.B.I. agents and the grand jury, they've got an obstruction-of-justice problem possibly more grave than the hard-to-prosecute original charge of knowingly outing a covert agent.

Most fertile - and apparently ground zero for Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation - is the period at the very outset when those plotting against Mr. Wilson felt safest of all: those eight days in July 2003 between the Wilson Op-Ed, which so infuriated the administration, and the retaliatory Novak column. It was during that long week, on a presidential trip to Africa, that Colin Powell was seen on Air Force One brandishing the classified State Department memo mentioning Valerie Plame, as first reported by The New York Times.

That memo may have been the genesis of an orchestrated assault on the Wilsons. That the administration was then cocky enough and enraged enough to go after its presumed enemies so systematically can be found in a similar, now forgotten attack that was hatched on July 15, the day after the publication of Mr. Novak's column portraying Mr. Wilson as a girlie man dependent on his wife for employment.

On that evening's broadcast of ABC's "World News Tonight," American soldiers in Falluja spoke angrily of how their tour of duty had been extended yet again, only a week after Donald Rumsfeld told them they were going home. Soon the Drudge Report announced that ABC's correspondent, Jeffrey Kofman, was gay. Matt Drudge told Lloyd Grove of The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A8158-2003Jul17) at the time that "someone from the White House communications shop" had given him that information.

Mr. McClellan denied White House involvement with any Kofman revelation, a denial now worth as much as his denials of White House involvement with the trashing of the Wilsons. Identifying someone as gay isn't a crime in any event, but the "outing" of Mr. Kofman (who turned out to be openly gay) almost simultaneously with the outing of Ms. Plame points to a pervasive culture of revenge in the White House and offers a clue as to who might be driving it. As Joshua Green reported in detail in The Atlantic Monthly last year (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200411/green), a recurring feature of Mr. Rove's political campaigns throughout his career has been the questioning of an "opponent's sexual orientation."

THE second narrative to be unearthed in the scandal's early timeline is the motive for this reckless vindictiveness against anyone questioning the war. On May 1, 2003, Mr. Bush celebrated "Mission Accomplished." On May 29, Mr. Bush announced that "we found the weapons of mass destruction." On July 2, as attacks increased on American troops, Mr. Bush dared the insurgents to "bring 'em on." But the mission was not accomplished, the weapons were not found and the enemy kept bringing 'em on. It was against this backdrop of mounting desperation on July 6 that Mr. Wilson went public with his incriminating claim that the most potent argument for the war in the first place, the administration's repeated intimations of nuclear Armageddon, involved twisted intelligence.

Mr. Wilson's charge had such force that just three days after its publication, Mr. Bush radically revised his language about W.M.D.'s. Saddam no longer had W.M.D.'s; he had a W.M.D. "program." Right after that George Tenet suddenly decided to release a Friday-evening statement saying that the 16 errant words about African uranium "should never have been included" in the January 2003 State of the Union address - even though those 16 words could and should have been retracted months earlier. By the next State of the Union, in January 2004, Mr. Bush would retreat completely, talking not about finding W.M.D.'s or even W.M.D. programs, but about "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities."

In July 2005, there are still no W.M.D.'s, and we're still waiting to hear the full story of how, in the words of the Downing Street memo, the intelligence was fixed to foretell all those imminent mushroom clouds in the run-up to war in Iraq. The two official investigations into America's prewar intelligence have both found that our intelligence was wrong, but neither has answered the question of how the administration used that wrong intelligence in selling the war. That issue was pointedly kept out of the charter of the Silberman-Robb commission; the Senate Intelligence Committee promised to get to it after the election but conspicuously has not.

The real crime here remains the sending of American men and women to Iraq on fictitious grounds. Without it, there wouldn't have been a third-rate smear campaign against an obscure diplomat, a bungled cover-up and a scandal that - like the war itself - has no exit strategy that will not inflict pain.

July 25th, 2005, 06:28 PM
Oh, to be a fly on the wall inside the white these days... notice that McClellan continually says the White House can't talk about an on-going investigation, but when asked why Attorney General Gonzalez (who works for the Executive Branch) saw fit to speak up yesterday on the Sunday talk shows McClellan replied, "I don't think he got into commenting in any substantive way on the discussion."

Ah, come on, Scott!! Get the story straight!!!!

You're either talking about it or you're not. To play it both ways only drags you deeper into the sinkhole. Read on ...

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Press_hammers_White_House_on_leak_again_Question_o n_trea_0725.html

Press hammers White House on leak, again; Question on 'treason'

RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/)

A White House press corps increasingly irritated at the White House after stonewalling with regards to an investigation into the role of senior officials in outing a CIA agent exploded again Monday, RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) can reveal.

The final question was a zinger -- a member of the American press corps asking the White House whether the leak would have constituted treason:

"The question is, have the legal counsel to the White House or White House staff reviewed the statute in sufficient specificity to determine whether a violation of that statute would, in effect, constitute treason?"

The following is a transcript of the White House press briefing edited for questions related to the CIA leak; RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) was tipped to the treason quote by diarist Mott Street (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/7/25/165247/641) at Daily Kos.


Q Do Karl Rove and Scooter Libby still have top secret clearance here, access to classified documents?

MR. McCLELLAN: You asked this question last week, and --

Q I did. And I'm asking again.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- the President has said what our answer is to these questions. We'll be glad to talk about all these issues once the investigation is complete.

Q Do they have a clearance?

MR. McCLELLAN: We'll be glad to talk about all the issues relating to the investigation once it's complete.

Q Why can't you talk about it now?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that question I addressed a couple weeks ago.

Go ahead. Go ahead, Jessica.


Q On the leak investigation, does President Bush feel that it was appropriate for there to be an 11 or 12-hour time gap from the time that Chief of Staff Andy Card was notified that an investigation was underway to the time that staff here at the White House, including him --

MR. McCLELLAN: I think the President has said that -- and the President directed the White House at the beginning of the investigation to cooperate fully with those overseeing the investigation. And that is exactly what we have done, and that's what we did in that context, as well. If you will recall, back on October 1st of 2003, these questions came up and I addressed it at that time. So you might want to go back and look at that discussion during that briefing.

Q But in the spirit of cooperation, and you had indicated on October 1, 2003, that the reason that the Justice Department was asked, is it okay to wait until the morning, and the answer was that it was okay, but in the spirit of cooperation, why did the notification not go out until 11 or 12 hours later?

MR. McCLELLAN: I talked about that in that briefing, and addressed all those questions at that time. And the President has made it clear that we should cooperate fully with the investigation. That's what we have done, that's what we continue to do.

Q Yes, Scott, can you assure us that Andrew Card did not speak to either -- or did not tell the President or Karl Rove or Scooter Libby or anybody else about the Justice Department investigation?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, again, those questions came up back in October of 2003 and I addressed them at the time.

Q May I ask one follow-up?

MR. McCLELLAN: You may. Go ahead.

Q I know that none of you are speaking about this because it's an ongoing investigation. Can you explain why Alberto Gonzales would go on TV yesterday and do that, and talk about it?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, what he said was already said from this podium back in October of 2003, and I don't think he got into commenting in any substantive way on the discussion. But the President has said that we will be glad to talk about this once the investigation has come to a conclusion, but not until then. And there have certainly been preferences expressed to the White House that we not get into discussing it while it is ongoing.


Q Yes, thank you. There has been a lot of speculation concerning the meaning of the underlying statute and the grand jury investigation concerning Mr. Rove. The question is, have the legal counsel to the White House or White House staff reviewed the statute in sufficient specificity to determine whether a violation of that statute would, in effect, constitute treason?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that in terms of decisions regarding the investigation, those are matters for those overseeing the investigation to decide.

Q Thank you.

MR. McCLELLAN: Thank you.

July 25th, 2005, 10:53 PM
uh... yeah.

very, very interested to watch those in power trip up, as invariably happens.

especially interesting to me to see how the powerful (not just our politicians, but our business leaders and assorted celebrities) try and cover their tracks and dig themselves out of the holes they've dug, thinking all along that they will get away with it.

hubris is one of the more interesting human traits, no?

it's held a fascination to mankind since the Greeks and before.

July 25th, 2005, 10:56 PM
also trying to serve as a bulletin board for the coverage of this story -- a place where people can come and get the latest news from various sources.

seems there are quite a few hits on this thread, though not much input.

July 26th, 2005, 08:40 AM
Just readin and waitin.

They screwed up and they are not playing the "we answered that two years ago, don't you remember?" game when they should know better.

The only thing that gets is people to forget. Hopefully these people will not be on the investigative board/prosecution.

I want to see Rove burned in the very oil he has been heating for so many years, and I want to see the people he "helped" splattered with whatever gets splashed out as he struggles to free himself.

July 26th, 2005, 02:46 PM
From the ridiculous to the even-more-ridiculous...

FYI: "Turd Blossom" is the ACTUAL NICKNAME that Bush uses for Rove, as was reported in Time magazine (April 21, 2001) and elsewhere:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,107219,00.html :

"In a 30-year career, Rove, 50, has worked on hundreds of Republican races throughout the country. So when Bush sits down with congressional leaders, he can nod at Rove and say, "You all know the Boy Genius," and they all do. (Bush's other nickname for Rove is less flattering: Turd Blossom.)"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Rove :

"George W. Bush has referred to Karl Rove (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nicknames_used_by_George_W._Bush) as "The Boy Genius", "The Architect" and "Turd Blossom," a Texan term for a flower which grows from a pile of cow dung."

You can even buy Rove / Turdblossom souvenir objects such as seen below at this website:



Some papers pull, edit 'Doonesbury' strip

By DAVID TWIDDY, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005 09:57 AM (PDT)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - About a dozen newspapers have objected to use of toilet humor in Tuesday's and Wednesday's "Doonesbury" comic strip, and some either pulled or edited the strip.

Kansas City-based Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the strip to around 1,400 newspapers, said it had received some complaints from editors about a reference to presidential aide Karl Rove.

In the strip, a caricature of President Bush refers to Rove as "turd blossom."

Lee Salem, editor at Universal Press, said the complaints, from 10 to 12 newspapers, weren't unexpected, given the concerns many editors have about language in the funny papers. But as opposed to other times when editors have objected to Doonesbury content, the syndicate did not send out replacement strips.

"Given the coverage of Karl Rove, we thought it was appropriate, especially given the history of the strip," Salem said.

Among those with concerns was the Providence (R.I.) Journal. There, editors simply removed the offensive word from the strip's final panel.

"I didn't think (taking out the word) hurt it," Executive Editor Joel Rawson said. "I would prefer to run the strip and if we can edit it, that's fine." Rawson said the paper would take the same approach with Wednesday's strip.

July 26th, 2005, 02:47 PM
And here's the offending strip:



July 26th, 2005, 10:36 PM
Lofter, thank you for being the bulletin provider. This has been pretty much my only source for news on the topic, so your service is greatly appreciated. It's interesting how many (right wing) organizations (such as the Weekly Standard) have been dead silent so far. Being Anyone-But-Bush-within-reason, I'll take great pleasure in watching a crash and burn ensue if it does. Hell, it's been fun watching Republicans nervously squirm around wondering what's coming...

July 28th, 2005, 12:31 AM
Fasten your seatbelts ...


Republicans Ready to Slime Fitzgerald
By Joe Conason

Under the harsh but savvy tutelage of Karl Rove, Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated their adherence to a venerable cliché: In politics, as in sports and warfare, the best defense is always a good offense—and the more offensive, the better. It’s an effective strategy, as John Kerry and many other hapless victims have learned, and at this point also a highly predictable one.

Circled in a bristling perimeter around the White House, the friends and allies of Mr. Rove can soon be expected to fire their rhetorical mortars at Patrick Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor investigating the White House exposure of C.I.A. operative Valerie Wilson. Indeed, the preparations for that assault began months ago in the editorial columns of The Wall Street Journal, which has tarred Mr. Fitzgerald as a “loose cannon” and an “unguided missile.”

Evidently Senator Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, will lead the next foray against the special prosecutor. This week the Senator’s press office announced his plan to hold hearings on the Fitzgerald probe. That means interfering with an “ongoing investigation,” as the White House press secretary might say, but such considerations won’t deter the highly partisan Kansan.

July 28th, 2005, 11:12 AM

This is tangentially related -- and pretty darned funny (in its own way):


August 6th, 2005, 04:17 PM
It's August and all the politicos are on vacation.
But the reporters have to write something...

C.I.A. Leak Case Recalls Texas Incident in '92 Race

By ELISABETH BUMILLER (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=ELISABETH BUMILLER&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=ELISABETH BUMILLER&inline=nyt-per)
August 6, 2005


WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 - These hot months here will be remembered as the summer of the leak, a time when the political class obsessed on a central question: did Karl Rove, President Bush's powerful adviser, commit a crime when he spoke about a C.I.A. officer with the columnist Robert D. Novak?
Whatever a federal grand jury investigating the case decides, a small political subgroup is experiencing the odd sensation that this leak has sprung before. In 1992 in an incident well known in Texas, Mr. Rove was fired from the state campaign to re-elect the first President Bush on suspicions that Mr. Rove had leaked damaging information to Mr. Novak about Robert Mosbacher Jr., the campaign manager and the son of a former commerce secretary.

Since then, Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove was the source, even as Mr. Mosbacher, who no longer talks on the record about the incident, has never changed his original assertion that Mr. Rove was the culprit.

"It's history," Mr. Mosbacher said last week in a brief telephone interview. "I commented on it at the time, and I have nothing to add."

But the episode, part of the bad-boy lore of Mr. Rove, is a telling chapter in the 20-year friendship between the presidential adviser and the columnist. The story of that relationship, a bond of mutual self-interest of a kind that is long familiar in Washington, does not answer the question of who might have leaked the identity of the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, to reporters, potentially a crime.

But it does give a clue to Mr. Rove's frequent and complimentary mentions over the years in Mr. Novak's column, and to the importance of Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak to each other's ambitions.

"They've known each for a long time, but they are not close friends," said a person who knows both men and who asked not to be named because of the investigation into a conversation by Mr. Novak and Mr. Rove in July 2003 about Ms. Wilson, part of a case that has put a reporter for The New York Times, Judith Miller, in jail for refusing to testify to the grand jury.

The two men share a love of history and policy, as well as reputations as aggressive partisans and hotheads.

People who have been officially briefed on the case have said Mr. Rove was the second of two senior administration officials cited by Mr. Novak in his column of July 14, 2003, that identified Ms. Wilson by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and said she was a C.I.A. operative.

The larger question has been whether Mr. Rove might have been using the columnist to confirm Ms. Plame's identity to punish or undermine her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who had accused the Bush administration of leading the nation to war with Iraq on false pretenses.

Mr. Novak, who stalked out of a live program on CNN on Thursday after uttering a profanity on the air, declined to be interviewed for this article.

The anchor of the program, "Inside Politics," Ed Henry, has said he was preparing later in the broadcast to ask Mr. Novak about his role in the leak case.

Mr. Rove also declined to be interviewed.

But Mr. Novak, through his office manager, Kathleen Connolly, provided the information about his first encounter with Mr. Rove. Mr. Novak, by his recollection, met Mr. Rove in Texas in the mid-80's, when Mr. Novak turned up to write columns about the state's shifting out of Democrats' hands into those of Republicans.

In those years, Mr. Rove regularly had dinner with Mr. Novak when the columnist went to Austin. Mr. Rove, in his mid-30's, was a rising political operator who in 1981 founded his direct-mail consulting firm, Karl Rove & Company. Gov. William P. Clements, a Republican, was one of his first clients.

Mr. Novak, in his mid-50's, was big political game for Mr. Rove. He was the other half, with Rowland Evans Jr., of a much read and increasingly conservative column that was syndicated by The Chicago Sun-Times and published weekly in The Washington Post. Evans and Novak, as it was called - Mr. Evans retired in 1993 -closely chronicled the Reagan era, and it would have been a sign of Mr. Rove's arrival on the national scene for Mr. Novak to mention him in print.

Still, a computer search of Mr. Novak's columns shows that Mr. Rove's name did not appear under his byline until 1992, when Mr. Novak wrote the words that got Mr. Rove into such trouble.

"A secret meeting of worried Republican power brokers in Dallas last Sunday reflected the reality that George Bush is in serious trouble in trying to carry his adopted state," the column began.

The column said that the campaign run by Mr. Mosbacher was a "bust" and that he had been stripped of his authority at the "secret meeting" by Senator Phil Gramm, the top Republican in the state.

Also at the meeting, Mr. Novak reported, was "political consultant Karl Rove, who had been shoved aside by Mosbacher."

Specifically, Mr. Mosbacher told The Houston Chronicle in 2003 that he had given a competitor of Mr. Rove the bulk of a $1 million contract for direct mail work in the campaign.

"I thought another firm was better," Mr. Mosbacher told The Chronicle. "I had $1 million for direct mail. I gave Rove a contract for $250,000 and $750,000 to the other firm."

The other firm belonged to Mr. Rove's chief competitor, John Weaver, and Mr. Rove was so angry, Texas Republicans say, that he retaliated by leaking the information about Mr. Mosbacher to Mr. Novak.

Mr. Mosbacher fired Mr. Rove. As a result, Mr. Weaver, who later faced off against Mr. Rove as the political director of Senator John McCain's presidential campaign in 2000, walked away with Mr. Rove's $250,000, too.

"That's about the only time that a Novak column benefited me," Mr. Weaver said this week in a telephone interview.

Mr. Rove again turned up in Mr. Novak's columns in 1999, when Gov. George W. Bush was running for president. Mr. Rove, Mr. Bush's national campaign strategist, was quoted briefly on the record in at least three columns, even though Mr. Novak has said on CNN, "I can't tell you anything I ever talked to Karl Rove about, because I don't think I ever talked to him about any subject, even the time of day, on the record."

Whether Mr. Novak forgot about the 1999 mentions is unclear. What is clear is that Mr. Rove has made frequent appearances in Mr. Novak's column in a positive light, often in paragraphs that imparted information about the inner workings of Mr. Bush's operation, feeding perceptions here that Mr. Rove is one of the columnist's most important anonymous sources.

In April 2000, under the headline "Bush Thriving Without Insiders," Mr. Novak wrote of the fears of the Republican old guard about the triumvirate of "rookies" in Austin - led by Mr. Rove - who were running Mr. Bush's "supposedly fading" presidential campaign.

"Actually," Mr. Novak wrote, "the Austin triumvirate has managed the most effective Republican campaign since Dwight D. Eisenhower's in 1952."

Last December, Mr. Novak wrote that the "retention of John Snow as secretary of the treasury was viewed in the capital's inner circles as a defeat for presidential adviser Karl Rove, who wanted a high-profile manager of President Bush's second-term economic program."

Although Mr. Novak did not directly debunk that view, he did suggest a different turn of events when he wrote that two Wall Street executives had said no to the position and that it was "decided at the White House to relieve Snow from his uncertainty and keep him in office."

These days, friends of the two men say they have not seen Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak at dinner together and note that there is little the two would have to celebrate. But in June 2003, The Chicago Sun-Times gave a party for Mr. Novak at the Army and Navy Club here to salute 40 years of his columns.

The biggest political celebrity guest, to no one's surprise, was Mr. Rove.

August 7th, 2005, 10:24 AM
NEWSWEEK: LEAK PROSECUTOR'S BOSS MAY BE REPLACED BY BUSH SKULL & BONES CLASSMATE (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8853002/site/newsweek/)

Leak Investigation: An Oversight Issue?


Aug. 15, 2005 issue - The departure this week of Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who has accepted the post of general counsel at Lockheed Martin, leaves a question mark in the probe into who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Comey was the only official overseeing special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's leak investigation. With Attorney General Alberto Gonzales recused, department officials say they are still trying to resolve whom Fitzgerald will now report to. Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum is "likely" to be named as acting deputy A.G., a DOJ official who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter tells NEWSWEEK. But McCallum may be seen as having his own conflicts: he is an old friend of President Bush's and a member of his Skull and Bones class at Yale. One question: how much authority Comey's successor will have over Fitzgerald. When Comey appointed Fitzgerald in 2003, the deputy granted him extraordinary powers to act however he saw fit—but noted he still had the right to revoke Fitzgerald's authority. The questions are pertinent because law-yers close to the case believe the probe is in its final stages. Fitzgerald recently called White House aide Karl Rove's secretary and his former top aide to testify before the grand jury. They were asked why there was no record of a phone call from Time reporter Matt Cooper, with whom Rove discussed the CIA agent, says a source close to Rove who requested anonymity because the FBI asked participants not to comment. The source says the call went through the White House switchboard, not directly to Rove.

September 4th, 2005, 12:04 AM
And now , for a change of pace...

White House: "He (Rove) certainly was not trying to mislead anybody."

Rove Not Entitled to D.C. Homestead Deduction

Bush Adviser to Reimburse City for Back Taxes

By Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 3, 2005; Page A02


Presidential adviser Karl Rove may live in Washington. But in his heart -- and for voting purposes -- he remains a Texan. Which means he is not legally entitled to the homestead deduction and property tax cap he's been getting on his Palisades home for the past 3 1/2 years.

This week, the D.C. tax collector was alerted to the problem. And Rove agreed to reimburse the District for an estimated $3,400 in back taxes, city officials said. But now some Lone Star officials also are wondering about the place Rove calls home.

In a letter released yesterday by the White House, the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue accepted blame for the error, which also has affected numerous members of Congress. The homestead exemption gives District taxpayers a substantial tax break on their primary residences. But starting in 2002, a change in the law made it available only to District property owners who do not vote elsewhere, city officials said. That made Rove, and many others, ineligible.

"OTR failed to rescind the benefit when the law changed. As a result of OTR's error, the property inadvertently received tax deductions for which you no longer qualified," chief assessor Thomas W. Branham wrote Rove. "We regret any inconvenience that this error on the part of OTR may have caused you."

Rove, who was touring the hurricane-damaged Gulf Coast with President Bush yesterday, was unavailable for comment, White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said. She said Rove never intended to make an improper claim to the deduction.

"When Mr. Rove purchased the home in January 2001, he qualified for the exemption. He was not made aware of the changes in D.C. law," Healy said. "Now that it has been brought to his attention, he is making restitution. He certainly was not trying to mislead anybody."

Going forward, Healy said, Rove will forgo the exemption and tax cap on his Washington house -- valued at more than $1.1 million -- rather than give up his status as a Texas voter. But that raises a new set of questions.

Rove sold his longtime home in Austin in 2003. He was getting a homestead exemption there, too. So for three years, from 2001 until the sale, Rove was claiming homesteads in Texas and Washington, which is, technically, illegal, according to tax collectors in both cities. "Strictly speaking, you can only have one homestead," said Art Cory, chief tax appraiser in Travis County, Tex.

Cory said he would, nonetheless, probably not bother to investigate.

Anyway, Rove is now registered to vote in Kerr County, about 80 miles west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. He and his wife, Darby, have owned property there, on the Guadalupe River, since at least 1997, according to county property records.

But as far as the locals know, the couple have never actually lived in either of two tiny rental cottages Rove claims as his residence on Texas voter registration rolls. The largest is 814 square feet and valued by the county at about $25,000.

"I've been here 10 years and I've never seen him. There are only, like, three grocery stores in town. You'd think you'd at least see him at the HEB" grocery, said Greg Shrader, editor and publisher of the Kerrville Daily Times.

Charles Ratliff, secretary of the Kerr County Democratic Party, said he's never even heard rumors of Rove's presence. "I have no memory of anybody saying to me, 'Hey, Karl Rove is in town, and he's speaking at the courthouse.' Or, 'Karl Rove is in town and I saw him at the grocery store.'

"Now, you do hear people say that all the time about Kinky Friedman," Ratliff said, referring to the novelist and lead singer for the Texas Jewboys. "If somebody famous like Rove lived near Kerrville, I think I would hear about it all the time."

Down in Texas, when you register to vote in a place where you don't actually live, the county prosecutor can come after you for voter fraud, said Elizabeth Reyes, an attorney with the elections division of the Texas Secretary of State. Rove's rental cottage "doesn't sound like a residence to me, because it's not a fixed place of habitation," she said. "If it's just property that they own, ownership doesn't make that a residence."

Still, under state law, the definition of a Texan is really pretty loose, Reyes said, even for voting purposes. So someone would have to file a complaint.

In the end, she said, "Questions of residency are ultimately for the court to decide."

September 29th, 2005, 11:54 PM
Jailed Times Reporter Freed After Source Waives Confidentiality

September 29, 2005
By DAVID JOHNSTON (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=DAVID JOHNSTON&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=DAVID JOHNSTON&inline=nyt-per)
and DOUGLAS JEHL (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=DOUGLAS JEHL&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=DOUGLAS JEHL&inline=nyt-per)


WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 - Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who has been jailed since July 6 for refusing to testify in the C.I.A. leak case, was released from a Virginia detention center this afternoon after she and her lawyers reached an agreement with a federal prosecutor to testify before a grand jury investigating the matter, the paper's publisher and executive editor said.

Ms. Miller was freed after spending more than 12 weeks in jail, during which she refused to cooperate with the criminal inquiry. Her decision to testify came after she obtained what she described as a waiver offered "voluntarily and personally" by a source who said she was no longer bound by any pledge of confidentiality she had made to him. She said the source had made clear that he genuinely wanted her to testify.

That source was I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, according to people who have been officially briefed on the case. Ms. Miller met with Mr. Libby on July 8, 2003, and talked with him by telephone later that week. Discussions between government officials and journalists that week have been a central focus of the investigation.

Ms. Miller said in a statement that she expected to appear before the grand jury on Friday. Ms. Miller was released after she and her lawyers met at the jail with Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the case, to discuss her testimony.

The Times' publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., said in a statement that the newspaper supported Ms. Miller's decision to testify, just as it backed her earlier refusal to cooperate. "Judy has been unwavering in her commitment to protect the confidentiality of her source," Mr. Sulzberger said. "We are very pleased that she has finally received a direct and uncoerced waiver, both by phone and in writing, releasing her from any claim of confidentiality and enabling her to testify."

Mr. Fitzgerald has for more than a year sought testimony from Ms. Miller about conversations she had with Mr. Libby. Her willingness to testify was based in part on personal assurances given by Mr. Libby earlier this month that he had no objection to her discussing their conversations with the grand jury, according to those officials briefed on the case.

Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation has centered on the question of whether anyone in the Bush administration illegally disclosed to the news media the identity of an undercover C.I.A. employee, Valerie Wilson, whose name was first published in July 2003 in a syndicated column by Robert F. Novak. A secondary focus has been whether government officials were truthful in their testimony to investigators and the grand jury.

Ms. Miller never wrote an article about Ms. Wilson. Mr. Fitzgerald has said that obtaining Ms. Miller's testimony was one of the last remaining objectives of his inquiry, and the deal with Ms. Miller suggests that the prosecutor may soon bring the long-running investigation to an end. It is unknown whether prosecutors will charge anyone in the Bush administration with wrongdoing.

The agreement that led to Ms. Miller's release followed intense negotiations between Ms. Miller; her lawyer, Robert Bennett; Mr. Libby's lawyer, Joseph Tate; and Mr. Fitzgerald. The talks began with a telephone call from Mr. Bennett to Mr. Tate in late August. Ms. Miller spoke with Mr. Libby by telephone earlier this month as their lawyers listened, according to people briefed on the matter. It was then that Mr. Libby told Ms. Miller that she had his personal and voluntary waiver.

But the discussions were at times strained, with Mr. Libby and Mr. Tate asserting that they communicated their voluntary waiver to Ms. Miller's lawyers more than year ago, according to those briefed on the case. Mr. Libby wrote to Ms. Miller in mid-September, saying that he believed her lawyers understood that his waiver was voluntary.

Others involved in the case have said that Ms. Miller did not understand that the waiver had been freely given and did not accept it until she had heard from him directly.

In written statements today, Ms. Miller and executives of The New York Times did not identify the source who had urged Ms. Miller to testify. Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, said that Mr. Fitzgerald had assured Ms. Miller's lawyer that "he intended to limit his grand jury interrogation so that it would not implicate other sources of hers."

Mr. Keller said that Mr. Fitzgerald had cleared the way to an agreement by assuring Ms. Miller and her source that he would not regard a conversation between the two about a possible waiver as an obstruction of justice.

Ms. Miller said she believed the agreement between her lawyers and Mr. Fitzgerald "satisfies my obligation as a reporter to keep faith with my sources." She added: "I went to jail to preserve the time-honored principle that a journalist must respect a promise not to reveal the identity of a confidential source. I chose to take the consequences - 85 days in prison - rather than violate that promise. The principle was more important to uphold than my personal freedom. "

Ms. Miller said she was grateful for the "unwavering support" shown by her husband, family and friends and by The New York Times. She said that she would say nothing more publicly about the case until after her grand jury testimony.

Mr. Fitzgerald declined to comment on the matter, said a spokesman, Randall Samborn.

The case has been the most significant test in decades of whether reporters can refuse to disclose to prosecutors their discussions with confidential sources. Many journalists believe that those sources would refuse to provide information if their anonymity could not be protected.

At least four other reporters are known to have provided information to Mr. Fitzgerald, but Ms. Miller had until today refused to do so. The Supreme Court refused in July to hear an appeal by Ms. Miller of a lower-court order that she be jailed for contempt for her refusal to testify.

Valerie Wilson, also known as Valerie Plame, is the wife of Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador who traveled to Niger in 2002 on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency to investigate claims related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program. When Mr. Wilson emerged as a critic of the Bush administration in July 2003, administration officials questioned his credibility. The column by Mr. Novak said Mr. Wilson's wife, who worked for the C.I.A., had suggested the trip.

New details about the case have emerged in recent months. Karl Rove, the president's senior political strategist, and Mr. Libby, the chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, both discussed Ms. Wilson with reporters, according to testimony provided by Matthew Cooper, a Time magazine reporter, and by others. But neither of the White House officials is known to have mentioned Ms. Wilson by name or to have mentioned her covert status at the C.I.A.

Mr. Cooper testified in August 2004 about a conversation with Mr. Libby conducted the previous year. But Mr. Cooper had resisted a subpoena to appear before the grand jury to discuss a conversation with Mr. Rove. Last July, after his employer, Time-Warner, complied with a subpoena seeking Mr. Cooper's notes from the period, Mr. Cooper agreed to testify, after seeking and obtaining what he called a specific waiver from Mr. Rove, releasing him from a pledge of confidentiality.

That decision left Ms. Miller alone in resisting the prosecutors' demand to testify. Much about Ms. Miler's role in the matter remains unclear. Mr. Keller, the newspaper's executive editor, has declined to say whether she was assigned to report about Mr. Wilson's trip, whether she had tried to write a story about it, or whether she ever told editors or colleagues at the newspaper that she had obtained information about the role played by Ms. Wilson.

Under the terms in which she had been jailed, Ms. Miller faced incarceration through the duration of the current term of the grand jury hearing the matter, which is due to expire on Oct. 28. Had Ms. Miller continued to resist, lawyers involved in the case believed it was highly likely that Mr. Fitzgerald would have attempted to keep her in jail by extending the grand jury's term or convening a new grand jury.

Ms. Miller had been housed at the Alexandria Detention Center, a county jail in suburban Virginia. As a federal prisoner, Ms. Miller was an exceptional case, but a spokesman for the sheriff's office, which administers the center, said that she had been granted no special privileges.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

September 30th, 2005, 12:00 AM
Judith Miller: "It's good to be free."

Statements by Sulzberger, Keller, and Miller on Her Release

By E&P Staff
Published: September 29, 2005 9:30 PM ET


NEW YORK The New York Times' publisher, editor, and formerly jailed reporter all issued statements Thursday night after her release, with Judith Miller's grand jury testimony now set for Friday, they confirmed.

According to the Times, I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, "had made clear that he genuinely wanted her to testify," and gave her a waiver on their confidential conversations.

But the Times account tonight revealed that Libby and his lawyers said he had given his waiver a year ago--and then again ten days ago--but Miller did not accept it. She was released today after she and her lawyers met at the jail with Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the case, to discuss her testimony, which will be severely limited, the Times revealed. A full E&P report can be found here:


Here is the complete text of the three statements tonight.

--Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., publisher:

As we have throughout this ordeal, we continue to support Judy Miller in the decision she has made. Judy has been unwavering in her commitment to protect the confidentiality of her source. We are very pleased that she has finally received a direct and uncoerced waiver, both by phone and in
writing, releasing her from any claim of confidentiality and enabling her to testify. We continue to believe that a strong Federal Shield Law must be passed by Congress, so that similar injustices, which the laws of both New York and Washington, D.C. already prevent, are not suffered by other journalists.

--Judith Miller:

It's good to be free.

I went to jail to preserve the time-honored principle that a journalist must respect a promise not to reveal the identity of a confidential source. I chose to take the consequences -- 85 days in prison -- rather than violate that promise. The principle was more important to uphold than my personal freedom.

I am leaving jail today because my source has now voluntarily and personally released me from my promise of confidentiality regarding our conversations relating to the Wilson-Plame matter. My attorneys have also reached agreement with the Office of Special Counsel regarding the nature and scope of my testimony, which satisfies my obligation as a reporter to keep faith with my sources.

This enables me to appear before the Grand Jury tomorrow. I'll say nothing more until after my testimony. I do, however, want to thank The New York Times, and my husband, family and friends, for their unwavering support. I am also grateful to the many fellow journalists and citizens from the United States and around the world, who stood with me in fighting for the cause of the free flow of information. It was a source of strength through a difficult three months to know they understood what I did was to affirm one of my profession's highest principles.

--Bill Keller, executive editor:

It's an enormous relief that Judy's ordeal is over. Her steadfastness in defense of principle has won her admiration from around the world, wherever people value a free, aggressive press.

Judy refused to testify in this case because she gave her professional word that she would keep her interview with her source confidential. At the outset, she had only a generic waiver of this obligation, and she believed she had ample reason to doubt it had been freely given. In recent days, several important things have changed that convinced Judy that she was released from her obligation.

Her friends and colleagues are delighted she's free, and -- if there is satisfaction in what she has endured -- I am satisfied that she has held fast to a principle that matters deeply.

© 2005 VNU eMedia Inc (http://www.vnuemedia.com/).

September 30th, 2005, 12:07 AM
Any chance that Fitzgerald will hand down indictments? First DeLay gets indicted, then Frist gets placed under investigation for Martha Stewart-style insider trading, and now we are this close to seeing Rove get indicted. This gives me hope that America is doing fine.

September 30th, 2005, 08:17 AM
^ And maybe Cheney's Chief of Staf, Lewis Libby

N.Y. Times Reporter Released From Jail

Miller to Testify In CIA Leak Probe

By Susan Schmidt and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 30, 2005

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/29/AR2005092901974_pf.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/29/AR2005092901974_pf.html)

New York Times reporter Judith Miller was released from jail late yesterday and is scheduled to testify this morning before a federal grand jury investigating whether any government officials illegally leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame to the media, according to lawyers involved in the case...

Miller had refused to testify about information she received from confidential sources. But she said she changed her mind after I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Cheney, assured her in a telephone call last week that a waiver he gave prosecutors authorizing them to question reporters about their conversations with him was not coerced...

... Joseph Tate, an attorney for Libby, said yesterday that he told Miller attorney Floyd Abrams a year ago that Libby's waiver was voluntary and that Miller was free to testify. He said last night that he was contacted by Bennett several weeks ago, and was surprised to learn that Miller had not accepted that representation as authorization to speak with prosecutors.

"We told her lawyers it was not coerced," Tate said. "We are surprised to learn we had anything to do with her incarceration."

Tate said that he and Bennett then asked Fitzgerald whether their clients could talk without fear of being accused of obstructing the investigation, and were assured that Fitzgerald would not oppose them doing so. After the phone call from Libby on Sept. 19 or 20, Tate said, the lawyers wrote a letter to Fitzgerald indicating Miller accepted Libby's representation that the waiver was voluntary.

Fitzgerald has been investigating whether senior Bush administration officials broke the law by knowingly leaking Plame's identity to reporters as retaliation for an opinion article written by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. Wilson accused the administration of twisting intelligence about Iraq's attempt to obtain weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the war...

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.

Libby did not talk to Novak about the case, the source said.

One lawyer involved in the case said Miller's attorneys reached an agreement with Fitzgerald that may confine prosecutors' questions solely to Miller's conversations with Libby...

One lawyer said it could become clear as early as next week whether Fitzgerald plans to indict anyone or has negotiated a plea bargain.
Lawyers involved in the case believe today's testimony could mark the end of an investigation in which more than a dozen Bush administration officials have testified before a federal grand jury or have talked to FBI agents involved in the nearly two-year-old probe. Bush was interviewed as part of the investigation.

Miller's role had been one of the great mysteries in the leak probe. It is unclear why she emerged as a central figure in the probe despite not writing a story about the case.

Staff writer Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

September 30th, 2005, 09:18 AM
Any chance that Fitzgerald will hand down indictments? First DeLay gets indicted, then Frist gets placed under investigation for Martha Stewart-style insider trading, and now we are this close to seeing Rove get indicted. This gives me hope that America is doing fine.

I don't know, I sense more here.

It almost looked like people were setting Bush up to take the fall for a bunch of radical departures from the status quo. They got what they wanted passed in legislature and the like, and now that people are starting to react to it, shove it on him on his way out of office.

I can see some guys like Rove doing this, while at the same time organizing his own better fortune.

This thing here could be the political chinese thumb-cuffs that may be Bush's way of keeping Rove in check. If anything happens to Bush (or maybe Cheney) and Rove goes down with additional "leaked" information.

Maybe, maybe not. Just a thought.

September 30th, 2005, 10:09 AM
The thing that gets me is that you have all of the Repugnantants and Right Wingnuts and Fox News droning on and on about The "liberal media" and attacking the New York Times. Yet, here we have another of hundreds of examples of the same exact people talking to and giving background to the New York Times.

It's quite a dance. People in this country are blind sheep.

September 30th, 2005, 12:25 PM
The thing that gets me is that you have all of the Repugnantants and Right Wingnuts and Fox News droning on and on about The "liberal media" and attacking the New York Times. Yet, here we have another of hundreds of examples of the same exact people talking to and giving background to the New York Times.

It's quite a dance. People in this country are blind sheep.


October 1st, 2005, 03:48 AM
The thing that gets me is that you have all of the Repugnantants and Right Wingnuts and Fox News droning on and on about The "liberal media" and attacking the New York Times. Yet, here we have another of hundreds of examples of the same exact people talking to and giving background to the New York Times.

It's quite a dance. People in this country are blind sheep.
You want to know what's REALLY funny? The Republicans control EVERY branch of government (POTUS, Senate, House, and SCOTUS) and yet they still blame DEMOCRATS for things going wrong in this country! They need to do this because if they don't their base will start to turn on them. It's like in 1984 when Oceana needed Emmanuel Goldstein as the country's enemy even though he probably never existed or was dead.

October 1st, 2005, 08:16 AM
Miller testimony to end grand jury CIA probe

By Edward Alden in Washington
Published: September 30 2005


A US grand jury investigation into whether White House officials broke the law by exposing a covert Central Intelligence Agency operative is set to conclude after testimony on Friday from a New York Times reporter.

Judith Miller, who was imprisoned for nearly three months after refusing to testify about her conversations with a top aide to Dick Cheney, vice-president, was released on Thursday when she agreed to testify. She appeared before the grand jury in Washington Friday morning.

The conclusion of the investigation could multiply the woes of President George W. Bush if it results in indictments against one or more of his officials. It follows the resignation of Tom DeLay as House Republican leader after a Texas criminal indictment this week for alleged campaign finance fraud, and continued fall-out over the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

The probe, led by Chicago prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, was launched after a newspaper columnist in 2003 printed the name of Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent. Mr Fitzgerald is investigating whether White House officials illegally disclosed Ms Plame's name in order to discredit her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Mr Wilson, who was sent on a CIA fact-finding mission regarding Iraq's alleged nuclear programme, embarrassed the administration by later publicly questioning intelligence claims that Saddam Hussein had tried to acquire uranium for a nuclear bomb.

The two-year investigation could end this month with no charges being laid. But any indictments could prove damaging for the administration, which has so far escaped political consequences over its insistence in the run-up to the war that Iraq possessed stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and was developing nuclear weapons.

One of the reporters who has already testified before the grand jury, Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, disclosed that one of his sources for stories about the Plame/Wilson affair was Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Ms Miller's source was Lewis Libby, chief of staff to Mr Cheney. Ms Miller, however, never wrote a story based on that conversation, and Mr Cooper says he told the grand jury that neither Mr Rove nor Mr Libby disclosed to him Ms Plame's name or her covert status.

No details have yet emerged of the grand jury testimony of Robert Novak, the columnist who first revealed Ms Plame's identity. Ms Miller was jailed in July after refusing to testify before the grand jury, insisting she had promised confidentiality to her source. But following her testimony yesterday she said she had received a “personal voluntary waiver” that allowed her to testify.

“I am hopeful that my long stay in jail will serve to strengthen the bond between reporters and their sources,” she said.

Mr Libby, who also spoke to Time magazine's Mr Cooper, has insisted through his lawyers that he freed both reporters from their confidentiality pledges more than a year ago.

Copyright The Financial Times (http://javascript<b></b>:void%200) Ltd 2005

October 1st, 2005, 08:25 AM
The blogosphere is full of talk that the guilty plea of Franklin (see below) is directly related to the release from prison of Judith Miller, both of which took place on Thursday 9.29.05. Nevertheless, it shows how the Bush gang is re-writing the rules:

Israeli lobby spy case suggests new push to keep leaks from reporters

John Byrne


When Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin decided to plead guilty Thursday to passing classified intelligence to two pro-Israeli lobbyists, it marked another advance by the Bush Justice Department to clamp down on leaks.

Franklin will testify against two former officials for the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee who were charged Aug. 4 with “conspiracy to communicate” classified intelligence about alleged threats to Americans and Israelis in northern Iraq. Previously, conspiracy charges relating to top secret materials have been leveled against individuals who were bound by a confidentiality agreement with the government.

In this case, however, the Justice Department extended the cloak of secrecy beyond the Pentagon, quietly expanding the power of the government to jail those who talk to the press, watchdogs and reporters’ advocates tell RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/)...

“It’s one thing to prosecute Franklin who has a clearance and signed a non-disclosure agreement and who is obliged to comply with rules as a government employee, but it is an entirely different matter to assert that those rules apply to those who are not government employees,” Director of the Federation of American Scientists’ secrecy division Steve Aftergood remarked. “The AIPAC officials never signed a non-disclosure agreement, and the government is in effect asserting that the laws that apply to government employees also apply to non-government employees.”

“That would be a dramatic expansion of the information security apparatus,” he added.

Steve Rosen, the erstwhile director of foreign policy issues for the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC, and Keith Weissman, its former Iran analyst, were charged with “delivery and transmission” of classified materials “to persons not entitled to receive it, including members of the media and foreign government officials.” (Indictment (http://www.fas.org/irp/ops/ci/franklin0805.pdf)) A spokesperson for AIPAC declined to comment, as did Rosen’s attorney.

Floyd Abrams, who represents the New York Times’ Judith Miller, believes the indictments are part of a drive to control information. Miller was jailed for more than eighty days for refusing to reveal who told her the name of an undercover CIA agent.

“The indictments reflect a disturbing tendency of the Department of Justice to limit the dissemination of information to the public by using the criminal law in a particularly aggressive manner,” Abrams wrote in an email to RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/). “In the face of Congress’s refusal to adopt legislation making all leaking of classified information illegal, I find it particularly disturbing that the Justice Department should seem so dedicated to criminalizing virtually any release of that information.”

John Pike, who runs the defense watchdog GlobalSecurity.org (http://www.globalsecurity.org/), agrees.

“The United States does not have an Official Secrets Act like they have in Britain,” Pike added, referring to a law which extends prosecution to journalists who disclose information they know is classified. “What they’re doing in this case by indicting them for conspiracy is to create a Secrets Act.”

What it may mean, he says, is “that reporters would not be able to talk to their sources because the reporter would also be guilty of a crime.”

Executive Director for the Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press Lucy Daglish sees the case in a broader context of journalists being “frozen out” from their sources.

“The only thing that would make me more troubled is if they’re actually trying to go after the reporter,” Daglish told RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/). “And in a backhanded way, I guess they are.”

“So far I don’t think they’re going to go after reporters, but they probably do have some of your sources’ phones tapped,” she continued. “It might force you to do something old fashioned, which is to talk to someone in person.”

The Justice Department, Daglish added, is “making it clear to the people that have access in those cases that if you talk to the media your life is over.”

The Washington Post reporter who spoke with the AIPAC officials in the case, Glenn Kessler, declined to comment.

Newspapers and magazines across the country are already reeling from the case of Judith Miller, a New York Times reporter who was jailed for refusing to name her source in a CIA agent’s outing. The editor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Doug Clifton, recently scrapped two stories which dealt in leaked information, saying “jail is too high a price to pay.”

One organization, the National Jewish Anti-Defamation League, has already raised concern about how the ex-AIPAC officials’ case will affect their dealings with reporters.

“I think it will chill journalists’ ability to get information,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman told (http://www.jewishsf.com/content/2-0-/module/displaystory/story_id/26633/format/html/displaystory.html)the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California. “Can I talk to you about a meeting I had with a government official? I’m not sure anymore.”

October 2nd, 2005, 01:38 AM
Role of Rove, Libby in CIA Leak Case Clearer

Bush and Cheney Aides' Testimony Contradicts Earlier White House Statement


By Jim VandeHei and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, October 2, 2005; A05

As the CIA leak investigation heads toward its expected conclusion this month, it has become increasingly clear that two of the most powerful men in the Bush administration were more involved in the unmasking of operative Valerie Plame than the White House originally indicated.

With New York Times reporter Judith Miller's release from jail Thursday and testimony Friday before a federal grand jury, the role of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, came into clearer focus. Libby, a central figure in the probe since its earliest days and the vice president's main counselor, discussed Plame with at least two reporters but testified that he never mentioned her name or her covert status at the CIA, according to lawyers in the case.

His story is similar to that of Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser. Rove, who was not an initial focus of the investigation, testified that he, too, talked with two reporters about Plame but never supplied her name or CIA role.

Their testimony seems to contradict what the White House was saying a few months after Plame's CIA job became public.

In October 2003, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters that he personally asked Libby and Rove whether they were involved, "so I could come back to you and say they were not involved." Asked if that was a categorical denial of their involvement, he said, "That is correct."

What remains a central mystery in the case is whether special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has accumulated evidence during his two-year investigation that any crime was committed. His investigation has White House aides and congressional Republicans on edge as they await Fitzgerald's announcement of an indictment or the conclusion of the probe with no charges. The grand jury is scheduled to expire Oct. 28, and lawyers in the case expect Fitzgerald to signal his intentions as early as this week.

Fitzgerald is investigating whether anyone illegally disclosed Plame's name or undercover CIA job in retaliation against her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV. In the summer of 2003, Wilson, a former diplomat, accused the White House of using "twisted" intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

He claimed firsthand evidence: At the behest of the CIA, he had flown to Niger in February 2002 to investigate the administration's assertion that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium in the African nation for use in its nuclear weapons program. Wilson returned unconvinced the assertion was true. However, Bush himself made the charge in his 2003 State of the Union address, prompting Wilson to spread word throughout the government and eventually make public his rebuttal.

Many lawyers in the case have been skeptical that Fitzgerald has the evidence to prove a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which is the complicated crime he first set out to investigate, and which requires showing that government officials knew an operative had covert status and intentionally leaked the operative's identity.

But a new theory about Fitzgerald's aim has emerged in recent weeks from two lawyers who have had extensive conversations with the prosecutor while representing witnesses in the case. They surmise that Fitzgerald is considering whether he can bring charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials. Under this legal tactic, Fitzgerald would attempt to establish that at least two or more officials agreed to take affirmative steps to discredit and retaliate against Wilson and leak sensitive government information about his wife. To prove a criminal conspiracy, the actions need not have been criminal, but conspirators must have had a criminal purpose.

Lawyers involved in the case interviewed for this report agreed to talk only if their names were not used, citing Fitzgerald's request for secrecy.

One source briefed on Miller's account of conversations with Libby said it is doubtful her testimony would on its own lead to charges against any government officials. But, the source said, her account could establish a piece of a web of actions taken by officials that had an underlying criminal purpose.

Conspiracy cases are viewed by criminal prosecutors as simpler to bring than more straightforward criminal charges, but also trickier to sell to juries. "That would arguably be a close call for a prosecutor, but it could be tried," a veteran Washington criminal attorney with longtime experience in national security cases said yesterday.

Other lawyers in the case surmise Fitzgerald does not have evidence of any crime at all and put Miller in jail simply to get her testimony and finalize the investigation. "Even assuming . . . that somebody decided to answer back a critic, that is politics, not criminal behavior," said one lawyer in the case. This lawyer said the most benign outcome would be Fitzgerald announcing that he completed a thorough investigation, concluded no crime was committed and would not issue a report.

The campaign to discredit Wilson's accusations came at a critical moment in the Bush presidency. It occurred a few months after the United States invaded Iraq and at a time when Bush, Cheney and the entire administration were under extraordinary pressure to back up their prewar allegations that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and was working on a nuclear weapons program.

The Niger claim was central to the White House's rationale for war, and Wilson was on a one-man crusade to disprove it. Early on, his actions caught the eye of the vice president's office, which was often the emotional and intellectual force pushing the United States to war based on fears of potential weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Cheney and Libby were intimately involved in building the case for the war, which included warnings that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was actively pursuing nuclear weapons.

Cheney's staff was looking into Wilson as early as May 2003, nearly two months before columnist Robert D. Novak identified Wilson's wife as a CIA operative, according to administration sources familiar with the effort. What stirred the interest of the vice president's office was a May 6 New York Times column by Nicholas D. Kristof in which the mission to Niger was described without using Wilson's name. Kristof's column said Cheney had authorized the trip.

According to former senior CIA officials, the vice president's office pressed the CIA to find out how the trip was arranged, because Cheney did not know that a query he made much earlier to a CIA briefer about a report alleging Iraq was seeking Niger uranium had triggered Wilson's trip. "They were very uptight about the vice president being tagged that way," a former senior CIA official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. "They asked questions that set [off] a chain of inquiries."

By early June, several weeks before Libby is said to have known Plame's name, the State Department had prepared a memo on the Niger case that contained information on Plame in a section marked "(S)" for secret. Around that time, Libby knew about the trip's origins, though in an interview with The Washington Post at the time, he did not mention any role played by Wilson's wife.

By July 12, however, both Rove and Libby and perhaps other senior White House officials knew about Wilson's wife's position at the CIA and, according to lawyers familiar with testimony in the probe, used that information with reporters to undermine the significance of Wilson's trip.

Staff writer Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

October 2nd, 2005, 01:42 AM
As CIA leak probe passes Rove, Cheney is eyed, lawyer says


Excerpted to highlight Cheney's role from an article Saturday in the New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/01/politics/01leak.html?ei=5090&en=d7891fa6eb556825&ex=1285819200&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=print) The Times' reporters remark: "Ms. Miller's grand jury appearance increased anxiety in the White House and throughout Republican circles about how the investigation might end."

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.

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, the person said.

In that account, Mr. Cheney told Mr. Libby to direct reporters to a statement released the previous day by George J. Tenet, director of central intelligence. His statement said Mr. Wilson had been sent on the mission by C.I.A. counter-proliferation officers "on their own initiative."

Mr. Wilson wrote an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on July 6, 2003, saying that "some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat," and that his mission to Africa had been set in motion because of questions that Mr. Cheney's office had put to the C.I.A. The account, which Mr. Libby has provided to the grand jury, portrays his conversations with journalists as intended not to leak Ms. Wilson's name or to smear Mr. Wilson, but to distance the vice president from the criticism raised by Mr. Wilson.

A spokesman for Mr. Cheney, Stephen E. Schmidt, said he could not comment because of the inquiry.

The investigation has found that at least two senior White House officials, Mr. Libby and Karl Rove, President Bush's political strategist, spoke with reporters about Mr. Wilson's wife and her employment at the intelligence agency in the week after the publication of the Op-Ed article. People who have been briefed on their accounts have said the officials did not know of Ms. Wilson's status and did not supply journalists her name.

TLOZ Link5
October 2nd, 2005, 02:48 PM
Karl Rove as seen on a not-so-recent episode of American Dad:


October 2nd, 2005, 05:19 PM
This could be an interesting week ...

Source to Stephanopoulos:
President Bush Directly Involved In Leak Scandal


Near the end of a round table discussion on ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos dropped this bomb:
Definitely a political problem but I wonder, George Will, do you think it’s a manageable one for the White House especially if we don’t know whether Fitzgerald is going to write a report or have indictments but if he is able to show as a source close to this told me this week, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were actually involved in some of these discussions.This would explain why Bush spent more than an hour answering questions (http://thinkprogress.org/2005/10/02/bush-directly-involved/<br%20/>http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2005/08/17/bush_plame/index1.html) from special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. It would also fundamentally change the dynamics of the scandal. President Bush could no longer claim he was merely a bystander who wants to “get to the bottom of it (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/11/AR2005071101568.html).” As Stephanopoulos notes, if Bush played a direct role it could make this scandal completely unmanageable.

UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video (http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/10/02.html#a5192).

October 2nd, 2005, 06:51 PM
It seems the powers behind the "Republican Revolution" have wrung all they can from this group. Now, they are going to serve them up individually for public consumption. Sure looks like we have "forces" trying to "destabilize" the U.S. I hope it works. I am ready for Chavez type to emerge in the U.S.

October 4th, 2005, 11:04 PM
Next time you get into trouble you might want to stay away from any of the bumble-twads -- er, lawyers -- in this case ...

Prosecutor Thought Libby Deliberately Failed To Intervene On Reporter's Behalf

BY JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
October 4, 2005

URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/20936

http://www.nysun.com/images/extra.jpg (http://nysun.com/pdf/FitzgeraldLtr.pdf)

A special prosecutor investigating the leak of a CIA operative's identity concluded earlier this year that the Vice President's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, deliberately failed to intervene with a New York Times reporter jailed for refusing to testify in the probe because it would not be to his advantage for her to speak freely, according to a letter obtained by The New York Sun.

However, the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, said in the previously undisclosed letter that he later came to suspect that the standoff might be due to a misunderstanding between attorneys for Mr. Libby and the reporter, Judith Miller.

Ms. Miller, who spent nearly three months in jail, was released last week after she agreed to testify to a grand jury investigating whether White House officials disclosed the identity of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame. Ms. Miller said she testified only after speaking directly with Mr. Libby and being convinced that he wanted her to do so.

The turn of events appears to have been triggered, at least in part, by Mr. Fitzgerald's September 12 letter to Mr. Libby's attorney, Joseph Tate of Philadelphia. In the letter, the prosecutor noted that while Mr. Libby personally released another reporter, Matthew Cooper of Time Magazine, from any obligation of confidentiality at Mr. Cooper's request, Mr. Libby did not appear to have done so for Ms. Miller, even as she passed her days behind bars.

"I had assumed that Mr. Libby had simply decided that encouraging Ms. Miller to testify was not in his best interest," Mr. Fitzgerald wrote. He also noted press accounts that suggested that Ms. Miller and her attorneys were not satisfied with the generic written waiver that Mr. Libby had signed. The prosecutor said his conclusion was also supported by the fact that Mr. Libby had apparently not reached out to Ms. Miller, despite the fact that several congressmen called on the White House aide to make such an effort.

Mr. Fitzgerald said that was his view for most of the summer, but he later became concerned that "there might be a failure of communication regarding the waiver." He went on to cite a Los Angeles Times story that a lawyer for another White House source caught up in the probe, Karl Rove, was reluctant to contact Mr. Cooper out of fear that such a move might be viewed as an attempt to obstruct the investigation.

"It may be," the prosecutor surmised, "that Ms. Miller remains in jail because of a misunderstanding."

"I wish to make certain that you understand that if Mr. Libby maintains his waiver is valid and he wishes to communicate that fact either through you or directly to Ms. Miller or her counsel (without discussing the substance of what her testimony might be), I would not view such a communication as obstruction," Mr. Fitzgerald wrote. The prosecutor said he couldn't force Mr. Libby to contact Ms. Miller, but said if he did not, it implied "he would prefer that the status quo continue and Ms. Miller remain in jail rather than testify about their conversations."

A spokesman for Mr. Fitzgerald, Randall Samborn, declined to comment on the letter yesterday.

Mr. Libby's attorney, Mr. Tate did not return a message seeking an interview. However, in a written reply to Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Tate said he was baffled by the prosecutor's missive. "To say I am surprised at its content is an understatement," Mr. Tate wrote in his September 16 letter, made public by the Times last week. He insisted that he unequivocally reaffirmed the waiver to a lawyer for Ms. Miller more than a year earlier. "Neither my client nor I imagined that her decision to go to jail could be affected by anything that we could do," Mr. Tate said.

While Mr. Fitzgerald admonished Mr. Libby not to discuss with Mr. Miller the substance of her testimony, a letter Mr. Libby sent to Ms. Miller on September 15 did mention what other reporters have said about their contact with the White House aide. "The public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me or knew about her before our call," Mr. Libby wrote. "I believed a year ago, as now, that testimony by all will benefit all."

An attorney for Ms. Miller, Floyd Abrams, said in an interview yesterday that Mr. Fitzgerald's letter set in motion the talks that led to the reporter's release. "After this letter, negotiations really began in seriousness," Mr. Abrams said. The discussions led to a phone conversation between Ms. Miller and Mr. Libby, with attorneys for both parties on the line.

Mr. Abrams said another important factor in Ms. Miller's agreement to testify was Mr. Fitzgerald's willingness to respect the confidentiality of the reporter's other sources. "He agreed to focus his questioning on Libby," Mr. Abrams said. "The real protection we were getting was other sources with whom she spoke at about the same time, though not on this particular matter."

Mr. Fitzgerald's letter said Mr. Libby has acknowledged speaking with Ms. Miller on July 8,2003, at the St. Regis Hotel, presumably in Washington, and by telephone on July 12, 2003. Ms. Plame was first identified publicly as a CIA employee by a syndicated columnist, Robert Novak, on July 14, 2003. Ms. Miller never published a story about the matter.

October 5th, 2005, 10:08 PM
Rove, Cheney, Scooter, Cheney, Rove

My head is spinning ..........

Rove missing from White House events; Word on Hill is that he has been told he's target of probe


President Bush's most trusted adviser, Karl Rove, has been absent from recent White House events, leading those close to a CIA outing case to speculate that he has been told he is the target of an investigation, RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) can confirm.

Rove disappeared from the scene around the time he was diagnosed with kidney stones in mid-September, sources close to the White House tell RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/). At first, the belief was that he was off the beat to recover from his illness.

But his absence at President Bush's press conference Monday where Bush announced that he had chosen Harriet Miers to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court raised eyebrows. Rove is usually present at such events.

Word on Capitol Hill is that Rove has received a "target letter," or a letter from the prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson telling him that he is now a target in the investigation. To date, no reporters have been able to confirm this account.

President Bush has declined to say whether he would fire Rove if he were indicted. He has said that he would fire any White House staff that was found guilty in the case.

Others, noticing seeming Administration slip-ups -- the response to Katrina and the unexpected groundswell of discontent from conservatives over Miers -- suggest the White House may be distracted with something else.

Rove's absence was first noted by AmericaBLOG (http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/10/white-house-is-hiding-karl-rove-they.html).


October 5th, 2005, 11:07 PM
Maybe he's out of town for the week with Jeff Gannon.

October 6th, 2005, 09:03 AM
Maybe he's out of town for the week with Jeff Gannon.

Or Jeff Foxworthy.

October 8th, 2005, 05:10 PM
Believe it or not, HE"S BACK!! Gannon's name might be on the list -- go here: Did Gannon have role? (http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Salon_Could_Gannon_be_charged_under_1008.html)

And this link has got some great stuff: Karl Rove Lied to the FBI (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-leopold/karl-rove-lied-to-the-fbi_b_8524.html)

More here: http://whateveralready.blogspot.com/ (http://whateveralready.blogspot.com/)


October 8th, 2005, 05:25 PM
"Who snookered the White House?"

"This question, I believe, was the real genesis of the inquiry Scooter-gate, and not the outing of Valerie Plame, which didn't come until July 14, 2003."
Link to a very thorough overview of this sordid saga by Justin Raimondo, a guy who has done his homework:

http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=7490 (http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=7490)

"Since beginning of 2003, the FBI has been hot on the trails of two centers of subversion within the U.S. government – one in the Pentagon, and the other in the office of the Vice President. These two investigations are linked not only because of the personal and political ties between the various players, but also due to the common motives and methods of the conspirators. One investigation fed the other, since they were both essentially about the same small clique of government officials – the neoconservatives – who had led us down the path to war, and were intent on provoking another one, this time with Iran."

"Now that our attention is focused on Libby, the real outlines of the scandal that will envelope this administration are becoming clearer by the day. Scooter-gate isn't about revenge, although that's part of it; it isn't about intra-bureaucratic infighting, although that certainly played a role; and it sure isn't about Karl Rove, as the chattering classes were convinced only a few weeks ago. It is about how a band of ruthless ideologues lied us into war – and betrayed their country in the process. It's about a criminal conspiracy finally felled by its own hubris."

October 9th, 2005, 08:02 PM
This just gets better and better ...

Patrick Fitzgerald's Mousetrap (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-kleiman/patrick-fitzgeralds-mous_b_8569.html)


Just back from the LA Blogger Bash, where Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake (http://firedoglake.blogspot.com/2005_10_02_firedoglake_archive.html#11287543512584 2723) patiently explained to me her theory, and that of emptywheel of The Next Hurrah (http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2005/10/sweet_judy_blew.html#more), of how it came to pass that Judith Miller suddenly discovered some notes about her meetings with "Scooter" Libby (http://olympics.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyID=2005-10-07T223051Z_01_EIC771654_RTRUKOC_0_US-BUSH-LEAK.xml), Dick Cheney's chief of staff, after her grand jury testimony.

If it's not -- as I suspect it is -- a brilliant and plausible inference that accurately ties together disparate facts, it's one of the best pieces of legal fiction ever penned. You should read both of the linked items in full, but here's the idea as I understand it:

1. The revelation of Plame's identity to Cooper and Novak (among others) was part of an attack on Joseph Wilson's credibility that started before, and not after, his NYT op-ed of July 6, 2003. Wilson had already been the unnamed source of press reports casting doubt on the uranium-from-Niger story, and the White House Iraq Group was out to get him, for self-protection and retaliation.

2. Miller planned to write a story about Wilson, prompted by Libby and members of the W.H.I.G.; those plans were pre-empted by his op-ed. (Or perhaps when he learned that his role as a source for Kristof was going to be revealed anyway, he decided to tell the story himself.)

3. Libby had told the grand jury about his conversations with Miller in July, but not about conversations in June relating to the story that Miller planned to write but never wrote. Those conversations would have been hard to reconcile with the story Libby and his friends were trying to peddle: that their attacks on Wilson were purely defensive responses to his op-ed.

4. Unbeknownst to Libby and Miller, Fitzgerald had learned of those June conversations, either from Wilson or from someone at the Times.

5. As Fitzgerald expected, Miller in her testimony did not mention the June conversations with Libby. (Libby's letter to Miller contains language that might be read as signaling to her that she should confine her testimony to the July conversations.) Fitzgerald asked her leading questions which, without tipping her off about how much Fitzgerald knew, put her in the position of having to testify falsely in order to avoid mentioning those conversations.

6. Once Miller's testimony was over, Fitzgerald called her lawyer and said, "Why didn't your client mention the June conversations when she was asked about them?" It was that phone call that triggered Miller's sudden discovery of the June notes.

7. Having caught Miller committing perjury, Fitzgerald is now in a position to, in effect, renege on his agreement to ask her only about her conversations with Libby. Under the terms of that agreement, Fitzgerald can't compel her to testify about conversations with other people, but she can of course do so voluntarily. And Fitzgerald can tell her lawyer that if she fails to volunteer, she may be looking at substantially more than 85 days behind bars on charges of perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice, being an accessory to Libby's violations of the Espionage Act, or being a co-conspirator with him and others in those violations. (This is perfectly acceptable prosecutorial conduct, not even close to any ethical line.)

Instead of a mere percipient witness, Miller is now a potential defendant, and Fitzgerald can try to "flip" her against all of her sources, not just Libby.

Jane concludes:

Note to self: do not EVER play poker with Patrick Fitzgerald.Well, right. And I would add: do not enter a spy-novel-writing contest against Jane Hamsher or emptywheel. I don't often encounter anyone with a mind more devious than my own, but in this case I bow to either superior penetration or superior invention. Whether this is Fitzgerald's plot or Jane's, its author has a wickedly brilliant intellect.

Update Tom Maguire notes that Fitzgerald's subpoena to Miller covered only documents after July 6 (http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2005/10/judy_remembers.html). So why, Tom asks, is Ms. Miller suddenly so talkative? Count that as another puzzling phenomenon that the Hamsher theory explains nicely.

October 12th, 2005, 10:07 AM

Bush Could Lose Rove Over Probe

Associated Press Writer
Tue Oct 11, 9:43 PM ET


For nearly a quarter century, Karl Rove has been George Bush's political mentor. Bush calls him "the architect," the "boy genius." Others have called him "Bush's brain."

Now, with a federal grand jury nipping at Rove's heels in its CIA leak investigation, the president may have to contemplate the previously unthinkable: managing without his right-hand man.

Rove helped Bush create a political persona and steered him to victory in two Texas gubernatorial and two presidential races. He polished Bush's message, nurtured ties with conservatives, oversaw crisis control and helped frame major policy initiatives.

"He's the president's alter ego on political and domestic policy," said veteran Republican strategist Charles Black. While Rove's most important past service to Bush — as a campaign strategist — is no longer needed by Bush, "he's still very valuable in terms of running domestic policy," Black said.

Rove is also helping to steer GOP efforts to expand their congressional majorities in the 2006 midterm elections and is seen by some as a would-be GOP kingmaker for 2008.

If Rove, 54, is forced to resign, it would be a major blow to a presidency already reeling from low approval ratings, the war in Iraq, rising gas prices and the aftermath of two Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Some Republicans suggest the investigation has already taken a toll, weakening and distracting Rove. Some even suggest the botched early response to Hurricane Katrina and the flash of indignation from the political right over the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination might have been averted had Rove been more hands-on.

It's hard to imagine Bush without Rove. Some Rove colleagues say, privately, that he is all but irreplaceable. They suggest nobody else now on the scene combines Rove's intimate knowledge of both politics and policy while also enjoying the full confidence of the president.

Rove's title, that of deputy White House chief of staff, hardly shows the enormous influence he wields.

October 12th, 2005, 10:58 PM
"The investigation ... has now turned toward a little known cabal of administration hawks known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) ... WHIG operated out of the Vice President’s office and was chaired by Karl Rove, Bush's senior advisor."

Cheney's role in outing of CIA agent under examination, sources close to prosecutor say

Jason Leopold


Cheney's role in CIA outing not known

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to determine whether Vice President Dick Cheney had a role in the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, individuals close to Fitzgerald have confirmed. Plame’s husband was a vocal critic of prewar intelligence used by President George W. Bush to build support for the Iraq war.

The investigation into who leaked the officer's name to reporters has now turned toward a little known cabal of administration hawks known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), which came together in August 2002 to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. WHIG operated out of the Vice President’s office and was chaired by Karl Rove, Bush's senior advisor.

Fitzgerald’s examination centers on a group of players charged with not only selling the war, but according to sources familiar with the case, to discredit anyone who openly “disagreed with the official Iraq war” story.

The group’s members included Deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove, Bush advisor Karen Hughes, Senior Advisor to the Vice President Mary Matalin, Deputy Director of Communications James Wilkinson, Assistant to the President and Legislative Liaison Nicholas Calio, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby - Chief of Staff to the Vice President and co-author of the Administration's pre-emptive strike policy.

Rice was later appointed Secretary of State; her deputy Hadley was made National Security Advisor. Wilkinson departed to become a spokesman for the military's central command, and later for the Republican National Convention. Hughes was recently appointed Undersecretary of State.

Several members of the group have testified before Fitzgerald’s grand jury.

Cheney’s role under scrutiny

Two officials close to Fitzgerald told RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) they have seen documents obtained from the White House Iraq Group which state that Cheney was present at several of the group's meetings. They say Cheney personally discussed with individuals in attendance at least two interviews in May and June of 2003 Wilson gave to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus, in which he claimed the administration “twisted” prewar intelligence and what the response from the administration should be.

Cheney was interviewed by the FBI surrounding the leak in 2004. According to the New York Times, Cheney was asked whether he knew of any concerted effort by White House aides to name Ms. Wilson.

Sources close to the investigation have also confirmed that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to determine Vice President Cheney's role in the outing of Mrs. Wilson, more specifically, if Cheney ordered the leak.

Those close to Fitzgerald say they have yet to uncover any evidence that suggests Cheney ordered the leak or played a role in the outing of Mrs. Wilson. Still, the sources said they are investigating claims that Cheney may have been involved based on his attendance at meetings of the Iraq group. Previous reports indicate Cheney was intimately involved with the framing of the Iraq war.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal confirmed that the Iraq group was under scrutiny.

“Formed in August 2002, the group, which included Messrs. [Karl] Rove and [Lewis] Libby, worked on setting strategy for selling the war in Iraq to the public in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion,” the Journal reported. “The group likely would have played a significant role in responding to [former Ambassador Joseph] Wilson's claims” that the Bush administration twisted intelligence when it said Iraq tried to acquire yellow-cake uranium from Africa.

Rove's "strategic communications" task force operating inside the group was instrumental in writing and coordinating speeches by senior Bush administration officials, highlighting in September 2002 that Iraq was a nuclear threat.


The White House Iraq Group operated virtually unknown until January 2004, when Fitzgerald subpoenaed for notes, email and attendance records. Bush Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. created the group in August of 2002.

“A senior official who participated in its work called it "an internal working group, like many formed for priority issues, to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities," according to an Aug. 10, 2003, Washington Post investigative report (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A39500-2003Aug9?language=printer) on the group’s inner workings.
Senior Bush adviser Karl Rove chaired meetings of the group.

The group relied heavily on New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who, after meeting with several of the organization’s members in August 2002, wrote an explosive story that many critics of the war believe laid the groundwork for military action against Iraq.

On Sunday, Sept. 8, 2002, Miller wrote a story for the Times quoting anonymous officials who said aluminum tubes found in Iraq were to be used as centrifuges. Her report said the "diameter, thickness and other technical specifications" of the tubes -- precisely the grounds for skepticism among nuclear enrichment experts -- showed that they were "intended as components of centrifuges."

She closed her piece by quoting then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice who said the United States would not sit by and wait to find a smoking gun to prove its case, possibly in the form of a “a mushroom cloud." After Miller’s piece was published, administration officials pursued their case on Sunday talk shows using Miller’s piece as evidence that Iraq was pursuing a nuclear bomb, even though those officials were the ones who supplied Miller with the story and were quoted anonymously.

Rice's comments on CNN’s “Late Edition” reaffirmed Miller’s story. Rice said that Saddam Hussein was "actively pursuing a nuclear weapon" and that the tubes -- described repeatedly in U.S. intelligence reports as "dual-use" items -- were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs."

Cheney, on NBC's "Meet the Press," also mentioned the aluminum tubes story in the Times and said "increasingly, we believe the United States will become the target" of an Iraqi atomic bomb. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, on CBS's "Face the Nation," asked viewers to "imagine a September 11th with weapons of mass destruction.”

President Bush reiterated the image of Rice’s mushroom cloud comment in his Oct. 7, 2002 speech.

The International Atomic Energy Agency later revealed that Iraq’s aluminum tubes were never designed to enrich uranium.

In February of 2003, WHIG allegedly scripted the speech Powell made to the United Nations presenting the United States’ case for war.

Powell’s speech to the UN, United Press International reported, “was handled by the White House Iraq Group, which… provided Powell with a script for his speech, using information developed by Feith's group. Much of it was unsourced material fed to newspapers by the OSP. Realizing this, Powell's team turned to the now-discredited National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. But some of Feith's handiwork ended up in Powell's mouth anyway.”

Miller appears in Jury room again

Miller’s second appearance before the grand jury investigating the CIA leak seems to be tied to her meeting and discussions in June of 2003 with I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, sources close to the investigation said. The meeting came one year before the New York Times printed a lengthy mea culpa discrediting a half-dozen of Miller’s prewar stories on the Iraqi threat.

Fitzgerald’s investigation resulted when allegations surfaced that Bush Administration officials had called reporters to circulate the name of the CIA officer, Valerie Plame-Wilson, in an attempt to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a critic of the administration's Iraq policy.
Wilson went to Niger in 2002 at the request of the CIA to investigate reports that Iraq was trying to buy uranium "yellow cake" to develop nuclear weapons. He found that the reports were not credible.

Until now, Fitzgerald’s two-year investigation has focused on conversations Karl Rove and Lewis “Scooter” Libby have had with individual journalists, including Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

That has now changed. Fitzgerald has retraced his steps to an earlier period when he first began to examine the White House Iraq Group.

During its very first meetings, Card's Iraq group ordered a series of white papers showing Iraq’s arms violations. The first paper, "A Grave and Gathering Danger: Saddam Hussein's Quest for Nuclear Weapons," was never published. However, the paper was drafted with the assistance of experts from the National Security Council and Cheney's office.

“In its later stages, the draft white paper coincided with production of a National Intelligence Estimate and its unclassified summary. “But the WHIG, according to three officials who followed the white paper's progress, wanted gripping images and stories not available in the hedged and austere language of intelligence,” according to the Post.

Eight months later, Joseph Wilson began to question the veracity of the Bush administration’s prewar intelligence in private conversations with reporters. His talk threatened to undercut the administration’s successful marketing campaign: that Iraq was an imminent threat to the United States and its neighbors in the Middle East.

Wilson’s allegations threatened to chip away at the credibility of individuals such as Cheney, who, in dozens of speeches just a few months prior had said that Iraq was dangerously close to acquiring a nuclear weapon. It also threatened to ruin Miller’s credibility. It was then that Administration officials started to discredit Wilson.

Now Fitzgerald is trying to find out whether Cheney was involved.

Larisa Alexandrovna contributed research for this report.

October 14th, 2005, 09:49 AM
Separated at Birth?

Karl Rove

Ned Beatty

Rove's thoughts might be found in some choice dialog spoken by Ned Beatty as Bobby Trippe in the 1972 film "Deliverance".

Click here for the sound files (the site has asked not to post the links to actual sound files, but htis will get you to the list): http://www.wavsource.com/movies/deliverance.htm

Then scroll down to:

"End of the Line" (what Rove might be thinking just about now)


"Squeal" ( what Rove might be thinking when he gets tossed into the hoosegow [ http://www.bartleby.com/62/38/H0753800.html ] )


October 14th, 2005, 10:03 AM
The Rosenbergs got "death" for treason. I expect nothing less for those who ae found guilty. This nation is at war. To have undermined our intelligence service is a capital crime. I want the execution televised and sponsored by Coke, McDonald's, Ford, and Stay-Free Maxi Pads. I think it should be hosted by Jenny Jones or Sally Jesse Raphael.

October 15th, 2005, 06:48 PM
For the full 7-Page 5,800 word article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/national/16leak.html?ei=5065&en=87303522773ffc23&ex=1130040000&adxnnl=1&partner=MYWAY&adxnnlx=1129416277-f7QZw6xgNWGGBuXFlsEa1Q&pagewanted=print

The Miller Case: From a Name on a Pad to Jail, and Back

Published: October 16, 2005

In a notebook belonging to Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, amid notations about Iraq (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iraq/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) and nuclear weapons, appear two small words: "Valerie Flame."

Ms. Miller should have written Valerie Plame. That name is at the core of a federal grand jury investigation that has reached deep into the White House. At issue is whether Bush administration officials leaked the identity of Ms. Plame, an undercover C.I.A. operative, to reporters as part of an effort to blunt criticism of the president's justification for the war in Iraq.

Ms. Miller spent 85 days in jail for refusing to testify and reveal her confidential source, then relented. On Sept. 30, she told the grand jury that her source was I. Lewis Libby, the vice president's chief of staff. But she said he did not reveal Ms. Plame's name.

And when the prosecutor in the case asked her to explain how "Valerie Flame" appeared in the same notebook she used in interviewing Mr. Libby, Ms. Miller said she "didn't think" she heard it from him. "I said I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall," she wrote on Friday, recounting her testimony for an article that appears today.

Whether Ms. Miller's testimony will prove valuable to the prosecution remains unclear, as do its ramifications for press freedom. Yet an examination of Ms. Miller's decision not to testify, and then to do so, offers fresh information about her role in the investigation and how The New York Times turned her case into a cause.

The grand jury investigation centers on whether administration officials leaked the identity of Ms. Plame, whose husband, a former diplomat named Joseph C. Wilson IV, became a public critic of the Iraq war in July 2003. But Ms. Miller said Mr. Libby first raised questions about the diplomat in an interview with her that June, an account suggesting that Mr. Wilson was on the White House's radar before he went public with his criticisms.

Once Ms. Miller was issued a subpoena in August 2004 to testify about her conversations with Mr. Libby, she and The Times vowed to fight it. Behind the scenes, however, her lawyer made inquiries to see if Mr. Libby would release her from their confidentiality agreement. Ms. Miller said she decided not to testify in part because she thought that Mr. Libby's lawyer might be signaling to keep her quiet unless she would exonerate his client. The lawyer denies it, and Mr. Libby did not respond to requests for an interview.

As Ms. Miller, 57, remained resolute and moved closer to going to jail for her silence, the leadership of The Times stood squarely behind her.

"She'd given her pledge of confidentiality," said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher. "She was prepared to honor that. We were going to support her."

But Mr. Sulzberger and the paper's executive editor, Bill Keller, knew few details about Ms. Miller's conversations with her confidential source other than his name. They did not review Ms. Miller's notes. Mr. Keller said he learned about the "Valerie Flame" notation only this month. Mr. Sulzberger was told about it by Times reporters on Thursday.

Interviews show that the paper's leadership, in taking what they considered to be a principled stand, ultimately left the major decisions in the case up to Ms. Miller, an intrepid reporter whom editors found hard to control.

"This car had her hand on the wheel because she was the one at risk," Mr. Sulzberger said.

Once Ms. Miller was jailed, her lawyers were in open conflict about whether she should stay there. She had refused to reopen communications with Mr. Libby for a year, saying she did not want to pressure a source into waiving his confidentiality. But in the end, saying "I owed it to myself" after two months of jail, she had her lawyer reach out to Mr. Libby. This time, hearing directly from her source, she accepted his permission and was set free.
"We have everything to be proud of and nothing to apologize for," Ms. Miller said in the interview Friday.

Neither The Times nor its cause has emerged unbruised. Three courts, including the Supreme Court, declined to back Ms. Miller. Critics said The Times was protecting not a whistle-blower but an administration campaign intended to squelch dissent. The Times's coverage of itself was under assault: While the editorial page had crusaded on Ms. Miller's behalf, the news department had more than once been scooped on the paper's own story, even including the news of Ms. Miller's release from jail.

Asked what she regretted about The Times's handling of the matter, Jill Abramson, a managing editor, said: "The entire thing."

A Divisive Newsroom Figure

... Inside the newsroom, she was a divisive figure. A few colleagues refused to work with her.

"Judy is a very intelligent, very pushy reporter," said Stephen Engelberg, who was Ms. Miller's editor at The Times for six years and is now a managing editor at The Oregonian in Portland. "Like a lot of investigative reporters, Judy benefits from having an editor who's very interested and involved with what she's doing."

In the year after Mr. Engelberg left the paper in 2002, though, Ms. Miller operated with a degree of autonomy rare at The Times.

Douglas Frantz, who succeeded Mr. Engelberg as investigative editor, recalled that Ms. Miller once called herself "Miss Run Amok."

"I said, 'What does that mean?' " said Mr. Frantz, who was recently appointed managing editor at The Los Angeles Times. "And she said, 'I can do whatever I want.' "

Ms. Miller said she remembered the remark only vaguely but must have meant it as a joke, adding, "I have strong elbows, but I'm not a dope."

Ms. Miller said that she was proud of her journalism career, including her work on Al Qaeda, biological warfare and Islamic militancy. But she acknowledged serious flaws in her articles on Iraqi weapons.

"W.M.D. - I got it totally wrong," she said. "The analysts, the experts and the journalists who covered them - we were all wrong. If your sources are wrong, you are wrong. I did the best job that I could."

MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/national/16leak.html?ei=5065&en=87303522773ffc23&ex=1130040000&adxnnl=1&partner=MYWAY&adxnnlx=1129416277-f7QZw6xgNWGGBuXFlsEa1Q&pagewanted=print

October 16th, 2005, 07:45 AM
A new thread focusing on Journalism / Judith Miller / Ethics: http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7562


October 17th, 2005, 09:40 PM
CIA leak probe 'widening to include use of intelligence'

By Caroline Daniel and Edward Alden in Washington
Published: October 17 2005 21:39 | Last updated: October 17 2005 21:39


Evidence is building that the probe conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald, special prosecutor, has extended beyond the leaking of a covert CIA agent's name to include questioning about the administration's handling of pre-Iraq war intelligence.

According to the Democratic National Committee, a majority of the nine members of the White House Iraq Group have been questioned by Mr Fitzgerald. The team, which included senior national security officials, was created in August 2002 to “educate the public” about the risk posed by weapons of mass destruction on Iraq.

Mr Fitzgerald, who has been applauded for conducting a leak-free inquiry, has said little publicly about his 22-month probe, other than that it is about the “potential retaliation against a whistleblower”, Joseph Wilson. After Mr Wilson, a former ambassador, went public with doubts about the evidence that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons, the name of his wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA official, was leaked to reporters.

The prosecutor has given no indication whether he will charge anyone in the case. At the weekend Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter jailed for 85 days after refusing to testify, provided new details about the scope of Mr Fitzgerald's investigation. She was asked “repeatedly” how Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney, “handled classified information”.

Ms Miller said Mr Libby had made “a sharp critique of Mr Wilson”, and referred several times to the fact his wife worked at the CIA. Ms Miller also expressed surprise at a letter sent by Mr Libby when she was in jail that, she said, could imply he was trying to influence her testimony. “I replied that this portion of the letter had surprised me because it might be perceived as an effort by Mr Libby to suggest that I too would say we had not discussed Ms Plame. Yet my notes suggested that we had discussed her job,” she wrote.
According to Time magazine, both Mr Libby and Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's chief political adviser, who has appeared four times before the grand jury, would resign or take unpaid leave if indicted for their role in the case.

Mr Rove has been adopting a lower profile, backing out of two public speeches over the last week. However, Scott McClellan, White House spokesman, said yesterday: “Karl is here at the White House doing his duties, as he always does.”

The US failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq resulted in two inquiries into the prewar intelligence, one led by the Senate intelligence committee and the other by a White House-appointed panel.

But both panels confined themselves to investigating the intelligence community, concluding that the White House was largely the innocent victim of faulty intelligence. Neither delved into the political use of the available intelligence by the administration.

October 18th, 2005, 02:58 PM
From USNews.com:

White House Watch: Cheney resignation rumors fly
Charlie Archambault for USN&WR
Posted 10/18/05
By Paul Bedard

Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"It's certainly an interesting but I still think highly doubtful scenario," said a Bush insider. "And if that should happen," added the official, "there will undoubtedly be those who believe the whole thing was orchestrated – another brilliant Machiavellian move by the VP."

Said another Bush associate of the rumor, "Yes. This is not good." The rumor spread so fast that some Republicans by late morning were already drawing up reasons why Rice couldn't get the job or run for president in 2008.

"Isn't she pro-choice?" asked a key Senate Republican aide. Many White House insiders, however, said the Post story and reports that the investigation was coming to a close had officials instead more focused on who would be dragged into the affair and if top aides would be indicted and forced to resign.

"Folks on the inside and near inside are holding their breath and wondering what's next," said a Bush adviser. But, he added, they aren't focused on the future of the vice president. "Not that, at least not seriously," he said.

TLOZ Link5
October 18th, 2005, 03:04 PM
Anyone wondering if a lot if this wasn't planned from the beginning?

October 18th, 2005, 04:58 PM
It is starting to seem that way. Anything that has Cheney resigning and a new "hand selected" V.P. coming in reeks of premeditation. Then all they need to do is off W and they have their unelected, hand-selected dictator in place.

We do not live in a benevolent country or a benevolent world.

October 19th, 2005, 08:53 AM
According to this we have been hearing nothing but BS from Scott McClellan (surpirse, surprise), as apparently Bush has known about Rove's involvement the entire time ...

Bush whacked
Rove on CIA leak

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005


WASHINGTON - An angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair, sources told the Daily News.

"He made his displeasure known to Karl," a presidential counselor told The News. "He made his life miserable about this."

Bush has nevertheless remained doggedly loyal to Rove, who friends and even political adversaries acknowledge is the architect of the President's rise from baseball owner to leader of the free world.

As special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald nears a decision, perhaps as early as today, on whether to issue indictments in his two-year probe, Bush has already circled the wagons around Rove, whose departure would be a grievous blow to an already shell-shocked White House staff and a President in deep political trouble.

Asked if he believed indictments were forthcoming, a key Bush official said he did not know, then added: "I'm very concerned it could go very, very badly."

"Karl is fighting for his life," the official added, "but anything he did was done to help George W. Bush. The President knows that and appreciates that."

Other sources confirmed, however, that Bush was initially furious with Rove in 2003 when his deputy chief of staff conceded he had talked to the press about the Plame leak.

Bush has always known that Rove often talks with reporters anonymously and he generally approved of such contacts, one source said.

But the President felt Rove and other members of the White House damage-control team did a clumsy job in their campaign to discredit Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, the ex-diplomat who criticized Bush's claim that Saddam Hussen tried to buy weapons-grade uranium in Niger.

A second well-placed source said some recently published reports implying Rove had deceived Bush about his involvement in the Wilson counterattack were incorrect and were leaked by White House aides trying to protect the President.

"Bush did not feel misled so much by Karl and others as believing that they handled it in a ham-handed and bush-league way," the source said.

None of these sources offered additional specifics of what Bush and Rove discussed in conversations beginning shortly after the Justice Department informed the White House in September 2003 that a criminal investigation had been launched into the leak of CIA agent Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak. A White House spokesman declined to comment, citing the ongoing nature of Fitzgerald's investigation.

October 19th, 2005, 02:41 PM
From Talking Points Memo: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2005_10_16.php#006789

(October 19, 2005 -- 01:40 PM EDT // link (http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/006789.php))

Tom DeFrank's piece (http://nydailynews.com/front/story/357107p-304312c.html) in a Daily News is a touch vague about just when President Bush found out about Karl Rove's role in the Plame leak. The only explicit reference to timing comes in the lede where DeFrank writes that [emphasis added] "[a]n angry President Bush rebuked chief political guru Karl Rove two years ago for his role in the Valerie Plame affair."

Now, 'two years ago'.

In the Plame case a lot of things happened around two years ago. What happened almost exactly two years was the first intensive coverage of the story in the mainstream press. For the first couple months the scandal was largely the province of various disreputable blogs and other untouchables.
So, DeFrank really doesn't provide us with enough detail to say with any confidence precisely when the president knew. But it seems he's saying the president unloaded on Karl right about the time the story blew up into a serious scandal and spawned a Justice Department investigation.
So what was the president saying around that time?

One of his most detailed statements came on October 7th, in a brief exchange with the press (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/10/20031007-2.html) just before a cabinet meeting ...
[T]he investigators will ask our staff about what people did or did not do. This is a town of -- where a lot of people leak. And I've constantly expressed my displeasure with leaks, particularly leaks of classified information. And I want to know, I want to know the truth. I want to see to it that the truth prevail. And I hope we can get this investigation done in a thorough way, as quickly as possible.

But the Justice Department will conduct this investigation. The professionals in the Justice Department will be involved in ferreting out the truth. These are citizens who will -- were here before this administration arrived and will be here after this administration leaves. And they'll come to the bottom of this, and we'll find out the truth. And that will be -- that's a good thing for this administration.

Then, a few moment later, the president expressed an odd lack of confidence that the case would ever be solved ...
Randy, you tell me, how many sources have you had that's leaked information that you've exposed or have been exposed? Probably none. I mean this town is a -- is a town full of people who like to leak information. And I don't know if we're going to find out the senior administration official. Now, this is a large administration, and there's a lot of senior officials. I don't have any idea. I'd like to. I want to know the truth. That's why I've instructed this staff of mine to cooperate fully with the investigators -- full disclosure, everything we know the investigators will find out. I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is -- partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers. But we'll find out.Given the question of dating noted above, one might speculate that the president learned of Rove's action the next day. But if the DeFrank piece is accurate, it certainly seems likely that the president knew of Rove's complicity while he saying these words.
-- Josh Marshall


(October 19, 2005 -- 01:22 PM EDT // link (http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/006788.php))

Ahhh, yesteryear, when we were young and unindicted.

Scott McClellan, June 24th, 2004 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/06/20040624-3.html), almost a year after the president learned of Karl Rove's part in the Plame leak, according to the Daily News (http://nydailynews.com/front/story/357107p-304312c.html).
The President met with Pat Fitzgerald, the U.S. Attorney in charge of the leak investigation, as well as members of his team. The meeting took place in the Oval Office. It lasted for a little more than an hour, probably about an hour and 10 minutes ... He also recently retained a lawyer, Jim Sharp, who you all have reported about before. I would just say that -- what I've said previously, and what the President has said: The leaking of classified information is a very serious matter. The President directed the White House to cooperate fully with those in charge of the investigation. He was pleased to do his part to help the investigation move forward. No one wants to get to the bottom of this matter more than the President of the United States, and he has said on more than one occasion that if anyone -- inside or outside the government -- has information that can help the investigators get to the bottom of this, they should provide that information to the officials in charge.What did the president tell Patrick Fitzgerald? As a number of lawyers and former prosecutors have informed me this morning, not being under oath does not get President Bush out of legal jeopardy if he didn't tell the truth.

-- Josh Marshall

October 20th, 2005, 08:55 AM
Ooooh, Yeah:

"... Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, are considering a civil suit that could force Bush, Rove and Cheney to testify ... "

Fess up on leak, Chuck prods Bush

New York Daily News
Thursday, October 20th, 2005


WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Schumer yesterday urged President Bush to come clean on what and when he knew about political guru Karl Rove's involvement in the outing of CIA spy Valerie Plame.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, meanwhile, is combing over testimony by John Hannah and David Wurmser, national security aides to Vice President Cheney who sources questioned under oath say may be the key to the probe.

Citing yesterday's Daily News story detailing Bush's angry 2003 outburst, Schumer requested particulars of that heated discussion about Rove's role in the CIA leaks. "It seems you may have been angry that White House officials were caught, not that they had compromised national security," Schumer wrote in a letter to Bush. Schumer also questioned why Bush didn't suspend Rove's top secret security clearance if he was aware his senior aide had a role in the Plame affair.

Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said he wasn't aware of the letter, but he still lashed out. "The last thing that we need to do is politicize an ongoing investigation," he said.

Schumer's letter was sent as Democrats elsewhere jumped all over Bush, perhaps suspecting the President knows more about the leak than he or Rove may have told Fitzgerald.

"We're looking at the time line," said a top Senate Democratic strategist. "The same month Bush reprimands Rove, he tells the American people he doesn't know whether anybody in the White House was involved, and now we learn otherwise."

On Sept. 30, 2003 - the same month Bush rebuked Rove - the President said, "I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information."

McClellan originally questioned the accuracy of The News' story but later said he couldn't comment because the leak probe is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, are considering a civil suit that could force Bush, Rove and Cheney to testify. Wilson asserts that his wife was outed to get back at him for debunking claims that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was shopping for nuclear materials in Niger.

October 20th, 2005, 09:29 AM
Secrets, Evasions and Classified Reports

The CIA leak case isn’t just about whether top officials will be indicted. A larger issue is what Judith Miller’s evidence says about White House manipulation of the media.

By Michael Isikoff (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4863599/site/newsweek/) and Mark Hosenball (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4901246/site/newsweek/)
Oct. 19, 2005


Oct. 19, 2005 - The lengthy account by New York Times reporter Judy Miller about her grand jury testimony in the CIA leak case inadvertently provides a revealing window into how the Bush administration manipulated journalists about intelligence on Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.

Whatever the implications for special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s probe, Miller describes a conversation with Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, on July 8, 2003, where he appears to significantly misrepresent the contents of still-classified material from a crucial prewar intelligence-community document about Iraq.

With no weapons of mass destruction having been found in Iraq and new questions being raised about the case for war, Libby assured Miller that day that the still-classified document, a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), contained even stronger evidence that would support the White House’s conclusions about Iraq’s weapons programs, according to Miller’s account.

In fact, a declassified version of the NIE was publicly released just 10 days later, and it showed almost precisely the opposite. The NIE, it turned out, contained caveats and qualifiers that had never been publicly acknowledged by the administration prior to the invasion of Iraq. It also included key dissents by State Department intelligence analysts, Energy Department scientists and Air Force technical experts about some important aspects of the administration’s case.

The assertion that still-secret material would bolster the administration’s claims about Iraqi WMD was “certainly not accurate, it was not true,” says Jessica Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who coauthored a study last year, titled “A Tale of Two Intelligence Estimates,” about different versions of the NIE that were released. If Miller’s account is correct, Libby was “misrepresenting the intelligence” that was contained in the document, she said.

A spokeswoman for Cheney’s office said today that she could not respond to Miller’s account because it described grand jury testimony in the Valerie Plame leak case. Following standard White House policy, the vice president’s office does not intend to make any public comments on any matter relating to the investigation until after it is complete.

Libby’s comments about the NIE may seem at this point a sideshow to the pressing question that is currently consuming much of Washington: whether he or any other White House official will be charged with any crimes stemming from the outing of CIA agent Plame, the wife of former ambassador and administration critic Joseph Wilson.

But Libby’s comments do touch on what many believe is a larger issue raised by the case: whether the administration accurately represented the nature of what the U.S. intelligence community knew, and didn’t know, about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs before the nation went to war...

Full Story: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9756141/site/newsweek/ (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9756141/site/newsweek/)

October 21st, 2005, 01:58 PM
Prosecutor digging in ...

Fitzgerald Launches Web Site

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Friday, October 21, 2005; 1:00 PM


Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has just launched his own brand-new Web site (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/index.html).

( http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/index.html )

Could it be that he's getting ready to release some new legal documents? Like, maybe, some indictments? It's certainly not the action of an office about to fold up its tents and go home.

Fitzgerald spokesman Randall Samborn minimized the significance of the Web launch in an interview this morning.

"I would strongly caution, Dan, against reading anything into it substantive, one way or the other," he said. "It's really a long overdue effort to get something on the Internet to answer a lot of questions that we get . . . and to put up some of the documents that we have had ongoing and continued interest in having the public be able to access."

OK, OK. But will the Web site be used for future documents as well?
"The possibility exists," Samborn said.

Among the documents currently available on the site:
* The December 30, 2003, memo (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/documents/ag_letter_december_30_2003.pdf) from then-acting attorney general James B. Comey establishing Fitzgerald as an independent special counsel with "all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department's investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity."

* A Feb. 6, 2004, follow-up (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/documents/ag_letter_feburary_06_2004.pdf) confirming that his mandate "includes the authority to investigate and prosecute violations of any federal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure, as well as federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, your investigation."

The Web site is "bare bones" and is "still a work in progress," Samborn said. "We have some document formatting issues that we're still resolving." As a result, the site has not yet been officially announced -- although there is a link from Fitzgerald's home page as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/).

Up until now, the only official repository for documents related to the special counsel's investigation had been a page (http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/04ms407.html) on the U.S. District Court's Web site. But it only included court motions and rulings.

Incidentally, if you call the number the new Web site lists for Fitzgerald's D.C. office, the phone is somewhat mysteriously answered "counterespionage section."

But as Samborn explained to me, that's because the special prosecutor is borrowing space in the Justice Department's Bond Building from the counterespionage section. "The office of special counsel doesn't really have its own dedicated space," he said.

October 24th, 2005, 06:24 PM
Bush at Bay

UPI Editor

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The CIA leak inquiry that threatens senior White House aides has now widened to include the forgery of documents on African uranium that started the investigation, according to NAT0 intelligence sources.

This suggests the inquiry by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into the leaking of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame has now widened to embrace part of the broader question about the way the Iraq war was justified by the Bush administration.

Fitzgerald's inquiry is expected to conclude this week and despite feverish speculation in Washington, there have been no leaks about his decision whether to issue indictments and against whom and on what charges.

Two facts are, however, now known and between them they do not bode well for the deputy chief of staff at the White House, Karl Rove, President George W Bush's senior political aide, not for Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

The first is that Fitzgerald last year sought and obtained from the Justice Department permission to widen his investigation from the leak itself to the possibility of cover-ups, perjury and obstruction of justice by witnesses. This has renewed the old saying from the days of the Watergate scandal, that the cover-up can be more legally and politically dangerous than the crime.

The second is that NATO sources have confirmed to United Press International that Fitzgerald's team of investigators has sought and obtained documentation on the forgeries from the Italian government.

Fitzgerald's team has been given the full, and as yet unpublished report of the Italian parliamentary inquiry into the affair, which started when an Italian journalist obtained documents that appeared to show officials of the government of Niger helping to supply the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein with Yellowcake uranium. This claim, which made its way into President Bush's State of the Union address in January, 2003, was based on falsified documents from Niger and was later withdrawn by the White House.

This opens the door to what has always been the most serious implication of the CIA leak case, that the Bush administration could face a brutally damaging and public inquiry into the case for war against Iraq being false or artificially exaggerated. This was the same charge that imperiled the government of Bush's closest ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, after a BBC Radio program claimed Blair's aides has "sexed up" the evidence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

There can be few more serious charges against a government than going to war on false pretences, or having deliberately inflated or suppressed the evidence that justified the war.

And since no WMD were found in Iraq after the 2003 war, despite the evidence from the U.N. inspections of the 1990s that demonstrated that Saddam Hussein had initiated both a nuclear and a biological weapons program, the strongest plank in the Bush administration's case for war has crumbled beneath its feet.

The reply of both the Bush and Blair administrations was that they made their assertions about Iraq's WMD in good faith, and that other intelligence agencies like the French and German were equally mistaken in their belief that Iraq retained chemical weapons, along with the ambition and some of technological basis to restart the nuclear and biological programs.

It is this central issue of good faith that the CIA leak affair brings into question. The initial claims Iraq was seeking raw uranium in the west African state of Niger aroused the interest of vice-president Cheney, who asked for more investigation. At a meeting of CIA and other officials, a CIA officer working under cover in the office that dealt with nuclear proliferation, Valerie Plame, suggested her husband, James Wilson, a former ambassador to several African states, enjoyed good contacts in Niger and could make a preliminary inquiry. He did so, and returned concluding that the claims were untrue. In July 2003, he wrote an article for The New York Times making his mission -- and his disbelief -- public.

But by then Elisabetta Burba, a journalist for the Italian magazine Panorama (owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi) had been contacted by a "security consultant" named Rocco Martoni, offering to sell documents that "proved" Iraq was obtaining uranium in Niger for $10,000. Rather than pay the money, Burba's editor passed photocopies of the documents to the U.S. Embassy, which forwarded them to Washington, where the forgery was later detected.
Signatures were false, and the government ministers and officials who had signed them were no longer in office on the dates on which the documents were supposedly written.

Nonetheless, the forged documents appeared, on the face of it, to shore up the case for war, and to discredit Wilson. The origin of the forgeries is therefore of real importance, and any link between the forgeries and Bush administration aides would be highly damaging and almost certainly criminal.

The letterheads and official seals that appeared to authenticate the documents apparently came from a burglary at the Niger Embassy in Rome in 2001. At this point, the facts start dribbling away into conspiracy theories that involve membership of shadowy Masonic lodges, Iranian go-betweens, right-wing cabals inside Italian Intelligence and so on. It is not yet known how far Fitzgerald, in his two years of inquiries, has fished in these murky waters.

There is one line of inquiry with an American connection that Fitzgerald would have found it difficult to ignore. This is the claim that a mid-ranking Pentagon official, Larry Franklin, held talks with some Italian intelligence and defense officials in Rome in late 2001. Franklin has since been arrested on charges of passing classified information to staff of the pro-Israel lobby group, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. Franklin has reportedly reached a plea bargain with his prosecutor, Paul McNulty, and it would be odd if McNulty and Fitzgerald had not conferred to see if their inquiries connected.

Where all this leads will not be clear until Fitzgerald breaks his silence, widely expected to occur this week when the term of his grand jury expires.
If Fitzgerald issues indictments, then the hounds that are currently baying across the blogosphere will leap into the mainstream media and whole affair, Iranian go-betweens and Rome burglaries included, will come into the mainstream of the mass media and network news where Mr. and Mrs. America can see it.

If Fitzgerald issues no indictments, the matter will not simply die away, in part because the press is now hotly engaged, after the new embarrassment of the Times over the imprisonment of the paper's Judith Miller. There is also an uncomfortable sense that the press had given the Bush administration too easy a ride after 9/11. And the Bush team is now on the ropes and its internal discipline breaking down, making it an easier target.

Then there is a separate Senate Select Intelligence Committee inquiry under way, and while the Republican chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas seems to be dragging his feet, the ranking Democrat, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, is now under growing Democratic Party pressure to pursue this question of falsifying the case for war.

And last week, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, introduced a resolution to require the president and secretary of state to furnish to Congress documents relating to the so-called White House Iraq Group. Chief of staff Andrew Card formed the WHIG task force in August 2002 -- seven months before the invasion of Iraq, and Kucinich claims they were charged "with the mission of marketing a war in Iraq."

The group included: Rove, Libby, Condoleezza Rice, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and Stephen Hadley (now Bush's national security adviser) and produced white papers that put into dramatic form the intelligence on Iraq's supposed nuclear threat. WHIG launched its media blitz in September 2002, six months before the war. Rice memorably spoke of the prospect of "a mushroom cloud," and Card revealingly explained why he chose September, saying "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

The marketing is over but the war goes on. The press is baying and the law closes in. The team of Bush loyalists in the White House is demoralized and braced for disaster.

© Copyright 2005 United Press International, Inc.

October 24th, 2005, 09:32 PM
The NEW RAT on the block: DAVID WORMSER (Advisor to VP Cheney) ...

Cheney aide passed Plame's name to Libby, Hadley, those close to leak investigation say

Jason Leopold and Larisa Alexandrovna

With the possibility of indictments just days away, sources close to the investigation into who outed covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson have provided RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) a more detailed account into how and why Plame's name was leaked and what role the Pentagon and the vice president's office played.

Those close to the investigation say that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has been told that David Wurmser, then a Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney on loan from the office of then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton, met with Cheney and his chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby in June 2003 and told Libby that Plame set up the Wilson trip. He asserted that it was a boondoggle, the sources said.


Libby then shared the information with Karl Rove, President Bush's deputy chief of staff, the sources said. Wurmser also passed on the same information about Wilson to then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, they added.

Within a week, Wurmser, on orders from "executives in the office of the vice president," was told to leak her name to a specific group of reporters in an effort to muzzle her husband, Wilson, who had become a thorn in the side of the administration, those close to the inquiry say. It is unclear who Wurmser had spoken with in the media, the sources said, but they confirmed he did speak with reporters at national media outlets about Plame.

"Libby wanted to discredit him right from the start," one source close to the investigation told RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/). "He used David Wurmser to help him do that."

Neither Wurmser or Libby could be reached for comment.

Wurmser had a direct link to the CIA because of his work on intelligence issues related to Iraq and frequently met with CIA analysts who worked on weapons of mass destruction. Through his contacts, Wurmser was told that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA agent working on WMD issues and it was she who had recommended Wilson for the trip, the sources said. Those familiar with the investigation say, however, it is unclear whether Wurmser was told that she operating as a covert agent. They believe it was likely he was told she was an "analyst" working on WMDs in a similar capacity to the other agents Wurmser had interacted with.

Those familiar with information provided to Fitzgerald say that shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Wurmser was handpicked by Harold Rhode, a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the Office of Net Assessment (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Office_of_Net_Assessment), a Pentagon "think tank," and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith to head a top secret Pentagon "cell" whose job was to comb through CIA intelligence documents and find evidence that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States and its neighbors in the Middle East so a case could be made to launch a preemptive military strike. Wurmser largely invented evidence that Iraq had close ties to Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, sources knowledgeable about his work told RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/).

Although the CIA documents that Wurmser and his staff pored over never showed Iraq as being an immediate threat, Wurmser was dead set on finding and presenting evidence to Vice President Dick Cheney that suggested as much even if the veracity of such intelligence was questionable, sources close the probe said. Wurmser had met with now discredited Iraqi exiles who were part of the Iraqi National Congress, headed by Ahmed Chalabi, the infamous single source of Judith Miller's explosive columns published in the New York Times that said Iraq was acquiring nuclear bomb components, who is now the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, they added.

With the aid of Chalabi and the White House Iraq Group, Wurmser helped Cheney's office, particularly the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, construct a case for war. He met frequently with Cheney, Libby, Feith and Richard Perle, the former head of the Defense Policy Board, to go over the "evidence" of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein that could then be used by the White House to build public support. Wurmser routinely butted heads with the CIA over the veracity of the intelligence he was providing to Cheney's office, sources close the investigation said.

Wurmser had long been a proponent of removing Saddam Hussein from power.

Indeed, in 1996, Wurmser, his wife Meyrav and Perle, authored a paper for "Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." It called on Israel to work with Jordan and Turkey to "contain, destabilize and roll back" various states in the region, overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq, press Jordan to restore a scion of the Hashemite dynasty to the Iraqi throne, and, above all, launch military assaults against Lebanon and Syria as a "prelude to a redrawing of the map of the Middle East which would threaten Syria's territorial integrity," according to an investigative report in the January/February 2004 issue of Mother Jones magazine (http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2004/01/12_405-2.html).

A year later, Wurmser wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal titled "Iraq Needs a Revolution (http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.8284/pub_detail.asp)" and two years later authored a book, "Tyranny's Ally: America's Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein."

The Administration's plans were complicated in May 2003, when former Ambassador Joseph Wilson entered the picture, and said privately to close colleagues and a handful of journalists that the intelligence used by President Bush was "twisted."

For two years, Wurmser, Feith, Perle, Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had a tumultous relationship with the CIA who they blamed for not providing them with the type of evidence they wanted to see: specific, tailor-made assessments that Iraq was an imminent threat. But with Wilson they feared a public backlash.

Libby first learned that Wilson was discrediting the administration's intelligence information in June 2003. Specifically, Wilson questioned claims that Iraq tried to purchase yellow-cake uranium from Africa for an atomic bomb.

Wilson went to Niger in 2002 to investigate the allegations and reported that the claims were unfounded. According to a Senate report (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/10/AR2005081001918.html), the mission grew out of a request by Vice President Cheney earlier that year. Vehemently denying that his boss had requested the trip, Libby became so incensed by Wilson that he sent word to Wurmser to find out who Wilson was and sought details of his trip, those familiar with the investigation say.

Muriel Kane contributed research for this article.

Amplification: Those close to the investigation say that Wurmser told Libby about Plame. They were unaware if Wurmser told Cheney about Plame or if that information was passed to Cheney by Libby. They did say that all three of them met and at the time of their meeting Wurmser told Libby about Plame.

October 25th, 2005, 10:04 AM
October 25, 2005

Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer, Lawyers Report


WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 - I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/dick_cheney/index.html?inline=nyt-per) chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

The notes, taken by Mr. Libby during the conversation, for the first time place Mr. Cheney in the middle of an effort by the White House to learn about Ms. Wilson's husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was questioning the administration's handling of intelligence about Iraq's (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iraq/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) nuclear program to justify the war.

Lawyers involved in the case, who described the notes to The New York Times, said they showed that Mr. Cheney knew that Ms. Wilson worked at the C.I.A. more than a month before her identity was made public and her undercover status was disclosed in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak on July 14, 2003.

Mr. Libby's notes indicate that Mr. Cheney had gotten his information about Ms. Wilson from George J. Tenet (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/george_j_tenet/index.html?inline=nyt-per), the director of central intelligence, in response to questions from the vice president about Mr. Wilson. But they contain no suggestion that either Mr. Cheney or Mr. Libby knew at the time of Ms. Wilson's undercover status or that her identity was classified. Disclosing a covert agent's identity can be a crime, but only if the person who discloses it knows the agent's undercover status.

It would not be illegal for either Mr. Cheney or Mr. Libby, both of whom are presumably cleared to know the government's deepest secrets, to discuss a C.I.A. officer or her link to a critic of the administration. But any effort by Mr. Libby to steer investigators away from his conversation with Mr. Cheney could be considered by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special counsel in the case, to be an illegal effort to impede the inquiry.

White House officials did not respond to requests for comment, and Mr. Libby's lawyer, Joseph Tate, would not comment on Mr. Libby's legal status. Randall Samborn, a spokesman for Mr. Fitzgerald, declined to comment on the case.

Mr. Fitzgerald is expected to decide whether to bring charges in the case by Friday, when the term of the grand jury expires. Mr. Libby and Karl Rove (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/karl_rove/index.html?inline=nyt-per), President Bush's senior adviser, both face the possibility of indictment, lawyers involved in the case have said. It is not publicly known whether other officials also face indictment.

The notes help explain the legal difficulties facing Mr. Libby. Lawyers in the case said Mr. Libby testified to the grand jury that he had first heard from journalists that Ms. Wilson may have had a role in dispatching her husband on a C.I.A.-sponsored mission to Africa in 2002 in search of evidence that Iraq had acquired nuclear material there for its weapons program.

But the notes, now in Mr. Fitzgerald's possession, also indicate that Mr. Libby first heard about Ms. Wilson - who is also known by her maiden name, Valerie Plame - from Mr. Cheney. That apparent discrepancy in his testimony suggests why prosecutors are weighing false statement charges against him in what they interpret as an effort by Mr. Libby to protect Mr. Cheney from scrutiny, the lawyers said.

It is not clear why Mr. Libby would have suggested to the grand jury that he might have learned about Ms. Wilson from journalists if he was aware that Mr. Fitzgerald had obtained the notes of the conversation with Mr. Cheney or might do so. At the beginning of the investigation, Mr. Bush pledged the White House's full cooperation and instructed aides to provide Mr. Fitzgerald with any information he sought.

The notes do not show that Mr. Cheney knew the name of Mr. Wilson's wife. But they do show that Mr. Cheney did know and told Mr. Libby that Ms. Wilson was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency and that she may have helped arrange her husband's trip.

Some lawyers in the case have said Mr. Fitzgerald may face obstacles in bringing a false-statement charge against Mr. Libby. They said it could be difficult to prove that he intentionally sought to mislead the grand jury.

Lawyers involved in the case said they had no indication that Mr. Fitzgerald was considering charging Mr. Cheney with wrongdoing. Mr. Cheney was interviewed under oath by Mr. Fitzgerald last year. It is not known what the vice president told Mr. Fitzgerald about the conversation with Mr. Libby or when Mr. Fitzgerald first learned of it.

But the evidence of Mr. Cheney's direct involvement in the effort to learn more about Mr. Wilson is sure to intensify the political pressure on the White House in a week of high anxiety among Republicans about the potential for the case to deal a sharp blow to Mr. Bush's presidency.

Mr. Tenet was not available for comment Monday night. But another former senior intelligence official said Mr. Tenet had been interviewed by the special prosecutor and his staff in early 2004, and never appeared before the grand jury. Mr. Tenet has not talked since then to the prosecutors, the former official said.

The former official said he strongly doubted that the White House learned about Ms. Wilson from Mr. Tenet.

On Monday, Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby both attended a cabinet meeting with Mr. Bush as the White House continued trying to portray business as usual. But the assumption among White House officials is that anyone who is indicted will step aside.

On June 12, 2003, the day of the conversation between Mr. Cheney and Mr. Libby, The Washington Post published a front-page article reporting that the C.I.A. had sent a retired American diplomat to Niger (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/niger/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) in February 2002 to investigate claims that Iraq had been seeking to buy uranium there. The article did not name the diplomat, who turned out to be Mr. Wilson, but it reported that his mission had not corroborated a claim about Iraq's pursuit of nuclear material that the White House had subsequently used in Mr. Bush's 2003 State of the Union address.

An earlier anonymous reference to Mr. Wilson and his mission to Africa had appeared in a column by Nicholas D. Kristof in The New York Times on May 6, 2003. Mr. Wilson went public with his conclusion that the White House had "twisted" the intelligence about Iraq's pursuit of nuclear material on July 6, 2003, in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times.

The note written by Mr. Libby will be a crucial piece of evidence in a false-statement case against him if Mr. Fitzgerald decides to pursue it, lawyers in the case said. It also explains why Mr. Fitzgerald waged a long legal battle to obtain the testimony of reporters who were known to have talked to Mr. Libby.

The reporters involved have said that they did not supply Mr. Libby with details about Mr. Wilson and his wife. Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, in his account of a deposition on the subject, wrote that he asked Mr. Libby whether he had even heard that Ms. Wilson had a role in sending her husband to Africa. Mr. Cooper said that Mr. Libby did not use Ms. Wilson's name but replied, "Yeah, I've heard that too."

In her testimony to the grand jury, Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, said Mr. Libby sought from the start of her three conversations with him to "insulate his boss from Mr. Wilson's charges."

Mr. Fitzgerald asked questions about Mr. Cheney, Ms. Miller said. "He asked, for example, if Mr. Libby ever indicated whether Mr. Cheney had approved of his interview with me or was aware of them," Ms. Miller said. "The answer was no."

In addition to Mr. Cooper and Ms. Miller, Mr. Fitzgerald is known to have interviewed three other journalists who spoke to Mr. Libby during June and July 2003. They were Walter Pincus and Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post and Tim Russert of NBC News.

Mr. Pincus and Mr. Kessler have said that Mr. Libby did not discuss Mr. Wilson's wife with them in their conversations during the period. Mr. Russert, in a statement, declined to say exactly what he discussed with Mr. Libby, but said he first learned the identity of Mr. Wilson's wife in the column by Mr. Novak.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

October 25th, 2005, 10:26 AM
Another conspiracy and crime from holdovers of the Nixon administration.

Conspiracy at the level, if it is charged, equates to treason.

Public beheadings with dull, rusty butter knives for anyone involved.

TLOZ Link5
October 25th, 2005, 06:06 PM
Sparked by today's Washington Post story that suggests Vice President Cheney's office is involved in the Plame-CIA spy link investigation, government officials and advisers passed around rumors that the vice president might step aside and that President Bush would elevate Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Isn't the order of succession President -> Vice President -> Speaker of the House -> President pro tempore of the Senate -> Secretary of State?


The Presidential line of succession, as specified by the United States Constitution and under United States Code Title 3, Section 19 (a.k.a. the Presidential Succession Act of 1947) is currently:

1. Vice President (Richard B. Cheney)
2. Speaker of the House of Representatives (J. Dennis Hastert)
3. President pro tempore of the Senate (Ted Stevens)
4. Secretary of State (Condoleezza Rice)
5. Secretary of the Treasury (John W. Snow)
6. Secretary of Defense (Donald H. Rumsfeld)
7. Attorney General (Alberto Gonzales)
8. Secretary of the Interior (Gale Norton)
9. Secretary of Agriculture (Mike Johanns)
10. Secretary of Commerce (Carlos Gutierrez, ineligible)
11. Secretary of Labor (Elaine Chao, ineligible)
12. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Michael Leavitt)
13. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Alphonso Jackson)
14. Secretary of Transportation (Norman Y. Mineta)
15. Secretary of Energy (Samuel W. Bodman)
16. Secretary of Education (Margaret Spellings)
17. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Jim Nicholson)

October 25th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Bush can elevate Rice to the vice presidency, as Nixon did Ford. Then she would become president if Bush were removed.

This seems like a cagey move for Bush to insure against impeachment, on the theory that the country wouldn't want a black woman as president.

October 25th, 2005, 07:32 PM
I would welcome a black woman president. Even a slime like Condi Rice. Maybe this can be bush's legacy...

October 25th, 2005, 07:34 PM
You might and I might, but we're not the country.

October 25th, 2005, 08:10 PM
But the country doesn't impeach the president - unless you're saying that Congress wouldn't want a black woman as president.

Either way, these guys are slime, but we knew that already.

October 25th, 2005, 08:25 PM
I would rather Bush stays right where he is. The last thing I want to see is another Republican President elevated to martyr at the hands of the liberal media.

Hopefully, these sleaze-bags will further expose what this administration, and the current direction of the Republican Party, are all about. It may lead to some congressional seats changing hands at the mid-term elections.

October 25th, 2005, 08:32 PM
From THE WASHINGTON NOTE (via Huffington):

Indictments Coming Tomorrow;
Targets Received Letters Today

October 25, 2005

An uber-insider source has just reported the following to TWN (since confirmed by another independent source):

1. 1-5 indictments are being issued. The source feels that it will be towards the higher end. 2. The targets of indictment have already received their letters.
3. The indictments will be sealed indictments and "filed" tomorrow.
4. A press conference is being scheduled for Thursday.

The shoe is dropping.
More soon.

-- Steve Clemons

October 25th, 2005, 09:25 PM
Fitzgerald has decided to seek indictments, those near inquiry say

Jason Leopold and John Byrne

http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Fitzgerald_has_decided_to_seek_indictments_1025.ht ml

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has decided to seek indictments in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson and has submitted at least one to the grand jury, those close to the investigation tell RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/).

Fitzgerald will seek at least two indictments, the sources say. They note that it remains to be seen whether the grand jury will approve the charges.

Those familiar with the case state that Fitzgerald may not seek indictments that assert officials leaked Plame's name illegally. Rather, they say that he will focus charges in the arena of lying to investigators. The sources said, however, they wouldn't rule out charges of conspiracy.

The specifics of the charges remain unclear, and they are not final, so charges beyond lying to the grand jury could certainly be handed down.

Any possible indictments are now in the hands of the grand jury. They are expected to be made public later this week.

RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) has not learned who Fitzgerald is seeking to charge. Reports indicate that of those fingered in the case, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, is in the most jeopardy. President Bush's Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, also appears to have given conflicting testimony to the grand jury.

Fitzgerald could also charge those who leaked Plame Wilson's name to reporters. Rove and Libby have not been identified as the sources in Robert Novak's July 14, 2003 column (http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/robertnovak/2003/07/14/160881.html) which first identified Plame as a covert agent and the wife of Joseph Wilson, a critic of the Administration's Iraq intelligence. Novak cited "senior administration officials" as his sources for the report.

In a later column, Novak said one of his sources was "no partisan gunslinger (http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/robertnovak/2003/10/01/168398.html)."

RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) revealed last week that David Wurmser and John Hannah, both aides who worked with Cheney, were cooperating with Fitzgerald's probe. The story was later confirmed (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/story/357377p-304538c.html) by the New York Daily News.

Both were purportedly involved in passing information about Plame. Last week, Hannah's lawyer told Newsweek his client "knew nothing" about the leak and is not a target of Fitzgerald's investigation.

Added in second revision: "The sources said, however, they wouldn't rule out charges of conspiracy." As a point of clarification, the original version of this article didn't intend to preclude charges beyond lying to investigators. Again, it is important to note that the decision-making process on the nature of the charges is still ongoing.


October 26th, 2005, 11:00 PM
Leakers' boat cut adrift by White House

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005


WASHINGTON - For the first time, the White House yesterday injected a little distance between President Bush and top subordinates at the center of the CIA leak probe.

With an announcement of possible indictments coming as early as today from the special prosecutor amid reports "target letters" have been issued, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan used carefully parsed language to hint that Karl Rove and Lewis (Scooter) Libby could have misled him when they said they were not involved in outing CIA spy Valerie Plame.

Asked specifically whether Rove and Libby left him "hung out to dry" when he vouched for them, McClellan said, "There are facts the President doesn't know. There are facts I don't know."

He was later queried again on the topic and told reporters, "You pointed back to some past comments that I gave, and I've talked to you about the assurances that I've received on that."

But McClellan didn't mince words in defending Vice President Cheney, who reportedly told his chief of staff Libby about Plame well before she was outed - contradicting Libby's claim that reporters gave him her name. He described Cheney as someone who tells the truth, "a straightforward, plain-spoken person."

A story about the Cheney link in yesterday's New York Times was a new bombshell for the White House because it dramatically elevated the focus of the leak probe from powerful staffers - Rove, Bush's deputy chief of staff, and Libby - to the vice president.

"Cheney can't like this story," a former Bush White House staffer said. "Even if he has no legal exposure, this is more political exposure for him."

A former Cheney aide was more blunt: "For the first time, this puts him right in the middle of it."

Associates of both men scoffed at suggestions that a rift was developing between Cheney and Libby.

"Any suggestion they are trying to distance themselves from one another is outrageously preposterous," said a former colleague of both. "They have always been joined at the hip."

With the grand jury expiring Friday, FBI agents questioned Plame's neighbors, apparently establishing even they did not know she was a CIA operative.

White House colleagues of staffers implicated in the probe anxiously awaited word of their fates.

"In this case, I presume no news is bad news," one friend said.

October 27th, 2005, 11:15 AM
Buzz about a Karl Plea
as Probers Close In

October 27, 2005


WASHINGTON - Jittery Bush aides gnawed their nails yesterday as a special prosecutor zeroed in on White House political guru Karl Rove's role in blowing a CIA agent's cover.

In the closing hours of the grand jury probe, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald paid a visit yesterday to Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, prompting speculation that a plea bargain could be in the works for the deputy White House chief of staff.

It was the latest of several one-on-one meetings between Fitzgerald and Luskin, the Daily News has learned.

Investigators also turned up at the White House for yet another round of questions for Rove's subordinates.

A secret meeting Fitzgerald held yesterday with Judge Thomas Hogan, who presides over the case, suggests a grand jury extension also could be under consideration, according to legal sources.

As the investigation moved toward its high-stakes finale, Rove has exhibited several mood swings.

Two weeks ago, at a political event in Texas, Rove brushed aside concerns from anxious pals. "He said he was fine and he said it with gusto," one of the well-wishers recalled.

A week later, however, Rove seemed down and distracted to some of his White House colleagues. More recently, however, he was in better spirits, dashing off business-as-usual handwritten notes to acquaintances that made no mention of his travails.

"He remains upbeat and optimistic," according to an associate. "He's convinced in his own mind that he's done his best to assist the investigation at every stage."

The News learned that Rove's lawyers hope to persuade Fitzgerald that inconsistencies in his grand jury testimony were because of poor recollections, not attempts at obstruction.

Meanwhile, FBI agents quizzed outed CIA agent Valerie Plame's neighbors, who told them they did not know she was a CIA employee before her cover was blown.

At the U.S. courthouse, the grand jury heard evidence for three hours, but Fitzgerald did not make any announcements about indictments related to his two-year probe. Fitzgerald emerged an hour after adjourning the panel and offered no comment. While White House staffers were tense, Fitzgerald's team relaxed from their stoic, all-business demeanor. The cheery prosecutors shared an elevator ride with a News reporter and cracked up over a private joke.

October 27th, 2005, 05:59 PM

Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers To Senate Intelligence Panel

By Murray Waas (murraywaas@comcast.net), special to National Journal
&#169; National Journal Group Inc.
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005


Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, overruling advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers, decided to withhold crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence that erroneously concluded Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, according to Bush administration and congressional sources.

Among the White House materials withheld from the committee were Libby-authored passages in drafts of a speech that then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell delivered to the United Nations in February 2003 to argue the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq, according to congressional and administration sources. The withheld documents also included intelligence data that Cheney's office -- and Libby in particular -- pushed to be included in Powell's speech, the sources said.

The new information that Cheney and Libby blocked information to the Senate Intelligence Committee further underscores the central role played by the vice president's office in trying to blunt criticism that the Bush administration exaggerated intelligence data to make the case to go to war.

The disclosures also come as Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald wraps up the nearly two-year-old CIA leak investigation that has focused heavily on Libby's role in discussing covert intelligence operative Valerie Plame with reporters. Fitzgerald could announce as soon as tomorrow whether a federal grand jury is handing up indictments in the case.

Central to Fitzgerald's investigation is whether administration officials disclosed Plame's identity and CIA status in an effort to discredit her husband, former ambassador and vocal Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, who wrote newspaper op-ed columns and made other public charges beginning in 2003 that the administration misused intelligence on Iraq that he gathered on a CIA-sponsored trip to Africa.

In recent weeks Fitzgerald's investigation has zeroed in on the activities of Libby, who is Cheney's top national security and foreign policy advisor, as well as the conflict between the vice president's office on one side and the CIA and State Department on the other over the use of intelligence on Iraq. The New York Times reported this week, for example, that Libby first learned about Plame and her covert CIA status from Cheney in a conversation with the vice president weeks before Plame's cover was blown in a July 2003 newspaper column by Robert Novak.

The Intelligence Committee at the time was trying to determine whether the CIA and other intelligence agencies provided faulty or erroneous intelligence on Iraq to President Bush and other government officials. But the committee deferred the much more politically sensitive issue as to whether the president and the vice president themselves, or other administration officials, misrepresented intelligence information to bolster the case to go to war. An Intelligence Committee spokesperson says the panel is still working on this second phase of the investigation.

Had the withheld information been turned over, according to administration and congressional sources, it likely would have shifted a portion of the blame away from the intelligence agencies to the Bush administration as to who was responsible for the erroneous information being presented to the American public, Congress, and the international community.

In April 2004, the Intelligence Committee released a report that concluded that "much of the information provided or cleared by the Central Intelligence Agency for inclusion in Secretary Powell's speech was overstated, misleading, or incorrect."

Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee say that their investigation was hampered by the refusal of the White House to turn over key documents, although Republicans said the documents were not as central to the investigation.

In addition to withholding drafts of Powell's speech -- which included passages written by Libby -- the administration also refused to turn over to the committee contents of the president's morning intelligence briefings on Iraq, sources say. These documents, known as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB, are a written summary of intelligence information and analysis provided by the CIA to the president.

One congressional source said, for example, that senators wanted to review the PDBs to determine whether dissenting views from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Department of Energy, and other agencies that often disagreed with the CIA on the question of Iraq's programs to develop weapons of mass destruction were being presented to the president.

An administration spokesperson said that the White House was justified in turning down the document demand from the Senate, saying that the papers reflected "deliberative discussions" among "executive branch principals" and were thus covered under longstanding precedent and executive privilege rules. Throughout the president's five years in office, the Bush administration has been consistently adamant about not turning internal documents over to Congress and other outside bodies.

At the same time, however, administration officials said in interviews that [U]they cannot recall another instance in which Cheney and Libby played such direct personal roles in denying foreign policy papers to a congressional committee, and that in doing so they overruled White House staff and lawyers who advised that the materials should be turned over to the Senate panel.

Administration sources also said that Cheney's general counsel, David Addington, played a central role in the White House decision not to turn over the documents. Addington did not return phone calls seeking comment. Cheney's office declined to comment after requesting that any questions for this article be submitted in writing.

A former senior administration official familiar with the discussions on whether to turn over the materials said there was a "political element" in the matter. This official said the White House did not want to turn over records during an election year that could used by critics to argue that the administration used incomplete or faulty intelligence to go to war with Iraq. "Nobody wants something like this dissected or coming out in an election year," the former official said.

But the same former official also said that Libby felt passionate that the CIA and other agencies were not doing a good job at intelligence gathering, that the Iraqi war was a noble cause, and that he and the vice president were only making their case in good faith. According to the former official, Libby cited those reasons in fighting for the inclusion in Powell's U.N. speech of intelligence information that others mistrusted, in opposing the release of documents to the Intelligence Committee, and in moving aggressively to counter Wilson's allegations that the Bush administration distorted intelligence findings.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee backed the document request to the White House regarding Libby's drafts of the Powell speech, communications between Libby and other administration officials on intelligence information that might be included in the speech, and Libby's contacts with officials in the intelligence community relating to Iraq.

In his address to the United Nations on February 5, 2003, Powell argued that intelligence information showed that Saddam Hussein's regime was aggressively pursuing programs to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

Only after the war did U.N. inspectors and the public at large learn that the intelligence data had been incorrect and that Iraq had been so crippled by international sanctions that it could not sustain such a program.

The April 2004 Senate report blasted what it referred to as an insular and risk- averse culture of bureaucratic "group think" in which officials were reluctant to challenge their own longstanding notions about Iraq and its weapons programs. All nine Republicans and eight Democrats signed onto this document without a single dissent, a rarity for any such report in Washington, especially during an election year.

After the release of the report, Intelligence Committee, Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Vice Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said they doubted that the Senate would have authorized the president to go to war if senators had been given accurate information regarding Iraq's programs on weapons of mass destruction.

"I doubt if the votes would have been there," Roberts said. Rockefeller asserted, "We in Congress would not have authorized that war, in 75 votes, if we knew what we know now."

Roberts' spokeswoman, Sarah Little, said the second phase of the committee's investigation would also examine how pre-war intelligence focused on the fact that intelligence analysts -- while sounding alarms that a humanitarian crisis that might follow the war - failed to predict the insurgency that would arise after the war.

Little says that it was undecided whether the committee would produce a classified report, a declassified one that could ultimately be made public, or hold hearings.

When the 2004 Senate Intelligence Committee was made public, Bush, Cheney, and other administration officials cited it as proof that the administration acted in good faith on Iraq and relied on intelligence from the CIA and others that it did not know was flawed.

But some congressional sources say that had the committee received all the documents it requested from the White House the spotlight could have shifted to the heavy advocacy by Cheney's office to go to war. Cheney had been the foremost administration advocate for war with Iraq, and Libby played a central staff role in coordinating the sale of the war to both the public and Congress.

In advocating war with Iraq, Libby was known for dismissing those within the bureaucracy who opposed him, whether at the CIA, State Department, or other agencies. Supporters say that even if Libby is charged by the grand jury in the CIA leak case, he waged less a personal campaign against Wilson and Plame than one that reflected a personal antipathy toward critics in general.

Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Powell as Secretary of State, charged in a recent speech that there was a "cabal between Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense [Donald L.] Rumsfeld on critical decisions that the bureaucracy did not know was being made."

In interagency meetings in preparation for Powell's U.N. address, Wilkerson, Powell, and senior CIA officials argued that evidence Libby wanted to include as part of Powell's presentation was exaggerated or unreliable. Cheney, too, became involved in those discussions, sources said, when he believed that Powell and others were not taking Libby's suggestions seriously.

Wilkerson has said that he ordered "whole reams of paper" of intelligence information excluded from Libby's draft of Powell's speech. Another official recalled that Libby was pushing so hard to include certain intelligence information in the speech that Libby lobbied Powell for last minute changes in a phone call to Powell's suite at the Waldorf Astoria hotel the night before the speech. Libby's suggestions were dismissed by Powell and his staff.
John E. McLaughlin, then-deputy director of the CIA, has testified to Congress that "much of our time in the run-up to the speech was spent taking out material... that we and the secretary's staff judged to have been unreliable."

The passion that Libby brought to his cause is perhaps further illustrated by a recent Los Angeles Times report that in April 2004, months after Fitzgerald's leak investigation was underway, Libby ordered "a meticulous catalog of Wilson's claims and public statements going back to early 2003" because Libby was "consumed by passages that he believed were inaccurate or unfair" to him.

The newspaper reported that the "intensity with which Libby reacted to Wilson had many senior White House staffers puzzled, and few agreed with his counterattack plan, or its rationale."

A former administration official said that "this might have been about politics on some level, but it is also personal. [Libby] feels that his honor has been questioned, and his instinct is to strike back."

Now, as Libby battles back against possible charges by a special prosecutor, he might be seeking vindication on an entirely new level.

-- Murray Waas is a Washington-based journalist. His previous articles, focusing on Rove's role (http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2005/1007nj3.htm) in the case, Libby's grand jury testimony (http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2005/1011nj1.htm), the apparent direction (http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2005/1018nj1.htm) of Fitzgerald's investigation, and the Secret Service records (http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2005/1020nj1.htm) that prompted Miller's key testimony also appeared on NationalJournal.com

October 28th, 2005, 12:50 PM
one down (click for details) ...

LIBBY INDICTED (http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Vice_President_Dick_Cheneys_chief_of_1028.html)

5 COUNTS ...

October 28th, 2005, 01:12 PM
The Documents here ...


Libby Indicted In CIA Leak Case

Two-year probe nails Vice President Cheney's top aide

OCTOBER 28--Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide was indicted today on perjury, false statement, and obstruction of justice charges in connection with a special counsel's probe into the leaking of a CIA officer's identity. A copy of the five-count felony indictment returned against I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, can be found below ... (22 pages)

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/graphics/art3/1028051plame1.gif (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/1028051plame2.html)

October 28th, 2005, 01:36 PM
Indictment Documents (pdf version) from Raw Story ...


October 28th, 2005, 03:57 PM
I'm pissed off that Rove wasn't indicted, although there is still a chance he could. However, I'm glad that this probe wasn't a whitewash and they actually indicted Libby

November 5th, 2005, 12:48 AM
Some very interesting analysis from someone who's been there ...

A Cheney-Libby Conspiracy, Or Worse?
Reading Between the Lines of the Libby Indictment

(http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean)Friday, Nov. 04, 2005


In my last column (http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20051021.html), I tried to deflate expectations a bit about the likely consequences of the work of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald; to bring them down to the realistic level at which he was likely to proceed. I warned, for instance, that there might not be any indictments, and Fitzgerald might close up shop as the last days of the grand jury's term elapsed. And I was certain he would only indict if he had a patently clear case
Now, however, one indictment has been issued -- naming Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby as the defendant, and charging false statements, perjury and obstruction of justice. If the indictment is to be believed, the case against Libby is, indeed, a clear one.

Having read the indictment against Libby, I am inclined to believe more will be issued. In fact, I will be stunned if no one else is indicted.

Indeed, when one studies the indictment (http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/plame/usvlibby102805ind.pdf), and carefully reads the transcript of the press conference (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/28/AR2005102801340), it appears Libby's saga may be only Act Two in a three-act play. And in my view, the person who should be tossing and turning at night, in anticipation of the last act, is the Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney.

The Indictment: Invoking the Espionage Act Unnecessarily

Typically, federal criminal indictments are absolutely bare bones. Just enough to inform a defendant of the charges against him.

For example, the United States Attorney's Manual (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm00214.htm), which Fitzgerald said he was following, notes that under the Sixth Amendment (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment06/) an accused must "be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation." And Rule 7(c)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure requires that, "The indictment . . . be a plain, concise and definite written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged." That is all.

Federal prosecutors excel at these "plain, concise and definite" statement indictments - drawing on form books and institutional experience in drafting them. Thus, the typical federal indictment is the quintessence of pith: as short and to the point as the circumstances will permit.

Again, Libby is charged with having perjured himself, made false statements, and obstructed justice by lying to FBI agents and the grand jury. A bare-bones indictment would address only these alleged crimes.

But this indictment went much further - delving into a statute under which Libby is not charged.

Count One, paragraph 1(b) is particularly revealing. Its first sentence establishes that Libby had security clearances giving him access to classified information. Then 1(b) goes on to state: "As a person with such clearances, LIBBYwas obligated by applicable laws and regulations, including Title 18, United States Code, Section 793, and Executive Order 12958 (as modified by Executive Order13292), not to disclose classified information to persons not authorized to receive such information, and otherwise to exercise proper care to safeguard classified information against unauthorized disclosure." (The section also goes on to stress that Libby executed, on January 23, 2001, an agreement indicating understanding that he was receiving classified information, the disclosure of which could bring penalties.)

What is Title 18, United States Code, Section 793 (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=793)? It's the Espionage Act -- a broad, longstanding part of the criminal code.

The Espionage Act criminalizes, among other things, the willful - or grossly negligent -- communication of national-defense related information that "the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation." It also criminalizes conspiring to violate this anti-disclosure provision

But Libby isn't charged with espionage. He's charged with lying to our government and thereby obstructing justice. So what's going on? Why is Fitzgerald referencing the Espionage Act?

The press conference added some clarity on this point.

Libby's Obstruction Has Blocked An Espionage Act Charge

The Special Counsel was asked, "If Mr. Libby had testified truthfully, would he be being charged in this crime today?" His response was more oblique than most.

In answering, he pointed out that "if national defense information which is involved because [of Plame's] affiliation with the CIA, whether or not she was covert, was classified, if that was intentionally transmitted, that would violate the statute known as Section 793, which is the Espionage Act." (Emphasis added). (As noted above, gross negligence would also suffice.)

But, as Fitzgerald also noted at his press conference, great care needs to be taken in applying the Espionage Act: "So there are people," he said, "who argue that you should never use that statute because it would become like the Official Secrets Act. I don't buy that theory, but I do know you should be very careful in applying that law because there are a lot of interests that could be implicated in making sure that you picked the right case to charge that statute."

His further example was also revealing. "Let's not presume that Mr. Libby is guilty. But let's assume, for the moment, that the allegations in the indictment are true. If that is true, you cannot figure out the right judgment to make, whether or not you should charge someone with a serious national security crime or walk away from it or recommend any other course of action, if you don't know the truth.... If he had told the truth, we would have made the judgment based upon those facts...." (Emphases added.)

Finally, he added. "We have not charged him with [that] crime. I'm not making an allegation that he violated [the Espionage Act]. What I'm simply saying is one of the harms in obstruction is that you don't have a clear view of what should be done. And that's why people ought to walk in, go into the grand jury, you're going to take an oath, tell us the who, what, when, where and why -- straight." (Emphasis added)

In short, [B]because Libby has lied, and apparently stuck to his lie, Fitzgerald is unable to build a case against him or anyone else under Section 793, a provision which he is willing to invoke, albeit with care.

And who is most vulnerable under the Espionage Act? Dick Cheney - as I will explain.

Libby Is The Firewall Protecting Vice President Cheney

The Libby indictment asserts that "[o]n or about June 12, 2003 Libby was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Division. Libby understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA."

In short, Cheney provided the classified information to Libby - who then told the press. Anyone who works in national security matters knows that the Counterproliferation Division is part of the Directorate of Operations -- the covert side of the CIA, where most everything and everyone are classified.

According to Fitzgerald, Libby admits he learned the information from Cheney at the time specified in the indictment. But, according to Fitzgerald, Libby also maintained - in speaking to both FBI agents and the grand jury - that Cheney's disclosure played no role whatsoever in Libby's disclosure to the media.

Or as Fitzgerald noted at his press conference, Libby said, "he had learned from the vice president earlier in June 2003 information about Wilson's wife, but he had forgotten it, and that when he learned the information from [the reporter] Mr. [Tim] Russert during this phone call he learned it as if it were new."

So, in Fitzgerald's words, Libby's story was that when Libby "passed the information on to reporters Cooper and Miller late in the week, he passed it on thinking it was just information he received from reporters; that he told reporters that, in fact, he didn't even know if it were true. He was just passing gossip from one reporter to another at the long end of a chain of phone calls."

This story is, of course, a lie, but it was a clever one on Libby's part.

It protects Cheney because it suggests that Cheney's disclosure to Libby was causally separate from Libby's later, potentially Espionage-Act-violating disclosure to the press. Thus, it also denies any possible conspiracy between Cheney and Libby.

And it protects Libby himself - by suggesting that since he believed he was getting information from reporters, not indirectly from the CIA, he may not have had have the state of mind necessary to violate the Espionage Act.
Thus, from the outset of the investigation, Libby has been Dick Cheney's firewall. And it appears that Fitzgerald is actively trying to penetrate that firewall.

What Is Likely To Occur Next?

It has been reported that Libby's attorney tried to work out a plea deal. But Fitzgerald insisted on jail time, so Libby refused to make a deal. It appears that only Libby, in addition to Cheney, knows what Cheney knew, and when he knew, and why he knew, and what he did with his knowledge.

Fitzgerald has clearly thrown a stacked indictment at Libby, laying it on him as heavy as the law and propriety permits. He has taken one continuous false statement, out of several hours of interrogation, and made it into a five-count indictment. It appears he is trying to flip Libby - that is, to get him to testify against Cheney -- and not without good reason. Cheney is the big fish in this case.

Will Libby flip? Unlikely. Neither Cheney nor Libby (I believe) will be so foolish as to crack a deal. And Libby probably (and no doubt correctly) assumes that Cheney - a former boss with whom he has a close relationship -- will (at the right time and place) help Libby out, either with a pardon or financially, if necessary. Libby's goal, meanwhile, will be to stall going to trial as long as possible, so as not to hurt Republicans' showing in the 2006 elections.

So if Libby can take the heat for a time, he and his former boss (and friend) may get through this. But should Republicans lose control of the Senate (where they are blocking all oversight of this administration), I predict Cheney will resign "for health reasons."

John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist, is a former counsel to the President.

Copyright © 1994-2005 FindLaw

November 9th, 2005, 12:39 AM
Poll: Libby indictment hits major nerve

By Will Lester, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — The recent indictment of Vice President Cheney's top aide has struck a nerve with the American public. Four in five, 79%, said the indictment of former Cheney aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on perjury and other charges is important to the nation, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Pew noted that in September 1998, 65% said President Clinton's lies under oath were important. Clinton was impeached over his handling of an affair with Monica Lewinsky, but was acquitted by the Senate on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Libby was charged with lying to investigators and a grand jury during an investigation of his role in revealing the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame, wife of an outspoken critic of the war against Iraq.

Most Americans, six in 10, say they do not think the news about Libby's indictment has gotten too much coverage.

The concerns about Libby's case come at a time that a growing number of people, 43%, now say U.S. and British leaders were mostly lying when they claimed before the Iraq war that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, while an equal number said they were misinformed by bad intelligence.

That's up from 31% who felt in February 2004 that the leaders were lying, while 49% said they got bad intelligence.

Two-thirds of Democrats say U.S. and British political leaders were lying about weapons of mass destruction and half of independents feel that way. Only one in 10 Republicans said that was the case.

The telephone poll of 1,201 adults was taken Nov. 3-6 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

November 13th, 2005, 11:36 PM
Libby May Have Tried to Mask Cheney's Role

By Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, November 13, 2005


In the opening days of the CIA leak investigation in early October 2003, FBI agents working the case already had in their possession a wealth of valuable evidence. There were White House phone and visitor logs, which clearly documented the administration's contacts with reporters.

And they had something that law enforcement officials would later describe as their "guidebook" for the opening phase of the investigation: the daily, diary-like notes compiled by I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, that chronicled crucial events inside the White House in the weeks before the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame was publicly disclosed.

The investigators had much of this information before they sat down with Libby on Oct. 14, 2003, and first heard from him what prosecutors now allege was a demonstrably false version of what happened. Libby said that, when he told other reporters about the CIA operative and her marriage to Iraq war critic Joseph C. Wilson IV, he believed he had first learned the information from Tim Russert of NBC News and was merely passing along journalistic hearsay. This was an explanation made dubious by Libby's own notes, which showed that he previously had learned about Plame from his boss, Cheney.

In the aftermath of Libby's recent five-count indictment, this curious sequence raises a question of motives that hangs over the investigation: Why would an experienced lawyer and government official such as Libby leave himself so exposed to prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald?

Libby, according to Fitzgerald's indictment, gave a false story to agents and, later, to a grand jury, even though he knew investigators had his notes, and presumably knew that several of his White House colleagues had already provided testimony and documentary evidence that would undercut his own story. And his interviews with the FBI in October and two appearances before the grand jury in March 2004 came at a time when there were increasingly clear signs that some of the reporters with whom Libby discussed Plame could soon be freed to testify -- and provide starkly different and damning accounts to the prosecutor.

To critics, the timing suggests an attempt to obscure Cheney's role, and possibly his legal culpability. The vice president is shown by the indictment to be aware of and interested in Plame and her CIA status long before her cover was blown. Even some White House aides privately wonder whether Libby was seeking to protect Cheney from political embarrassment. One of them noted with resignation, "Obviously, the indictment speaks for itself."

In addition, Cheney also advised Libby on a media strategy to counter Plame's husband, former ambassador Wilson, according to a person familiar with the case.

"This story doesn't end with Scooter Libby's indictment," said Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), giving voice to widespread Democratic hopes about the outcome of Fitzgerald's case. "A lot more questions need to be answered by the White House about the actions of [Cheney] and his staff."

But to Libby's defenders, the timing of Libby's alleged lies supports his claims of innocence. They say it would be supremely illogical for an intelligent and highly experienced lawyer to mislead the FBI or grand jury if he knew the jurors had evidence that would expose his falsehoods. Libby, they say, is guilty of nothing more than a foggy memory and recollections that differ, however dramatically, from those of several witnesses in the nearly two-year-old investigation.

"People have different memories," said lawyer Victoria Toensing, a Justice Department official in the Reagan administration. She said the fact that Fitzgerald did not indict on the crime he set out to investigate -- illegal disclosure of classified evidence -- supports the conclusion that no such crime took place. Fitzgerald has said he could not make such a determination because his inquiry was obstructed by Libby's deceptions.

Even if Fitzgerald shows beyond a reasonable doubt that Libby's version of events is wrong, he also must prove the former Cheney aide lied on purpose. But many lawyers and several White House aides said the case against Libby appears strong -- and has the potential to embarrass other administration officials if it goes to trial.

The case was prompted by Plame's name being publicized by columnist Robert D. Novak on July 14, 2003. Eight days earlier, Wilson had publicly criticized the Bush administration for allegedly twisting intelligence to justify the Iraq war. Wilson and his allies claimed Bush officials publicly identified Plame as payback for his dissent.

Libby is the only White House official charged in the case. Karl Rove, the president's deputy chief of staff and top political adviser, remains under investigation for providing misleading statements about his role in the leaking of Plame's identity, and people close to the case said he could still be charged. A final decision is expected soon on Rove's fate.

William Jeffress Jr., one of Libby's lawyers, declined to comment on the case. So did Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn.

But the emerging case against Libby is bringing more about Fitzgerald's investigation into public view. In October 2003, agents interviewed several administration officials, who described conversations they had with Libby about Plame in June and early July of 2003. Cumulatively during Fitzgerald's probe, four officials said they mentioned Plame to Libby, investigators found; three others said Libby mentioned her to them.

This testimony makes the story Libby offered during his first FBI interview look suspicious. He said he believed that he first learned about Plame on July 10 or July 11, 2003, in a conversation with Russert. Libby said he was surprised to learn of Plame's connection to Wilson. To Fitzgerald's team, Libby did not seek to deny that he had learned about the Plame link from Cheney -- as revealed by Libby's own notes -- but simply said it had slipped his mind that the vice president was an earlier source of the information than Russert, lawyers familiar with the case said.

Even early in the investigation, two key people were publicly known at the time to have been interviewed by the FBI: Ari Fleischer, then-White House press secretary, and Catherine Martin, a Cheney press aide. Martin had learned about Plame's employment at the CIA from another senior government official, the indictment says, and told Libby sometime in late June or the first week of July. Fleischer reportedly told investigators that, at a lunch on Monday, July 7, Libby told him that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and confided that the information was not widely known.

Fitzgerald, in announcing the indictment two weeks ago, called attention to this conversation with Fleischer to show how improbable he regarded Libby's account: "What's important about that is that Mr. Libby . . . was telling Mr. Fleischer something on Monday that he claims to have learned on Thursday."

Libby's defense must also reckon with his own notes. Lawyers familiar with the case said in general his notes do not recount the details of conversations and do not specifically contradict his account to investigators. Usually the notes explain with whom he met each day. One remarkable exception was when he chronicled a meeting with his boss on or about June 12, in which Libby wrote that Cheney told him that he learned from the CIA that Wilson's wife worked at the agency.

But when Libby was called to answer Fitzgerald's questions under oath before the grand jury on March 5 and again on March 24, 2004, he stuck to the story he had given in October. He repeated that he believed he had learned the information from a reporter and had forgotten Cheney had told him about Plame. He explained that he had not thought the material was classified because reporters knew it. But Fitzgerald pressed Libby -- and not so subtly raised the specter of a coverup.
"And let me ask you this directly," Fitzgerald said. "Did the fact that you knew that the law could . . . turn on where you learned the information from affect your account for the FBI -- when you told them that you were telling reporters Wilson's wife worked at the CIA but your source was a reporter rather than the vice president?" Libby denied it: "No, it's a fact. It was a fact, that's what I told the reporters."

After lengthy court battles over journalists' duty to testify in the case -- including several contempt citations by a trial court judge, appeals to the Supreme Court and one reporter's jailing -- Fitzgerald got all the reporters' testimony that he had sought. Russert, Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller of the New York Times all testified about their conversations with Libby. All contradicted Libby.

&#169; 2005 The Washington Post Company

November 16th, 2005, 12:30 AM
Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago

By Jim VandeHei and Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 16, 2005; A01


Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed.

In a more than two-hour deposition, Woodward told Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald that the official casually told him in mid-June 2003 that Plame worked as a CIA analyst on weapons of mass destruction, and that he did not believe the information to be classified or sensitive, according to a statement Woodward released yesterday.

Fitzgerald interviewed Woodward about the previously undisclosed conversation after the official alerted the prosecutor to it on Nov. 3 -- one week after Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted in the investigation.

Citing a confidentiality agreement in which the source freed Woodward to testify but would not allow him to discuss their conversations publicly, Woodward and Post editors refused to disclose the official's name or provide crucial details about the testimony. Woodward did not share the information with Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. until last month, and the only Post reporter whom Woodward said he remembers telling in the summer of 2003 does not recall the conversation taking place.

Woodward said he also testified that he met with Libby on June 27, 2003, and discussed Iraq policy as part of his research for a book on President Bush's march to war. He said he does not believe Libby said anything about Plame.

He also told Fitzgerald that it is possible he asked Libby about Plame or her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. He based that testimony on an 18-page list of questions he planned to ask Libby in an interview that included the phrases "yellowcake" and "Joe Wilson's wife." Woodward said in his statement, however, that "I had no recollection" of mentioning the pair to Libby. He also said that his original government source did not mention Plame by name, referring to her only as "Wilson's wife."

Woodward's testimony appears to change key elements in the chronology Fitzgerald laid out in his investigation and announced when indicting Libby three weeks ago. It would make the unnamed official -- not Libby -- the first government employee to disclose Plame's CIA employment to a reporter. It would also make Woodward, who has been publicly critical of the investigation, the first reporter known to have learned about Plame from a government source.

The testimony, however, does not appear to shed new light on whether Libby is guilty of lying and obstructing justice in the nearly two-year-old probe or provide new insight into the role of senior Bush adviser Karl Rove, who remains under investigation.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove, said that Rove is not the unnamed official who told Woodward about Plame and that he did not discuss Plame with Woodward.

William Jeffress Jr., one of Libby's lawyers, said yesterday that Woodward's testimony undermines Fitzgerald's public claims about his client and raises questions about what else the prosecutor may not know. Libby has said he learned Plame's identity from NBC journalist Tim Russert.

"If what Woodward says is so, will Mr. Fitzgerald now say he was wrong to say on TV that Scooter Libby was the first official to give this information to a reporter?" Jeffress said last night. "The second question I would have is: Why did Mr. Fitzgerald indict Mr. Libby before fully investigating what other reporters knew about Wilson's wife?"

Fitzgerald has spent nearly two years investigating whether senior Bush administration officials illegally leaked classified information -- Plame's identity as a CIA operative -- to reporters to discredit allegations made by Wilson.

Plame's name was revealed in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert D. Novak, eight days after Wilson publicly accused the administration of twisting intelligence to justify the Iraq war.

Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined to comment yesterday.
Woodward is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author best known for exposing the Watergate scandal and keeping secret for 30 years the identity of his government source "Deep Throat."

"It was the first time in 35 years as a reporter that I have been asked to provide information to a grand jury," he said in the statement.

Downie said The Post waited until late yesterday to disclose Woodward's deposition in the case in hopes of persuading his sources to allow him to speak publicly. Woodward declined to elaborate on the statement he released to The Post late yesterday afternoon and publicly last night. He would not answer any questions, including those not governed by his confidentiality agreement with sources.

According to his statement, Woodward also testified about a third unnamed source. He told Fitzgerald that he does not recall discussing Plame with this person when they spoke on June 20, 2003.

It is unclear what prompted Woodward's original unnamed source to alert Fitzgerald to the mid-June 2003 mention of Plame to Woodward. Once he did, Fitzgerald sought Woodward's testimony, and three officials released him to testify about conversations he had with them. Downie, Woodward and a Post lawyer declined to discuss why the official may have stepped forward this month.

Downie defended the newspaper's decision not to release certain details about what triggered Woodward's deposition because "we can't do anything in any way to unravel the confidentiality agreements our reporters make."

Woodward never mentioned this contact -- which was at the center of a criminal investigation and a high-stakes First Amendment legal battle between the prosecutor and two news organizations -- to his supervisors until last month. Downie said in an interview yesterday that Woodward told him about the contact to alert him to a possible story. He declined to say whether he was upset that Woodward withheld the information from him.

Downie said he could not explain why Woodward provided a tip about Wilson's wife to Walter Pincus, a Post reporter writing about the subject, but did not pursue the matter when the CIA leak investigation began. He said Woodward has often worked under ground rules while doing research for his books that prevent him from naming sources or even using the information they provide until much later.

Woodward's statement said he testified: "I told Walter Pincus, a reporter at The Post, without naming my source, that I understood Wilson's wife worked at the CIA as a WMD analyst."

Pincus said he does not recall Woodward telling him that. In an interview, Pincus said he cannot imagine he would have forgotten such a conversation around the same time he was writing about Wilson.

"Are you kidding?" Pincus said. "I certainly would have remembered that."

Pincus said Woodward may be confused about the timing and the exact nature of the conversation. He said he remembers Woodward making a vague mention to him in October 2003. That month, Pincus had written a story explaining how an administration source had contacted him about Wilson. He recalled Woodward telling him that Pincus was not the only person who had been contacted.

Woodward, who is preparing a third book on the Bush administration, has called Fitzgerald "a junkyard-dog prosecutor" who turns over every rock looking for evidence. The night before Fitzgerald announced Libby's indictment, Woodward said he did not see evidence of criminal intent or of a substantial crime behind the leak.

"When the story comes out, I'm quite confident we're going to find out that it started kind of as gossip, as chatter," he told CNN's Larry King.

Woodward also said in interviews this summer and fall that the damage done by Plame's name being revealed in the media was "quite minimal."

"When I think all of the facts come out in this case, it's going to be laughable because the consequences are not that great," he told National Public Radio this summer.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

November 18th, 2005, 04:17 PM
"With all due respect, Mr. Fitzgerald, I believe you are being had. I believe that you were selected with the expectation that you would conduct the narrowest of investigations, and it seems you have done just that.

The leak of Valerie Wilson's status did not occur in a vacuum. Republicans in Congress do not want to know what truly happened. You are the last, best hope of the American people in this regard."

An Open Letter To Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald
From Former White House Counsel John W. Dean

(http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean)Friday, Nov. 18, 2005


November 18, 2005
The Honorable Patrick J. Fitzgerald
Special Counsel
Bond Federal Building
1400 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Dear Special Counsel Fitzgerald:

Excuse my being so presumptuous as to send you this open letter, but the latest revelation of the testimony, before the grand jury, by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has raised some fundamental questions for me.

In your post as Special Counsel, you now have nothing less than authority of the Attorney General of the United States, for purposes of the investigation and prosecution of "the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity." (The employee, of course, is Valerie Plame Wilson, a CIA employee with classified status, and the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.) On December 30, 2003, you received a letter from the Deputy Attorney General regarding your powers. On February 6, 2004 you received a letter of further clarification, stating without reservation, that in this matter your powers are "plenary." In effect, then, you act with the power of the Attorney General of the United States.

In light of your broad powers, the limits and narrow focus of your investigation are surprising. On October 28 of this year, your office released a press statement in which you stated that "A major focus of the grand jury investigation was to determine which government officials had disclosed to the media prior to July 14, 2003, information concerning Valerie Wilson's CIA affiliation, and the nature, timing, extent, and purpose of such disclosures, as well as whether any official made such a disclosure knowing that Valerie Wilson's employment by the CIA was classified information."

If, indeed, that is the major focus of your investigation, then your investigation is strikingly limited, given your plenary powers. To be a bit more blunt, in historical context, it is certainly less vigorous an investigation than those of your predecessors who have served as special counsel -- men appointed to undertake sensitive high-level investigations when the Attorney General of the United States had a conflict of interest. (Here, it was, of course, the conflict of Attorney General John Ashcroft that led to the chain of events that resulted in your appointment.)

The Teapot Dome PrecedentAs I am sure you are aware, President Calvin Coolidge appointed Owen J. Roberts, a Philadelphia attorney at the time, and former U.S. Senator Atlee Pomerene, then practicing law in Ohio, as special counsels to investigate and prosecute on behalf of the government any wrongdoing related to the so-called Teapot Dome inquiry. That investigation related to the improper dissipation of government assets -- dubious oil leases to Edward L. Doheny and Harry F. Sinclair.

Several years ago, I had an opportunity to spend several weeks at the National Archives going through the files of Special Counsels Roberts and Pomerene. I urge you to send a member of your staff to do the same, for they are highly revealing as to the aggressive -- yet appropriate -- nature of their investigation and actions.

What you will find is that Roberts and Pomerene, before figuring out exactly who was to blame and going after them, first sought to protect the interest of the United States by ending the further dissipation of the nation's oil reserves to Doheny and Sinclair, and seek restitution.

In brief, they started by taking protective civil measures. Only with that accomplished did they move on to criminal prosecutions. Why have you not done the same?

Your investigation also relates to the dissipation -- if not the irreparable destruction -- of a government asset: Valerie Plame Wilson. As you no doubt know, the U.S. Government invested a great deal of money in her special education and training, as well as other aspects of her covert status. Then, either intentionally, or with gross negligence, senior Bush administration officials blew Valerie Wilson's cover. (Prior to the disclosure, her status was not, as some have claimed, an "open secret": Rather, as you yourself have said, the fact that she was a CIA asset was not previously well-known outside the intelligence community.)

Yet there is no evidence that you have made any effort whatsoever to undertake any civil remedies dealing with this either intentional or grossly careless destruction of a government asset. As acting Attorney General for this matter, you have even more authority than did Special Counsels Roberts and Pomerene.

Those who leaked the information about Valerie Wilson breached signed contracts they had made with the government. These contracts, moreover, were not to be taken lightly: They enforced profoundly important obligations to national security, on the part of the very people who were supposed to be serving that end.

Why are you not enforcing those contracts? Why have you not urged the president to sanction those who have released national security information? The president has said he would fire those who committed crimes -- but breach of such profoundly important contracts, even if it does not rise to the level of a crime, is surely cause for dismissal, as well.

You should so urge the President. And if he is not willing to take appropriate action with those who have dishonored their offices, and broken their contracts, you ought to go to court and get an injunction to remove their security clearances.

Again, their agreement with the government was the very understanding upon which they were (and continue to be) given classified information. Now that they have breached it, the vital predicate for those clearances is gone.

The Watergate PrecedentEven more troubling, from an historical point of view, is the fact that the narrowness of your investigation, which apparently is focusing on the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (making it a crime to uncover the covert status of a CIA agent), plays right into the hands of perpetrators in the Administration.

Indeed, this is exactly the plan that was employed during Watergate by those who sought to conceal the Nixon Administration's crimes, and keep criminals in office.

The plan was to keep the investigation focused on the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters -- and away from the atmosphere in which such an action was undertaken. Toward this end, I was directed by superiors to get the Department of Justice to keep its focus on the break-in, and nothing else.

That was done. And had Congress not undertaken its own investigation (since it was a Democratically-controlled Congress with a Republican President) it is very likely that Watergate would have ended with the conviction of those caught in the bungled burglary and wiretapping attempt at the Democratic headquarters.

Now, with a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican President, you (a Republican appointee) are the last bulwark of protection for the American people. We must hope you will keep faith with them.

It was well understood at the Nixon White House, and it surely is at the Bush White House, that government attorneys do not look to prosecute those for whom they work. We knew that career government lawyers simply were not going to be looking for crimes at the White House -- not because they acted with corrupt intent, but simply because it is no one's instinct to bite the hand that feeds them.

When Archibald Cox was appointed special counsel -- under pressure from the U.S. Senate as a condition to confirm Attorney General Elliot Richardson -- he immediately recognized what had occurred. While no Department of Justice lawyer was found to have engaged in the cover up, their timidity had facilitated it. Cox was fired because he refused to be intimidated. His firing became a badge of honor for all those who do the right thing, regardless of the consequences.

While I have no reason to believe you are easily intimidated, all I can say is that your investigation, thus far, is falling precisely within the narrow confines -- the formula procedure -- that was relied upon in the first phase of the Watergate cover-up by the Nixon administration.

So narrow was your investigation that it appears that you failed to learn that Bob Woodward had been told of Valerie Wilson's CIA post until after you had indicted Scooter Libby. While I have no doubt you know your way around the Southern District of New York, and the Northern District of Illinois, Washington DC is a very different place.

With all due respect, Mr. Fitzgerald, I believe you are being had. I believe that you were selected with the expectation that you would conduct the narrowest of investigations, and it seems you have done just that.

The leak of Valerie Wilson's status did not occur in a vacuum. Republicans in Congress do not want to know what truly happened. You are the last, best hope of the American people in this regard.

I can tell you, as someone who travels about the country, that Americans -- regardless of their political disposition -- are deeply troubled by this case.
And, increasingly so, by the limits you have apparently placed on your investigation.

To right-minded Americans, the idea that Administration officials have betrayed their national security obligations, yet remain in their jobs, is nothing short of appalling. Beyond politics is patriotism: Patriotic Americans want to see you not only prosecute those who compromised and endangered Valerie Plame Wilson, but also force the Administration to clean house with respect to those who did this, which you can accomplish through appropriate civil action.

As one who does know something about the way Washington works, I hope you will actually use the plenary powers you have been granted to implement what I understood to be the announced policy of the Department of Justice for which you work -- a zero tolerance policy for leaks.

John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist, is a former counsel to the president.

November 18th, 2005, 11:33 PM

December 14th, 2005, 02:32 PM
Bush can settle CIA leak riddle, Novak says

Rob Christensen, Barbara Barrett, Jane Stancill and Dan Kane, Staff Writers
The News & Observer
December 14, 2005


Newspaper columnist Robert Novak is still not naming his source in the Valerie Plame affair, but he says he is pretty sure the name is no mystery to President Bush.

"I'm confident the president knows who the source is," Novak told a luncheon audience at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh on Tuesday. "I'd be amazed if he doesn't."

"So I say, 'Don't bug me. Don't bug Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is.' "

It was Novak who first revealed that Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, worked for the CIA. Wilson had angered the Bush administration when he accused it of twisting intelligence to exaggerate the Iraqi threat before the war.Disclosing the identity of a CIA agent is illegal; the disclosure set off a furor in Washington, resulting in an ongoing investigation by a special prosecutor and the indictment and resignation of Lewis Libby, the chief aide to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Woodward, a Washington Post editor, recently disclosed that he, too, had been told by an administration figure about Plame's secret identity -- probably, he said, by the same source who told Novak.

Novak said his role in the Plame affair "snowballed out of proportion" as a result of a "campaign by the left."

But he also blamed "extremely bad management of the issue by the White House. Once you give an issue to a special prosecutor, you lose control of it."

© Copyright 2005, The News & Observer Publishing Company

December 16th, 2005, 01:24 PM
Why Novak Called Rove

By Murray Waas (murraywaas@comcast.net), special to National Journal
&#169; National Journal Group Inc.
Friday, Dec. 16, 2005


On July 9, 2003, senior presidential adviser Karl Rove was well prepared as he returned a telephone call from columnist Robert Novak. On his desk were talking points and other briefing materials that then-White House Political Director Matt Schlapp and other staffers had compiled for Rove in anticipation of the conversation.

For a White House that took great pride in its disciplined approach to managing the flow of information to the public, such thorough staff preparation -- even for a single conversation with a newspaper columnist -- was not out of the ordinary, former and current administration officials said in interviews.

But despite the meticulous preparation for what should have been a routine phone call, something went awry. As a result of what both Rove and Novak have insisted were only brief comments at the very end of the conversation, Novak wrote a column disclosing the identity of an undercover CIA officer; a special prosecutor was named to investigate the leak; a New York Times reporter was jailed for 85 days; and the then-chief of staff to Vice President Cheney was indicted on criminal charges for concealing his own role in the leak. Rove himself anxiously awaits word on whether he will also be charged by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

Ironically, the materials prepared for Rove in advance of the conversation had nothing to do with Valerie Plame, the CIA officer whom Novak would identify -- using Rove as one of his sources -- as an "agency operative" in a July 14, 2003, column.

Instead, the voluminous material on Rove's desk -- including talking points, related briefing materials, and information culled from confidential government personnel files -- involved a different woman: Frances Fragos Townsend, a former senior attorney in the Clinton administration's Justice Department whom President Bush had recently named to be his deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism.

Bush had personally assigned Rove to help counter what the president believed to be a "rearguard" effort within his own administration, by persons unknown, to discredit Townsend and derail her appointment, according to White House documents and accounts given by former and current officials.

Just before his July 9 conversation with Rove, Novak had been relentlessly calling around the White House asking questions about Townsend. Adam Levine, then an assistant White House press secretary and a Rove protege, told Rove that Novak had called, and that Novak was upset that Rove had not called him back. Levine would say later that he was uncertain whether Novak had stated the purpose of the call.

On July 8, Rove's secretary wrote Townsend's name on a telephone message slip, indicating that Townsend was the subject of Novak's inquiry. It was then that Rove instructed his staff to prepare briefing materials for him to have on hand to answer Novak's questions on Townsend.

When he finally got on the phone with Novak, Rove -- consulting the talking points and briefing materials spread across his desk -- argued the case that Townsend was qualified to be a deputy national security adviser, according to an account that Rove gave to another senior administration official at the time, as well as Rove's later account to federal investigators. If, in fact, Rove stuck to the information in the talking-points memo, he would have told Novak that President Bush, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and then-CIA Director George Tenet all had full confidence in Townsend.

Some of the conversation was on background, meaning that Novak could quote Rove as a "senior administration official," while other things were off-the-record and could not be written at all.

Although it is unclear whether Rove was the "official" referred to, Novak would write in his column: "Townsend did not return my telephone calls. The White House official representing her said National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice obtained endorsements of her by [then-Attorney General John] Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and CIA Director George Tenet."

According to the accounts of their conversations that Rove and Novak gave to federal investigators, the subject of Valerie Plame came up only after they had finished talking about Townsend.

Three days earlier, on July 6, Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had published an op-ed piece in The New York Times and had appeared on NBC's Meet the Press alleging that the Bush administration had "twisted" intelligence information to make the case to go to war with Iraq.

In 2002, the CIA had sent Wilson to Africa to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein's regime was attempting to buy uranium from the government of Niger to build an atomic weapon. Wilson reported back that the allegations were most likely unfounded. Still, the Niger-Iraq allegation found its way into Bush's State of the Union (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html) speech in January 2003.

Both Novak and Rove have told federal prosecutors that it was Novak who raised Plame's name, with the columnist saying he had heard that "Wilson's wife" had worked for the CIA and had been responsible for having her husband sent on the Niger mission.

"I heard that too," Rove responded, according to published accounts of what Rove told federal investigators of the conversations. Novak's version of what was said has been slightly different. He reportedly has told investigators that Rove's response was something to the effect of, "Oh, you know about it."

Novak indicated to Rove that he was still going to write a column that would be critical of Townsend. But according to an account that Novak later provided of his conversation with Rove, he also signaled to Rove that Wilson and Plame would be the subject of one of his columns. "I think that you are going to be unhappy with something that I write," he said to Rove, "and I think you are very much going to like something that I am about to write."

On July 10, Novak's column (http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/robertnovak/2003/07/10/170136.html) appeared in newspapers across the country, with a headline suggested by Novak's syndicate: "Bush Sets Himself Up for Another Embarrassment."

The column referred to Townsend as another potential "enemy within." Novak opined that Townsend would likely prove disloyal to Bush, because she had been "an intimate adviser of Janet Reno as the Clinton administration's attorney general," and he pointedly noted that earlier in her career, "Townsend's boss and patron ... was [then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York] Jo Ann Harris, whose orientation was liberal Democratic."

Four days later, on July 14, Novak wrote his now-famous column on Plame, in which he outed her as an "agency operative." Although the column was little noticed at the time, it would eventually unleash a firestorm in Washington and lead to the appointment of Fitzgerald; the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller until she agreed to testify before the grand jury; and the grand jury indictment of I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby and his resignation as Vice President Cheney's chief of staff.

Double-Edged Sword

The previously undisclosed information in the Townsend affair -- which involved efforts by various senior officials in the Bush administration to discredit Townsend and undermine her appointment as the president's deputy national security adviser -- is important for at least two reasons.

First, this account -- reconstructed through interviews with current and former administration officials, attorneys involved in the CIA leak case, and a review of confidential White House records -- serves as a window into the bitter conflicts over foreign policy fought at the highest levels of the administration.

The senior staff in the Office of the Vice President adamantly opposed Townsend's appointment. The staff included two of Cheney's closest aides: Libby, then the chief of staff and national security adviser to the vice president; and David Addington, who at the time was Cheney's counsel but who has since succeeded Libby as chief of staff.

Among other things, Libby and Addington believed that Townsend would bring a more traditional approach to combating terrorism, and feared she would not sign on to, indeed might even oppose, the OVP's policy of advocating the use of aggressive and controversial tools against terror suspects. One of those techniques is known as "extraordinary rendition," in which terror suspects are taken to foreign countries, where they can be interrogated without the same legal and human-rights protections afforded to those in U.S. custody, including the protection from torture.

Libby's opposition to Townsend was so intense that he asked at least two other people in the White House to obtain her personnel records. These records showed that she had been turned down for two lesser positions in the Bush administration because of her political leanings, according to accounts provided by current and former administration officials. Libby also spoke about leaking the material to journalists or key staffers or members on Capitol Hill, to possibly undercut Townsend, according to the same accounts.

Second, the new information on Townsend sheds light on why the first federal grand jury in the CIA leak case ended its two-year term this fall without bringing any criminal charges against Rove. On the very last day of its term, October 28, the grand jury indicted Libby on five counts of making false statements, perjury, and obstruction of justice for allegedly concealing his own role in the Plame leak.

The papers on Frances Townsend that Rove had on his desk on July 9 appear to have corroborated Rove's and Novak's accounts to prosecutors that the principal focus of their conversation was Townsend's appointment.

But on the issue of Valerie Plame, prosecutors have been unable to determine whether in fact Novak was the one who first broached the subject, and whether Rove simply confirmed something that Novak already knew. Sources close to the investigation say this uncertainty is one of the foremost reasons Fitzgerald has not decided yet whether to bring criminal charges against Rove.

At the same time, the Townsend information could prove to be a double-edged sword for Rove. According to sources close to the investigation, prosecutors looking at Rove's actions are weighing the exonerating information regarding the July 9 Rove-Novak conversation against the more incriminating conversation about Plame that Rove had on July 11, 2003, with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper.

Cooper has told the grand jury that Rove was the first person to tell him of Plame's CIA employment. Unlike Novak, Cooper has testified that Rove did not represent the information on Plame as simply hearsay or rumor.

Fitzgerald is said to be continuing his investigation into whether Rove made false statements, committed perjury, and obstructed justice. The investigation is focused on Rove's apparent failure to disclose his conversation with Cooper in his first interview with the FBI in October 2003 or in his first appearance before the grand jury in February 2004. In October 2004, Rove revised his testimony in a second appearance before the grand jury, saying he had indeed talked to Cooper and that he had not disclosed the talk earlier because of a faulty memory.

Dan Richman, a professor of law at Fordham University and a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, says that even if some evidence appears to exonerate Rove, if there's evidence that Rove withheld information from the authorities about Cooper, Rove's reticence "might even be construed as an attempt to deflect attention from the Cooper call, [and this] could raise troubling questions for Fitzgerald and could come back to haunt Rove."

In recent weeks, Fitzgerald has intensified his investigation, obtaining permission from a federal court to present new information on Rove and other Bush administration officials to a second grand jury. The prosecutor has also questioned additional witnesses, and summoned some to testify. On December 7, Fitzgerald, accompanied by two deputies and the lead FBI agent on the case, presented evidence for three hours to the second grand jury.

Inside The OVP

The virtually simultaneous White House insider campaigns to leak information on Townsend and Plame, as well as the contradictory efforts by various Bush administration officials to discredit or defend Townsend, reflect the ideological fault lines that have split officials into competing factions at the highest levels of the administration.

These internal conflicts -- which existed from the earliest days of the Bush presidency -- intensified in the emotionally charged days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, numerous current and former administration officials said in interviews.

Although White House officials were never able to determine who leaked information to Novak about Townsend, senior aides to Cheney, foremost among them Libby and Addington, privately opposed her appointment.

In conversations with others in the White House, Libby and Addington expressed concerns that had less to do with Townsend's political associations than with the fact that they believed that she favored a more "law enforcement" approach to fighting terrorism, including opposition to rendition, according to an official who spoke to both men at the time.

Libby, Addington, and others also had concerns that as a Justice Department official, she had been too slow in invoking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50/usc_sup_01_50_10_36.html), the mechanism by which the government seeks court approval for wiretaps and other electronic surveillance of potential terrorists and spies. Townsend, who declined several requests to be interviewed for this article, has said that in refusing the FISA requests, she was only following the law; that she did not want to jeopardize potential prosecutions by allowing wiretaps that would later be thrown out in court; and that the rules for such electronic surveillance were much stricter before September 11.

When Townsend's appointment was first being considered, Libby specifically sought from at least two other people at the White House confidential government personnel records indicating that Townsend had been turned down earlier for at least two senior administration positions because of her political background, according to accounts provided by two senior government officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

In one of the instances, Libby inquired about obtaining confidential personnel information from the White House Presidential Personnel Office, which screens high-level political appointees, and from a federal agency where Townsend had previously been denied a job, according to the account of one of the officials knowledgeable about the request.

Libby's tactics against Townsend appear to have paralleled those he took around the same period of time in attempting to blunt Wilson's criticism of the administration's use of prewar intelligence.

According to the grand jury indictment of Libby, he sought information from State Department and CIA officials on Plame's CIA employment. Libby also wanted to learn whether Plame had played a role in her husband's selection for the Niger mission. The indictment alleged that Libby had asked Addington, "in sum and substance, what paperwork there would be at the CIA if an employee's spouse undertook an overseas trip." The court papers do not say what action, if any, Addington may have taken in response to Libby's request.

A spokesman for the Office of the Vice President said that officials could not comment for this story, because of the ongoing federal grand jury investigation.

In his separate effort to block Townsend, Libby also spoke to others in the White House about possibly leaking information to someone in the media or providing it to staffers on Capitol Hill to create outside pressure on the president not to make the appointment, according to the accounts given by two senior White House officials.

Libby gave key Republican House and Senate members at least some of the material, which served as a basis for a memo by congressional staffers that was circulated widely on Capitol Hill criticizing the potential Townsend appointment, according to the White House officials' accounts.

And Libby suggested both inside and outside the White House that Townsend was being considered as a national security adviser to the president because her husband had been a classmate of George W. Bush's at Andover and Yale.

(Other administration officials insist that Bush and John Townsend knew each other only in passing at Andover and Yale, and privately scoff at Libby's notion that their early acquaintance would play a major role in the president's selection of Frances Townsend as his adviser.)

Libby pointedly said that the Bush-Townsend connection was the reason that the ordinary vetting procedures had been set aside to allow for Townsend's appointment, according to the accounts provided by the two senior officials.

In at least one instance, according to documents and sources, Townsend had in fact been considered for a senior position at the Homeland Security Department, but the job offer was pulled back because of opposition by the White House Office of Political Affairs and the Presidential Personnel Office. After the turndown, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge expressed disappointment that he was unable to hire Townsend, two senior government officials said.

One senior government official familiar with the screening operation said it was a high priority to "push back on political appointees" regarding issues of loyalty to the president, and that party affiliation was central to many decisions, as it had been in the White House under previous presidents.

But the intense interest in Townsend's personnel records on the part of the vice president's office raised eyebrows among other senior White House staffers, especially after Novak wrote in his July 10 column on Townsend that "careful political screening by the Bush operation for routine appointments seems to have broken down in filling highly sensitive terrorism posts."

Ironically, Rove, who was tasked by the president to defend Townsend, had largely devised the system of screening political appointees. A senior administration official asserted in an interview that once Bush made the decision to back the Townsend nomination, Rove would have put aside whatever personal feelings he had and would have done everything possible to implement Bush's decision.

"His attitude would have been, 'This has been done. There was a presidential decision. Let's now put the best possible face on it,' " the official said of Rove.

One Shattered, One Thriving

That Rove and Libby and others on the vice president's staff would work at cross-purposes with one another was hardly a surprise to many senior West Wing staffers, even as they later considered the irony that during the very same telephone conversation in which Rove was doing damage control with Novak to blunt the effort to undercut Townsend, Rove appeared to be working in tandem with Libby when he spoke to Novak about Plame.

A former senior White House aide said in an interview that while Rove and Libby were often allies, they were two men with "different objectives" that were by their nature inherently in conflict. Rove, this person said, was Bush's "top political strategist," while Libby's primary role was that of "defender-in-chief for the vice president." That, of course, led to inevitable conflict between Libby and Rove.

Whatever conflict there was between the two men was submerged as well as possible, in large part because of the president's personality and management style: "The president and [Chief of Staff] Andy [Card] have set the tone," said the former White House aide. "There is an expectation of comity.
Everyone slaps each other's backs even if they don't like each other."

One official said that Rove and Libby, reflecting sometimes two distinct power centers in the White House, often viewed each other with mistrust and as a "necessary evil in the larger scheme of things," but they respected each other's abilities.

Libby, Addington, and Rove did not return phone calls for this article.

A spokesperson for President Bush, Dana Perino, said in response to a query for this article, "Fran Townsend is doing a fantastic job for the president. She is not only his homeland-security adviser, but also his counterterrorism adviser. She has earned the trust of both the president and her colleagues in the White House."

As for concerns regarding Townsend's past positions in the Clinton administration, Perino added that Townsend's "background as a law enforcement official, in addition to her experience at the Justice Department and Coast Guard, make her uniquely qualified to serve in this important role in the White House."

Lee Ann McBride, a press secretary to Vice President Cheney, said she could not answer any questions as to whether Libby, Addington, or others in the OVP had ever had reservations about Townsend's appointment, because the White House has a firm policy of never commenting on anything regarding its "internal deliberations." McBride said that "the vice president's office works very closely with Fran Townsend and the Homeland Security Council. She continues to do a remarkable job on the issues that are so crucial to the safety and security of all Americans."

In the meantime, while Libby awaits trial, Rove anxiously awaits a final decision as to whether Fitzgerald will bring charges against him.

As for Plame, she retired from the CIA on December 9, her career having been shattered by the disclosure that she worked undercover. She is considering filing a civil suit against those who exposed her identity, although she has delayed a final decision.

In sharp contrast, Townsend's career is thriving. Her portfolio has been expanded to include homeland-security issues. And Bush also considered her for secretary of Homeland Security, but pulled back, in part because of her hard-line positions on the treatment of terror suspects, which could have drawn opposition to her nomination. Ironically, her views on the treatment of suspected terrorists are similar to those of Cheney.

An August 27, 2005, profile of Townsend in The Washington Post illustrated the high esteem in which she is held inside the White House. "Just a little over two years ago, she had never met Bush and was viewed with suspicion by the inner circle of a tribalistic White House that does not easily accept outsiders," The Post wrote. "But the hard-charging Townsend has parlayed a succession of powerful patrons into one of the government's most important jobs.... Townsend has impressed Bush with a tough efficiency and a bit of a swagger that resembles his own. Her influence has grown to the point that Cabinet secretaries and agency directors who do not normally return media calls about White House staff members rush to phone with lavish praise for a profile." Among those who made admiring comments were Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

That was no accident. The same disciplined White House media operation that had worked so hard to blunt criticism by Wilson and prepared briefing materials to defend Townsend was once again in high gear.
In anticipation of the Post profile, aides prepared talking points on Townsend for White House staffers who might be called by reporters. One person familiar with the materials called them "prepackaged virtual scripts" to read from if contacted.

Copyright 2005 by National Journal Group Inc

December 16th, 2005, 03:56 PM
No real surprise here ...

Robert Novak Leaving CNN for Fox News

Associated Press


Commentator Robert Novak, who hasn't been seen on CNN since swearing and storming off the set in August, will leave the network after 25 years and join Fox News Channel as a contributor next month.

Novak, 74, said Friday he probably would have left CNN anyway when his contract expired this month even if it hadn't been for the incident.

The suspension actually served to eliminate a delicate problem for CNN, which had received some criticism for keeping the political columnist on the air with his involvement in the CIA leak case.

A Novak column in July 2003 identified Valerie Plame as a CIA agent eight days after her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence before the Iraq war. Novak wrote that two administration officials were his sources, but he hasn't identified them and Plame's outing sparked a special prosecutor's investigation.

Novak walked off the set in August during a political debate after James Carville said that he's "got to show these right-wingers that he's got a backbone."

Novak quickly apologized, but CNN never let him back on the air. A CNN correspondent, Ed Henry, said he had been about to ask Novak on the air about the leak investigation, but Novak said that had nothing to do with why he walked off.

"I'm sorry it ended that way but I am confident if it hadn't happened that I would still be leaving CNN," he said. The network has been de-emphasizing political content, and canceled the long-running debate show "Crossfire."

Novak said he was the last on-air personality who had appeared on CNN during its first weekend on the air in 1980 to still be with the network.

The decision to leave was by mutual consent and there were no hard feelings, he said.

"I have no complaints," he said. "I had a 25-year run with CNN. That's longer than most marriages, I think."

While his CNN shows included "The Capital Gang," "Inside Politics" and "Evans and Novak," he was best known for the political trench warfare of "Crossfire," where his fiery conservative views led some opponents to give him the nickname the Prince of Darkness.

He said he wanted to stay in TV, but do more limited work. Fox News Channel spokesman Brian Lewis confirmed his signing with that network.

Novak said the switch to Fox had nothing to do with finding a more comfortable home for his views.

"I don't think that's a factor," he said. "In 25 years I was never censored by CNN and I said some fairly outrageous things and some very conservative things. I don't want to give the impression that they were muzzling me and I had to go to a place that wouldn't muzzle me."

© 2005 Forbes.com Inc.™

December 16th, 2005, 05:17 PM
He has no spine, and now he is joining the other arse-kissers at Fox.

Brilliant career move.

But if this fails, he always has the 700 Club!!!!

March 28th, 2006, 09:46 AM
After a bit of a hiatus this one's coming back ...

Hanging Scooter Out to Dry?

by mcjoan (http://mcjoan.dailykos.com/)
Mon Mar 27, 2006


Plamegate is back, and with what a fun twist! Steve Clemons at The Washington Note (http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001310.php) confirms through a source "close to Rove" Raw Story's (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Roves_cooperation_seen_to_advance_inquiry_0327.htm l) assertion that Rove has turned on Libby. Here's info from Raw Story (also diaried by mbair here (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/27/123320/245)):

According to several Pentagon sources close to Rove and others familiar with the inquiry, Bush's senior adviser tipped off Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to information that led to the recent "discovery" of 250 pages of missing email from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Rove has been in the crosshairs of Fitzgerald's investigation into the outing of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson for what some believe to be retaliation against her husband, former U.S. Ambassador to Gabon, Joseph Wilson. Wilson had been an ardent critic of pre-war Iraq intelligence.

While these sources did not provide any details regarding what type of arrangements Rove's attorney Robert Luskin may have made with the special prosecutor's office, if any, they were able to provide some information regarding what Rove imparted to Fitzgerald's team. The individuals declined to go on the record out of concern for their jobs.

The most interesting information from Clemons, other than being able to confirm the story, is this bit in the comments to the post:

What I confirmed through a source close to Rove is that he was cooperating enthusiastically with Fitzgerald -- and my source says that Rove did help unravel the previoiusly undisclosed email communication in the VP's office. I don't have any information, however, that those emails further indict Libby.

That's speculation on my part -- and as I noted, I suggested that the provision of many more communications, partly at the hand of Rove, must be causing the Libby defense team grief.

But the key issue I was interested in was whether Rove was connected at all to these previous emails that had not been provided earlier. I don't have any evidence that Libby or anyone on the VP's team tried to destroy evidence -- but as has already been reported -- some of the recovered emails were deleted. They could have been deleted, however, as part of routine operations, though I have always been under the impression that "nothing" is deleted any longer in the EOP. But who knows.

Indeed, who knows? Pretty interesting stuff, though, seeing the President's closest advisor potentially ratting out the Vice President's former closest advisor. Extrapolate that to their bosses, and you really do have to wonder how long Cheney is going to be around. Clemons also points out that there are still nine months to go before Scooter's trial starts, and that Fitzgerald could very well widen the pool of White House staff and officials charged in the case. There have to be some pretty intriguing names connected to those 250 pages of e-mail.


April 4th, 2006, 01:01 PM
Fitzgerald Knew Identity of Leaker From Start

By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report (http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040306Z.shtml)
Monday 03 April 2006

The special counsel appointed in late December 2003 to investigate the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson found out the identity of the Bush administration official who disclosed her undercover status to syndicated columnist Robert Novak just two months after the probe began.

But in early February 2004, a month after he started the investigation, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald shifted gears and started to build a perjury and obstruction of justice case against White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby according to several attorneys close to the investigation.

That month, Justice Department investigators working on the leak case approached a senior official in the Office of Vice President Dick Cheney who had been identified by witnesses as having played a major role in the Plame Wilson leak.

The Bush administration official was given an ultimatum: either cooperate with the special counsel's probe or face criminal charges for his involvement in the leak, attorneys close to the case said.

The senior official decided to cooperate with the investigation and told Fitzgerald that Libby and Rove spoke to reporters about Plame Wilson, the attorneys said.

The official has been identified by attorneys and four current and former White House officials as John Hannah, a senior national security aide on loan to Vice President Dick Cheney from then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton.

Hannah worked with Libby on the issue of weapons of mass destruction as part of an informal team known as the "White House Iraq Group." Hannah told friends last year that he was worried he might be implicated by the investigation, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Libby was indicted on five counts of perjury, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators related to his role in the leak. Hannah was named Cheney's national security adviser the day Libby was indicted.

Hannah's cooperation early on in the leak investigation ultimately helped Fitzgerald and his staff discover the identity of the Bush administration official who leaked information about Plame Wilson's work with the CIA to Novak, these sources said.

The identity of the individual who leaked Plame Wilson's CIA status to Novak is still publicly unknown. No one in the White House was aware that Hannah was cooperating with the special counsel, the sources said, adding that information Hannah provided to Fitzgerald was instrumental in securing a perjury indictment against Libby. Hannah's attorney did not return numerous calls for comment ...

... In the interest of fairness, any person identified in this story who believes he has been portrayed unfairly or that the information about him is untrue will have the opportunity to respond in this space.

© : t r u t h o u t 2006

April 4th, 2006, 01:08 PM
What I find interesting is that the person who people call "Bush's brain" - Carl Rove - could not even finish college. He actually went to several colleges but could not finish any of them. He's basically a college dropout. But that's never mentioned anywhere, I wonder why.

April 4th, 2006, 02:29 PM
Some DIRT (http://www.sanderhicks.com/bushbrain.html) on that subject from a Green Party candidate (http://www.hicksforsenate.com/) for NY's US Senator

April 4th, 2006, 04:38 PM
What I find interesting is that the person who people call "Bush's brain" - Carl Rove - could not even finish college. He actually went to several colleges but could not finish any of them. He's basically a college dropout. But that's never mentioned anywhere, I wonder why.

Because they do not have a major called "Political Dirtywork and Viscious PR".

He does not like to have to work for anything, he is just really good at dishing dirt and playing the media.

Noone said you had to have a degree to do that!

May 15th, 2006, 09:10 AM
A Fresh Focus on Cheney

Handwritten notes by the Vice President surface in the Fitzgerald probe.

By Michael Isikoff (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4863599/site/newsweek/)
NEWSWEEK (http://rawstory.com/showoutarticle.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.msnbc.msn. com%2Fid%2F12774274%2Fsite%2Fnewsweek%2F)
May 14, 2006

May 13, 2006 - The role of Vice President Dick Cheney in the criminal case stemming from the outing of White House critic Joseph Wilson's CIA wife is likely to get fresh attention as a result of newly disclosed notes showing that Cheney personally asked whether Wilson had been sent by his wife on a "junket" to Africa.

Cheney's notes, written on the margins of a July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed column by former ambassador Joseph Wilson, were included as part of a filing Friday night by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the perjury and obstruction case against ex-Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby.

The notes, Fitzgerald said in his filing, show that Cheney and Libby were "acutely focused" on the Wilson column and on rebutting his criticisms of the White House's handling of pre-Iraq war intelligence. In the column, which created a firestorm after its publication, Wilson wrote that he had been dispatched by the CIA without pay to Niger in February 2002 to investigate an intelligence report that Iraq was seeking uranium from the African country for a nuclear bomb. Wilson said he was told Cheney had asked about the intelligence, but the White House subsequently ignored his findings debunking the Niger claims.

Read the Fitzgerald Filing on Cheney Notes (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12774143/site/newsweek/)

In the margins of the op-ed, Cheney jotted out a series of questions that seemed to challenge many of Wilson's assertions as well as the legitimacy of his CIA-sponsored trip to Africa: "Have they done this sort of thing before? Send an Amb. [sic] to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?"

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for Cheney's own notes to be made public. The notes—apparently obtained as a result of a grand jury subpoena—would appear to make Cheney an even more central witness than had been previously thought in the criminal probe. Fitzgerald's prosecution has created continued problems for the White House. Karl Rove, the President Bush's chief political adviser, recently made his fifth grand jury appearance in the case and remains under scrutiny while Fitzgerald weighs whether to file criminal charges against him. For now, Libby is the only figure charged in the case.

Lea Ann McBride, a spokeswoman for the vice president, declined to comment on the newly disclosed notes. "We continue to cooperate in the investigation as we have since its inception," she said.

Fitzgerald first alleged that Cheney had questioned whether Wilson's trip was a "junket" in a court filing last month. In that filing, Fitzgerald also asserted that the vice president, acting with the approval of President Bush, had authorized Libby to disclose portions of the classified National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq to rebut some of Wilson's claims.

But the notes provide significant new context to that assertion. They show the vice president personally raised questions about Wilson's trip right after the publication of the Wilson column—and five days before Libby confirmed to Time reporter Matt Cooper that he had "heard" that Wilson's wife, former CIA agent Valerie Plame, had played a role in sending him to Africa.

Libby, questioned by the FBI and by federal prosecutors in two grand jury appearances, denied providing that confirmation to Cooper and insisted he had heard about Wilson's wife a day or two earlier from NBC News "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert—an account that Fitzgerald charged in an indictment last October was a lie. Fitzgerald in his court filing indicated he plans to introduce a copy of Cheney's annotated version of the Wilson column to show the vice president's interest in the circumstances surrounding Wilson's trip was an important matter to Libby that week and explains many of his actions. Those actions, according to the indictment, include discussing Plame's employment at the CIA—a matter Fitzgerald has said was classified at the time—with New York Times reporter Judy Miller on July 8, 2003.

Fitzgerald also said in his court filing that he plans to introduce a copy of Robert Novak's July 14, 2003, newspaper column that first identified Plame as a CIA "operative" who worked issues related to weapons of mass destruction.
Fitzgerald said he will do so in order to introduce evidence about a series of conversations that he argued could undercut one of Libby's principal defenses: that he had no reason to believe Plame's employment was a sensitive matter and therefore had no reason to lie to the grand jury about when and with whom he spoke about it.

According to Fitzgerald's filing, on the day that the Novak column was published, a CIA official was asked in Libby's presence by another Cheney aide whether he had read the column. The CIA official had not. But shortly thereafter, the unidentified CIA official discussed in Libby's presence "the dangers posed by disclosure of the CIA affiliation of one of its employees as had occurred in the Novak column," Fitzgerald wrote.

This evidence, Fitzgerald added, "directly contradicts" the assertion by defense lawyers that Libby "had no motive to lie" to the FBI and to the grand jury because he "thought that neither he nor anyone else had done anything wrong." Instead, Fitzgerald asserts, "the evidence about the conversation concerning the Novak column provides a strong motive for the defendant to provide false information and testimony about his disclosures to reporters."

A spokeswoman for Libby declined comment on the filing.

&#169; 2006 MSNBC.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/)

May 15th, 2006, 09:53 PM
This guy really needs to get some sun ...

VIDEO: David Corn Confronts Rove On Lying About Plame Leak


This morning, Karl Rove gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. During the question and answer session, David Corn of the Nation Magazine asked him why he fed White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan misinformation about his involvement in leaking Valerie Plame’s identity. (Rove told McClellan that he was “not involved.” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/10/20031010-6.html#c)) Rove refused to answer.

Watch it (http://images1.americanprogress.org/il80web20037/ThinkProgress/2006/rove2.320.240.mov):

http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/rove2.jpg (http://images1.americanprogress.org/il80web20037/ThinkProgress/2006/rove2.320.240.mov)

Full transcript:
CORN: David Corn from “The Nation Magazine” on a different subject. Scott McClellan told the White House press corps, many who are here today, that he had spoken to you and you were not involved in the CIA leak. Can you explain why the American public, almost two and a half years later, hasn’t been given an explanation and don’t you think it deserves one for that misinformation because it does seem you were to some degree, though maybe disputed, involved in that leak?

ROVE: My attorney Mr. Luskin made a statement on April 26th. I refer to you that statement. I have nothing more to add to it. Nice try, though.
© 2005-2006 Center for American Progress Action Fund (http://americanprogressaction.org/)

July 3rd, 2006, 05:31 PM
Report: Bush ordered Cheney to use classified info to discredit Wilson

RAW STORY (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Report_Bush_ordered_Cheney_to_use_0703.html)
Monday July 3, 2006

President Bush told Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that he instructed Vice President Cheney to use classified information to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, according to a report in the National Journal.

Excerpts from the National Journal story follow:
Bush told prosecutors he directed Cheney to disclose classified information that would not only defend his administration but also discredit Wilson.

Bush also told federal prosecutors during his June 24, 2004, interview in the Oval Office that he had directed Cheney, as part of that broader effort, to disclose highly classified intelligence information that would not only defend his administration but also discredit Wilson, the sources said.

But Bush told investigators that he was unaware that Cheney had directed I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, to covertly leak the classified information to the media instead of releasing it to the public after undergoing the formal governmental declassification processes.

Bush also said during his interview with prosecutors that he had never directed anyone to disclose the identity of then-covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, Wilson's wife. Bush said he had no information that Cheney had disclosed Plame's identity or directed anyone else to do so.

Libby has said that neither the president nor the vice president directed him or other administration officials to disclose Plame's CIA employment to the press. Cheney has also denied having any role in the disclosure.

Read the full story here (http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/0703nj1.htm).

July 11th, 2006, 07:12 PM
Bush is so full of it!
A walking pack of lies.

July 12th, 2006, 09:20 AM
Novak Says He Named 3 Sources in Leak Case

Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/11/AR2006071100903_pf.html)
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak acknowledged for the first time yesterday that he identified three confidential administration sources during testimony in the CIA leak investigation, saying he did so because they had granted him legal waivers to testify and because Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald already knew of their role.

In a column to be published today, Novak said he told Fitzgerald in early 2004 that White House senior adviser Karl Rove and then-CIA spokesman Bill Harlow had confirmed for him, at his request, information about CIA operative Valerie Plame. Novak said he also told Fitzgerald about another senior administration official who originally provided him with the information about Plame, and whose identity he says he cannot reveal even now.

"I'm still constrained as a reporter," Novak said in an interview. "It was not on the record, and he has never revealed himself as being the source, and until he does I don't feel I should."

In the column, he wrote: "I have cooperated in the investigation while trying to protect journalistic privileges under the First Amendment and shield sources who have not revealed themselves. . . . Some journalists have badgered me to disclose my role in the case. . . . I have promised to discuss my role in the investigation when permitted by the prosecution, and I do so now."

Novak triggered one of the capital's most tangled investigations with a July 2003 column reporting that Plame had suggested sending her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, to Niger to investigate whether Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was trying to obtain nuclear material from that country -- an unsupported claim that was included in President Bush's State of the Union speech. Fitzgerald, who decided last month not to pursue charges against Rove, is prosecuting I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a former chief of staff for Vice President Cheney, for allegedly lying to a grand jury. Judith Miller, then a New York Times reporter, went to jail for 85 days last year for initially refusing to name Libby as her source.

A mystery had swirled around Novak because he refused to say for 2 1/2 years whether he had testified while other journalists in the case -- Miller, Time magazine's Matthew Cooper, NBC's Tim Russert and, it was later disclosed, The Washington Post's Bob Woodward -- appeared before Fitzgerald, sometimes under duress.

Novak says in the forthcoming column that he initially refused to reveal his sources in an October 2003 interview with three FBI officials. He says he remained reluctant to testify before Fitzgerald, even with the waivers the three officials had given the prosecutor, but that his lawyer told him he was sure to lose a costly legal battle and be jailed for contempt of court. Novak says he testified under subpoena before a grand jury a few weeks later, in February 2004, after reading a statement about his discomfort in discussing confidential sources.

Novak said he is speaking out now because Fitzgerald notified his attorneys that the investigation, as it relates to him, has been concluded. There is no legal prohibition, however, against a witness discussing his own testimony, as other journalists in the case quickly did.

Novak's role in revealing Plame's CIA employment, which was classified, was the most controversial of his 49-year career as a Washington reporter. "What was frustrating," he said, "was that there were a lot of crazy things being said, that I had taken the Fifth Amendment or I had made a plea bargain. . . . It's obviously caused me a lot of trouble. If I had it to do all over again, would I have done it? It's a hard question to answer."

Critics say that Novak helped the administration retaliate against Wilson, who had become a prominent critic of Bush's conduct in the run-up to the Iraq war, by revealing that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Novak said yesterday he does not feel that he was used.

"The primary source was not a political operative," he said, and he mentioned Plame's role in the middle of a conversation about other subjects. "I don't believe it was part of a plan to discredit anybody."

A spokesman for Rove, Mark Corallo, said Novak's account of phoning Rove confirms what the White House strategist has said. "Karl never reached out to any reporters," Corallo said. "They called him."

Novak said he and Rove had differing recollections of what happened when he asked about Plame. Novak recalls Rove saying, "Oh, you know that, too?"

Rove, according to Corallo, has said he responded, "I've heard that, too."

Harlow, who declined to comment yesterday, has told The Post that he challenged aspects of Novak's account three days before the column was published and warned the columnist that if he did write about Wilson's Niger trip, Plame's name should not be revealed. Novak said he has a different recollection of the conversation.

"I certainly wouldn't have used her name if anyone had indicated she might be in danger," Novak said.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

July 12th, 2006, 09:46 AM
Novak, you squirming snake, it was you and the White House operatives who put her in that danger !!!

Novak is a mean-spirited, evil freak who deserves Leishmaniasis.

July 12th, 2006, 10:32 AM
Novak is a mean-spirited, evil freak who deserves Leishmaniasis.

YIKES :eek: :eek: :eek:

Although THAT (http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=Leishmaniasis&btnG=Google+Search&sa=N&tab=wi) might not be radical enough for this slime.

July 12th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Conservative Scarborough: 'Accidental' leak story 'garbage'

Raw Story (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Conservative_Scarborough_Accidental_leak_story_gar bage_0712.html)
David Edwards
July 12, 2006

Fox News and some right-wing commentators are spinning columnist Robert Novak's version of the CIA leak story as true and accurate, according to Republican commentatory Joe Scarborough.

Novak has claimed the leak was "accidental" and was not a personal attack on Joe Wilson for discrediting the claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium for use in nuclear weapons. Scarborough disagrees that the leak of Valerie Plame's covert status was "accidental", calling it "garbage".

Scarborough goes on to say:

"Conservative commentators are already trumpeting Novak's claim that the leak was inadvertent and accidental... Maybe I'm cynical or perhaps it's because I worked in Congress for years. But you know what, I always found that leaks of this size were rarely mistakes regardless of what the writer or the right-wing people may tell you. I can assure you that if you assign selfish motives to leakers, you will rarely be proven wrong."

July 13th, 2006, 11:51 AM
So, let me get this strait...

Top secret information, during a war and after a terrorist event, was leaked about a CIA operative whose husband was being a political, um, "impediment", BY ACCIDENT?


July 17th, 2006, 08:18 AM
Novak does the two-step ...

Russert to Novak:
Everyone fought subpoenas, why didn't you?


MR. RUSSERT: "Newsday" interviewed you a few weeks after your column ran back in 2003 and quotes you as saying this, "I didn't dig it out. It was given to me. They thought it was significant, they gave me the name, and I used it."

MR. NOVAK: That was a misstatement on my part. I have found I am much better -- I hope I'm not screwing up on this interview, because I'm much better interviewing than I am giving interviews. They didn't give me the name and, of course, it was not a "they," it was one person, which I later checked out with Mr. Rove. The "Newsday" article also paraphrased me as saying they came to me. I never said they came to me because obviously I initiated the interview.

MR. RUSSERT: "Newsday" stands by that story, and you know if a politician said that which you said, and contrasted it with what you're saying now, people would say, "Wait a minute, something is wrong here."

MR. NOVAK: Well, I was wrong when I said they came to me. I mean, when I said that they gave me the name, because I got the name from "Who's Who in America."

MR. RUSSERT: You did say that the story, the disclosure, was inadvertent on the part of your primary source, a third party told you that.

MR. NOVAK: A third party close to the primary source called me after the investigation was launched and said that he believed he had given me -- inadvertently given me information --

RAW_STORY (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Russert_to_Novak_Everyone_fought_subpoenas_0716.ht ml)
Ron Brynaert
July 16, 2006

When asked on NBC's Meet the Press by host Tim Russert why he didn't fight the subpoenas like other news organizations in the CIA Plame leak investigation, conservative columnist Robert D. Novak argued that he hadn't "given up" his sources because the prosecutor already knew who they were and that legal and financial considerations also played a role, RAW STORY (http://rawstory.com/) has found.

After "outing" CIA agent in his July of 2003 column (http://townhall.com/columnists/RobertDNovak/2003/07/14/mission_to_niger), Novak has remained mostly silent for close to three years. Beginning last week, Novak has finally started talking about his role in the affair, explaining in various media appearances that he was informed that he's no longer a subject of interest in regards to the investigation.

"Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has informed my attorneys that, after two and one-half years, his investigation of the CIA leak case concerning matters directly relating to me has been concluded," wrote Novak (http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=15988) a few days ago. "That frees me to reveal my role in the federal inquiry that, at the request of Fitzgerald, I have kept secret."

Novak doesn't believe he even technically "gave up" his sources because "they already knew" when he finally told Fitzgerald in February of 2004.

"On my first interview with the FBI, I had refused to give up the names of my sources," said Novak. "The second interview with Mr. Fitzgerald, I was in a dilemma, because he had, as you know, waivers that I could give up the identity from just about everybody in the government. That didn't cut any ice with me."

"I didn't think I could give it up, and then I was told that he had only the waivers from the sources that I had talked to -- only two waivers," said Novak. "When he actually arrived, he had the third waiver from the CIA spokesman."

"In other words, Tim, he knew who my sources were, and so it wasn't a matter of me giving them up," Novak added.

Russert asked Novak why he seemingly gave up so quickly without a fight.

"We were subpoenaed at NBC," Russert said. "We fought the subpoenas.

Time Magazine subpoenaed, fought the subpoenas. The New York Times was subpoenaed, fought the subpoena. Why didn't you fight the subpoena?"

According to Novak, his attorney told him that the 1st Amendment wouldn't protect him.

"Because my lawyer said I did not have a clear constitutional chance of surviving," Novak said. "I had to make this decision myself."

Financial considerations also played a part in Novak's decision.

"I was operating as an independent operator paying the burden, the great burden, of my legal fees," said Novak. "The Chicago Sun-Times helped me, but it was essentially my decision, and my attorney, Jim Hamilton, a very prominent attorney, believed that there was a high probability that I would lose the case in court, and it would not be good for press freedoms."

Novak pointed out to Russert that his network "lost the case," and suggested that the court battles by The New York Times, Time Magazine, and other media organizations had done more harm to journalists than good.

"As a matter of fact, you lost the case -- in fact, everybody who went to court lost the case, and the law protecting the rights of journalists, which I feel very strongly about, has suffered by people going -- by fighting it, and that's one thing I wanted to avoid."

Russert asked why it took so long for him to say anything about his testimony.

"When I was subpoenaed, we announced it," said Russert. "When I testified before Patrick Fitzgerald, we announced that in what I had said and so, too, with Time Magazine and The New York Times.

"Why did you wait almost three years to tell the public that you had been subpoenaed and what you said?" Russert asked.

Novak claimed that the prosecutor asked him to remain quiet.

"Mr. Fitzgerald asked my lawyer not to divulge our contacts," said Novak. "He advised that that was good advice until his investigation was completed."

The columnist mistakenly told Russert that Fitzgerald had formally announced that President Bush's Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove wouldn't be indicted, when it was Rove's attorneys who informed the press about it.

"When he announced that Karl Rove would not be indicted, my attorney went to Mr. Fitzgerald and asked him if that request now no longer held true, and he said that his investigation had been concluded as far as I was concerned," Novak added.

Crooks and Liars has a video clip of the Russert-Novak interview at this link (http://www.crooksandliars.com/posts/2006/07/16/novak-recants-on-newsday-and-a-whole-bunch-more/), and emptywheel at The Next Hurrah (http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2006/07/novak_loses_it_.html) and Christy Hardin Smith at Firedoglake (http://www.firedoglake.com/2006/07/16/dont-blame-me/) both weigh in on the proceedings.

Full transcript of Novak's appearance on NBC's Meet the Press:MR. RUSSERT: And we're back. Bob Novak, welcome to "Meet the Press."

MR. NOVAK: Thank you.

MR. RUSSERT: Here is your column, July 14, 2003, "Joe Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me that Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger." That identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA agency operative triggered an investigation. Until this week we did not know whether you had testified before the special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald. You now say that in October of '03, you talked to the FBI; January of '04 to Patrick Fitzgerald; February of '04, Patrick Fitzgerald; and February of '04, the grand jury. Did you tell those law enforcement officials who your sources were?

MR. NOVAK: Yes, because they already knew. On my first interview with the FBI, I had refused to give up the names of my sources. The second interview with Mr. Fitzgerald, I was in a dilemma, because he had, as you know, waivers that I could give up the identity from just about everybody in the government. That didn't cut any ice with me. I didn't think I could give it up, and then I was told that he had only the waivers from the sources that I had talked to -- only two waivers. When he actually arrived, he had the third waiver from the CIA spokesman. In other words, Tim, he knew who my sources were, and so it wasn't a matter of me giving them up.

MR. RUSSERT: We were subpoenaed at NBC. We fought the subpoenas. "Time" magazine subpoenaed, fought the subpoenas. The New York Times was subpoenaed, fought the subpoena. Why didn't you fight the subpoena?

MR. NOVAK: Because my lawyer said I did not have a clear constitutional chance of surviving. I had to make this decision myself. I was operating as an independent operator paying the burden, the great burden, of my legal fees. The Chicago Sun-Times helped me, but it was essentially my decision, and my attorney, Jim Hamilton, a very prominent attorney, believed that there was a high probability that I would lose the case in court, and it would not be good for press freedoms. As a matter of fact, you lost the case -- in fact, everybody who went to court lost the case, and the law protecting the rights of journalists, which I feel very strongly about, has suffered by people going -- by fighting it, and that's one thing I wanted to avoid.

MR. RUSSERT: How do you believe Patrick Fitzgerald knew the identity of your sources?

MR. NOVAK: I don't know. I thought he didn't. He knew the identity almost from the very beginning of the case. In other words, he has known for two and a half -- for thr-- for two and a half years who my sources were and decided that no law was broken, and he did not bring any kind of indictment against my primary source, whose identity has still not been publicly made known.

MR. RUSSERT: But he knows it?

MR. NOVAK: Of course, he knows it. He gave it -- he made clear to me he knew it in my first interview with him.

MR. RUSSERT: When I was subpoenaed, we announced it. When I testified before Patrick Fitzgerald, we announced that in what I had said and so, too, with "Time" magazine and The New York Times. Why did you wait almost three years to tell the public that you had been subpoenaed and what you said?

MR. NOVAK: Mr. Fitzgerald asked my lawyer not to divulge our contacts. He advised that that was good advice until his investigation was completed. When he announced that Karl Rove would not be indicted, my attorney went to Mr. Fitzgerald and asked him if that request now no longer held true, and he said that his investigation had been concluded as far as I was concerned.

MR. RUSSERT: Many lawyers involved in the case have said that your primary source is the same as that for Bob Woodward of The Washington Post. Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of The Washington Post said this about Bob Woodward's source, "That former deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage, is the likely source is a fair assumption." Is it?

MR. NOVAK: I'm not going to speculate on who the source was. I would have said a long time ago if I was going to. I believe that as far as making his name public on NBC, in my column, for any other means, is a violation of the tacit arrangement in which I interviewed him when he gave me the name -- when he gave me the fact of Mrs. Wilson's involvement in this case. So until he reveals himself as Karl Rove through his attorney has revealed himself or as Bill Harlow of the CIA has revealed himself, I'm going to be quiet. Now, I am -- a lot of people feel that this is going to come out sooner or later, probably sooner, but I can't speculate on that.

MR. RUSSERT: Would it be wrong to suggest Richard Armitage?

MR. NOVAK: I don't make any speculation on who it is.

MR. RUSSERT: What were the ground rules of your interview?

MR. NOVAK: I have interviews all -- I'm a reporting columnist as opposed to a thumb-sucking columnist, and I have all kinds of interviews with people where there is a tacit agreement that now -- that I will not reveal the name. I sat down with this source who was not a -- as I have said many times -- was not a political gunslinger. We had a long talk, an hour-long talk, we're the only people in the room. I didn't have a tape recorder, I didn't take notes. It's the kind of tacitly, not-for-attribution interview that I do constantly as part of my work for the last half-century in Washington.

MR. RUSSERT: And what did the source tell you about Valerie Plame?

MR. NOVAK: What the source to me -- we had talked about several things, and I got to the question -- what I was really interested in was that Joe Wilson had been on "Meet the Press" the previous Sunday, and I thought he was quite hostile to the administration, and I was curious why would the CIA send this person who was hostile and who didn't have any background with the CIA, hadn't been in Africa for a long time -- why would they send him on this mission? And he said, "Well, you know, his wife suggested it. She works in the counter- proliferation division of the CIA." And so that, I thought, was interesting. I put it in the middle of the column, didn't read the column -- you read that paragraph, it was just about in the middle of the column, and then I did call the CIA, and the spokesman told me that she didn't initiate it, she facilitated it. That happened to be wrong, because the Senate Intelligence Committee had said that she did initiate the trip, and they have a document to prove it.

MR. RUSSERT: Well, the Senate Intelligence Committee indicated that, but they did not conclude it.

MR. NOVAK: I believe that the Republican majority concluded it.

MR. RUSSERT: The Republican majority did, but the Democrats did not.

MR. NOVAK: And yet they didn't take -- and they didn't dissent from it, either.

MR. RUSSERT: It's not an official conclusion, but it is reported as an indication.

MR. NOVAK: And there's a document that confirms it.

MR. RUSSERT: Did he give you her name?

MR. NOVAK: No, he did not.

MR. RUSSERT: Now, "Newsday" interviewed you a few weeks after your column ran back in 2003 and quotes you as saying this, "I didn't dig it out. It was given to me. They thought it was significant, they gave me the name, and I used it."

MR. NOVAK: That was a misstatement on my part. I have found I am much better -- I hope I'm not screwing up on this interview, because I'm much better interviewing than I am giving interviews. They didn't give me the name and, of course, it was not a "they," it was one person, which I later checked out with Mr. Rove. The "Newsday" article also paraphrased me as saying they came to me. I never said they came to me because obviously I initiated the interview.

MR. RUSSERT: "Newsday" stands by that story, and you know if a politician said that which you said, and contrasted it with what you're saying now, people would say, "Wait a minute, something is wrong here."

MR. NOVAK: Well, I was wrong when I said they came to me. I mean, when I said that they gave me the name, because I got the name from "Who's Who in America."

MR. RUSSERT: You did say that the story, the disclosure, was inadvertent on the part of your primary source, a third party told you that.

MR. NOVAK: A third party close to the primary source called me after the investigation was launched and said that he believed he had given me -- inadvertently given me information --

MR. RUSSERT: Have you spoken to your primary source?


MR. RUSSERT: Not since that interview?


MR. RUSSERT: When you were on "Meet the Press" October of '03, I asked you about the "Newsday" piece, and you did repeat -- you said, "What I meant was that the senior official had given me her name."

MR. NOVAK: Well, that was a mistake on my part. What he said, exactly, was his wife. His wife had done it, I got the name, because I realized I didn't have the name, and I figured out how am I going to get this name to put in the column, so I said, "Maybe it's in 'Who's Who,'" and I looked it up and there it was.

MR. RUSSERT: In fact, you wrote, "I learned Valerie Plame's name from Joe Wilson's entry in "Who's Who in America," and here is the "Who's Who" from 2003 -- "Wilson, Joseph Charles IV, ambassador, married to Valerie Elise Plame, August 3, 1998." Was that the very first time you had seen or heard the name "Valerie Plame?"


MR. RUSSERT: No one told you?


MR. RUSSERT: But they did tell you "his wife?"

MR. NOVAK: He told me his wife worked in the counter- proliferation division of the -- they did not say she was a covert operative, didn't say she was a covered operative.

A lot of people say, "Well, why did you call it an operative in the column?" I call all kinds of politicians "operatives." It's maybe a bad habit, but I still do it. If somebody is running a congressional campaign in Wyoming, I call him an "operative."

MR. RUSSERT: But having said twice before that you got the name from a senior official, you can understand why people --

MR. NOVAK: I understand. I understand, but it's just not factually correct, and I have testified under oath about this.

MR. RUSSERT: You have?


MR. RUSSERT: That they did not give you the name? Bill Harlow, the CIA spokesman that you called when you were working on this story -- this is how The Washington Post characterized his testimony about this situation, "Bill Harlow, the former CIA spokesman, said he warned Novak that Wilson's wife had not authorized the mission and that if he did not write about it, her name should not be revealed. Harlow said that after Novak's call he checked Plame's status and confirmed that she was undercover operative. He said he called Novak back to repeat that story Novak had related to him was wrong and that Plame's name should not be used. But he did not tell Novak directly that she was undercover because that was classified." Is that accurate?

MR. NOVAK: No. That was not testimony, that was an interview with reporters from The Washington Post. What Mr. Harlow told me was he asked me not to use her name, did not say she was a covert employee, and I still don't believe she was engaged in any covert activities, and I do that from talking to other people at the CIA. He said that it was highly unlikely --

MR. RUSSERT: But she was undercover, you grant her that?

MR. NOVAK: I don't think she -- there's a difference between being undercover and being a covert agent. She was doing analytical work at the CIA. She was not involved in any covert activities.

MR. RUSSERT: Her friends and neighbors did not know that she worked for the CIA.

MR. NOVAK: Well, other people contend to me that it was very widely known in circles in town that she did work for the CIA.

MR. RUSSERT: Her official status was not to be public --

MR. NOVAK: There's a lot of people like that. But she was a person who went to work every day as an analyst because I am told she'd been outed by the traitor, Aldrich Ames, many years ago. But as a matter of fact, getting back to Harlow, what Harlow said to me was that if she were to make a trip overseas in the future it might be embarrassing for her, but he also said before that, he said it is highly unlikely she will ever do -- make a trip for the agency abroad. In other words, he was telling me that she was not going to do any covert activity. He never said she was in danger. And I have said before that if he had called me or if he had put George Tenet on the phone, who I'm sure was aware of what was going on and said, "Please don't run this. This woman's life is in danger. We have secret operations going," I wouldn't have used -- I would have knocked the paragraph out of the story. He didn't do that.

MR. RUSSERT: As you know, Harlow works as an NBC News consultant. I talked to him on Friday. He said that he told you, "It would be really bad if you wrote her publicly."

MR. NOVAK: He didn't say that. He never said that. Now, he may think he said it, but he never said that to me. I don't know if you know Mr. Harlow very well. He's a very low-key guy. I like Mr. Harlow, he's a novelist, he's a very interesting man, but he's very low-key. He didn't press me. He didn't push it very hard, and I -- you probably have this, too. I have a lot of people in government say "Please don't run this," and I run it, anyway. But when they really say it's a matter of life and death, I don't run it.

MR. RUSSERT: In hindsight, do you regret writing this column?

MR. NOVAK: I don't know -- I try -- I used to try to think about whether I would have -- I would prefer not to be the center of news. I would prefer not to be sitting with you and being an interviewee. I like to be an analyst and a commentator, but it's very hard to go back and say what would you do if you had it to do over again? I thought it was a valid news story of why in the world he got assigned that thing. I still believe, I don't think there's any question that he got assigned that because of his wife, and that was a small part of a very strange assignment. The answer to your question -- I don't know.

MR. RUSSERT: But no regrets outing a CIA agent?

MR. NOVAK: I don't think I outed her. I think she was outed by Aldrich Ames before. I don't think she was a covert operative.

MR. RUSSERT: Robert Novak, we thank you for joining us and sharing your views.

MR. NOVAK: Thank you very much.

August 27th, 2006, 12:09 AM
State Department has reportedly known for years
ex-Powell aide Armitage 'outed' CIA's Plame


RAW STORY (http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/State_Department_has_reportedly_known_for_0826.htm l)
August 26, 2006

According to a soon-to-be-released book, the State Department has known for years that former deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage "outed" ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to syndicated columnist Robert Novak and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post.

"Armitage's central role as the primary source on Plame is detailed for the first time in 'Hubris,' which recounts the leak case and the inside battles at the CIA and White House in the run-up to the war," reports Newsweek's Michael Isikoff, who also co-authored the book.

"The disclosures about Armitage, gleaned from interviews with colleagues, friends and lawyers directly involved in the case, underscore one of the ironies of the Plame investigation: that the initial leak, seized on by administration critics as evidence of how far the White House was willing to go to smear an opponent, came from a man who had no apparent intention of harming anyone," the article continues.

Excerpts from Newsweek article:

Armitage, a well-known gossip who loves to dish and receive juicy tidbits about Washington characters, apparently hadn't thought through the possible implications of telling Novak about Plame's identity. "I'm afraid I may be the guy that caused this whole thing," he later told Carl Ford Jr., State's intelligence chief. Ford says Armitage admitted to him that he had "slipped up" and told Novak more than he should have. "He was basically beside himself that he was the guy that f---ed up. My sense from Rich is that it was just chitchat," Ford recalls in "Hubris," to be published in early September by Crown and co-written by the author of this article and David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation magazine.

... Armitage himself was aggressively investigated by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, but was never charged. Fitzgerald found no evidence that Armitage knew of Plame's covert CIA status when he talked to Novak and Woodward. The decision to go to the FBI that panicky October afternoon also may have helped Armitage. Powell, Armitage and Taft were aware of the perils of a cover-up—all three had had lived through the Iran-contra scandal at the Defense Department in the late 1980s.

Taft, the State Department lawyer, also felt obligated to inform White House counsel Alberto Gonzales. But Powell and his aides feared the White House would then leak that Armitage had been Novak's source—possibly to embarrass State Department officials who had been unenthusiastic about Bush's Iraq policy. So Taft told Gonzales the bare minimum: that the State Department had passed some information about the case to Justice. He didn't mention Armitage. Taft asked if Gonzales wanted to know the details. The president's lawyer, playing the case by the book, said no, and Taft told him nothing more. Armitage's role thus remained that rarest of Washington phenomena: a hot secret that never leaked.

FULL NEWSWEEK ARTICLE CAN BE READ AT THIS LINK (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14533384/site/newsweek/)

September 2nd, 2006, 02:56 AM
New Questions About Inquiry in C.I.A. Leak

Brian Kersey/Associated Press
Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special counsel in the C.I.A. leak case.

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/02/washington/02leak.html?hp&ex=1157256000&en=86b058e3e3be2d22&ei=5094&partner=homepage)
September 2, 2006

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 — An enduring mystery of the C.I.A. leak case has been solved in recent days, but with a new twist: Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the prosecutor, knew the identity of the leaker from his very first day in the special counsel’s chair, but kept the inquiry open for nearly two more years before indicting I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, on obstruction charges.

Now, the question of whether Mr. Fitzgerald properly exercised his prosecutorial discretion in continuing to pursue possible wrongdoing in the case has become the subject of rich debate on editorial pages and in legal and political circles.

Richard L. Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state, first told the authorities in October 2003 that he had been the primary source for the July 14, 2003, column by Robert D. Novak that identified Valerie Wilson as a C.I.A. operative and set off the leak investigation.

TIMELINE of a Leak (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/washington/2006_LEAKTIMELINE_GRAPHIC.html?currentcasetype=Arm itage)

Mr. Fitzgerald’s decision to prolong the inquiry once he took over as special prosecutor in December 2003 had significant political and legal consequences.
The inquiry seriously embarrassed and distracted the Bush White House for nearly two years and resulted in five felony charges against Mr. Libby, even as Mr. Fitzgerald decided not to charge Mr. Armitage or anyone else with crimes related to the leak itself.

Moreover, Mr. Fitzgerald’s effort to find out who besides Mr. Armitage had spoken to reporters provoked a fierce battle over whether reporters could withhold the identities of their sources from prosecutors and resulted in one reporter, Judith Miller, then of The New York Times, spending 85 days in jail before agreeing to testify to a grand jury.

Since this week’s disclosures about Mr. Armitage’s role, Bush administration officials have argued that because the original leak came from a State Department official, it was clear there had been no concerted White House effort to disclose Ms. Wilson’s identity.

But Mr. Fitzgerald’s defenders point out that the revelation about Mr. Armitage did not rule out a White House effort because officials like Mr. Libby and Karl Rove, the senior white House adviser, had spoken about Ms. Wilson with other journalists. Even so, the Fitzgerald critics say, the prosecutor behaved much as did the independent counsels of the 1980’s and 1990’s who often failed to bring down their quarry on official misconduct charges but pursued highly nuanced accusations of a cover-up.

Mr. Armitage cooperated voluntarily in the case, never hired a lawyer and testified several times to the grand jury, according to people who are familiar with his role and actions in the case. He turned over his calendars, datebooks and even his wife’s computer in the course of the inquiry, those associates said. But Mr. Armitage kept his actions secret, not even telling President Bush because the prosecutor asked him not to divulge it, the people said.

Mr. Armitage has not publicly commented on the matter. The people who spoke about Mr. Armitage’s thoughts and action did so seeking anonymity on the grounds that the criminal case was still open and that their remarks were not authorized by the prosecutor. A spokesman for Mr. Fitzgerald declined to comment.

Mr. Fitzgerald, who has spoken infrequently in public, came close to providing a defense for his actions at a news conference in October 2005, when Mr. Libby was indicted. Mr. Fitzgerald said that apart from the issue of whether any crime had been committed, the justice system depended on the ability of prosecutors to obtain truthful information from witnesses during any investigation.

The information about Mr. Armitage’s role may help Mr. Libby convince a jury that his actions were relatively inconsequential, because even Mr. Armitage, not regarded as an ally of Mr. Cheney, was talking to journalists about Ms. Wilson’s role.

But the trial, scheduled for early next year, may be focused on the narrow questions of whether Mr. Libby’s accounts to the grand jury and the F.B.I. were true. Judge Reggie M. Walton of Federal District Court, who is presiding, has resisted efforts by Mr. Libby’s lawyers to give the case a wider political scope.

Mr. Fitzgerald may also point out that Mr. Armitage knew about Ms. Wilson’s C.I.A. role only because of a memorandum that Mr. Libby had commissioned as part of an effort to rebut criticism of the White House by her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV.

Mr. Fitzgerald was named as a special counsel to investigate whether the leaking of Ms. Wilson’s identity as a C.I.A. officer was part of an administration effort to violate the law prohibiting the willful disclosure of undercover employees.

Some administration critics asserted that her identity had been disclosed in the Novak column as part of a campaign to undermine her husband. Mr. Wilson was sent by the C.I.A. in 2002 to Africa to investigate whether the Iraqi government had obtained uranium ore for its nuclear weapons program.

On July 6, 2003, a week before the Novak column, Mr. Wilson wrote a commentary in The New York Times saying his investigation in Africa had led him to believe that it was highly doubtful that any uranium deal had ever taken place and that the Bush administration had twisted intelligence to justify the Iraq war.

Mr. Armitage spoke with Mr. Novak on July 8, 2003, those familiar with Mr. Armitage’s actions said. Mr. Armitage did not know Mr. Novak, but agreed to meet with the columnist as a favor for a mutual friend, Kenneth M. Duberstein, a White House chief of staff during Ronald Reagan’s administration. At the conclusion of a general foreign policy discussion, Mr. Armitage said in reply to a question that Ms. Wilson might have had a role in arranging her husband’s trip to Niger.

At the time of the offhand conversation about the Niger trip, Mr. Armitage was not aware of Ms. Wilson’s undercover status, those familiar with his actions said. The mention of Ms. Wilson was brief. Mr. Armitage did not believe he used her name, those aware of his actions said.

On Oct. 1, 2003, Mr. Armitage was up at 4 a.m. for a predawn workout when he read a second article by Mr. Novak in which he described his primary source for his earlier column about Ms. Wilson as “no partisan gunslinger.” Mr. Armitage realized with alarm that that could only be a reference to him, according to people familiar with his role. He waited until Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, an old friend, was awake, then telephoned him. They discussed the matter with the top State Department lawyer, William H. Taft IV.

Mr. Armitage had prepared a resignation letter, his associates said. But he stayed on the job because State Department officials advised that his sudden departure could lead to the disclosure of his role in the leak, the people aware of his actions said.

Later, Mr. Taft spoke with the White House counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, now the attorney general, and advised him that Mr. Armitage was going to speak with lawyers at the Justice Department about the matter, the people familiar with Mr. Armitage’s actions said. Mr. Taft asked Mr. Gonzales whether he wanted to be told the details and was told that he did not want to know.

One day later, Justice Department investigators interviewed Mr. Armitage at his office. He resigned in November 2004, but remained a subject of the inquiry until this February when the prosecutor advised him in a letter that he would not be charged.

But Mr. Fitzgerald did obtain the indictment of Mr. Libby on charges that he had untruthfully testified to a grand jury and federal agents when he said he learned about Ms. Wilson’s role at the C.I.A. from reporters rather than from several officials, including Mr. Cheney.

Mr. Libby has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and his lawyers have signaled he will mount a defense based on the notion that he did not willfully lie.

Neil A. Lewis contributed reporting from Washington for this article.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

September 13th, 2006, 08:27 PM
Finally Novak spills the beans ... Or does he?

Novak: Real story behind Armitage's role

Chicago Sun Times (http://suntimes.com/output/news/cst-edt-novak14.html)
September 13, 2006

When Richard Armitage finally acknowledged last week he was my source three years ago in revealing Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA employee, the former deputy secretary of state’s interviews obscured what he really did. I want to set the record straight based on firsthand knowledge.

First, Armitage did not, as he now indicates, merely pass on something he had heard and that he ‘‘thought’’ might be so. Rather, he identified to me the CIA division where Mrs. Wilson worked, and said flatly that she recommended the mission to Niger by her husband, former Amb. Joseph Wilson.

Second, Armitage did not slip me this information as idle chitchat, as he now suggests. He made clear he considered it especially suited for my column.

An accurate depiction of what Armitage actually said deepens the irony of him being my source. He was a foremost internal skeptic of the administration’s war policy, and I long had opposed military intervention in Iraq. Zealous foes of George W. Bush transformed me improbably into the president’s lapdog. But they cannot fit Armitage into the left-wing fantasy of a well-crafted White House conspiracy to destroy Joe and Valerie Wilson. The news that he and not Karl Rove was the leaker was devastating news for the left.

A peculiar convergence had joined Armitage and me on the same historical path. During his quarter of a century in Washington, I had no contact with Armitage before our fateful interview. I tried to see him in the first 2 years of the Bush administration, but he rebuffed me — summarily and with disdain, I thought.

Then, without explanation, in June 2003, Armitage’s office said the deputy secretary would see me. This was two weeks before Joe Wilson surfaced himself as author of a 2002 report for the CIA debunking Iraqi interest in buying uranium in Africa.

I sat down with Armitage in his State Department office the afternoon of July 8 with tacit rather than explicit ground rules: deep background with nothing said attributed to Armitage or even an anonymous State Department official. Consequently, I refused to identify Armitage as my leaker until his admission was forced by Hubris, a new book by reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn that absolutely identified him.

Late in my hourlong interview with Armitage. I asked why the CIA had sent Wilson — lacking intelligence experience, nuclear policy or recent contact with Niger — on the African mission. He told the Washington Post last week that his answer was: ‘‘I don’t know, but I think his wife worked out there.’’

Neither of us took notes, and nobody else was present. But I recalled our conversation that week in writing a column, while Armitage reconstructed it months later for federal prosecutors. He had told me unequivocally that Mrs. Wilson worked in the CIA’s Counter-Proliferation Division and that she had suggested her husband’s mission.

As for his current implications that he never expected this to be published, he noted that the story of Mrs. Wilson’s role fit the style of the old Evans-Novak column — implying to me it continued reporting Washington inside information.

Mrs. Wilson’s name appeared in my column July 14, 2003, but it was not until Oct. 1 that I heard about it from Armitage. Washington lobbyist Kenneth Duberstein, Armitage’s close friend and political adviser, called me to say the deputy secretary feared he had ‘‘inadvertently’’ (the word Armitage used in last week’s interviews) disclosed Mrs. Wilson’s identity to me in July and was considering resignation. (Duberstein’s phone call was disclosed in the Isikoff-Corn book, which used Duberstein as a source. They reported Duberstein was responsible for arranging my unexpected interview with Armitage.)

Duberstein told me Armitage wanted to know whether he was my source. I did not reply because I was sure that Armitage knew he was the source. I believed he contacted me Oct. 1 because of news the weekend of Sept. 27-28 that the Justice Department was investigating the leak. I cannot credit Armitage’s current claim that he realized he was the source only when my Oct. 1 column revealed that the official who gave me the information was ‘‘no partisan gunslinger.’’

Armitage’s silence the next 2 years caused intense pain for his colleagues in government and enabled partisan Democrats in Congress to falsely accuse Rove of being my primary source. When Armitage now says he was mute because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s request, that does not explain his silence three months between his claimed first realization that he was the source and Fitzgerald’s appointment on Dec. 30. Armitage’s tardy self-disclosure is tainted because it is deceptive.

Copyright 2006, Digital Chicago Inc.

September 28th, 2006, 10:28 AM
How Is Richard Armitage's Story Dishonest?
Let's Count the Many Ways

Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-fiderer/how-is-richard-armitages_b_30409.html)
David Fiderer
September 27, 2006

Richard Armitage's story sounds as phony as a ten-dollar Rolex, so naturally the Washington press corps ate it up. The former No. 2 State Department diplomat claims his disclosure of Valerie Plame's CIA status was "inadvertent (http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/15463407.htm)", which is shorthand for saying he forgot the "classified" labels on the memo prepared for the damage control effort against Joseph Wilson.

But the memo identifying Wilson's wife also alerted Armitage and others in the Administration that Plame herself could endanger their campaign to squelch criticism of the case for Iraq's WMDs. By labeling her a "WMD managerial type" the memo directed Armitage, and others who could easily find out, to Plame's actual job - operations chief for the clandestine Joint Task Force on Iraq overseeing espionage operations for gathering intelligence on Saddam's supposed WMDs. Surely she knew where bodies were buried in the trumped up case for war. The Administration, still trying to keep a lid on the WMD scam, had reason to worry if Plame ever stooped to divulge government secrets with the same reckless indifference shown by Armitage, Libby and Rove.

Armitage "forgot" about the classified warnings twice, each time right after the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A46957-2003Jun11&notFound=true)and the New York Times (http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0706-02.htm) published Joseph Wilson's allegation- that the so-called intelligence about Niger's uranium sale was never credible. Each time, Armitage passed on the information as digressive chitchat to a prominent Washington reporter.

The suspicious timing, by itself, proves little. But there's plenty more. First, Armitage explained his lapses with words that were carefully parsed and highly deceitful. For instance, he told David Martin of CBS News (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/07/eveningnews/main1981433.shtml) that, though the document was classified, "it doesn't mean that every sentence in the document is classified."

That's a red herring with an overpowering smell. Read the memo (http://www.nysun.com/pics/31062_1.php) yourself. If you're smart enough to read it, you can't be dumb enough to overlook the obvious warnings that everything in the memo is secret and classified. Before every paragraph, at the top and bottom of every page and every attachment, are reminders as obvious as neon lights saying everything in the memo is secret and classified. Taken together, all those warnings - I counted 17 - are hard to forget.

Under the law, Armitage has no leeway to presume something is not classified "if he reason to believe" otherwise. His leaks are textbook violations of the Espionage Act (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=793). Under 18 United States Code Sec. 793(d):

Whoever, lawfully having possession of... any document... or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, ... to any person not entitled to receive it, ...Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.To spell it out,
1. Armitage had lawful possession of the document or information related to the national defense. (Fitzgerald's indictment (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/iln/osc/documents/libby_indictment_28102005.pdf) of Libby removes all doubt that Plame's employment status was classified and not common knowledge outside the intelligence community.)

2. Armitage had reason to believe the information could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, (those "classified" and "secret" labels are the memo are hard to miss), and

3. Woodward was not entitled to receive it.
Note what the statue does not require. It does not require specific knowledge that the information was harmful to the United States; nor must the specific act cause actual harm to the United States (though the harm to national security was significant since Plame also did covert work in Iran).

Then there's the Foreign Intelligence and Identities Act. The burden of proof is higher under this statute, though there's sufficient evidence for a plausible case, (see Whom Should I Believe? Victoria Toensing or My Own Lying Eyes? (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-fiderer/whom-should-i-believe-vi_b_9456.html))

Patrick Fitzgerald pursued no criminal action against Armitage, probably because the Deputy Secretary volunteered his full cooperation right from the start. Armitage's apparent good faith must have lent plausibility to his claim that, over the one-month interval between publication of the memo (June 10, 2003) and the leak to Bob Novak (July 8, 2003), Armitage "forgot" the 17 warnings that the information was classified.

But Armitage also "forgot" about his first leak to Bob Woodward, until his memory was jogged by Woodward years later. Following the Scooter Libby indictment, Woodward reminded Armitage that he leaked Plame's identity to Woodward on June 13, 2003. The timing of the first leak, 72 hours after the publication of the memo with 17 warnings, is far more incriminating.

Imagine you were Richard Armitage. Having worked in the military and high government posts for 40 years, your job is to regularly review and retain the contents of classified memos. You read the subject memo, which was published on June 10, 2003. On June 12, 2003, the Washington Post publishes the story "CIA Did Not Share Doubt on Iraq Data Bush Used Report Of Uranium Bid (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&contentId=A46957-2003Jun11&notFound=true)". (Wilson, then an unnamed source of reporter Walter Pincus, affirms the contents of the State Department memo, which says the Niger intelligence was too far-fetched for serious consideration.) On June 13, 2003 you meet with Bob Woodward and, like some gossiping schoolgirl, casually mention the employment of Joe Wilson's wife because you forgot that the information was classified. Please. Let's return to planet earth. Any clerk in a corporate personnel department knows he'll be immediately fired if caught blurting out confidential employee information. Armitage could not do his job if his 72-hour memory were that much of a sieve.

Robert Parry, reporting in Consortium News (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2006/091506.html), also raises doubts about Armitage's feigned obliviousness. Parry writes, "When I asked my well-placed conservative source about [Armitage's] scenario, he laughed and said, 'Armitage isn't a gossip, but he is a leaker. There's a difference.'"

Armitage made other deceptive remarks to insinuate that the Plame leak was an honest mistake. "I had never seen a covert agent's name in any memo in, I think, 28 years of government," he said to David Martin (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/07/eveningnews/main1981433.shtml) and to the Associated Press (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2409329&page=1), which, legally, is &#224; propos to nothing and almost certainly false, because many State Department employees work as covert agents for the CIA. (For example, in 1989 Valerie Plame "worked" as a State Department officer at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, though her covert mission was to recruit agents for the CIA.)

The memo's contents also put Armitage on notice that any details in the memo may not be 100% accurate. The very first paragraph (like all others, marked "S [ecret[//N[ot for] F[oreign Governments]") makes clear that the contents are based on the notes of State Department staffers who were "involved at the margin" of Joe Wilson's Niger trip, but were not available to help prepare the memo. Consequently, any reader with a security clearance knows better than to presume the sensitivity of Mrs. Wilson's role within the CIA.

But the staffer's reference to Mrs. Wilson as a "WMD management type" signaled her potential proximity to the broad WMD effort in Iraq. At the time, the Chief of Staff for State Department Undersecretary John Bolton was Frederick Fleitz,, who concurrently worked in the CIA's section for Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control as a senior CIA Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control. Fleitz could have easily alerted Bolton and others regarding Plame's role in gathering WMD intelligence for Iraq.

Armitage had another line that, to put it charitably, strains credulity. Though he says he remembers leaking to Novak, Armitage didn't realize that he was the leaker (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14533384/site/newsweek/). Hmm. The supposed time sequence is as follows: Armitage leaks to Novak on July 8, 2003. Novak publishes his column on July 14, 2003 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/20/AR2005102000874.html). On July 21, 2003, Joe Wilson argues that his family is subject to a smear campaign. The Democrats insist on an investigation (a request stymied by the Republicans). But Richard Armitage, the gossip who forgets what's classified and what isn't, never realizes that he might be Novak's source. Only later, on October 1, 2003 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14927533/page/2/), when Novak writes a follow-up column stating that his primary source was "no partisan gunslinger", does it occur to Armitage that he might be Novak's source.

If Murray Waas' reporting for the National Journal (http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/0525nj1.htm) proves to be true, the timing of Novak's column, and Armitage's sudden awareness, are extremely suspicious. Waas reports that Novak telephoned Karl Rove to assure Rove that he would protect him from being harmed by the investigation, "according to people with firsthand knowledge of the federal grand jury testimony of both men." (Al Hunt, of the Capital Gang, described Rove and Novak as "intimately close.") The date of the call was September 29, 2003, three days after the public knew of the CIA request to the Justice Department to investigate the Plame leak, Two days after that alleged phone call, Novak published his column describing the leaker as "no partisan gunslinger" ( i.e. not Rove), and suddenly Armitage figures out that the leaker is he himself. On October 2, 2003, Armitage was interviewed by the FBI.

So if you add up:

1. The suspicious timing of the leaks that coincided with Wilson's published allegations,
2. The implausibility that Armitage would forget that the info was classified three days after reading the memo with 17 warnings,
3. The dishonest claims that "not every sentence is classified ' or that
4. "he'd never seen a covert agent's name in a memo",
5. The implausibility of Armitage not realizing that he was Novak's source in a column published six days after the leak,
6. The signal to Armitage that Wilson's wife may know far more information undermining the case for war,
7. The implausibility that Armitage would relay information from a classified memo to Bob Woodward without an agenda beyond gossipy chit-chat, and
8. The standard negotiating ploy of doing a mea culpa on one leak but forgetting the first, far more incriminating, leak,
then it looks like:
a. Armitage was engaged in precisely the same activity as Libby, in terms of conducting a stealth smear campaign on both Joseph and Valerie Wilson; and/or

b. Armitage conscientiously devised an "I'm-innocent-but-I-remembered-this-and-forgot-that" scenario as a means of providing cover for anyone else, like Libby.
Murray Waas' reporting, above, reinforces the second hypothesis.

Robert Parry (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2006/091506.html) writes that his "well-placed conservative source", who knows both Rove and Armitage, said that "the two men are much closer than many Washington insiders understand, that they developed a friendship and a working relationship when Bush was recruiting Colin Powell to be Secretary of State."

I think Mr. Parry is on to something.

Copyright 2006 &#169; HuffingtonPost.com, LLC

February 3rd, 2007, 09:05 AM
For your parlor ...



July 31st, 2008, 08:40 PM
Karl Baby: You might want to make sure that legal retainer is paid up ...

White House Aides Can Be Subpoenaed

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/washington/01SUBPOENA.html?_r=1&oref=login)
August 1, 2008

WASHINGTON — President Bush’s top advisers cannot ignore subpoenas issued by Congress, a federal judge ruled on Thursday in a case that involves the firings of several United States attorneys but has much wider constitutional implications for all three branches of government.

“The executive’s current claim of absolute immunity from compelled Congressional process for senior presidential aides is without any support in the case law,” Judge John D. Bates ruled in United States District Court here.

Unless overturned on appeal, a former White House counsel, Harriet E. Miers, and the current White House chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, would be required to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee, which has been investigating the controversial dismissal of the federal prosecutors in 2006.

While the ruling is the first in which a court has agreed to enforce a Congressional subpoena against the White House, Judge Bates called his 93-page decision “very limited” and emphasized that he could see the possibility of the dispute being resolved through political negotiations. The White House is almost certain to appeal the ruling.

It was the latest setback for the Bush administration, which maintains that current and former White House aides are immune from congressional subpoena. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to recommend that Karl Rove, a former top political adviser to President Bush, be cited for contempt for ignoring a subpoena and not appearing at a hearing on political interference by the White House at the Justice Department.

Although Judge Bates did not specifically say so, his ruling, if sustained on appeal, might apply as well to Mr. Rove and his refusal to testify.

The House has already voted to hold Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten in contempt for refusing to testify or to provide documents about the dismissals of the United States attorneys, which critics of the administration have suggested were driven by an improper mix of politics and decisions about who should, or should not, be prosecuted.

Judge Bates, who was appointed to the bench by President Bush in 2001, said Ms. Miers cannot simply ignore a subpoena to appear but must state her refusal in person. Moreover, he ruled, both she and Mr. Bolten must provide all non-privileged documents related to the dismissals.

Ms. Miers and Mr. Bolten, citing legal advice from the White House, have refused for months to comply with Congressional subpoenas. The White House has repeatedly invoked executive privilege, the doctrine that allows the advice that a president gets from his close advisers to remain confidential.

In essence, Judges Bates held that whatever immunity from Congressional subpoenas that executive branch officials might enjoy, it is not “absolute.” And in any event, he said, it is up to the courts, not the executive branch, to determine the scope of its immunity in particular cases.

“We are reviewing the decision,” Emily Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman, said. Before the decision was handed down, several lawyers said it would almost surely be appealed, no matter which way it turned, because of its importance.

Democrats in Congress issued statements in which they were quick to claim victory in the struggle with the administration over the dismissals of the federal prosecutors and other occurences in the Justice Department, and that they looked forward to hearing from the appropriate White House officials.

“I have long pointed out that this administration’s claims of executive privilege and immunity, which White House officials have used to justify refusing to even show up when served with congressional subpoenas, are wrong,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Leahy’s House counterpart in the House had a similar reaction.

“Today’s landmark ruling is a ringing reaffirmation of the fundamental principle of checks and balances and the basic American idea that no person is above the law,” said Representative John D. Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

August 2nd, 2008, 12:24 AM
Is the death penalty is still on the books for treason? I'd like to see Rove fry.

August 2nd, 2008, 12:40 PM
I'll bring the popcorn and soda.

August 4th, 2008, 10:59 AM
I'll bring the popcorn and soda.

Unpopped, of course.

*hands Rove a stainless steel bowl*

May 12th, 2010, 05:20 PM
He's back, with a new & dastardly plan ...

Rove Rides Again

Bush's former strategist is secretly seizing control of the GOP –
and amassing $135 million to destroy the Democrats

Rolling Stone (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/;kw=[3351,149864])
By Tim Dickinson
May 12, 2010 10:00 AM EDT

One afternoon in late April, Karl Rove welcomed an elite group of conservative political operatives and moneymen into his home in Washington, D.C. Along with his protégé Ed Gillespie, who succeeded him as George W. Bush's top political adviser, Rove had gathered together the heavyweights of the GOP's fundraising network. In attendance were the political director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as the leaders of two new megadollar campaign groups loyal to Rove: American Crossroads and the American Action Network. Rove's plan was straightforward: to seize control of the party from Michael Steele, whose leadership of the Republican National Committee was imploding in the wake of a fundraiser at a lesbian bondage club. By building a war chest of unregulated campaign cash – an unprecedented $135 million to be raised by these three groups alone – Rove would be able to wage the midterm elections on his own terms: electing candidates loyal to the GOP's wealthiest donors and corporate patrons. With the media's attention diverted by the noisy revolt being waged by the Tea Party, the man known as "Bush's brain" was staging a stealthier but no less significant coup of the Republican Party.

"What they've cooked up is brilliant," says a prominent Democrat. "Evil, but brilliant."

Rove and Gillespie, who effectively ran the Republican Party throughout the past decade, recognized that Steele's weakness represented an opportunity to stage a quiet comeback. But taking control of the party, they knew, would require a new kind of political machine. The Supreme Court, in its recent decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, opened the floodgates for unlimited political spending by corporations and individuals. But the court left in place strict limits on contributions to party committees – and it preserved the legal firewall that bars campaigns from coordinating directly with the outside groups now empowered to spend millions on their behalf.

That's where Rove and Gillespie come in. As free-agent strategists, they are in a unique position to skirt such prohibitions and coordinate all parts of the GOP – both inside and outside the official party structure – because they're not officially in charge of any of it. In the run-up to November, they will be the ones ensuring that the many tentacles of the court-sanctioned shadow party – from startups like American Crossroads to stalwarts like the National Rifle Association – operate in concert. "They will be making sure that everybody is expending themselves properly, as opposed to duplicating efforts or working at cross-purposes," says Mary Matalin, who served with Rove in the Bush White House. "That's something that the committees and the campaigns really don't do – legally cannot do." ...

Copyright 2010 Rolling Stone


October 27th, 2010, 11:02 AM
The Malignant Brain ...

Karl Rove: '45 Percent Of NPR Listeners Were Saddam Hussein' (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/27/karl-rove-npr-saddam-hussein_n_774367.html)

Karl should get together with Tim Proffit (http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/kentucky-stomper-identified-as-pauls-now-former-bourbon-county-coordinator.php?ref=fpa) for some up close and personal poiiticking.

The Grand Old Party may be one hot mess, but it's no doubt filled with rabid patriots (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/27/rand-paul-supporter-tim-profitt_n_774614.html).

October 27th, 2010, 12:38 PM
As sad as it seems, I hope they succeed RESOUNDINGLY this election cycle.

I am hoping that by seeing the baby boil once tossed in the cauldron that people will finally believe what they have been told for so long.

Unfortunately, I also believe half of those watching the child turn red, will blame someone else for keeping the pot that hot and forcing them to throw it in.....

October 27th, 2010, 12:45 PM
If the GOP / Tea Party gains seats in the House to the degree that has been discussed they still won't have the power to achieve anything. They will simply obstruct. That's seemingly their true goal -- make the government unworkable / stop it from enacting any substantive policy whatsoever. They won't be able to push through privatization of Social Security, they won't be able to overturn or re-legislate Roe v. Wade, they won't be able to do much of anything. We'll have two years of hell with everybody blaming the other as we stall towards our own demise.

It would be better if the GOP got 50% + of the house plus 60 + seats in the Senate -- then we could see them for what they really are and the majority of the American people who vote could decide in 2012 if that's who we want to be.

October 27th, 2010, 02:16 PM
Anyone seeing a repeat of 1994? Democratic congress (with a Democrat president in the White House) get routed. New Republcian congress comes in. The President makes a big right turn to preserve his office in the next presidential election?

Will history repeat itself?

October 27th, 2010, 03:09 PM
Yup. The facts of life in Washington are such that Obama will need to move to the right after the mid-terms. That has been in the cards since the inauguration; a party that controls both the legislative and executive branches typically (but not always) loses legislative control after the mid-terms and moves to the center. That is why it was so important for Obama to act on the progressive agenda during his first two years

He will need to be very targeted with his initiatives after November, focusing on a key few and compromising on others. Just the way it is.

October 27th, 2010, 11:13 PM
That is exactly the wrong thing to do. What good has moving towards the right done? Those on the right who say they will work with the President have for the most part simply played him, pulling him in their direction and then cut and run when the time came to get things done. What do we have to show for it? A watered down the health care bill. We're still in Guantanamo. No action on immigration or DODT. Nothing on a strong and forward thinking energy policy. One could say it's better than nothing. But sometimes nothing is better than what we'd end up with if Obama co-opts himself.

Now that Rahm Emmanuel is out of the way maybe Obama will find his truer self. Or maybe we'll find that he'll still just sway in the wind.

btw: What are the "key" initiatives that Obama will be able to get through? And what should he compromise on in order to say he did something?

December 1st, 2010, 12:13 PM
From Harry Shearer via Songs of the Bushmen (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/songs-of-the-bushmen/id283976034), an ode to Rove:

Turd Blossom Special