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September 30, 2005

Out of the Slammer
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 01:10 PM * 16 comments

Now that Judith “Aluminum Tubes” Miller is out of the hardbar hotel, it looks like she’s going to finger Scooter Libby as the guy who told her that Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA officer.

But what’s Scooter’s defense?

The Nation reports:

The end of this sub-plot has caused Libby’s team to leak his defense to the media. The Post quotes “a source familiar with Libby’s account of his conversations with Miller.” The odds are that source is Libby or his attorney. This super-secret source says that on July 8, 2003, Miller and Libby talked. This was six days before columnist Bob Novak disclosed the CIA identity of Valerie Wilson and two days after former Ambassador Joseph Wilson wrote an explosive Times op-ed disclosing that his trip to Niger in February 2002 had led him to conclude that President Bush had falsely claimed that Iraq had sought weapons-grade uranium in Africa. In this conversation, Miller asked Libby why Wilson had been sent on this mission by the CIA. (Miller, whose prewar reporting had promoted the administration’s case that Iraq was loaded with WMDs, had a personal, as well as professional, interest in Wilson’s tale.) Libby, according to this source, told Miller that the White House was, as the Post puts it, “working with the CIA to find out more about Wilson’s trip and how he was selected.” Libby noted he had heard that Wilson’s wife had something to do with it but he did not know where she worked.

And who are they going to blame? George Tenet, the guy who already took the fall for Paul Wolfowitz’s Weapons of Mass Destruction fantasy.

There’s no telling whether this source is being truthful. Karl Rove’s attorney put out facts that crumbled as more information became public. But you don’t have to look too far between the lines to discern Libby’s cover story. It goes something like this: Wilson wrote his Times article. All hell broke loose. The White House asked, “Who authorized this trip?” Someone called the CIA for information. The CIA reported back that Wilson was contacted by the counter-proliferation office, where his wife Valerie was working. But—and here’s the crucial “but”—the CIA did not tell the White House that Valerie was undercover. Thus, if any White House officials—say, Rove or Libby—repeated this information to reporters, then they may have been engaged in leaking classified and sensitive information to discredit a critic but they were not committing a crime. And who was at fault? George Tenet, the CIA director at the time.

Meanwhile, what of George “Bring It On” Bush’s promise to fire anyone who was involved in leaking classified information?

The grand jury expires at the end of October. It’ll be interesting to see who gets indicted.

Comments on Out of the Slammer:
#1 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 03:03 PM:

I feel like I'm watching some street trickster shuffle peas around under walnut shells.

#2 ::: hrc ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 03:42 PM:

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

#3 ::: Pyrephox ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 03:42 PM:

Except that the trickster is incompetent, and yet, the crowd is oohing and ahhing in all the right places *anyway*. That's the thing that amazes me. People are just going to swallow it whole.

#4 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2005, 05:14 PM:

Remember -- the actions by Rove and Libby materially harmed America and Americans by revealing the identity of an undercover CIA officer, specifically one who was working on finding and limiting the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Those two clowns not only blew any op she was working on, but every op she had worked on in the past, plus the ops of others who were working with her, and burned all of her contacts at home and abroad. Smooth move, Scooter and Turd Blossom -- what are you going to do for an encore?

Let's not forget the reason (we were told at the time) that we went to war in Iraq (a war which, as of today, has taken the lives of 1,936 US troopers, plus other allied troopers, plus thousands of Iraqis) was precisely to find and limit the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Oh -- and Osama "Wanted Dead or Alive" bin Laden is still free, still doing what he can to harm us, and probably getting a good chuckle out of "Mission Accomplished."

#5 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2005, 09:44 PM:

I've seen enough Bush supporters call for the jailing of people just for protesting the war. I figure they're going to nod and grin at whatever Libby claims.

#6 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2005, 12:06 AM:

Seen on WaPo:

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.

#7 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2005, 01:47 AM:

"Source to Stephanopoulos: President Bush Directly Involved In Leak Scandal"

#8 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2005, 12:46 PM:

Oh, boy.

Can you say "impeachment" boys and girls?

I -knew- you could.

IIRC, and if this is true, Bush and Cheney are traitors and have committed treason.

It's going to take awhile to get my mind around this one.

#9 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2005, 02:29 PM:

There are so may eerie resonances with Nixon's regime, except that the scum occupying the Oval Orifice this time are so much more corrupt, venal, greedy, noxious, and dismissive of the well-being and interests of anyone except their own cronies and families. Nixon had a balanced budget, Nixon shutdown the US "police action" in Southeast Asia (despite having lied about US troops in Cambodia), Nixon didn't try to rollback environmental protection and exterminate committees focusing on the status of women and data collection regarding civil rights abuses, Nixon wasn't an alcoholic in denial, Nixon's wife never killed anyone, and I don't remember his wife standing that half step -behind- him. And his daughters weren't out breaking alcohol access laws and his niece wasn't a drug addict forging prescriptions and take illegal pharmaceuticals in drug rehab programs. Note that the Bush offspring have had no jail time; were they kids from families that weren't ultrarich politically protected ones, would that be true?

Oh, and Nixon served in WWII... he didn't get his ass protected in a plush prestigious air defense fighter Guard Wing full of politician's pampered brats with the only "threat" near them being some strayed private pilot gone off course from flight plan (that was long before suicide bomber hijackings in the USA).

#10 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2005, 07:23 PM:

except that the scum occupying the Oval Orifice this time are so much more corrupt, venal, greedy, noxious, and dismissive of the well-being and interests of anyone except their own cronies and families

I feel that the difference between this regine and Nixon's is that Nixon knew he was doing wrong and tried to cover it up (image of cat trying to bury a no-no on a bare wood floor). The current crowd sees nothing wrong with anything they're doing, and therefore are doing all their helping-out-their-good-buddyism right out in the light of day. They are the Chosen, and by definition the Chosen can do no wrong.

Nehemiah Scudder lives.

#11 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2005, 09:21 PM:

Another crony: Miers. Bush's buddy, basically no experience as a lawyer: she's been doing mostly paper-pushing, administrative work. I have a niece with a law degree who probably qualifies with that kind of standard, except she's not one of George's buddies. (I think she's smarter than that.)

#12 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: October 03, 2005, 09:21 PM:

A joke currently making the rounds, in case you haven't seen it already:

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the highway. Nothing is moving. Suddenly a man knocks on the window.

The driver rolls down her window. "What's going on?"

"Terrorists have kidnapped President Bush. They want a ten million dollar ransom, otherwise they're going to drench him in gasoline and set him on fire. We're going car-to-car to take up a collection."

"How much are people giving?" the woman asks.

"About a gallon each."

#13 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2005, 04:24 PM:

Rove to give additional testimony in leak inquiry
Prosecutors won't guarantee that Bush advisor won't be indicted

Oh, really?
(very small sound of cheers)

#14 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2005, 01:52 AM:

Reporter turns over notes in CIA leak case
Fri Oct 7, 2005 7:31 PM ET

By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A New York Times reporter has given investigators notes from a conversation she had with a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney weeks earlier than was previously known, suggesting White House involvement started well before the outing of a CIA operative, legal sources said...

One of the measures of people is the people they choose to have around them. Rove and Libby in what the indications have the stronger and stronger stink of conspiracy to violate federal law and implementing violation outing Valerie Plame, are examples of people apparently chosen and kept as the closest of advisors, whose level of corruption and disdain for the law, make a mockery of open and honest and law-abiding governance. Rove is Bush's close advisor, Libby is Cheney's. Both could have been jettisoned months ago, instead of the Whitehouse mouthpieces proclaiming their value and in-essence integrity etc. etc. etc.

The appearance of gross impropriety and gross misjudgment and obstruction of justice and failing to put persons under clouds of suspicion aside from day to day government operations is there:

That is, if the CEO and VP of a company have staff members suspected of breaking the law and being named in investigations for federal law breaking, how long does the Board of Directors leave the CEo and VP in place, when they keep the strongly-suspected-of-breaking-the-law executives in place and proclaim them wonderful important key personnel and assistants?

#15 ::: Fred ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2005, 01:32 PM:

Why would Miller spend 85 days in jail for Libby? I don't see it. If not Libby, would she stay silent for someone else? Who? Why?

#16 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2005, 02:02 PM:

It may have been for the principal that reporters sources be considered inviolate by the reporters.

Libby and Rove, in my view based on what I am aware of, have less virtue than the sons of Haman (Jewish religious traditions have some rather, uh, spiteful, ways of indicating disapproval, the most blatant are in regard to Haman and his sons--with the former, little kids get to take "noisemakers" -- metal toys with metal gerating that when swung make loud nasty metal grinding noises--when arriving for the Passover service in synagogues/temples, to set swinging every time the name "Haman" gets said/chanted by the rabbi or cantor, to drown out Haman's name. Regarding the ten sons, the rabbi or cantor takes a deep breath before voicing their names, "because among them they're not worth even a full breath."

Anyway, Rove and Libby as Rove and Libby are not worthy of respect as -people-. They're two-footed overgrown over-privileged protected diseased-meme-spreading vermin. But the are principles involved in the concept of free presses (...) and the untrammeled flow of information in a free (...) society, along with concepts of however despicable someone might be, the presumption is innocent until proven guilty, the arrest demands a warrant first, search and seizure requires a warrant or justifiable grounds such as breaking traffic laws egregiously or suspicious of being drunk or drugged and driving to endanger posing the immediate threat of harming others if left to continue driving on the roads, etc.

In those respects, reporters maintaining confidentiality for their sources (that is, not telling the feddies who their sources are), are in a microcosm the reflection of rights embedded in the Bill of Rights, for freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and the right to remain silent in the face of a government that may be/may have turned tyrannical.

So the principle is that no matter how saintly or vile a source may be, revealing that source without permisson of the source to Authorities, is a breach of honor and a violation of the spirit of the Declaratation of Independence, the US Constitution, and the US Bill of Right.

I have my doubts, however, about the honor of the reporter, given her position as a willing mouthpiece for the Misadministration. That is, I have major doubts about her being a reporter of a "free press," as opposed to a willing, paid, eager, and partisan-not-anything-approaching-impartial-or-unbiased-or-interested-in-honest-reporting propaganda disseminator and shill.

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