Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 10, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WHAT DID BUSH KNOW?...Here's an excerpt from Patrick Fitzgerald's court filing that discusses the events of September 2003, when the White House was coming under attack for the leak of Valerie Plame's identity:

During this time, while the President was unaware of the role that the Vice Presidents Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser had in fact played in disclosing Ms. Wilsons CIA employment, [Libby] implored White House officials to have a public statement issued exonerating him.

It's only one sentence, and it's not clear what Fitzgerald bases this on, but it seems as if he's saying as a factual matter that George Bush had no role in the Plame leak and didn't know it had happened. Since Bush's role in Plamegate is still an open question, I'm a little surprised this statement hasn't gotten more attention.

Kevin Drum 1:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (74)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

It's saying that Bush didn't know specifically about Libby's and NSA's role, not that he didn't know about the leak in general or about someone else in the WH (see Rove) leaking. The same argument's coming from senior officials in the WH today, too. Interesting...

Posted by: J on April 10, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

How do you get there? Bush hands it off to Cheney and then "doesn't know" what happened? Maybe. And then there's the second part. Libby asked WH officials to exonerate him. Who was he asking anyway? Why would he be asking for exoneration if he didn't do it? That's obvious -- but wouldn't Bush have learned that Libby wanted exoneration?

Posted by: andy on April 10, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Wait a minute... did I miss something? Wasn't Condi the NSA at that time and what role did she have in revealing Plame's name?

Posted by: Paul on April 10, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Oh my bad..the vice president's national security advisor.

Posted by: Paul on April 10, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bush didn't know, doesn't want to know, and likes it that way. He doesn't read papers and discuss policy, he's a "do-er". Thats the whole problem with his Excellency. George Bush thinks he won a landslide victory courtesy of GOD Himself, and he doesn't need to listen to anything else but the chorus of supplicants as they laud his indulgences. (i.e. "Mission Accomplished", etc.)

Chaney told Libby to leak the info without telling George, because Chaney didn't want fuss George's pretty little head. It goes to show you how incapable George really is, and how Powerful Dick has become.

Posted by: Jon Karak on April 10, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Well, he's about to abolish congress anyway, so what does it matter? The Bush Plan (to Abolish America): http://www.politicalnovel.org/the-bush-plan-to-abolish-america.html

Posted by: Tony Christini on April 10, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Out of the loop.

Posted by: zeph on April 10, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

We only believe Fitzgerald when we can infer something notorius about the evil Bush cabal and did I mention he thinks he was picked by God...

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on April 10, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

zeph beat me to it.

Wouldn't be impudent.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 10, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

If this statement was in Fitzgerald filing that received so much attention last week, it is another example of either incompetance or bias in the press. They made a big deal of one part of the filing reflecting Libby's claim that Bush declassified some information to "leak," but ignored another part of the same document that exonerates Bush from involement in the Plame leak. The gist of the story last week was at least implicitly that Bush authorized the Plame leak when, in fact, the source document reflects he did not even know how it was leaked. How could the press miss this? Reflects well on Kevin for bringing it out.

Posted by: brian on April 10, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

What we're seeing is the start of a wedge between Bush and Cheney. If this thing gets worse, we might see an effort to blame all evil on Dick Cheney, an approach that would be highly credible (since most of us think that Bush is a puppet in any case).

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 10, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

On the surface, and unrelated story - Atrios links to this clip from CNN
http://willdo.philadelphiaweekly.com/archives/2006/04/this_video_of_p.html

In the clip, GW appears oblivious of an issue that has been covered repeatedly in the news for three years. As Karak noted above, he has said he doesn't read the newspaper, and he seems not to have a clue about much. So why would he have had any idea of Plame or Wilson or anything else for that matter?

I would guess GW really is as stupid as he looks, and he got that way by choice.

Posted by: cactus on April 10, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

I think J makes the most relevant point. All the passage implies is that Fitzgerald believes that Bush did not know specifically that Libby had disclosed Plame's identity. It's perfectly consistent with this that Bush signed off on the idea of disclosing Plame's identity, without specifying or keeping track of who was involved.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 10, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK


Or it is an indirect way to reveal what Bush/Cheney are on record as having told Fitz.

But it doesn't exonerate Bush, it just means that he didn't exactly know Libby's tasks in the conspiracy.

Posted by: xyz on April 10, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

What would be interesting to know about this statement from Fitzgerald is what his evidence is that Bush didn't know Libby was involved. Is it merely that Bush stated that he didn't know it? That Cheney said Bush didn't know it?

I just wonder what kind of positive evidence there might really be that Bush didn't know such a thing, apart from the testimony of some of the very people who apriori might themselves be considered suspects.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 10, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Greg Palast thinks the media is missing the point.

And, he's written a pretty convincing argument that Bush did indeed know.

Posted by: conscious1 on April 10, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Jason Leopold's sources paint a somewhat different picture in his piece today. There may be parsing that would reconcile the two accounts, because Fitz says very little he can't back up.

Posted by: Nell on April 10, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

There's no question that this passage is ambiguous, and it's also unclear what it's based on. In context, it's possible that Fitzgerald is merely basing it on press reports, not his own investigation.

Still, the OVP was clearly ground zero for most of this stuff, and if Fitzgerald has reason to believe Bush wasn't aware of what was going on there, it implies that Bush wasn't aware of the leak at all.

I'm not saying that's the case. Just that I'm surprised this statement hasn't gotten more play, especially from the conservative side of the blogosphere.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on April 10, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"especially from the conservative side of the blogosphere"

Nobody cares.

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on April 10, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I've got to disagree with your assessment of the meaning of that sentence. There is nothing in the sentence, per se, that implies that Bush didn't know that the OVP was involved in leaking Plame's name, only that Libby in particular did not know that.

Indeed, I'd nearly read the sentence the other way -- if Bush wasn't aware at all of the leaking of Plame's identity, why not simply say so? Why qualify it by restricting the claim to his knowledge regarding Libby in particular?

Posted by: frankly0 on April 10, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Today's political scandal was brought to you by:
Former staffers on the Nixon Administration.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 10, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

My sentence:

There is nothing in the sentence, per se, that implies that Bush didn't know that the OVP was involved in leaking Plame's name, only that Libby in particular did not know that.

should have been

There is nothing in the sentence, per se, that implies that Bush didn't know that the OVP was involved in leaking Plame's name, only that Bush didn't know that Libby in particular was involved

Posted by: frankly0 on April 10, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

From
G. Gordon Liddy,
To
I. Lewis Libby.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 10, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

The more I look at the sentence the more it seems unclear what it's really implying. It DOES seem to suggest that Fitzgerald believes something we would all find interesting and important, but we just can't figure out what from the sentence itself.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 10, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Fitzgerald is rapidly becoming the Lawrence Walsh of Special Prosecutors. He was hired to find out two things, neither one of which has he yet found out after two plus years on the job. First, who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to the press. Second, does the leaking of her identity constitute a crime. Contrary to some of the posters, the charge against Libby does not involve the leaking of Ms. Plame's identity to the press.

Posted by: Chicounsel on April 10, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Given Bush's past history as political/loyalty tracker/enforcer on his father's Presidential campaigns and his political rep in Texas as Governor I'd say he probably knows plenty of details about what Libby was doing. But as any good mafia don knows, Consigleri Cheney is his protectection from Libby being turned by the feds.
This all seems so familiar as a sopranos plot

Posted by: mossypete on April 10, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

"First, who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to the press"

I think Fitzgeral knows who first leaked Plame's name to the press. The problem for all of moonbattia is that it's probably not someone from the WH or OVP (most likely The State Depratment). The other problem is that leaking her name was not a crime anyway, and Joe Wilson is indeed a scumbag.

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on April 10, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who has seen (or read or signed) an SF-312 knows that leaking her name was a crime. Not just a crime, but a fucking slimy treasonous crime. Unless it was done by someone who has the authority to declassify her cover.

So the issue in the Fitzgerald case, here, is that the whole leak investigation has probably turned out to be a waste of time. He probably found out that Bush declassified Plame (or at least has the ability to say he did - that's the end of that story), and all he has left is Libby's perjury.

Any political damage that might have been done to Bush prior to November 2004, had the public then known the truth, is irrelevant now, because Bush is not up for election. He's already got shitty approval ratings, so he can't really be damaged any worse there simply by the public knowing that not only did Bush declassify her (and Brewster Jennings) (either beforehand, or after the fact, there's no functional difference now), but also that he told the American Public that he wanted to find out who the leaker was an make sure they were "taken care of" - when in fact, at that time, he knew damn well who it was, and he knew damn well that nothing was going to come of it.

It wasn't so much damage-control as it was damage-delay. Maybe he might get impeached after the 06 elections - but that won't bring back the 2500 troops, and it won't undo the damage to Dems that, by supporting the Iraq Invasion, they fucked themselves.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 10, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Jon Karak................. Do you really think Cheney likes to have to get Bush's permission to say ANYTHING? Cheney has permission to declassify information....re executive order. I don't give a damn when permission was granted...Management always backs management! Cheney does whatever he pleases...then just let's the president know what he's done...Big Man to Little Man!

Posted by: avahome on April 10, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody cares.
Posted by: BlaBlaBla on April 10, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Another shining example of The Republican Culture of Corruption.

When their president commits crimes up to and including treason, they're okay with it. The end justifies the means. Republicans are baseless corrupt from the very top, all the way down to the 37% that still supports him no mattter what he does, as long as he keeps making Liberals Angry.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 10, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if your analysis is correct Kevin, but I've really got to applaud you for your intellectual honesty. There are very few bloggers on the left who I think would be willing to bring this to people's attention. Just like there are many on the right who wouldn't do the same for a Democratic president. You're a rare breed.

Posted by: Jeff on April 10, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Was this as a result of Fitz's interview with Bush? Because if it is, then it may turn out Bush lied to the special counsel.

Posted by: PW on April 10, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Was this as a result of Fitz's interview with Bush? Because if it is, then it may turn out Bush lied to the special counsel.
Posted by: PW on April 10, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

But you see, it's okay. Because when the President does it, it's not lying.

Unless it was over a blowjob.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 10, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Was this as a result of Fitz's interview with Bush? Because if it is, then it may turn out Bush lied to the special counsel.

given what we know now, it is hard to imaging Bush being entirely truthful to the special prosecutor.

Posted by: troglodyte on April 10, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Patrick is really burning Libby to a crisp but he got his eye on the Bush administration.

And this in unholy post in the Washington Post editoral. NO wonder folks aren't buying newspapers any more.

Rather than follow the usual declassification procedures and then invite reporters to a briefing -- as the White House eventually did -- Vice President Cheney initially chose to be secretive, ordering his chief of staff at the time, I. Lewis Libby, to leak the information to a favorite New York Times reporter. The full public disclosure followed 10 days later. There was nothing illegal or even particularly unusual about that; nor is this presidentially authorized leak necessarily comparable to other, unauthorized disclosures that the president believes, rightly or wrongly, compromise national security. Nevertheless, Mr. Cheney's tactics make Mr. Bush look foolish for having subsequently denounced a different leak in the same controversy and vowing to "get to the bottom" of it.

Certainly Josh Marshall had the utter right to claim this horrid editoral as major crap from the WP, AND in the face of this paragraph the comment is clear - those Bush cult followers are asking for the head of Dick Cheney - in order to protect Saint Bushie.

Amazing ain't it!

Bush is protecting Cheney - or Cheney using Bush for protection - I guess those right-wing Bushie cult members haven't quite figured who the real president is yet.

And Sullivan writes: "Legally, the president's in the clear. Constitutionally, he's in the clear. But ethically: surely not. In fact, ethically, it seems to me, he would be acting in a way that could well lead to Congressional censure or even impeachment."

The bottom line is that Bush is nothing but a cheap liar and everyone knows but for those die-hard right-wing Bush cult followers. They just can't get over the fact that Bush is in fact a very dishonst, unethical guy that will lie at the drop of a hat.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 10, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

If you are reading anything at all about Plame your first stop has got to be JustOneMinute - and I know you're familiar with his stuff. Tom has covered this, I saw it on The Corner, I've read it on PowerLine - if you haven't seen this it begs one question: What rightie blogs are you reading?

Posted by: sunbeltjerry on April 10, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK
Any political damage that might have been done to Bush prior to November 2004, had the public then known the truth, is irrelevant now, because Bush is not up for election.

This would be compelling if the popularity (or not) of the President had no influence on his party's prospect in midterms, on the prospects for his party to retain the Presidency, or on the degree of deference to the executive given by Congress on legislative priorities.

But since Presidential approval does have effects in all those areas, political damage to the President still matters very much.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Jason Leopold's sources paint a somewhat different picture in his piece today. There may be parsing that would reconcile the two accounts, because Fitz says very little he can't back up.

Posted by: Nell on April 10, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Read this:

According to four attorneys who last week read a transcript of President Bush's interview with investigators, Bush did not disclose to the special counsel that he was aware of any campaign to discredit Wilson. Bush also said he did not know who, if anyone, in the White House had retaliated against the former ambassador by leaking his wife's undercover identity to reporters.

Now this:

According to four attorneys who over the past two days have read a transcript of the President Bush's interview with investigators, Bush did not disclose to either investigators or the special counsel that he had authorized Cheney or any other administration official to leak portions of the NIE to Woodward and Miller or any other reporter. Rather, these people said the president said he frowned upon "selective leaks."

Bush also said during the interview two years ago that he had no prior knowledge that anyone on his staff had been involved in a campaign to discredit Wilson or that individuals retaliated against the former ambassador by leaking his wife's undercover identity to reporters.

The attorneys seem to have deliberately left out the most damning part of the filing. That "Bush did not disclose to either the investigators or the special counsel that he had authorized either Cheney or any other adminstration offical to leak portions of the NIE". This is an abominable, deliberate obfuscation.

Posted by: bblog on April 10, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

The bottom line is that Bush is nothing but a cheap liar and everyone knows but for those die-hard right-wing Bush cult followers. They just can't get over the fact that Bush is in fact a very dishonst, unethical guy that will lie at the drop of a hat.
Posted by: Cheryl on April 10, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Of course they can get over it. It's why they elected him in the first place.

It's the Liberals who actually CARE about our country that can't get over the fact that our President is in fact a very dishonest, unethical guy that will lie at the drop of a hat.

This would be compelling if the popularity (or not) of the President had no influence on his party's prospect in midterms, on the prospects for his party to retain the Presidency, or on the degree of deference to the executive given by Congress on legislative priorities.
Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think they've already figured out that they've gotten away with the crime of the century (Iraq-war-related profiteering, tax cuts, etc.) and maybe they're ready to take their ill-gotten gains to Barbados and retire. They know they've got Pardon protection, and they have plenty of money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives, and bribe the right people to avoid any kind of legal accountability. Plus they own the mainstream media.

Most of all, they know that Dems won't push this issue or fight on it.

I don't think they really give a crap about 06 anymore. Sure, there's probably a few stray Republican congressmen who care. But they know that in the worst-case scenario, they lose both houses, Bush gets impeached (or resigns) and the media frames it as a politically-motivated payback for Clinton, and we all "move on".

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 10, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

The attorneys seem to have deliberately left out the most damning part of the filing. That "Bush did not disclose to either the investigators or the special counsel that he had authorized either Cheney or any other adminstration offical to leak portions of the NIE". This is an abominable, deliberate obfuscation.
Posted by: bblog on April 10, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

An obfuscation that's practically Rove's signature strategy. This obfuscation was designed specifically to create the illusion of a scandal, when technically none exists. Only those in posession of all the facts (ie. those on Bush's staff) can discern that technically, no laws were broken. So the media speculates, dems and liberals holler and are framed as "shrill america haters" - and another Rove-a-dope was successfully executed.

Except this time, Libby fucked up and lied to the grand jury. It's becoming clear to me that that was a mistake on their part. Maybe it genuinely was a lapse of memory or situational awareness. He didn't have to do it. He could have told the truth, and the outcome would still be the same. The net effect of Libby's lie is that the Fitzgerald investigation (and thus, the liberal's hope that something would come of this) continued far longer than it otherwise would have.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that burning Plame was a disgusting act of treason that undermines our nation's security. But I just gave up hope long ago that anything would ever come of this, because all along, this was a possibility: that they could use the "Bush declassified it" defense.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 10, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think they really give a crap about 06 anymore. Sure, there's probably a few stray Republican Congressmen who care. But they know that in the worst-case scenario, they lose both houses, Bush gets impeached (or resigns) and the media frames it as a politically-motivated payback for Clinton, and we all "move on".

I think you greatly underestimate the desire of Republican congresspersons to stay in Congress. There was no pile of Bush-generated poop too large for them to swallow when lining up with the president meant reelection. Now, they're disengaging as fast as they can before the midterms in a hysterical attempt to save their own jobs.

I'm not saying you're wrong about how top administration officials and their cronies view all of this--I don't think you are--but GOP members of Congress do care very much about 2006. Too bad for them that it's going to be a long, hot summer with one damning disclosure after another. Pass the popcorn, and I believe I'm even up for some Junior Mints as all this unfolds.

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Cnmdicely,

Quite right the polls matter and the GOP is concerned however this is not something they're concerned with. This is inside the beltway nonsense which in the end will harm the MSM more than any other group. They're chasing their tails.

GWB has to hope for continued progress in Iraq with a much lower casualty rate and a recognized government and he has to hope the bill he wants on immigraton does not pass. Don't forget at some point the Democrats are actually going to have to campaign on something.

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel >"...Contrary to some of the posters, the charge against Libby does not involve the leaking of Ms. Plame's identity to the press."

Chicounsel nails it; all that Mr. Fitzgerald`s filing addresses is the questions of this indictment against Mr. Libby ("...material contained within the four corners of the indictment...") which is false official statements, obstruction of justice & purjury noted by Mr. Fitzgerald as "...sand in the eyes of the umpire..." & has NOTHING to do with how & or who "outed" Ms. Plame & Brewster-Jennings & Associates

What a bunch of ignorant posts folks

Get a grip on your emotions and approach this with a clear head so as not to give those WhackJobs of The Right any material that they don`t make up on the fly

There is plenty of air left for Fitzgerald to bring further charges post this indictment so ya gotta look at this w/a strategic perspective (not mess up other possible cases/indictments w/revelations of evidence that isn`t absolutely necessary for this indictment); stay within "the four corners" so to speak

Be analytical & not emotional !

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." - Niccol Machiavelli (The Prince, 1532)

Posted by: daCascadian on April 10, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Why does this all smell like Ollie North, AHH I don't recall.

Posted by: Right minded on April 10, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop >"...I'm even up for some Junior Mints as all this unfolds."

Oh yum !

Myself also; might have to order a case or two

"If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave." - Bishop Fulton John Sheen

Posted by: daCascadian on April 10, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

This is the entire relevant passage:

According to four attorneys who last week read a transcript of President Bush's interview with investigators, Bush did not disclose to the special counsel that he was aware of any campaign to discredit Wilson. Bush also said he did not know who, if anyone, in the White House had retaliated against the former ambassador by leaking his wife's undercover identity to reporters.

Attorneys close to the case said that Fitzgerald does not appear to be overly concerned or interested in any alleged discrepancy in Bush's statements about the leak case to investigators.

Who are these "attorneys"? Why did they elide the most important part of the filing?. The subsequent paragraph explains why. They are trying to deliberately mislead Leopold into thuinking that there is no "discrepancy" with the strawman Plame disclosure. One is lead to conclude that they are trying to coverup the real discrepancy between what Bush said to investigators about the NIE disclosure
and Libby's subsequent testimony.

Posted by: bblog on April 10, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

RDW.Oh they care this 34% polling for G.W. is killing them,Why because he has brought down the righties to 24% approval So yea they care and they care alot.

Posted by: Right minded on April 10, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Right minded >"...like Ollie North, AHH I don't recall."

It was President NoMind that said that (made it infamous)

"...We don't have news, we have stories inspired by current events..." - Stirling Newberry

Posted by: daCascadian on April 10, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

GWB has to hope for continued progress in Iraq with a much lower casualty rate and a recognized government...

...and a PONY!

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon, Kevin. Fitz made a funny. As he so often does in these filings, he makes a contrast between what the official line was ("Bush didn't know") and reality ("Libby was begging the White House to protect him"). It's possible that Bush DIDN'T know-- he's even worse than Reagan in his insistence that he knows nuffing, nuffing-- but I think Fitz is saying that he and his aides deliberately chose that he wouldn't know. After all, we also learn that he specifically authorized the release of that NIE information and that he knew Libby was involved... and so if a few months later, he didn't know, well, he's got holes in his brain.

I think Fitz is setting up Bush as an unindicted co-conspirator (what Nixon was) because he doesn't think he can indict a sitting president. But the whole point of that is to contrast what Bush told him in the interview with the reality of what was happening in the White House. Can you spell "lying to federal investigators?"

Posted by: jp on April 10, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

right minded,

The polls suck for each group including the left. Folks are no happier with Congress than the Executive nor do they have much faith in the Democrats. Nor are the Democrats offering any alternatives. It's pretty obvious and it's been written enough they're copying Newt in '94 but Newt stood for something.

In addition to a coherent, positive message Newt had very strong party backing and was an articulate spokesman. Todays democrats are far less coherent, less organized and lack a competent messenger. Pelosi and Reid are weak. Reid has the additional problem of half his Senate running for President.

The other big difference in 94 was the MSM was far more dominant. That was pre-Fox, pre-blogs and talk radio was still growing. We know from Dan Rather and the SBVs what a difference that makes.

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK
The polls suck for each group including the left.

But not equall.

Folks are no happier with Congress than the Executive nor do they have much faith in the Democrats.

People are usually unhappier with Congress than the Executive, which makes sense, as, for any given voter, 98% of the Senate and 99.8% of the House are people they didn't have the opportunity to vote for or against.

People are, on average, much happier with their own representatives in Congress than they generically are with Congress.

And, of course, the lower than average (though not as far below normal as the Presidential approval is) ratings of Congress aren't any better news than the low Presidential approval for Republicans who are, after all, the majority party in Congress.

Whereas, comparatively speaking, on even the Republicans traditionally strongest issue (national security) Democrats are polling better than usual in generic comparisons.

Nor are the Democrats offering any alternatives.

Well, we can debate all day of whether the Democratic Party offers substantial policy alternatives, but they certainly offer electoral alternatives to the people toward whom dissatisfaction with the present Congressional majority and the White House is directed.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

and a PONY!

Shortstop,

All of the numbers are improving for US soldiers and to a lessor extent for Iraqi soldiers even though they are taking more responsibility. Last month casualties were down by 50% and so far this year the number of reservists on active duty has been reduced about 30%. I'm sure you've noticed how the MSM stopped reporting on enlistments and re-enlistments and you can figure out why that is.

It's still a war zone but it's getting better. *

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

I think jp has it right. This is more evidence that Fitzgerald is one clever prosecutor. He is simultaneously putting pressure on Libby with the implication that GW has covered his own ass and left Libby naked while pressuring GW (well, GW wouldn't bother reading Fitz's statement, but his lawyers sure would) by signaling that he might be setting GW up as a perjuror.

Posted by: DNC on April 10, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we can debate all day of whether the Democratic Party offers substantial policy alternatives, but they certainly offer electoral alternatives to the people toward whom dissatisfaction with the present Congressional majority and the White House is directed.

So?

As you stated, those people dissastified with the majority don't get to vote against the majority. They have to vote for a specific candidate. One who has probably been doing as they expect. I'm sure you are aware of the success of incumbants.

This also pre-supposes negative emotions drive voters to the polls. That's absolutely not true. People come out to vote FOR something as GWB reaffirmed in 2004 with a 20% increase in his tallies. A positive message beats a negative message every time.

At some point your party has to offer something. Tax Increases? Cut and run? Impeachment?

We both know impeachment is a certainty. Do you really think a majority are looking forward to that? Those people supporting it couldn't beat GWB in 2004. You think that'll work in 2006 when he's not running?

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

All talk of Rumsfeld being thrown from the sleigh are wildly speculative.

Posted by: professor rat on April 10, 2006 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

JP, DNC,

Learn to read. The investigation was about Valerie Plame. The information Libby was authorized to leak was from the NIE. At no time was either Plame or Wilson ever mentioned in any NIE. The information Libby gave to Judy Miller, which Bush declassified, didn't include anything about Plame or Wilson. Fitzpatrick has already stated Bush knew nothing of PLame or Wilson. He has nothing on Bush. He has nothing on Cheney. He has a very hard case to prove on Libby. Fitzpatrick stated he was the source of the 1st leak to Matt Cooper and Bob Woodward has already testified that's wrong. Bob heard about it weeks before and he did not hear it from Libby. Not did Libby ever discuss it with Woodward.

The biggest loser here is the press and especially the NYT's. They paid a fortune for lawyers and lost every case. Judy Miller did well. Scooter already has a very well paid job and is certain to get a book deal or two. He'll be doing the same tour all the ex-administration figures do making a small fortune on the speaking circuit.

The NYTs has announced and completed no less than 3 downsizings since this case started and last month was put on credit watch by Moody's.

I'm not sure how many people will be voting for their congressman or Senator based on Joe Wilson or Scooter Libby but I'm going to guess none. This is a none event to 2006.

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

The attorneys seem to have deliberately left out the most damning part of the filing. That "Bush did not disclose to either the investigators or the special counsel that he had authorized either Cheney or any other adminstration offical to leak portions of the NIE". This is an abominable, deliberate obfuscation.

This was no such thing. The investigation was about Valerie Plame. At no time was Valerie or Joe Wilson ever mentioned in the NIE. They were never named, footnoted or referenced in any way. The release of information from the NIE can be made at any time for any reason if the President or Vice-President say so. Once either says so it's no longer classified and no longer a leak. It's also none of fitzpatricks business.

Posted by: rdw on April 10, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

The question is whether Bush lied to Fitzgerald about the disclosure of portions of the NIE. If Fitzgerald inquired about this, and it is unthinkable that he didn't, then it is as clear as day that he did lie.

Posted by: bblog on April 10, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK
Once either says so it's no longer classified and no longer a leak. It's also none of fitzpatricks business. rdw 9:51 PM
Actually, since it was a partial declassification designed to influence one friendly reporter to smear one individual, it is important. It also shows that the Libby defense, I forgot, is inoperative. This nicely illustrates the Credibility Chasm that Bush now has with the general public. Libby is still guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. Probability, Bush as well. Posted by: Mike on April 11, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

about more info Car InsuranceDon't be punished for paying monthly
Want to pay your car insurance rate monthly? Most companies will happily charge you extra for the privilege. Not us. We let you break-up your payments into bite-size monthly morsels at no extra cost for car insurance qoute. Monthly cheap car insurance payments subject to status.
Buy online and save at least 10% discount car insuranceGet a car insurance quote online and we'll knock a tidy 10% off the cost.
Car Insurance mesothelioma is a disease in which asbestos cancer(malignant) cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura) or abdomen (the peritoneum)

Posted by: vandy on April 11, 2006 at 2:04 AM | PERMALINK

The question is whether Bush lied to Fitzgerald about the disclosure of portions of the NIE. If Fitzgerald inquired about this, and it is unthinkable that he didn't, then it is as clear as day that he did lie.

bblog,

What is hard about this?

Fitz was investigating the leaking of Valerie Plame as a supposed agent. Valerie was never mentioned in any NIE. She was never considered for mention in an NIE. There is no possible reason she would ever be considered for mention in an NIE. Nor would Joe Wilson but that doesn't matter because he was not part of the investigation. Fitz had no reason to discuss the NIE with Bush and GWB have allowed him a fishing expedition. His conversation was limited to Valerie Plame.

The declassification of the NIE has zero to do with the leaking of Plames identity.

Read Drums post again. He spells it out.

Posted by: rdw on April 11, 2006 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, since it was a partial declassification designed to influence one friendly reporter to smear one individual, it is important.

Actually is has no bearing no anything. The leaking under investigation was about Valerie Plame. Val had zero to do with the NIE. Joe Wilson had zero to do with the NIH.

Declassifying information is never a smear unless the information is known to be inaccurate. What we found out, but already knew anyway, is Joe Wilson lied repeatedly about the facts. He did not dispute the fact Iraq had an interest in Niger's uranium. He supported it. He absolutely did not help prove the famous Italian letters were forgeries as he claimed and had to recant when it was proven he never even saw them. It's was an equally stupid claim to make that Cheney sent him when he knew cheney never heard of him, never saw him and had no idea who he was. Make that stupid squared when he denies his wife had anything to do with it when he knew she wrote a letter recomending him. There's a friggin paper trial of his repeated lies!

Joe wilson is a bigger dick than Al Gore.

You are right there. As Kevin explains in this post, Fitz exonerates Bush.

Posted by: rdw on April 11, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

song
song
song
song
song
song
song
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
singer
song
song

Posted by: 3343 on April 11, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin writes:

"Since Bush's role in Plamegate is still an open question, I'm a little surprised this statement hasn't gotten more attention."

???

How can you possibily be surprise? An informationthat shows Bush in a postive light, or at least not in a negative light, WILL SIMPLY NOT BE TOLERATED!

Posted by: Mike on April 11, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

RDW

Ambassador Wilson has called for the release of the transcript of the interview. When that transcript is released this matter will be settled once and for all. I do not think your position will be vindicated.

Posted by: bblog on April 11, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Since Bush's role in Plamegate is still an open question
Oh hell, Bush's role in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln is an open question for you moonbats.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on April 11, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Live and learn! I thought it was conclusively established that John W. Bush assassinated Abraham Lincoln. Not an open question at all.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 11, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Ambassador Wilson has called for the release of the transcript of the interview. When that transcript is released this matter will be settled once and for all. I do not think your position will be vindicated.

My position has already been vindicated. Wilsons a proven liar and neither he nor his wife had anything to do with the NIE. They would never be mentioned nor would there ever be a reason to mention either. There is no chance of any connection between the outing of Valerie Plame and the NIE. They are apples and oranges.

Posted by: rdw on April 11, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Then there shouldn't be any problem with releasing the transcript, right?

Posted by: bblog on April 11, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

bblog,

I'd like to see the entire record relesased. Every single bit of testimony. I believe this is controlled by Fitz. THe peoblem he's having with libby now is Fitz is refusing to release records.

Here's more on Fitz:

An embarrassing move this afternoon from CIA leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. In his now-famous court filing in which he said that former Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby testified that he had been authorized to leak portions of the then-classified National Intelligence Estimate, Fitzgerald wrote, "Defendant understood that he was to tell [New York Times reporter Judith] Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

That sentence led a number of reporters and commentators to suggest that, beyond the issue of the leak itself, the administration was lying about the NIE, because the African uranium segment was not in fact among the NIE's key judgments. For example, in a front page story on Sunday, the Washington Post reported:

At Cheney's instruction, Libby testified, he told Miller that the uranium story was a "key judgment" of the intelligence estimate, a term of art indicating there was consensus on a question of central importance.
In fact, the alleged effort to buy uranium was not among the estimate's key judgments, which were identified by a headline and bold type and set out in bullet form in the first five pages of the 96-page document.


A few hours ago, however, Fitzgerald sent a letter to judge Reggie Walton, asking to correct his filing. The letter reads:

We are writing to correct a sentence from the Government's Response to Defendant's Third Motion to Compel Discovery, filed on April 5, 2006. The sentence, which is the second sentence of the second paragraph on page 23, reads, 'Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium." That sentence should read, "Defendant understood that he was to tell Miller, among other things, some of the key judgments of the NIE, and that the NIE stated that Iraq was 'vigorously trying to procure' uranium."

THis is a major embarrasment. Fitz is a hack.

Posted by: rdw on April 11, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

bblog,

You do know that NIE has been released?

Posted by: rdw on April 11, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I know. What's your point?

We are basically in agreement. The transcript should be released, either by the administration or Fitzgerald, although I don't think Fitzgerald can voluntarily do so. This is basically a battle of opinions until the transcript comes out.

Posted by: bblog on April 11, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

it's not a battle of opinions. We know more than enough and every bit that comes out shows Fitz in a worse light. He is the one refusing to release testimony to Libby. The WH has no authority to interefere and in fact it would be wrong if they did.

Libby just released a statement detailing the fact Cheney did NOT discuss Joe Wilson or Valerie Plame with him or tell him to release ANYTHING about them. Fitz intentionally left the impression that is what happened. Fitz has also given Libby a better reason for the judge to force Fitz to release the requested documents. Fitz did make it clear Bush knew nothing about Wilson.

As often happens when the prosecution has the 1st crack at the press they deterine the coverage. Now it's shifting. So far the NYTs, AP, USA Today and Wash Post have had to issue corrections due to Fitzpatricks correction. He is clearly playing a political angle and not doing it well. Now he's on the defense. It's lucky for Libby he's being funded. Fitz is going against the best and there are a lot of groups lined up agasint him.

Posted by: rdw on April 13, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly