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Tilting at Windmills

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January 29, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

"PLAME" vs. "WILSON"....I'm not going to blog obsessively about the Scooter Libby trial since so many other people are doing it far better than me, but here's a snippet from Marcy Wheeler's rough transcript of the prosecution's questioning of Ari Fleischer today:

P: Was anything discussed?

Fleischer: ....What I recall Libby saying to me, reiterated that VP did not send Wilson. Amabssador Wilson got sent by his wife, she works at CIA, works in CPD, I recall that he told me her name. This is hush hush this is on the QT.

....P: Her name, how did he describe her name?

Fleischer: I believe he said Valerie Plame.

This was on July 7, 2003. Four days later Robert Novak wrote a column in which he outed "Valerie Plame" as a CIA operative. Not "Valerie Wilson," the name she used socially, but "Valerie Plame," her maiden name and one that she used only on agency business. Novak says he used that name because he looked up Joe Wilson's biography in Who's Who, discovered Valerie's maiden name there, and for some reason decided to use that name in his column. This was despite the fact that the whole point of his column was that Wilson had been sent to Niger as part of some nepotistic boondoggle arranged by his wife.

I've never believed the Who's Who story because it makes no sense. Why deliberately use someone's maiden name when it's not the name she normally goes by? Rather, I've always figured that somebody in the Bush administration used the name Plame and gave it to Novak, but for some reason Novak doesn't want anyone to know that. And sure enough, Fleischer's testimony makes clear that the name "Plame" was the one known to people inside the White House. If that's the name Libby used, then it's the name everyone else used too.

You can ignore all this if you want. Novak's use of the name "Plame" has always been one of my pet obsessions in this story, and I continue to think it's the key to something. Maybe eventually we'll find out what. Maybe even today.

Kevin Drum 1:32 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (79)

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Comments

And, if I recall correctly, it turned out that "Valerie Plame" was not listed in the Who's Who that Novak said he consulted.

Personally, I can't help but wonder why Novak isn't either on the stand or in the dock. Maybe Fitzgerald is building a case to send Novakula to prison?

Posted by: Derelict on January 29, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

We'll find out Novak's is a liar and shill? I think that has already been established, though not proven in a court of law. (yet)

Posted by: Tigershark on January 29, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ever since I read that Valery Plame was key to the counter-proliferation activity in Iran, I have believed that part of the motivation for outing her was to destroy the CIA's ability to push back on the next step in the neocons' mastering the Middle East plan. During the summer of 03 they would have believed their plans were going well and Iran was next.

Posted by: Lindata on January 29, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry about the conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Lindata on January 29, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Novak's already in prison: his vile mind.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 29, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Get all the latest Libby trial news, legal documents, timelines and other essential materials at:
"The CIA Leak/PlameGate Resource Center."

Posted by: AngryOne on January 29, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Derelict: I don't recall that Novak ever specified a specific edition or anything, and Wilson's bio definitely does say that he married "the former Valerie Plame." It would be a plausible excuse except for the fact that it doesn't make any sense.

As for why Novak isn't testifying, that's a good question. I have to assume that he reached some kind of deal with Fitzgerald.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 29, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Is Novak going to testify?

Posted by: Horatio Parker on January 29, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

If it becomes obvious Novak is lying will there be any consequences?

Or does being a Right Winger mean you never have to say, "I'm sorry."

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on January 29, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Novak's testifying would likely muddy things, since Scooter's on trial for perjury, not the leak. Unless Ari can be impeached by defense on the cross, the whole Tim-Russert-who-we-can-control-told-me line is going to look very very flimsy.

Posted by: ahem on January 29, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Armitage. He was in the White House hearing the same name. He talked to the press.

This "get Libby" obsession is starting to do some real damage to brain cells here.

Posted by: Orwell on January 29, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Lindata,
I think you are onto something. It has always been a key Rovian strategy to get as many "hits" as they could manage out of each dirty trick—and never give a thought as to the actual effect on the country, only immediate goals.

In the end, these guys are reactors (even more than reactionaries), and they just pick apart every opportunity that comes their way for whatever reason. And this must have looked like a twofer!

Posted by: Kenji on January 29, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't followed this obsessively either, because I figure a courtroom trial depends on people telling the truth and these people are all liars. However: the one thing that always got me was "fair game". This was the phrase one of the mysterious sources used to describe Valerie Plame to a journalist (Russert?), and the exact same phrase, "his wife is fair game", to Tweety the day after Novak's column appeared. Besides the fact that the phrase was the same, the sense of it tells you how these people approached the who matter. There was nothing accidental or conversational about it.

Posted by: Jim on January 29, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Armitage. He was in the White House hearing the same name. He talked to the press.
This "get Libby" obsession is starting to do some real damage to brain cells here.

So, the current reichwingnut story is: One of us is a traitor, and maybe two, but we'll never say which.

The White House has a traitor in it, either Libby or Rove or Armitage or all three. They have all admitted to informing the press about an undercover CIA agent working on stopping the enemies of America.

My personal solution is to line up the ENTIRE WH staff and solve the problem with a simultaneous firing squad. Treason in a time of war is a capital crime, and it should be treated as such.

Posted by: POed Lib on January 29, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

"Fleischer:....What I recall Libby saying to me, reiterated that VP did not send Wilson."

Ha - I read that to mean VP="Valerie Plame", not "Vice President".

Perhaps there are memos out there identifying "VP" as the person who sent Wilson and that's why the Cheney crowd decided to use her?

Interesting coincidence in any case.

Posted by: Rick on January 29, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Man, if Libby point-blank warned Fleischer (at their very first one-on-one lunch) that he was passing along "hush hush" information, it's going to sound pretty f***ing lame to stick to the "I just couldn't remember" defense.

Posted by: dj moonbat on January 29, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Remember at the time this all went on the word was that Wilson went to Africa because Cheney (the VP) had asked for some follow up & then Wilson comes back & starts letting people know that the paperwork was forged etc. Reflects badly on Cheney (think bureacratic cabal (per Wilkerson) infighting, "Who sent Wilson & started all this trouble ?, Why did you do that Dick ?" etc) so he & Scooter decide to "clear the air" and restore their credibility w/in the cabal.

Note (from testimony) that Libby made a big deal out of trying to get the CIA to annnounce in public that the State Department & the DoD had also asked for some follow up by the CIA so that there was multiple blame to share & it wasn`t just the VP (Cheney) that had caused the trouble w/Wilson.

I suspect that the cabal (per Wilkerson) didn`t know exactly what Plame was working on, just that "she sent Wilson". Once the deeds were done then they were informed that Plame was working on Iran and the full consequences of what they had done was driven home. THEN the attempt to cover their trail began.

Simple human (high primate) ego driven behaviors.

"...Ambition must be made to counteract ambition..." - FEDERALIST No. 51

Posted by: daCascadian on January 29, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

That Who's Who story was always a crock.

Posted by: Jimm on January 29, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how many of Ms. Valarie's contacts were tracked down and tortured to death as a result of Cheney, Libby, and Novak's little "slip of tounge"?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on January 29, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry about the conspiracy theory.
Posted by: Lindata on January 29, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

What you should be apologizing for is characterizing what you said as a "conspiracy theory".

These are the people who were slimy enough to get through Nixon and Reagan's administrations without getting indicted. (oh, except that Poindexter fellow). I would think that it would be extremely naive to think that outing Plame served a dual purpose. Just as their weak stance on Pakistan and AQ Khan's nuclear proliferation network has also borne fruit (in the form of an NK test, and a possible Iranian program).

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 29, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

YYYYaaaaaaaaawwwnnnnnnn....

Posted by: Homer on January 29, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're dead-on with this.

She was known at Plame within the WH because that's how she was known inside the CIA.

Novak is lying. Of course, that's not news at all.

Posted by: four legs good on January 29, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Who in the world would think that a trip to Niger was a boondoggle in the first place? This is a point so obvious (confirmed by a glance at the map and a quick Google) that I am surprised that few seem to notice it. If my wife arranged for me a trip to Naimey for a week I'd guess that she was pissed off at me.

Posted by: JRosen on January 29, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

If my wife arranged for me a trip to Naimey for a week I'd guess that she was pissed off at me.

Shh! Don't let Niger's tourism department hear you say that!

Posted by: dj moonbat on January 29, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how many of Ms. Valarie's contacts were tracked down and tortured to death as a result of Cheney, Libby, and Novak's little "slip of tounge"? Cranky


Shsssh. The Decider and Darth Cheney don't want us to realize just how irresponsible they really are. If we ever did we might insist on accountability.

So far the Libby trial is proving our darkest suspicions about this sorry affair. Are there no honorable people in the administration?

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 29, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Considering Derelict's post above, why would a secret agent pay money to appear in Who's Who -
a publication that allegedly used her maiden covert name??

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on January 29, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK
This is hush hush this is on the QT.

On the QT ... ?

I guess the full transcript will say something about Cheney's peeps runnin' a hustle on that whacked out homeboy, Wilsy.

Or whatever the hell the kids would say nowadays.

I really thought this trial would be boring. It's actually gotten quite interesting, and I don't usually follow any trial (completely ignored OJ).

Posted by: Unholy Moses on January 29, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting that none of the usual trolls are responding to the Libby Treason threads at any of the main liberal sites. Almost is if they were waiting for .... new talking points to be written?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on January 29, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

why would a secret agent pay money to appear in Who's Who -
a publication that allegedly used her maiden covert name??

Because it would get her name out there as a consultant in the petroleum industry (I think that was her cover story).

Posted by: dj moonbat on January 29, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Well personally, I'm waiting for Dick Cheney's testimony if it ever happens.

I half-way expect Cheney to tell the Presidental face to put an end to the Libby trial and Pat Fitz's government career. Why does this Mafia style administration need a mob lawyer?

Yes, it would look bad, firing Fitz and all, but since both Cheney and Bush don't care about poll numbers, why continue to put up with Fitz's constant embarrassment?

Posted by: Cheryl on January 29, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see how any of this matters. Everyone knows the only real US traitors are those critics of our Dear Leader.

Posted by: ckelly on January 29, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

How many times will Kevin Drum repeat the falsehood that "Valerie Plame was a CIA operative"?

Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction.
-Mission To Niger, By Robert D. Novak

Posted by: ckelly on January 29, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

The whole "Vice President did not send Wilson" has always been kinda funny to me. I think it is an important point to clarify.

My understanding is that VP's office did not, technically, send Wilson. The CIA was sending someone to look into the claim based on a request from the VP's office. So, yes the didn't send Wilson, but they did request for more information.

Now, Plame was not at the meeting at the CIA, but was asked informally if Joe would be interested in going. She, in a martital capacity passed on the request to Joe.

This is my understanding. I'm sure the Plameologists can clarify for me.. and if this is the case it is easy to see why:

1. Wilson said Cheney sent him.
2. That the WH was suprised to read that Joe had wrote that.
3. Why the meme that "Plame sent Wilson" took hold.


Ari's testimony was a little less than I expected, but I do see why he retained counsel and asked for immunity.

Here is the key nugget from firedoglake:
I recall I said to these reporters, If you want to know who sent Amb Wilson to Niger, it was his wife, she works there. Tamara Lippert Newsweek, David Gregory and John Dickerson, Time Magazine.

After being told by Libby that it was on the "QT" and then saying that.. yes..good thing he got immunity IMO. (Though there was lack of understanding and intent on his part). AND it looks like he is the one that started the whole "plame sent wilson" started.

But we know, that the press got wind of the whole thing through several channels.

Homer the wanker can yawn all he wants, this is all pretty fascinating.

Posted by: Simp on January 29, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Fucking moron idea that she was in Who's Who is totally stupid, and anyone who repeats it is an idiot.

It is only IN RETROSPECT that the Who's who is comprehensible. Unless you ALREADY knew she was CIA, the Who's who entry is useless.

But for morons like Hedley, logic is useless.

Posted by: POed Lib on January 29, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

How many times will Frequency Kenneth repeat the falsehood that "Valerie Plame was not a CIA operative"?

Getting a brain trqansaplant is the first step to recovery from wingnuttia.

Posted by: dmbeaster on January 29, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

simp, wilson didn't say "cheney sent me." that's the right-wing lie.

what wilson, quite accurately, said is that the OVP had some questions about the niger story, and that the cia decided to send someone to check it out further.

just the other day, krauthammer went on some show and repeated the "wilson claimed that cheney sent him which has been shown to be a lie" lie. don't accept it for a second.

frequency kenneth, try a little harder why doncha?

Posted by: howard on January 29, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Getting a brain trqansaplant is the first step to recovery from wingnuttia.

You get the brain transplant, and POOF! You're a democrat.

In today's world, total moronic stupidity is a Party requirement for the Repukeliscum Party. Not only can they NOT HELP being total blithering morons, they MUST BE total idiots to join the Repukeliscum Party.

Posted by: POed Lib on January 29, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Orwellian

Armitage. He was in the White House hearing the same name. He talked to the press.

The Assisstant Secretary of State let out the name of an undercover CIA operative in a fit girlish gossip. How stupid do you and ilk think we are. Anyone interest in the truth not that you are can do a quick web search to find numerous debunkings of this lie.

Posted by: klyde on January 29, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

'Fess up: was that the "real" Frequency Kenneth [1], or a reality-based commenter just tweaking me for my 3:29?

Cranky

[1] I have always thought that one of the more bizarre troll nyms, as Dan Rather's "frequency kenneth" story was _later proven to be true_ after much derisive dismissal by the nascent right wing noise machine.

Posted by: Cranky Observer on January 29, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Almost is if they were waiting for .... new talking points to be written?

Waiting for the cross-examinations. Last I looked at FireDogLake, it was still lunch time for them.

Posted by: calibantwo on January 29, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Tigershark,
Novak's been a prick since the 50's. He was on board with McCarthy. Novak outed people back then. You can look it up. I hope Fitz is able to nail the bastard.

Posted by: Ghost of Tom Joad on January 29, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter "calibantwo": No, no talking points have arrived yet...

Posted by: Gregory on January 29, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

It's not widely known, but Frequency Kenneth is the nom d'wingnut for the guy who actually attacked Dan Rather on the street, thereby setting him up to look crazy when describing the incident. Just in case they needed to discredit him later.

These Republicans think really far ahead. Unless it involves war, hurricanes, or the national interest.

Today his main job is trying out talking points that even the rest of the party doesn't think it can get away with. So if we don't call him on his moronic lies, well, they figure it'll fly with the American people—who, clearly, they detest.

Posted by: Kenji on January 29, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Just went and read the whole Who's Who. Just as I remember, it lists her name, but does not identify her as a CIA agent.

No one has ever denied that Joe Wilson was married. That would be stupid enough to be a Repukeliscum idea.

Nope, the entry has to list her as a CIA agent. But it doesn't.

God, the repukeliscum are stupid.

Posted by: POed Lib on January 29, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

For those wondering, Novak isn't testifying because he has nothing to add to Libby's trial.

I suppose the defense might call him, but I just don't see how he could possibly help them any more than he could help the prosecution.

For this to go any further than Libby, Libby will have to sing a different tune than the one has so far. A conviction might induce a change, but I wouldn't count on it, and with appeals, wouldn't lead anywhere very quickly.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 29, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

FK keeeps saying Plame was not a undercover cia.How would he know that.A Guess,A rightwing talking point,Or is he an insider.?

Posted by: john john on January 29, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Jim,

IIRC it was Chris Matthews who said to Joe Wilson "I just got off the phone with Karl Rove and he says your wife is fair game."

Posted by: DP on January 29, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

to put it in terms the average american would understand, it's like novak outed Sydney Anne Bristow, and then the following week, named Credit Dauphine (in APO guise, not SD-6) as where she worked, then, maybe people would understand

Posted by: tofubo on January 29, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

tofubo - are you the same tofubo who points up the absurdity of fighting a war against a transitive verb?

My husband saw that on Blue Herald and told me someone was cribbing my material.:)

(I told him great minds think alike.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 29, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

it was armitage asshole - and he leaked it to BOLTER wilson, not in retribution. sheesh.

Posted by: reliapundit on January 29, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

So, Libby lied to Ari too!

Nice.

BTW, Novak used "Plame" because he is a waterboy for conservatives.

Posted by: Google_This on January 29, 2007 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Go back and re-read Kevin's post.

I did read the post.

It's still complete shit. Unless you knew that she was CIA, the WW is totally innocuous. Read the WW entry. NOTHING about the CIA there. You must KNOW that she is CIA before anything is revealing in the WW piece.

Posted by: POed Lib on January 29, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell: This "get Libby" obsession is starting to do some real damage to brain cells here.

This from the people who said the story would die and Libby would never go to trial.

Drip, drip, drip . . . the slow bleed of political death for the neocons continues.

Not to worry though, the Iranians will greet us with parades and open arms when Bush invades.

Posted by: Wrong_Again on January 29, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Four days later? Scooter tells Ari on 6/7 and Novak publishes on 6/14 - seven days later.

OK, 6/10 was the day that Scooter said he learned her name from Russert and 6/14 was four days later. But Scooter told Ari a full week in advance of the Novak hit job.

Posted by: pgl on January 29, 2007 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Frequency Kenneth: "How many times will Kevin Drum repeat the falsehood that 'Valerie Plame was a CIA operative'? It's not true - she had a desk job in DC."

You're supposed to click the heels of your magic ruby slippers three times while repeating your mantra if you wish it to come true. Jesus Christ, F.K., didn't you learn anything from Glinda the good Witch of the North?

You know what else doesn't make any sense in your oft-stated right-wing yahoo version of this story? The idea that Joe Wilson's trip to Niger -- one of the poorest and most desperate countries on God's green earth -- could be characterized simply as another government-funded "junket", in the most perjorative sense of the term.

Well, there's no other way to characterize you, F.K., than to say that you and your fellow far-right looney tunes cohorts are simply pathetic.

Now, run along -- I hear your pharmacist calling you because your Xanax prescription's ready.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 29, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

tofubo - are you the same tofubo who points up the absurdity of fighting a war against a transitive verb?

it would be a totally fucking bogus situation if there were two of us

here's the full quote:

help stop this country from becoming a fundamentalist theocracy aiding and abetting a kleptocratic war profiteering police state that continues to remove civil liberties from americans on the premise of fighting a never ending war on a transitive adverb

Posted by: tofubo on January 29, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

On the QT ... ?

I guess the full transcript will say something about Cheney's peeps runnin' a hustle on that whacked out homeboy, Wilsy.

Uh, "On the QT" isn't exactly a hip-hop phrase.

Posted by: Winda Warren Terra on January 29, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's totally fucking bogus that there aren't a lot more of us!

Pleased to meet you.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 29, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Novak knew what he was doing from day one. He was helping the Bushies smear Joe Wilson and his wife.

It's a shame that Novak won't be run out the business and it's a shame that Karl Rove is not on trial. They think nothing of ruining the lives of public servants like the Wilsons (with lies).

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 29, 2007 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

What is fucking amazing is that these people, who have IMMEASURABLY damaged the CIA and possibly caused collateral damage and death of agents associated with Plame, continue to claim the Patriotic High card.

FUCKING AMAZING

Posted by: POed Lib on January 29, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

The "outing gate" is really not all that surprising from an administration whose leader has twice now sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America while at the same time despising it's limitations at the same time!

.."Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!" Bush 11/05

Folks, the Constitution is in serious trouble under this administration. The outing of a CIA operative and the NSA spying are but 2 of numerous subversions of our beloved Constitution by this administration. Read the following, and see if YOU agree with our president that it's ..."just a goddamn piece of paper."

http://www.constitution.org/cs_found.htm

….To disregard such a deliberate choice of words and their natural meaning,

would be a departure from the first principle of constitutional

interpretation. "In expounding the Constitution of the United States," said

Chief Justice Taney in Holmes v. Jennison, 14 U.S. 540, 570-1, "every word

must have its due force and appropriate meaning; for it is evident from the

whole instrument, that, no word was unnecessarily used, or needlessly added.

The many discussions which have taken place upon the construction of the

Constitution, have proved the correctness of this proposition; and shown the

high talent, the caution and the foresight of the illustrious men who framed

it. Every word appears to have been weighed with the utmost deliberation and

its force and effect to have been fully understood. -- Wright v. United

States, 302 U.S. 583 (1938).

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 29, 2007 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Plame wasn't a CIA operative, that's why the CIA referred it to Justice as soon as she was revealed.

Posted by: Ringo on January 29, 2007 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

It warms me to finally see some accountability. Go, Patrick Fitzgerald!
I know exactly what Kevin is saying--and I am not obsessing on any of it, and none of it. I think that is why my postings have dropped off.
A nun wrote a letter to the editor in the local paper, saying Bush repeated one of his falsehoods in his state of the union address, again linking Irag and 9/11. She noted that Sen. James Webb pointed out more accurately that the escalation actually depletes our ability to work against terrorism.
She says "By continuing this ill-conceived and destructive war in Iraq, we, in fact, give terrorist groups worldwide a more effective recruitment tool for attracting new members than they could have possibly imagined. We can best support our troops and focus on countering terrorism by ending this wasteful war."
I saw a lot of nuns, and young people, voting in the mid-term elections in my local district.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 29, 2007 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

This was despite the fact that the whole point of his column was that Wilson had been sent to Niger as part of some nepotistic boondoggle arranged by his wife.

Wouldn't it make more sense to use the name "Valerie Wilson" if one were trying to tie Mr. Wilson to the position of Mrs. Wilson? Why use the maiden name, in other words, or, more precisely, why give the maiden name to Novak and not the married name?

Posted by: anonymous on January 29, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Plame wasn't a CIA operative, that's why the CIA referred it to Justice as soon as she was revealed.

The CIA obviously asserted that Plame was an operative. But their mere assertion doesn't mean she genuinely was one for the purposes of the statutes in question. Criminal intent is necessary; but criminal intent might not exist if it was "common knowledge" that Plame was a "desk jockey" at Langley -- and if in fact next to nobody realized that at one point she was a genuine spook. Fitzgerald's obviously got a strong case against Libby, and I eagerly await Cheney's testimony along with everybody else. But I still say convincing a jury beyond reasonable doubt is far from a slam dunk in this case.

Posted by: GOP Troll on January 29, 2007 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

How about you prosecute the real criminals behind this leaked name of a CIA officer and we all know who that is Cheney and Bush, we have no Constitution because of these two CRIMINALs but no one wants to do their job and prosecute the real ones at fault, all the lies and the human lives these two have caused they should be taken out back and strung up in the highest tree.

Posted by: Al on January 29, 2007 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Is that you, Al? You finally saw the light that the cabal is criminal? Is this a new Al?

Posted by: consider wisely on January 29, 2007 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Who let the sane Al in here?

Dude - add "no, not that one' or "the sane one" or something. We have an odious autocratic Al who has tarnished your good name for all eternity with his vile, contemptuous, boot-licking GOP-can-do-no-wrong, Democrats-all-enable-terrorists, bow-down-and-worship-king-George bullshit.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 29, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

I must admit that the whole trial is great fun to watch. Pretty soon Traitor Karl will be on the stand.

Possibly Patrick is setting him up for a perjury trap? Could that be?

Posted by: dataguy on January 29, 2007 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

I don’t care if you are Democrat, Republican, Independent or Green, if you are a red-blooded American male like me, Valerie Plame is HOT!!

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on January 29, 2007 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Fitz is going to have to work sex in there to make that perjury trap work. Oh right, these are Republicans. Well, there must at least be a dungeon somewhere with Rove's butt-prints on it.

Posted by: Kenji on January 29, 2007 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

What a crock of BS! Fitzgerald knew a week before he started his snipe hunt that Armitage had been the leaker. Just another secular-prog process daisy chain.

Posted by: daveinboca on January 30, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Just another secular-prog process daisy chain.

It's called Due Process, asshole. Ever heard of it? It used to be the law of the land, back before Bush dismissed the Constitution as just a piece of god-damned paper.

Which was the biggest fucking insult anyone could ever deliver to the American military, by the way, since their oath is to uphold the Constitution and die for it if necessary.

Someone explain to me how these dickheads got to be the Patriots?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 30, 2007 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

What a crock of BS! Fitzgerald knew a week before he started his snipe hunt that Armitage had been the leaker. Just another secular-prog process daisy chain.
Posted by: daveinboca

Duh-Okay Rocky, whatever you say!

I'm sorry, but if that's the case then why is the is Libby's lawyer saying he won't be the fall guy for Karl Rove?

Do you really expect people to think that between Karl Rove and Richard Armitage, it's Armitage who'd sacrifice OPSEC for political gain? Really?

Oh, that's OPERational SECurity for you trolls who don't know the first thing you're bloviating about.

Posted by: cyntax on January 30, 2007 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

What a crock of BS! Fitzgerald knew a week before he started his snipe hunt that Armitage had been the leaker.

Libby is charged with one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements -- a result of less than forthright behavior during the leak investigation.

Stay tuned if you can muster a long enough attention span, and you know, read or listen rather than knee-jerk regurgitate.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 30, 2007 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and daveinboca,

Novak "identified three confidential administration sources during testimony in the CIA leak investigation" according to the Washington Post.

And Matt Cooper of TIME testified that one of his sources was Karl Rove: "Was it through my conversation with Rove that I learned for the first time that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and may have been responsible for sending him? Yes. Did Rove say that she worked at the "agency" on "WMD"? Yes. "

Tomorrow is Judith Miller. Can't wait to hear her testimony about her meetings with Libby plus her notebooks that contain Valerie Flame and Victoria Wilson:

In the notebook in which she recorded her notes from this meeting with Libby, Miller wrote the words "Valerie Flame." Clearly, this was a reference to Valerie Plame. Was Libby the source for this name? Miller says she does not think so and that she told Fitzgerald "I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall." Again, it might be hard for a reporter to remember who told them what over two years ago. But isn't it difficult to believe that come July 14, 2003--the day the name Valerie Plame became public--Miller would not have recalled who had told her days earlier about this CIA officer? And isn't it hard to believe that she would no longer remember that?
Yes, it is hard to believe especially of an aggressive reporter.

Ah, the aspens. Maybe they will turn in clusters.

The Plame case isn't the first time that a someone in the federal govt. leaked to Miller:

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Miller learned from a leaker in the federal government that the FBI intended to raid the offices of an Islamic "charity" that was suspected of being a terrorist front. According to a court decision in February 2005, which can be accessed here, Miller responded by telephoning the charity and asking for comment:
On December 3, 2001, consistent with The Times' policy of seeking comment from the subjects of its articles, Miller telephoned HLF [Holy Land Foundation] and spoke with HLF representatives about the information that had been disclosed to her by one or more confidential sources. According to Miller, she sought comment from HLF at this time only "about the government's intent to block HLF's assets," and she did not intend to tip-off HLF about the impending FBI search of HLF's offices. (Id. 10-11.) Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois ("Fitzgerald"), representing the government, has stated that on the night of December 3, 2001, Miller disclosed to HLF personnel that "government action was imminent" (Affirmation of Patrick J. Fitzgerald, dated Nov. 19, 2004 ("Fitzgerald Aff."), at 3), and that the HLF personnel were surprised by the information conveyed by Miller. . . .
On December 4, 2001, FBI agents searched HLF's offices. According to Fitzgerald, the disclosure by Miller to HLF on December 3 had the effect of creating increased safety risks to the FBI agents conducting the search and of increasing the likelihood of destruction or concealment of evidence or assets.
Fitz!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on January 30, 2007 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, one thought I have is that Joseph Wilson wasn't the target at all. Valerie "Plame" was actually outed to destroy the CIA's Iranian WMD intel operation, which would allow the OSP to control the info needed to justify an attack on Iran.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: gs on January 30, 2007 at 3:58 AM | PERMALINK

The WH insisted if anyone in the employ of the government was responsible they would be fired.

Perhaps 8 US attorneys leaked her name?

Posted by: melior on January 30, 2007 at 7:18 AM | PERMALINK

Someone explain to me how these dickheads got to be the Patriots?

Better pr.

Posted by: ckelly on January 30, 2007 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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