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Tilting at Windmills

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September 7, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

PLAME, PLAME, PLAME....It's funny, isn't it? Every time we learn more about the Valerie Plame case, we also end up with more questions.

Richard Armitage spoke with three reporters today and confirmed that he was the original source for Robert Novak's column outing Plame as a CIA operative. Armitage said he learned Plame's role from a State Department memo written in June 2003, a memo that referred to her as "Valerie Wilson":

In the interview with McClatchy Newspapers, CBS News and The New York Times, Armitage said he had no partisan intent in mentioning that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA at the end of an interview with Novak on other subjects in the summer of 2003. He didn't know her by the name Valerie Plame or that she was working undercover.

I know I'm flogging this horse over and over, but where did the name "Plame" come from? The proposition that Novak looked it up in Who's Who and decided to use her maiden name just for kicks has never struck me as plausible. What's more, we also know that someone gave the name "Plame" to Judith Miller, though she now pretends not to know who she got it from.

So who was it? Who was it who knew that Valerie Wilson used the name "Valerie Plame" when she was on CIA business? And who passed this tidbit along?

POSTSCRIPT: For those who think that Armitage's admission makes the whole Plame affair a nonstory, note that Warren Strobel included the following in his account:

The administration's defenders have claimed that Armitage's acknowledgement of his role, which has been speculated about for months, takes much of the sting out of those allegations.

But interviews and documents also portray the White House in the persons of Bush aide Karl Rove, Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and others as furiously trying to get information about Wilson and Plame, then discussing it with reporters.

See? That wasn't so hard, was it?

Kevin Drum 8:56 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (91)

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Comments

Frist???

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on September 7, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Wait, are you saying the administration lied?

Posted by: Repack Rider on September 7, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

i think david corn has already covered this, though maybe not in so many words.

plame was working on iraq WMD at the CIA ... ... which put her right in the way of cheney et al. as they attempted to cook the books on iraqi intelligence.

the crazies knew who she was, and they knew what name she used in her CIA work. and they burned her using that name, as revenge on HER as well as her husband.

did that mess up the CIA's iraq WMD intel shop?
almost certainly.
is that a problem?
not to the crazies who had their own intelligence in hand.

Posted by: tony on September 7, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Armitage's big mouth just unwittingly confirmed it. If he'd known their plot do you think he'd have said anything?

Posted by: cld on September 7, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Rove stated that "he was going to get" her because she fucked with them. Why did Rove hide e-mails? Why did Scoots lie? Come on, just because you can't get evidence doesn't mean it didn't happen. Rove was involved no doubt in my mind. On a side note, I want to take a giant shit on Rove's head.

Posted by: dee on September 7, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

So who was it? Who was it who knew that Valerie Wilson used the name "Valerie Plame" when she was on CIA business? And who passed this tidbit along?

The one person who knew best that Valerie Wilson was Valerie Plame is Joe Wilson. Joe Wilson outed his wife so he could use her to bash the Bush Adminisration's liberation of Iraq because he hated the Bush Administation so much.

Posted by: Al on September 7, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Is there any evidence that either Rove or Libby even knew that Armitage had leaked Plame's name before they leaked it?

Posted by: karog on September 7, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

didn't Novakula say he got it from two different sources ?

Posted by: cleek on September 7, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

So who was it?

It will all be revealed in ABC's new Documentary:
Time-traveling bounty hunters find a doomed two-term President in the past and bring him to 2009 New York, where his mind will be replaced with that of a terminally ill billionaire.

Posted by: enozinho on September 7, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

You're losing credibility by the second, Drum.

Plame is done business. No one cares. But you just can't let go. You tighten the noose around your own neck with this one, Drum.

Hilarious!

Posted by: egbert on September 7, 2006 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

Now that is diabolical.

Has anyone else realized 'Ann Coulter' contains all the letters of 'Al'?

Makes you think.

Posted by: cld on September 7, 2006 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you and I have shared these same concerns for almost three years now, so it's only fitting that we each have posts on the Armitage news up within minutes of one another.

CBS News has the most extensive quotes from Armitage. If he's telling the truth, then Novak applied back-breaking amounts of spin to what both his "sources" told him to come up with the flat statement that Plame sent her husband to Niger.

More likely, there's a hidden source (possibly non-governmental, like Judith Miller or one of Ahmad Chalabi's cronies) who laundered the damaging details & fed them to Novak before he spoke to Armitage.

Posted by: Swopa on September 7, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Alright. I know that I'm in there. If I don't come out with my hands up, I'm coming in after me.

Posted by: Alberto Gonzalez on September 7, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

they burned her using that name, as revenge on HER as well as her husband.

And as a warning to others at the CIA that they better start playing ball.

Posted by: Disputo on September 7, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Give me the pabulum slowly for I am just an infant, a slow learner, a small mind.

Just kill the story already so that we never learn that it was Cheney all along.

Posted by: enough on September 7, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

I know how poor conservatives are at empathizing, but just try to imagine if George Stephanopoulos or Bruce Lindsey had purposely outed an undercover CIA agent who was a Republican during Clinton's term in office. You right-wingers would have gone ape shit crazy!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 7, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Why is Novaks story so hard to believe? That is how they are listed in Who's Who. Novak was also honest when he said his source was no partisan gunslinger.

The Wsshington Post nailed it the other day as did David Broder today. Joe Wilson is a scam artist and in the end only screwed the press and the Democratic Party.

Posted by: rdw on September 7, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

It is pretty funny stuff. All you idiot lefties trash talking about Rove going to jail. Only to discover it was one of your anti-war crowd that did it. I love it!

Posted by: press1forenglish on September 7, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

When are you going to stop tormenting David Broder and apologize to that poor Karl Rove?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/06/AR2006090601648.html

Posted by: Ross Best on September 7, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

You had me at "Novak was also honest".

Posted by: enozinho on September 7, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

more questions:

(1) why did John Ashcroft recuse himself AFTER Armitage disclosed his part in the story?

(2) why did they appoint a special counsel two months AFTER Armitage told DOJ his part in the story?

(3) why did Libby lie to the FBI and to a federal grand jury? To protect Armitage?

Posted by: lina on September 7, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Think WingNuts Think(I know it's hard for you) You have to blame Clinton!

Posted by: R.L. on September 7, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Cut Rove's sack off on prime time TV and we'll call it even.

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on September 7, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

(4) Why did Armatage wait so long to go public?
(5) Why did Armatage go pulic NOW?
(6) Why did Rove have to go back and re-testify several times?
(7) Why didn't George Bush know what the fuck his own people were doing?
(8) Why did George Bush act like he didn't know what was going on, when, in fact, he declassified Plame "on the fly" to save Rove's ass?

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on September 7, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

>Has anyone else realized 'Ann Coulter' contains all the letters of 'Al'?

Ann Coulter contains all the letters of "loaner cunt", too. for what it's worth.

Posted by: cleek on September 7, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

For anagram fans: Real Nut Con and Earl Nocunt

Posted by: toast on September 7, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Why is Kevin so dense on this issue? Novak said he looked the name of Wilson's wife up in Who's Who, where Wilson listed his wife's name as Valerie Plame, not Valerie Wilson. There is nothing odd about a wife not taking her husband's name.

Novak did not "decide to use her maiden name," he looked it up, and found out her name was Valerie Plame. Is Kevin just stupid on this, or am I missing something?

Posted by: brian on September 7, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Is Kevin just stupid on this, or am I missing something?

you're missing the gene that makes you not believe everything a hack like Novak says.

Posted by: cleek on September 7, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to get information out and also want to shield yourself from an blowback, then making sure a well known gossip sees the information is one way to go. Does Armitage have a reputation for loose lips?

Posted by: rege on September 7, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin --
If it drops like a turd, smells like a turd and dries like one, You're probably right.

Stick with your instincts.

Novak said hew had 2 sources!!?? Alternatively, look at the cause, reason and effect. You're still not wrong. And there is documentation to supoport it.

Will Plame's case go forward? I hope so because a lot will come out under sworn testimony. Or if it doesn't we'll get some clue as to the cover thrown. Rove and his cronies will get theirs, but not soon enough for justice to be served.

Justice delayed . . . . Well, that brings us back to Guantanamo!

Posted by: notthere on September 7, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Novak said he looked the name of Wilson's wife up in Who's Who, where Wilson listed his wife's name as Valerie Plame, not Valerie Wilson. There is nothing odd about a wife not taking her husband's name.

What you are missing is:

1. Valerie did indeed take her husband's name. (She only kept her maiden name for her CIA work.)

2. "Who's Who" lists a married women under her husband's listing with her maiden name. Certainly Novak knows this.

So, the question becomes why did Novak just assume that Valerie kept her maiden name (in the face of reality) unless he was trying to undermine her CIA work?

Posted by: Disputo on September 7, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

What I don't get is why Novak thought it was worth writing about the person who suggested Wilson for the Niger trip.

I really don't get why anyone should care.

A woman wearing pants and having a job? How quaint of Mr. Novak.

Nepotism? If my wife tried to send me to Niger, I'd be afraid she was having an affair.

Refuting a miscontruction of Mr. Wilson's statements?

I just don't get it.

Posted by: toast on September 7, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Here's another indication that Strobel is a real journalist. All it takes is one teeny-tiny word in a headline, that makes all the difference.

Here's Strobel's headline: "Armitage reveals that he was a source in Plame leak" (emphasis added)

Here's the NYT version: "Armitage Says He Was the Source in C.I.A. Leak" (emphasis added)

The latter headline falsely implies that there was only one leaker. This simple lie is at the heart of how the right is fooling people on this topic right now. It's true that Armitage was Novak's first source. This gets a lot of attention because Novak was the first to publish; it was his column that really started the ball rolling. But leaks by Rove (to Cooper, who ended up publishing after Novak) and Libby (to Miller, who didn't publish) were still leaks, and still wrong.

There's also a lot of confusion about chronology. A lot of people seem convinced that Armitage leaked before anyone else. That's not so clear. What's clear is that Armitage leaked to Novak in July. Rove also leaked in July, to Cooper. (I forget the exact dates, but they were close to each other. I don't remember which was first.)

But Libby leaked to Miller to June. This puts Libby before Armitage.

But we also have to account for Woodward. Armitage apparently leaked to Woodward in June, but I haven't seen anyone indicate a date.

Bottom-line; those who act as if they know that Armitage was the first leaker are just guessing, I think, unless they know the day in June when Armitage leaked to Woodward.

We do know the day in June when Libby leaked to Miller; it's in the indictment (I forget, I think maybe 6/23 or thereabouts).

Posted by: jukeboxgrad on September 7, 2006 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

for anyone believing (or at least repeating) the Who's Who alibi:

remember this quote from novak - 'They gave me the name, and I used it."?

somehow, i don't think 'They' was Who's Who.

Posted by: tony on September 7, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Alright. I know that I'm in there. If I don't come out with my hands up, I'm coming in after me.

Posted by: Alberto Gonzalez on September 7, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Brilliant!!

I'LL TAKE YOUR OTHER 2 POINTS, BUT:

(3) why did Libby lie to the FBI and to a federal grand jury? To protect Armitage?

Posted by: lina on September 7, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly! Why? And why didn't we all think of that?

You are right on and I'm waiting for an answer as I can't see one.

Come on, Repugnuts! Make sense of that!

Posted by: notthere on September 7, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

cleek, toast, Ann Coulter contains all the letters of "loaner cunt", too. for what it's worth.
For anagram fans: Real Nut Con and Earl Nocunt

That's certainly the funniest thing about her! The best I got was Aunt Cloner.

Posted by: cld on September 7, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Jesus fucking Christ,

If anybody doesn't fucking believe that W, Dick, Rove, Libby, Addington and the rest of these fuckers didn't sit around figuring out how to ratfuck Wilson they are just fucking stupid.

Everyone, even Bush backers, know, deep in their fucking souls, that these bastards conspired to do this.

Posted by: angryspittle on September 7, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK


There are lots of smart people still writing on the developments in the Plame case. David Broder is one, the lawyers at PowerLineBlog are, too.

These people (Broder, PowerLine) make more sense than Kevin Drum, who becomes more irrelevant as each day passes.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 7, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

. . . and when the truth comes out about How George Bush Personally Convinced Osama Bin Laden To Surrender By Capturing Him, Taking Him To A Secret Prison In The Dominican Republic, And Fucking Him Up The Ass Without Lubricant, In The Name Of The United States Of America, then Kevin Drum will have become completely irrelevant, and my plot to take over Political Animal and from there, destroy the entire leftist blogosphere will be realized, and I shall reign supreme on the Internet -


Mua HA HA HA HA HA HA!
(thunderclap)
-HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!

Posted by: (fake) Frequency Kenneth on September 7, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Let's just be clear here.

No matter what Rove's or Libby's role was (IMO, probably much more than meets the eye) - as I've said all along on this: Anyone who violated their SF-312 should suffer the consequences; an investigation, suspension of clearance, and prosecution, if appropriate.

If Armitage violated his SF-312, he should be punished.
No partisan favorites here.

Of course, Libby's crime is worse. He lied to a Grand Jury under oath, and he did it to cover up his SF-312 violation (which in itself, is a separate crime - which, unfortunately will likely never be proven).

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on September 7, 2006 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Who's Who listing

Posted by: Ein on September 7, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Rove will be indicted before the election, according to four hundred and twenty-one highly reliable sources.

Posted by: jasonleopold on September 8, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

toast, you are making the same mistake that our press is. I can't believe it's not deliberate obtuseness, but then our press loves to stick with an established narrative, and I don't know you.

So, here it is:
-- Before we knew exactly what Valerie Wilson's assignment was, it was hard to see why HER name was leaked . . . so for years the speculation has been that it was to discredit Joe Wilson.
-- But now we know that she was in charge of finding evidence of Iraqi WMDs. Her team couldn't find any evidence. (It turned out later that was because there were no WMDs). But all the Cheney/Bush administration cared about was finding a casus belli, true or not.
-- So the press narrative should now be: the admin. sabotaged the CIA WMD program because it wouldn't tell them what they wanted to hear. It should be a bigger story than ever, because now it makes sense.
-- But our press is now writing this: they weren't trying to get at Joe Wilson, so there's no story.
No one can be that stupid -- there is still a taboo on printing anything that could damage Bush.

Posted by: rm on September 8, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

rm, I can see why the administration might be grasping at straws or might even have a vendetta against plame. I just don't see why Novak thought going public with the information would discredit or counter Ambassador Wilson. That was the tone of his original article.

If Armitage violated his SF-312, he should be punished. No partisan favorites here.

Isn't he a Republican hawk? I thought that was how he got his position. I too have the sense that he's a bit more reasonable (and likely had no ill motive concerning plame) . . . but he's a Republican hawk none the less.

Posted by: toast on September 8, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

disputo,

Not convinced. He did not "assume" she kept her maiden name; he went with the name in Who's Who. You argue that he should have assumed she changed her name to Wilson, hardly a standard assumption these days, particularly in Washington circles.

tony,

Novak has explained that he mispoke when he said "they gave me her name." It is one of those deals where you watch him provide the explanation, consider what others say they said to him, and make a decision on whether he is lying. Armitage supports him. Rove supports him. Why would he lie? While his piro statement is certainly contrary to what he now says, I think overall the evidence supports his claim that he looked up the name and mispoke when he said "they gave me the name."

Posted by: brian on September 8, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Who's Valerie Plame?

Posted by: Jay on September 8, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

"Everyone, even Bush backers, know, deep in their fucking souls, that these bastards conspired to do this." - angry something or other


Conspired to do what? Retire Valerie and Joe from the cocktail circuits in Washington to the faux lawsuit publicity tour?

Posted by: Jay on September 8, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

He did not "assume" she kept her maiden name; he went with the name in Who's Who.

As I have already told you, the _Who's Who_ standard is to print a woman's *maiden* name in her husband's entry. Surely Novak knows this.

You argue that he should have assumed she changed her name to Wilson, hardly a standard assumption these days, particularly in Washington circles.

I don't argue that at all. I am arguing that because of the _Who's Who_ standard of printing a woman's maiden name, that the listing is ambiguous as to what name a woman goes by, and that a real, honest reporter would have done some, well, *research* to clear up the ambiguity. Getting names correct is Journalism 101.

Either Novak is a ridiculously incompetent reporter, or he was following some other agenda or source when he refered to her as Plame.

Posted by: Disputo on September 8, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

disputo,

But if Novak did some research on the name after checking Who's Who (which he does not say he did, although he did talk to a CIA communications office and presumably he used some name in that communication), he would have learned that she did go by Valerie Plame at the CIA.

If you accept Novak's story that he looked up her name in Who's Who, which you apparently do, then you are effectively exonerating Armitage and Rove, not implicating them in telling him the name. You argue that he should have researched the name after checking Who's Who. But if he did so, then that means Armitage and Rove did not tell him the name because he had already talked to them. My guess is he talked to the CIA about Valerie Plame after checking Who's Who and, at least implicitly, the agnecy confirmed her name by even talking to Novak about her.

Posted by: brian on September 8, 2006 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

If you accept Novak's story that he looked up her name in Who's Who, which you apparently do, then you are effectively exonerating Armitage and Rove, not implicating them in telling him the name.

LMAO. You make way too many dumbass assumptions for me to want to continue with you. Good nite.

Posted by: Disputo on September 8, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

I love guys who call the other side names and then give up when they are losing a debate. Reflects very well on them.

Kevin and the rest of you just will not let your intelligence take over and say well, Fitzgerald has investigated for three years and Armitage has acknowledged that he did it inadvertantly contrary to all our theories, so wemust have been wrong.

Posted by: brian on September 8, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

I'm more than just a little curious about the Armitage "confession." OK, not so much 'curious' as 'skeptical.'

Here's a guy who is completely partisan; he's hooked in with the people who stood the most to gain by this; and his biggest claim to credibility is that he's never been a stooge or hatchet man in the past. Not surprisingly, his "confession" is being spun to take the heat off the whole affair.

Sorry. This doesn't add up.

Sort of like the guy who "confessed" to killing Jon Benet Ramsey, something else is at work here. Seems like a test to see how gullible the MSM really is.

Posted by: curious on September 8, 2006 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

There's several things Armitage's confession doesn't cover.

One, why now? If he was keeping silence due to a request by Fitzgerald, can he tell us why now and not earlier from Fitz's POV?

Two, how did he KNOW she wasn't undercover? Did he just assume that because her name was being bandied about? If so, score him innocent on criminality but guilty of big naivete.

Three, while we know a fair amount about Libby's timing vis-a-vis Armitage's, details still are hidden there, too.
Swopa and Jukeboxgrad are right, among others.

On the funny side:
1. Is that really Al, or somebody parodying Al?

2. "rdw" actually believes David Broder as a news source?
Here's what I e-mailed the decrepit suck-up:
1. Novak said in his column that he had TWO sources
2. Novak specifically said Plame worked on WMD intelligence; Armitage never said that he mentioned anything about that to Novak or Woodward.
3. Knowing Rove, it's quite possible he had the idea of using Armitage as a "confirming agent" all along, if he'd bite.
Oh, how much does the White House Kool-Aid cost?

3. Cleek... GREAT anagram. Frankly, I don't see what some men see in her, anyway. She's a cigarette-roughshod hag in my book.

Posted by: Socratic Gadfly on September 8, 2006 at 2:54 AM | PERMALINK

There are lots of smart people still writing on the developments in the Plame case. David Broder is one, the lawyers at PowerLineBlog are, too.

LOL. The paid trolls are funny, no?

The 'Plame' thing? Makes you wonder whether the leakers wanted to point directly to her NOC work before she was married.

Posted by: ahem on September 8, 2006 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

No, it wasn't hard for any thinking person with an inquiring mind...that's not how rightwingers work...they NEED someone to TELL them what and how and when to think...so give them the "tidbit" about Armitage having said something to Novak and then the Repug "talking points" and they're happy campers off to spread the "gospel"! It's what makes their day...and is what we should all really be terrified of. The dumbing down of the public is not a coincidence! Sheeple are easier to herd than cats! ARE YOUR EYES OPEN YET!!!???

Posted by: Dancer on September 8, 2006 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

"rdw" actually believes David Broder as a news source?


No I don't. I think he's a MSM clown representing recent MSM thinking. He's just another example of what a disaster this has been for the democratic party and the press and other liberal institutions.

The 1st and most revelant 'fact' that resulted from this contrived scandal is that is was toxic politically. After the scandal percolated for a year GWB increased his vote totals by a stunning 23% and added 5 Senate seats for the best mid-term results of any party leader since FDR in 1936.

The 2nd most relevant 'fact' is the press corps has received a serious blow to it's legal rights courtesy of the morons at the New York Times who spent a fortune defending the soon to be fired Judy Miller only to lose in the Supreme court 9-0. Judy spent a few months in prison before doing what the judge told her to do anyway and after all that still didn't give up Scooter Libby. She will in fact testify for his behalf during his trial.

The 3rd most relevant fact is that the news liberal icon Joe Wilson is getting trashed from one end of the country to the other and from Canada to Mexico. Joe is a total fraud and everyone knows Joe is a total fraud. He is also a slick manipulator who made himself a very wealthy made separating liberal suckers from their money.

The best part is that although he lied about everything and has been a disaster for the Democratic party he'll continue to make a fortune off dumb liberals. Joe still hates GWB and as long as he's got that going he's still a hero.

Joe doesn't know it but he's a hero to conservatives as well.

Posted by: rdw on September 8, 2006 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

If you accept Novak's story that he looked up her name in Who's Who, which you apparently do, then you are effectively exonerating Armitage and Rove, not implicating them in telling him the name.

There's nothing to exonerate. There was no crime. Plus, as the Washington Post spelled out, the person who put her name out there was Joe Wilson.

Armitage's didn't delay coming clean because of legal jeopardy any more than Clinton denied Monica because of legal jeopardy. It was a matter of humiliation. Armitage knew he would be humiliated, he would humiliate Colin Powell and he would embarrass the State Dept as well.

The powerful, tough Ex-Marine, Richard comes across as a horrible combination of an old lady hanging on the phone gossiping with reporters all the time combined with a dishonest, backstabbing coward.

The world now knows that he and Colin sat silently as the WH was embroiled in a scandal they causeds and they could have cleared up but they never said a word before or after Fitz was appointed or after he was finished. If Corn and Isakoff didn't force him out he'd still be in his hole.

He now knows his reputation has been ruined and this will remain as the only highlight of his career.

It's not even a little big good for Colin Powell either. It confirms what many suspected that Colin always had his own agenda and Colin was always loyal to Colin 1st. It also explains why he was fired.

Joe Wilson has been a total disater for everyone except Joe Wilson, George W. Bush and David Corn.

David is actually a sleezy character just like Joe Wilson but also like Joe he managed this beautifully. Corn was the guy working with the Wilsons who broke the story that Plame worked for the CIA in a 'covert' job. Both Wilsons and Corn knew she was a desk jockey and a long ways from 'covert' but that wasn't their problem. Their agenda was to create a scandal and that they did.

Posted by: rdw on September 8, 2006 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

rdw thinks he's some kind of mind-reader. cool.

Posted by: cleek on September 8, 2006 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Not surprisingly, his "confession" is being spun to take the heat off the whole affair.

What heat? GWB won re-election in the most successful mid-term party campaign in 70 years.

Do you mean the heat on Fitzpatrick?

It is interesting that after the NYTs insisted he be hired they've now ripped him pretty hard in asking him what the point was. He was of course not helped by the blitering editorial in the Washington Post and the long stream of columnists now questioning his competence and his judgement.

Fitz is a lot more famous than he ever wanted to be but for all of the wrong reasons. His reputation has been destroyed and any ambition he may have had for a promotion or a federal judgeship are toast.

I'm telling you: Joe, David and George won big here. Everyone one else, and I mean everyone else, lost.

Posted by: rdw on September 8, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK


brian: It is one of those deals where you watch him (novak) provide the explanation, consider what others say they said to him, and make a decision on whether he is lying. Armitage supports him. Rove supports him.


so....novak, a newspaper man claims he "misspoke" and he doesnt say that, immediately afterwards....nor 1-year but more than 2-years after the fact...

who to believe?

and using rove as a reference in this case is especially rich,

f.y.i.

rove was fired from the bush 41 campaign for leaking to.....novak...

someone above was correct .. if a dem had done all this.....coulter would need to be strapped down...

(not that that isn't a good idea anyway...)


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on September 8, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

brian: "you are effectively exonerating Armitage and Rove ... [given that your reasoning ostensibly leads to the conclusion that] Rove did not tell him the name"

This is 100% nonsense, and it's a piece of nonsense that keeps popping up over and over again.

It doesn't matter whether or not Rove (or any of the leakers) ever uttered the word "Plame" ("the name"). Her name was never a secret. The secret was the fact that she worked for the CIA.

Lots of people (on both sides) are making a giant fuss about the word "Plame." In my opinion, it's mostly a pointless distraction. Here's why. There are many different ways to identify a person. Valerie Plame could be described as "Valerie Plame." She could also be described as "Valerie Wilson." She could also be described as "Joe Wilson's wife." She could also be described as "the tall blonde fox who lives in Joe Wilson's house."

For virtually all practical purposes, those various descriptions are interchangeable and indistinguishable. Any person in possession of any one of those descriptions would have found it very easy to convert it to any other of those descriptions.

Here are a number of things that were most definitely not secret:

A) Joe Wilson is married to a tall blonde
B) Some people refer to this tall blonde as Valerie Wilson
C) Some people refer to this tall blonde as Valerie Plame

None of the above was ever classified information. Here is what was classified information: the person we're discussing works for the CIA.

The problem with all the leakers is not that they said that Joe is married to Val, or that Val used to be called, or is called, Plame. The problem with all the leakers is that they revealed the fact that she worked for the CIA.

In other words, it doesn't matter which of the following things was said, by the leakers:

D) Joe Wilson is married to a tall blonde who works for the CIA
E) Valerie Wilson works for the CIA
F) Valerie Plame works for the CIA

It is clear that all the leakers said one or more of D, E, F (or some close equivalent). They did not merely say A, B, C.

It's astonishing to contemplate how so many people are so confused about such a simple distinction.

Posted by: jukeboxgrad on September 8, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

toast: "I just don't see why Novak thought going public with the information would discredit or counter Ambassador Wilson"

Here's the subtext: "Joe is a pussy who can't get a job without help from his wife."

The idea was not particularly to claim Wilson was incompetent and wrong. Bush was not in a position to do that because the relevant facts did show, and still show, more than ever, that Wilson was right. The idea was to claim that Wilson was a pussy. This makes Wilson worse than someone you ignore. It makes him someone you laugh at. Highly Rovian. And all the wingnuts respond exactly as the master intended, just like Pavlov's dog.

Posted by: jukeboxgrad on September 8, 2006 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

I've read probably a million words on Plame, but I've never seen a one-sentence summary as good as the one provided by rm:

"the admin. sabotaged the CIA WMD program because it wouldn't tell them what they wanted to hear"

Gotta say that again: Bush et al sabotaged the CIA WMD program because it wouldn't tell them what they wanted to hear.

A key fact, recently revealed, is that Plame had a major role in the CIA WMD program. We always knew she had some kind of a role, but now we know it was a major one, and she was focused specifically on Iraq.

Yikes.

Posted by: jukeboxgrad on September 8, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Jukeboxgrad. I have to assume some of our fellow commenters here are sincerely puzzled, because they keep saying "I don't understand -- isn't this all about Joe?" It seems like a simple point: it's not much about Joe, it's about the job Valerie had at the CIA.

Posted by: rm on September 8, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Armitage is falling on his sword for the administration. How can he be the original source if the reporters already knew enough to even ask the question? And why was her name in the State Dept memo? The WH wheel started in May as soon as the editorial was published. This was a major hatchet job by the admin in responce to a critic, no different from calling every singe citizen against the invasion a traitor, appeasor, sympathizer, or intellectually and morally confused. They were just able to single this one out for special attention. Armitage should have more honor than to allow himself to be villified in proxy for the WH staff VPOTUS and on down who took part in this criminal and treasonous action.

Posted by: synecdoche on September 8, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Armitage is falling on his sword for the administration

Actually if tou read the Washting Post or other papers the point has been that Armitage put his sword in GWBs back and Colin Powell approved the action and helped cover it up for 3 years.


It's hard to know what's worse for Armitage. The image of the big bad powerlifting rtired Marine having been replaced by the image of an old gossip or the image of a back-stabbing coward. Those in the press trying to cut him a break stick with the 'old gossip' image. While back-stabbing coward sounds worse I suspect to an ex-marine the term 'old gossip' is more humiliating.

Posted by: rdw on September 8, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

"it's not much about Joe, it's about the job Valerie had at the CIA"

Well, I think both things are true. Bush had good reason to discredit and silence both of them.

I think one of the most intriguing and revealing aspects of the whole story is this: why did the White House get so deeply engaged, and why did they take so many chances? It's clear enough (just from information provided by Fitz) that Plame/Wilson was being discussed in the White House at very high levels, very frequently (circa 6/03). And it's clear enough they were not just talking, but also took action, taking on some fairly big risks. Why all the fuss? It seems somewhat disporportionate. I think there are several interesting answers.

a) They knew Wilson was right. They knew they held no cards, as far as legitimately proving him wrong. And the yellowcake story was very important, because it was the key basis (along with the laughably bogus aluminum tubes story) for alleging a nuclear threat, and the nuke threat was arguably the central WMD argument, and of course the WMD argument was central to promoting the war. So yellowcake was a key pillar of the whole rationale for war.

b) But it goes beyond that. Bush had obviously hyped intel, in many, many ways (to a great extent this consisted of alleging absolute certainty when the underlying intel was very far from absolutely certain). Bush knew that there were many, many people at every level in the IC (and elsewhere in government) who were in a position to tell stories that would hurt him.

In other words, Bush had very good reason to be very highly motivated to not only discredit Wilson, but to also send a message to all the other potential Wilsons and Plames (because they were both insiders, and the idea was to chill any further dissent from insiders, at any level, in any branch of government). For various reasons that are fairly obvious in retrospect, Bush saw this as a good, timely opportunity to make an example of Wilson/Plame. They were good candidates for such an exercise. Rove is, among other things, an opportunist. He wants to turn lemons into lemonade. He looked at the basic features of the situation and realized it was a perfect chance to broadcast the idea that he was ready, willing and able to truly fuck you up (and get away with it), if you said the wrong thing.

In particular, he was saying this: "I have full access to the intel apparatus, which means I can find out all sorts of things about connections in your life, and I will also not hesitate to commit treason in order to hurt Bush's enemies." Pretty chilling, all right. He was addressing a specific audience (of current and prior government employees), and he knew they would get the message.

I am far from the first to make this argument (about using Plame as an example to chill dissent from others), but I think the point generally is not well-understood. Since 6/03, we have learned many other things which tell us that DC is full of people with all sorts of stories to tell about Bush's crimes (some of those stories have already been told, and I'm sure before long we'll hear more). We have also learned that Bush has been trying to use every method possible to keep those people quiet.

Aside from all that, here's a comment about Armitage. He learned about Plame from a memo that was produced as a result of the WH inquiry into the situation (without that inquiry and that memo, Armitage would not have had the info). I think Rove understandably was following a strategy of trying the leak the info in various ways, that would ideally not lead right back to him. I have read that Armitage has a reputation as a gossip. If this is true, Rove undoubtedly knew this, and it makes sense that Rove would take steps to make sure Armitage saw the memo.

Posted by: jukeboxgrad on September 8, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Rove got away with it.

Poor liberals, no frog march of Rove. This is what happens when you hitch your wagon to a liar like Joe Wilson and his socialite wife.

Time for you to pretend none of this ever happened.

To appease your "frog-marching-lust" how about we send Sandy Berger out with handcuffs? He needs a production credit for helping the "Path to 9/11."

Posted by: Orwell on September 8, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

its all so sad that issues like plame affair are so interesting to such a large segment of really well educated well connected generally proserpous group . meanwhile the 3/2 marines in anbar less than 30 days into their iraqi deployment have already lost more men than they did during their whole deployment last year. with no coverage other than a death notice . the situation is different now than last year. i suspect the powers that be have unintentionally put the marines in greater harms way in
a a farcical attempt to have them "tone it down"

Posted by: dan mcelroy on September 8, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

So, it turns out that they were covering up a policy with which outing Valerie Plame was entirely consonant. I believe that's called being hoisted on one's own petar.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 8, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Poor liberals, no frog march of Rove.

It's better to want malefactors in government be held accountable than cheering their avoidance, Orwell. Your sneering is of a piece with your smearing of Plame and Wilson, whose service to this nation is no mitigating factor when they embarrass the Bush Administration politically. Shame on you.

Oh, and Sandy Berger admitted his misdeed and lost his security clearance. Rove and company, not so much.

Posted by: Gregory on September 8, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame smeared Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. Not for nothing did the Washington Post choose to humiliate them in a lead Editorial.

Joe lied through his teeth in his op-ed, in his book, and everytime he opened his mouth. Joe and Val knew before he even wrote the memo that Val was a desk jockey and has been a desk jockey for more than 5 years. There was nothing covert about Valerie. They both knew this when they told David Corn the law had been broken and so did David corn. All three knew no law had been broken. All three knew fame and fortune awaited if they could create a scandal and no one would care if it was real or not.

They made out fabulously and history will never mention them. GWB was reelected in the strongest mid-term performance since FDR in 1936.

Liberals need victims to mourn so by all means mourn Joe. And while you're at it buy his next book. We both want to keep him around.

Posted by: rdw on September 8, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Sandy Berger admitted his misdeed and lost his security clearance. Rove and company, not so much.

Sandy Burgler was a comically inept common criminal. The most shocking aspect of his story wasn't so much that he as a common thief but that he was such a bad thief. And this man was Clintons NSA chief?

It does boggle the mind doesn't it?

It's more than a little bit interesting to consider what it was he was so desperate to steal. Obviously something humiliating to him and Bill Clinton. Why take such a risk?

From his clown act there will be a million conspiracy theories.

The difference between Rove and Burgler is that Bugler is a buffoon and a thief while Rove is an honest public servant. You may think the opposite. Your problem is I have proof.

Bill Clinton's problem is history also has proof.

Hard to know for sure but Sandy Burgler could be a bigger embarrasment than his pardon scandal. The bad news is it won't be as big as Monica. That one he'd like to see disappear.

Posted by: rdw on September 8, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Gergory,

You do realize Sandy will live on as the most famous member of Clintons cabinet? He's just too rich. You will see him in cartoons periodically from now until forever. He'll be the one wearing baggy pants jammed with papers.

Posted by: rdw on September 8, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Look up the Who's Who entry yourself. I'm fairly certain that it says "Valerie Plame," not "Valerie Wilson."

Posted by: Art Vandelay on September 8, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

But interviews and documents also portray the White House in the persons of Bush aide Karl Rove, Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and others as furiously trying to get information about Wilson and Plame, then discussing it with reporters.

Except that in both accounts, by the reporters own sworn testimony, they (the reporters) are the ones who brought it up. They asked the administration officials about the story rather than the other way around. The respondents comments were off hand and not central to the discussions that started the enquiry.

To this day no one has been charged with the supposed underlying crime the special prosecutor says Mrs Plame was never a covert agent and no crime was committed.


The truth is that Joe Wilson himself outed his wife when he wrote the Op-ed by the New York Times lying about who sent him to Niger. (as well as to what he really found there) Begging the question to the whole world who is this guy and who really sent him to Niger in the first place?

Moron good to know it ended in a big dud. (No Fitz-mass this year)

Posted by: Fitz on September 8, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

The comments on this thread prove that rdw is anti-American scum. He wants to destroy the democratic republic of the United States of America and replace it with a right-wing fascist dictatorship. He is an enemy of America, no less so than Osama Bin Laden.

Of course, unlike Osama who unfortunately has the ability to act upon his evil desire to destroy America, rdw is an aging, senile, impotent nitwit who is fortunately incapable of doing anything more than expressing his hatred of American democracy by posting hate-filled rants on a blog.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on September 8, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: Your problem is I have proof.

Your problem is that you are a deliberate liar.

"Freedom Fighter" is most likely correct that you are senile.

And that you never, ever, ever have anything to offer but hate.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 8, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Stuck. On. Stupid.

Mr. Drum, please seek professional help. Or affix the tinfoil more tightly.

Either way, really.

Posted by: Birkel on September 8, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

And that you never, ever, ever have anything to offer but hate.

Hate? Where does that come from? I'm telling you to buy Joe Wilsons next book to support the victims here. They've only made about $20M so far. That's not hate, that's love.

I will admit it may have been somewhat unkind to call Burgler a Buffoon. That's just not fair to Buffoons. To them I apologize

As far as the liar bit I am afraid to say I have proof and that would be in burglers own testimony. If you mean regarding Joe Wilson being a fraud I am merely repeating the venerable Washington Post. Actually I knew a long, long time ago but the Washington Post is good enough.

Posted by: rdw on September 8, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Bush et al sabotaged the CIA WMD program because it wouldn't tell them what they wanted to hear."

This is the crime that Fitgerald is working to prove and he will prove that Cheney masterminded it.

It's why the distinction between "Wilson" & "Plame" is so important.
Outing Wilson is political hardball.
Outing Plame is vandalism of U.S Intelligence assets.
Outing Plame is an espionage violation, and it can be a gallows offense.

Rove didn't realize Cheney's intent was to sabotage CIA assets. Rove didn't want to hang. So he sang.

Posted by: John Forde on September 8, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: Hate? Where does that come from?

You know very well where your hate comes from.

The right-wing extremist propaganda machine that you obsessively tune into 24x7 -- Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, etc. -- tell you to hate "liberals", and even spoon-feed you specific instructions about which specific "liberals" should be the target of your hate on any given day.

And, being the mentally and morally degenerate, weak-minded, ignorant neo-brownshirt Bush-bootlicking mental slave that you are, you obediently hate whoever they tell you to hate, just as you think what they tell you to think and say what they tell you to say.

And it feels good to you. You love to hate. That's what emanates from your every comment -- how much you love to hate.

The right-wing extremists know how to push your hate button, just like Hitler knew how to push the hate buttons of your equivalent mental slaves in 1930s Germany. Hitler told them to hate Jews, and they obediently, slavishly hated Jews. Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney tell you to hate "liberals", and you slavishly and obediently hate "liberals".


Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 8, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

The right-wing extremist propaganda machine that you obsessively tune into 24x7.

That's not true. I get 8 hours of sleep every night!

BTW: I don't get to listen to Rush often but he is having fun today with ABC and Bill Clinton. It sounds like this is a disaster for both of them. ABC gets everyone pissed at them and they come off as cowards. Bill Clinton, in an attempt to edit certain scenes, has created massive publicity for those scenes. While at least one scene has been removed there are so many copies around the cut scene will be on Fox 24x7 as well as all over the internet.

It's very likely all of the scenes he's complained about will get far more publicity than if he just let it alone.

From what a few conservative commentators have suggested the scene they are cutting is in fact fiction and Clinton might have a beef. But it still looks like Liberal censorship and MSM cowardice.

Rush is laughing his ass off. Both sides look bad. I also think rush just enjoys anytime he gets a chance to talk about Sandy Burgler and Mad Maddy. You've got to admit Sandy's excellent adventure is incredibly humiliating and it does create a fertile platform for conspiracy theorists. I mean you tell me? What was he hiding?

Posted by: rdw on September 8, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

It's really not hard to see what happened, David Broder and other apologists to the contrary.

Armitage, gossip that he was, spilt the beans that Wilson's wife worked "over there" at the CIA, but the SPIN reported by Novak -- that she sent Wilson to Niger as some kind of "junket" -- came from the pen of Dick Cheney via Scooter Libby to Karl Rove.

Although Armitage's initial "leak" may have been inadvertant, the rest of it was not, which is WHY Scooter lied to the grand jury, why he was indicted, and why he will probably be convicted.

Some paranoids DO have enemies, and some conspiracies are furthered by acts of those outside them.

One can imagine just how pleased Rove was when Novak asked HIM about Wilson's wife. "Oh, I heard that, too" my ass.

Posted by: Cal Gal on September 8, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: "From what a few conservative commentators have suggested ..."

And as we know, you think what "conservative commentators" tell you to think, and you say what they tell you to say, because you are a mental slave with no capacity for independent thought.

rdw: "But it still looks like Liberal censorship ..."

It looks to you like whatever Rush Limbaugh tells you it looks like to you, because you are a mental slave with no capacity for independent thought.

The only real content of your comments is (1) the affirmation that you are a mental slave of right-wing extremist propaganda, with no capacity for independent thought, and (2) you think that all Americans are as stupid and ignorant and weak-minded and gullible as you are (which fortunately is not the case), and (3) you rejoice in the triumph of lies.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 8, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Well, RDW, even if he doesn't consider Broder a real news source, apparently still doesn't know what one is.

First, he gets the basic core of Armitage's timing wrong; Armitage himself said Fitz told him not to speak out before now.

Second, the Plame incident did not affect any mid-term elections. It occurred well after 2002 and 2006 hasn't happened yet.

Third, assuming "rdw" meant 2004 elections, Bush did not noticeably increase his margin of victory (Kerry's percentage of voters vs. Gore 2000 went up by about the same amount), and Bush only did as well as he did because he was running against a semi-incompetent.

Fourth, as "jukeboxgrad" clearly pointed out, a crime was committed.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on September 8, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

SocraticGadfly, all "rdw" ever does is spout contrafactual rubbish. He's completely out of touch with reality.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 8, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

fitz: "Except that in both accounts, by the reporters own sworn testimony, they (the reporters) are the ones who brought it up. They asked the administration officials about the story rather than the other way around. The respondents comments were off hand and not central to the discussions that started the enquiry."

Your claim is pure nonsense: "MR. RUSSERT: For the record, the first time you learned that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA was from Karl Rove? MR. COOPER: That's correct."

Posted by: jukeboxgrad on September 8, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

secular animist: "being the mentally and morally degenerate, weak-minded, ignorant neo-brownshirt Bush-bootlicking mental slave that you [rdw] are ... you are a mental slave of right-wing extremist propaganda, with no capacity for independent thought ... you think that all Americans are as stupid and ignorant and weak-minded and gullible as you are (which fortunately is not the case) ... you rejoice in the triumph of lies [and] spout contrafactual rubbish"

Ouch. That about sums it up. Nice job.

I think your words are worth repeating because they astutely summarize more-or-less the entire righty blogosphere.

Posted by: jukeboxgrad on September 8, 2006 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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