Monday, October 24, 2005

Backstage

Unless the last Trumpets of Judgment are sounded this week, nothing will upstage the eagerly awaited report of the Fitzgerald inquiry into the leak of Valerie Plame's name to the press. According to the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 - After a 22-month inquiry, the special counsel in the C.I.A. leak case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, is expected to announce this week whether he will seek indictments against White House officials, a decision that is likely to be a defining moment of President Bush's second term. ... It is not publicly known when Mr. Fitzgerald will take action, if any, but whatever he decides, the prosecutor is expected to make an announcement before Friday, the final day of the term of his grand jury.

This is a subject on which everyone has a theory and not a few the illusion of a supposed inside track. Whatever Fitzgerald concludes, and whatever serious policy questions arise from his inquiry, the process has provided a glimpse into that other celebrity world, the universe of Washington power politics. This one has it all: the big name media, intelligence agencies, White House operatives, partisan politics. And a backdrop provided by war. The subjects couldn't be more serious: national security, nuclear weapons, federal statute, jail time: all diminished by the pettiness of politics, whichever side one is on. 

But personally, the most fascinating aspect of the Plame affair is the illustration of how information is used within Washington as a weapon, whether offensively to spread a story or defensively to discredit it; whether to build up the credibility of a source or to cast the gravest aspersions on its integrity. Whatever the power of a 2,000 lb smart bomb in the Outlands may be, it is as nothing beside the whispered word, the glimpsed memorandum, the indictment or the leak in Washington DC. That central fact almost determines the dramatis personae. The confluence of the media, intelligence agencies and partisan politics is not only unsurprising in that context, it is almost inevitable. Who else would be involved in the Plame affair except those whose jobs revolve around the processing of insider information?

And although the Fitzgerald inquiry is ostensibly about stopping leaks, no one actually wants them to stop. An amicus curae brief filed by 36 media organizations including ABC News, AP, CNN, CBS News, WSJ, Fox News, USA Today, NBC News, Newsweek, and Reuters, argued that it would be a bad idea to force journalists to identify the purveyors of confidential information. The brief itself (via Wikipedia) says

The Media organisations' interest in this case is that of preserving the right of journalists such as Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper not to be compelled to reveal the identities of their confidential sources absent a heightened degree of searching scrutiny ... In this case, there exists ample evidence on the public record to cast serious doubt as to whether a crime has even been committed under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act ...

Leaks are used to source stories, to start investigations; leaks are even used to track the progress of investigations into leaks.  The only thing in the universe more useful than duct tape or WD-40 is the leak. Therefore even those who hope Karl Rove or Scooter Libby are indicted are praying it will be on grounds of perjury or obstruction of justice, lest the whole show grind to a screeching halt.

(Speculation alert) I'd guess that thoughtful bloggers watching the Plame affair are now regarding every email and news release they ever received in a new and somewhat sinister light. Whatever they actually say, the subtext of those emails and releases is really 'welcome to the party, pal'. The hard question to answer is 'whose party', 'whose pal'?

50 Comments:

Blogger Jamie Irons said...

W.


The only thing in the universe more useful than duct tape or WD-40 is the leak...

I guess we can now modify the old adage to read:

If it moves, and it shouldn't: Duct tape.

If it doesn't move, and it should: WD-40.

If it's quiet and it shouldn't be: Leak.

;-)

Jamie Irons

10/24/2005 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

"This one has it all: the big name media, intelligence agencies, White House operatives, partisan politics. And a backdrop provided by war."

You forgot the beautiful, mysterious blonde!

"nothing will upstage the eagerly awaited report "

Won't the inevitable leak of the report upstage the report itself?

10/24/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I thnk perhaps the worst aspect of working in a government job in the D.C. area - for example, the Pentagon - is that you have to lie.
You have to lie because the people "attacking" you lie.
You have to lie because you don't have time to get the real answer exact answer so you have to guess and elaborate on your guess with false detail.
You have to lie because for some people no matter what you say will be used against you and misinterpreted to the most possible disadvantage (e.g., the GAO).
You have to lie because the media, Congress, other people in DoD, special interest groups, and John Q. Public frequently will not be able to comprehend the correct answer.
You have to lie because some people don't want to hear the truth.
Finally, you have to lie because of security. This is the the best reason and the one most infrequently applicable.

10/24/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

P.S. WD-40 was invented for the purpose of preventing corrsion on the bare, unpainted steel skins of Atlas ballistic missiles.
Duct tape was used, along with wet sponges to fix LOX leaks. The LOX leaked out, froze the sponge and stopped the leak.
And that is no lie!

10/24/2005 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

There is another utility to leaks. In an information intensive environment, there will always be a strong impulse to simplify, categorize, and label. The rush to define first becomes the ultimate sport, with DC as the new coliseum where the professionals play.

This is how it goes: Wilson places his data into the information stream, data that tends to damage the Administration, so the Administration responds in two ways. First, it counters Wilson's data with data of its own, highlighting Wilson's inconsistencies and pointing to the British report in the alternative, but that is never good enough. Secondly, the Administration offers collateral information to label and categorize Wilson himself, and that is where the leak comes in.

Thereafter, the information consumer, if he buys what the Adminstration sells, is armed with the alternate version of Wilson's trip to Niger and, perhaps more importantly, a damaging definition of Wilson the man. A complicated issue is rendered into short-hand, and a former Ambassador is categorized as a partisan hack. Game, set, match...unless you broke the rules.

There is a paradox to the leak. It is offered to add data, to highlight an issue, and to fill in detail, but it is not an additive. It is a solvent, and therein lies its utility.

10/24/2005 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ahh aristide, but often there is illegality in the leakage. Security Clearances violated, oaths broken. Laws trampled and selective prosecution triumphant.

Anonymous and Unnamed Sources, telling tales that are uncheckable and subject to major factual error. Ask either Mr Rather and Jason Blair. Inaccurate but true, the leakers "Standard" of accepted accuracy.

The challenge that rwe relates is that to live in a world of lies diminishes the integrity of even the most honorable. Each lie told tarnishing the teller, no matter the perceptions of a greater cause.

10/24/2005 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

rwe said:

"You have to lie because some people don't want to hear the truth."

I believe more & more people are only reading news from sources that give their version of the story - regardless of facts. Objective journalism is a rare commodity these days because, unfortunately, there is money in selling copy to those who appreciate their worldview and no other. 'Find your niche'.

Is there a false sense of security in veiwing news from whom no income is derived?

Also unfortunate is the disregard for accuracy and, by extension, truth. This explains the rise af alternatives to the MSM - which has discredited themselves.

Bottom line: many live in a constant state of denial.

Alas; so much information and so little time.

BTW, rwe - nothing resonates like the truth.

10/24/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Hogan said...

I may be in the minority, but my reading of available tea leaves suggests the likelihood that there will be no indictments. The sudden appearance late last week of Fitzgerald's website seems to me to presage that something will be published there this week. I'm not a lawyer, but aren't indictments usually sealed or otherwise secret? If that is true and the speculation is that there will be either indictments or a report, but not both, then I'm betting on a report. Look for in on Fitz's website as a pdf file in the next few days.

10/24/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger vertex11 said...

Do you have that URL?

10/24/2005 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger heather said...

Nothing about the War has depressed me more than this Plame affair - and Wretchard's comments clarify that feeling: the power brokers, like Judith Miller, and those who hate her in the NYT; the CIA, leaking the thousands of drops of acid in order to (a) protect itself from charges of incompetence and (b) embarrass the White House;

and over in the real world, the Iraqi incursion proving itself to be a success, but then even those at the National Review Online are apologetic for the continued car bombs;

and the attack dogpack anger over the Miers nomination...

It is a revelation of frivolity in the world's centre of power.

Terrible.

However, Chalabi is doing well in Iraq, despite the mean-ness of the CIA. And the Iraqis keep voting, and the Iraqi police and military keep improving; and Bashad is being toppled in Damascus. The Gaza Wall is being built, forcing the Palestinians for face their own thuggish reality.

10/24/2005 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Someone knows what this is all about but none of the major players are talking. This is obviously a serious struggle between government beaurocracies and (speculation alert) it probably has to do with all the "secret agencies" being totally out to lunch on 9/11.

It appears that Wilson wrote his book as a preemptive smokescreen, a diversion, to protect his own behind and his wife's and???? Wilson is obviously a "player" in his own mind and way out of his league. He has wound up looking like a fool. Who threw him to the wolves? Who sacrificed him? Maybe he volunteered? Is there any room in the barbwire hotel for him? Too small, throw him back.

Bush wants to stay out of it. He looks at it like two members of his kitchen staff fighting to see who gets to take the garbage out. He is unconcerned so long as the garbage gets taken out in a timely fashion.

It is instructive to see how much the world outside DC is affected by all this. So far only the MSM seems to be engaged.

I hope and pray that the better men and women win.

Thanks for the Post Wretchardo.

10/24/2005 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Michael Crapenhoft said...

Totally Off Topic (Apologies)

I had a chance to attend the air show and open house at Edwards Air Force Base this weekend.

I've posted quite a few pictures various aircraft at my pathetic excuse for a blog --

http://crapenhoft.blogspot.com/2005/10/oooo-airplanes.html

The pictures are of fairly poor quality owing to my cheapo digital camera and the ineptitude of its operator, but if you hold your head at just the right angle and squint, I think some Belmont readers may be able to just glimpse some things they might find interesting.

(Apologies again for interrupting the conversation.)

10/24/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Artisides and enscout: Much of the furor caused by SECDEF Rumsfeld is the fact that he simply does not lie in the approved manner.
I recognize him as one of those who, like me, came out of the crucible of The Building even more honest than when they entered it. The alternative is to become corrupt, and even in a "good cause" corruption is corruption.
Most government leaders get p.o.ed royally at people who are too honest, and when such folks are telling the truth and can prove it, that only makes it worse. If they are reasonably erudite in expressing the truth, that is found to be utterly unforgivable.
After one highly unsatisfactory meeting in which I pushed the truth, - years before I got to Ft Fumble on the Potomac - a sympathetic SAC major summed it up to me: "Your problem is that you are trying to deal with this issue ian logical manner." Logic was unacceptable in that case and the taxpyers ended up shelling out a half million dollars more than they should have.

10/24/2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Artisides and enscout: Much of the furor caused by SECDEF Rumsfeld is the fact that he simply does not lie in the approved manner.
I recognize him as one of those who, like me, came out of the crucible of The Building even more honest than when they entered it. The alternative is to become corrupt, and even in a "good cause" corruption is corruption.
Most government leaders get p.o.ed royally at people who are too honest, and when such folks are telling the truth and can prove it, that only makes it worse. If they are reasonably erudite in expressing the truth, that is found to be utterly unforgivable.
After one highly unsatisfactory meeting in which I pushed the truth, - years before I got to Ft Fumble on the Potomac - a sympathetic SAC major summed it up to me: "Your problem is that you are trying to deal with this issue ian logical manner." Logic was unacceptable in that case and the taxpyers ended up shelling out a half million dollars more than they should have.

10/24/2005 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Heather has it!

and over in the real world, the Iraqi incursion...

This drivel incident is circuses, Wretchard. Does anyone *really* care? Why?

Saddam is no trial.
We're winning in Iraq.
Miers is in the dock.
Congressional spending is reaching drunken levels.
An avian flu pandemic gets more likely with the first discovery of it in Britain...

Whoever gives a flying fig about Plame, could you please explain to me why this is important in the long run? I'll even settle for the short run.

Thanks.

~D
jamie irons how come you look as noble as your name? And who is the guy in blue with you?

10/24/2005 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Oh-- I forgot to put this one on my list of important stuff: A new Fed head! wow...this is going to feel strange.

10/24/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Several months ago I believe Glenn Reynolds pointed out that Valerie Plame's indentity was revealed in Joe Wilson's entry of 'Who's Who in America.'

Some secret. That's when I lost interest.

10/24/2005 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger greer rants said...

Judith "entangled" with Libby is "news".
No mention than her NYT's
buddy is MARRIED TO
Democrat Party Operative.
That is not news or of
any importance.

10/24/2005 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger cathyf said...

Joe Hogan said...
...I'm betting on a report.

Fitzgerald is a "special prosecutor" not an "independent counsel" -- the authorizing statute for the latter has finally died. The IC statute allowed for (basically required) a report, especially in lieu of indictments. But a "special prosecutor" has no authority to write a report, and given grand jury secrecy rules, it is probably illegal for him to write one. Unless he can get some sort of judicial ruling or get congress to pass something to allow him to publish.

cathy :-)

10/24/2005 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

That same brief suggests that Plame was outed BY THE CIA ITSELF early in Clinton's 2nd term.

10/24/2005 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

RWE - Duct tape was used, along with wet sponges to fix LOX leaks. The LOX leaked out, froze the sponge and stopped the leak.
And that is no lie!


Duct tape is a descendent of the famous Electric Boat Green Tape, which was originally designed to hold insulation pieces together on subs, using a fiberglass strengthener and a new adhesive impervious to oil dissolving it. Submariners, isolated from repair help while underway, quickly came up with 100 other uses. Then in WWII, when quantity ovverode quality, became an indespensible "bailing wire" for all sorts of glitches and leaks and rattles on all sorts of military products lacking quality control or busting in service. That it quickly spread from naval subs to naval planes then variants of EB Green became widepread in war production, then the Army found it and loved it. Post-war, it is a rare "Mr. Fix-it" that fails to have some in house or car. Some traditionalists insist on the original EB Green that their Daddy used to fix squeaks on their crib.

Even when quality control improved, no space mission ever launched without rolls of duct tape at the ready to benefit the crew. Indeed, duct tape saved Apollo 13.

Valerie Plame??

The greatest lesson we were supposed to draw from the 1970s scandals was that the CIA and other secret intel agencies (NSA, FBI counterintelligence, etc) were not supposed to be drawn into political activities, used by nepotic connections, or staffed by people beholden to people trying to subvert such agencies.

It is a big danger and something almost entirely overlooked in the Plame Affair.

Congressional oversight was supposed to prevent harm by checking such agencies for nepotism, subverting, or crossing the line into politics. That Oversight failed.

We have a political operative using his CIA-wife to set him up on a trip where he hopes to get information to further the glorious name and career of one Joe Wilson and advance his political prospects with the opposition Party. To do so, he publishes a long article in the then-newspaper of record, full of lies.

Debunking him requires revealing that he is just a hack politician using his nepotic connections with the CIA and certain other CIA staff opposing ruling party policy - for personal political gain.

But pointing out how Wilson scammed the public with his newspaper op-ed and numerous leaks and lies to TV media and other pundits would obviously lead to his "super-duper, ultrasecret agent wife".

Outing her!!

So liberal media that CHEERED as real CIA operatives were outed and killed in Lebanon, Turkey, and Italy in the 70s and 80s for ideological reasons made Valerie Plame into America's Jane Bond and were Shocked!!! Just Shocked!! And Outraged! Just Outraged!! That some traitorous scum within the Bush-ChimpHitler Camp wrecked America's national security by revealing America's super babe spy.

Of course no one discussed the real damage was Wilson subverting the CIA to his political agenda, violating any confidentiality he promised....and by Plame for nepotism...and by CIA staffers on top of Plame that sought to embarass the Bushies. No real crime exists if Plame was not used as undercover mission agent for 5 years. And, apparantly Wilson introduced her around town for the past 2 years as a CIA hotshot and her neighbors knew she worked at CIA headquarters as an analyst, not undercover operative.

It's all "Screaming Inside the Beltway Hypocrisy". And of course when the heat turned up the incompetent Bushies went into their bunker mode.

If there is any real justice, I. Lewis Libby gets hit for lying, we learn Wilson himself leaked Plames identity, that no crime occured by leaking, 1-2 journalists are indicted for lying about Libby or Wilson giving them Plame's name, Wislon is indicted for lies to Senate investigators made ubnder oath, and Plame herself is indicted to nepotic practices meant to advance a spouse's poltical career.

10/24/2005 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger enuff said...

When everything is said and done...whatever the outcome, I just hope it opens up investigation and prosecution as proscribed under Section 3 as ammended in 1918.

10/24/2005 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger jrdroll said...

I think those "nice" folks in Baghdad
underline my point by blowing up a concrete truck today in front of the journalists. The P(F)lame game falls into the category of partisans using the media to gain some perceived advantage. Will it work? I hope there are people out there asking "What's your solution"?

10/24/2005 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Whoever gives a flying fig about Plame, could you please explain to me why this is important in the long run? I'll even settle for the short run.

This made-up brouhaha is the closest the American party of the evil left have gotten to plunging a knife in Bush's back. What you have is a combination of the CIA leaking, the MSM publishing, and the liberal left pushing and they're damned close to indicting Rove and Libby (which would implicate Cheney).

As far as I can see, this is TOTALLY concocted bullshit but if it happens, what we will see is Nixon/Watergate redux, as well as Clinton/Monica the Sequel ... and *all* the time those two Presidents had to take from dealing with communists and terrorists Over There to deal with internal subpoenas and depositions Over Here.

Bush is also being hit internally with disagreement from his loyal Republican base over his Supreme Court (crony) pick, as well as a growing groundswell of dissatisfaction over exploding budget overages.

And I, personally, would really really like to see him do something about airport (in)security and Mexicans flooding over the Texas/California border but understand that he may be a little bit distracted by the other alligators who are literally nipping at his ankles.

10/24/2005 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger jrdroll said...

It might be "fun" if GWB tells Harriet to take a hike and nominates KKKarl Rove to the Supreme Court. Senate hearings on this matter might be interesting.

10/24/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

You lknow what really frosts me about the Plame flap, - not only is it "totally made up B.S." as Cederford puts it - BUT.....
Recall where right here in River City Our gracious host told us of the Army officer, tortured by the VietCommies and then, years later, killed. He was deliberately OUTED - FOR REAL - by the anti-war types here in the U.S. And no one is doing a thing to track those guys down - AND I think we all realize that IF WE DID there would be NO WAY they would ever receive anything but heartfelt congratulations from the SAME PEOPLE who are supposedly so wound up about the Plame business.
NOT ONLY THAT - but did you ever hear of November Surprise? Probably not. That was the suggestion by Congressional Republicans that credible reports be investigated to the effect that the NSA had communication intercepts of Democratic Congressional Staffmembers giving advice and counsel to the Nicaragran Commies in the 80's - on ways to counter U.S. support for the Contras. When I was in D.C. the Democratic Congressmen became utterly enraged if the Republicans suggested looking into this - So enraged, that you Just Knew there was something to it.
So we have REAL crimes going uninvestigated by Congress, the Courts or The PRESS - while this sbsurd tableau is presented hourly.
P.S. came through the hurricane pretty much Okay. Some small damage to fix.

10/24/2005 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I just Abu-Ghraibed myself by reading the Week in Review section of the NYT. First, David Sanger has what appears to be a news analysis piece on classified info that says "the disclosure of the identity a then covert C.I. A. operative...." Was she covert? She worked at CIA headquarters, right? Is that covert? I don't think so.

Then the fatuous bore Frank Rich starts off his editorial by stating that there were no WMD's and no connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq. He seems very comfortable in his assumption that all of his readers are as purposely ignorant as he is. No one Frank knows has ever read "The 9/11 Commission Report" and certainly no one remembers anything from the 90's when we bombed Sudan specifically because of belief in connections between these two enemies and their collaboration on WMD's. IFF any humans were alive in the 90's, but we can't be sure because back then history hadn't started yet.

It's no wonder that NYT stock value is down 30% - when you are only writing for a self-determined audience of the willfully ignorant, you are not in a growth industry. Most people who take the time to read are actually interested in truth and reality. The purposely self-deluded have better, more concentrated, perky and impersistent delusions on the web. Like blogs. Blogs are free, NYT is trying to charge money - something's gotta give.

It's a shame, I used to enjoy the NYT.

Ps. If you shuck off the first couple of sections, you can still get to good reviews of art shows and precious auctions. They're still the best.

10/24/2005 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

What would be the legal effect of an announcement that if Rove, Libbt or Delay are convicted of any drivel conspiracy/perjury charges in connection with either crock of BS, that they have a Presidential pardon. The thing that comes to my mind is that I think Gerald Ford did something like that when there was talk of indicting Nixon. Seemed to stop eveything in ita tracks. Probably hideous politically but Bush dosen't seem to care much. We are so enmired in the war that if they were in power, Democrats would only harm themselves trying to extract. I think they are essentially helpless, if Bush just plows ahead. We would probably be just as well off to give up the Congress and White House if we could put a couple more reliable people on the Supreme Court. Couple of years to do that.

10/24/2005 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger VRWconspiracy said...

Make no mistake about it. This manufactured story will be played into an impeach Bush attempt. This is a slow motion coup in progress.

10/24/2005 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Tony: "IF any humans were alive in the 90's, but we can't be sure because back then history hadn't started yet."

IIRC, history ended in the 90s and hadn't restarted, yet.

10/24/2005 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I believe the 'Plame Gate' scandal is a classic case study of self-promotion on the part of Joe Wilson (and case of retaliation against the Bush Administration).

I have followed the case for sometime and basically Wilson/Plame out'd themselves to generate book/lecture/media appearance revenue (and retaliation). But, there a possible criminal aspect of the case which deals Judith Miller in a prior case (Ms Miller tipped-off Islamic "charities" just before the Feds search the places).

In fact, some now believe Judith Miller bravely marching herself of to jail under the noble guise of saving the 1st Amendment is but just slight of hand. She has greater legal troubles which could have surfaced if she was compelled to broadly testify in the Plame Scandal and reveal her phone book and notes.

Powerline explained the criminal issue via a New Lawyer. Ms. Miller tipped-off two Islamic "charities" just before the Feds swooped in. The Islamic charities cleared out their HQ and ran once they knew a Grand Jury issued a search warrant. Naturally, the Fed's were P.O.'d and ask a judge to compelled Ms. Miller to reveal how and why she tipped-off these Islamic "charities" just before the place was searched. Some believe this is a criminal offense. Her superiors at the NYT backed away from her after that.

Next, Ms. Miller got further into trouble with Plame Scandal. The Fed's again wanted to compel her to reveal her sources - this could have resulted in more information being revealed about the tip-off of the Islamic "charities." Ms. Miller went to jail probably hoping avoid incriminating herself in Islamic tip-off case.

[NY lawyer to Power Line]:

...U.S.D.J. Robert Sweet (S.D.N.Y.) denied Fitzpatrick's motion to compel Miller to testify before a grand jury relating to a leak to Miller about a warrant issued to the FBI for a search of a New York Muslim charity's offices. A source leaked this information to Miller, who, incredibly, promptly contacted the Muslim charity and revealed the warrant prior to the search. Fortunately, no FBI agents were injured when they searched the offices the next day, in what clearly could have developed into a very dangerous situation... I always thought that Miller agreed to go to jail not to protect a dubious principle and a source who had already clearly released her from confidentiality in the Plame matter, but rather out of self-preservation, so that she could safely ride out the duration of the grand jury in jail without having to testify about the search warrant affair and her frankly criminal role in that. If my sense about this is correct, she caved once it was suggested that the grand jury could be extended for up to 18 more months... If you haven't read the decision you really should. I found it to be an eye-opener.

NYT v Gonzales

[The judge in the case notes]:

"...The telephone records at issue, held by and unidentified third-party telephone company or companies, are being sought by the government as part of an investigation to uncover who purportedly "leaked" information to Miller and Shenon relating to the government's plans to block the assets and search the office of the two Islamic charity organization in the fall of 2001...

see: NYT v Gonzales P.7

For more links and more details see Ledger1's post 85% down:


#194 Ledger1 10/17/2005 01:56PM PDT

10/24/2005 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

... legal effect of an announcement that if Rove, Libbt or Delay are convicted of any drivel conspiracy/perjury charges in connection with either crock of BS, that they have a Presidential pardon.

What would be the legal effect if Delay sued that Texas DA for defamation of character, and Rove/Libby did the same to the NY Times, Joe Wilson, and bimbo Times reporter? Or libel. Or *something* that would hold their feet to the fire for telling fibs in public, trying to cause trouble during a time of war, and just being generally ugly.

10/24/2005 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Evanston said...

According to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the most useful item in the universe is the TOWEL. Now, I have never read the book nor watched the movie nor a single TV episode, but I heard this from others and believe it to be true. Yes, I have some duct tape in my car (but no WD-40) but never would leave home without an "emergency towel." It'd be nice to know who's leaking the Fitzgerald information to the Press about the Plame leaks, but this is mostly idle entertainment. Plame was not a secret agent, her husband is a documented liar, and I figure she recommended him for the uranium investigation just to get him out of the house. But I'll betcha these leakers and those at the White House all use TOWELS. Towels rule!

10/24/2005 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...

Check out this twist being reported by UPI.

AJStrata

10/24/2005 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

c wrote: "IIRC, history ended in the 90s and hadn't restarted, yet."

Is that what IIRC means?

Ding-dang persistent memory!

Google will flood it over, don't worry.

10/24/2005 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

This story sort of makes your head spin.It seems like whatever substance there is to it was long ago lost in the media tsunami.Thousands of hack "journalists" want a movie about them to be made starring Matt Damon and Leonardo Dicrapio in the Redford/Hoffman roles.
If this blows over they can always jump on the GI Joes Barbecued Jihadi story from Afghanistan.
Speaking of that,does the Koran prohibit burning corpses but give the okay to burning people alive like the Halliburton guy outside of Baghdad last week.
Also did Mohammed Atta and his merry pranksters miss out on the 72 virgins becausetheir corpses were burned?Just wondering.

10/24/2005 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

And you can use the towel to stop the leak!

10/24/2005 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Trangbang - don't ask!

The bad guys can do anything, and the good guys can't do anything.

Memorize that and don't ask.

10/24/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Parties Develop Spin Strategies As Conclusion of Leak Probe Nears:

"This may be the fourth time I've been asked about this, which I appreciate, you're doing your job," Bush told a reporter on Monday. "This is a very serious investigation, and I haven't changed my mind about whether or not I'm going to comment on it publicly."

With that, the president stayed publicly mum on the issue.

http://www.13wham.com/news/national/story.aspx?content_id=ADD1BCE1-3EE7-42D4-A241-CB6A00A7DD1A

10/24/2005 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Michael McCanles said...

VRWconspiracy said...

"Make no mistake about it. This manufactured story will be played into an impeach Bush attempt. This is a slow motion coup in progress."

Complete agreement here. And it didn't start with the murky Plame story.

The history of the Democratic Party in past wars is not a thing of honor, and I'm thinking particularly of its behavior during the American Civil War, where its contribution to preserving the Union was measured heavily in the minus quantities.

For the re-election campaign of 1864 they served up a peace platform that in effect negated the whole war effort, and sent the Confederacy the plumb-of-plumbs, de facto recognition as an independent, sovereign state.

The Republicans and much of Northern sentiment roundly called them "traitors," and they were right.

This "slow-motion coup" started when? My candidate would be the disputed Florida vote count in 2000. I nominate that situation, because it was then that the Democratic Party for the first time stripped off any disguise and showed that it would stop at nothing, save perhaps armed violence (which would have put their own skins at risk), to discredit Bush. And they have been relentless in that pursuit up the moment I'm writing this comment.

Like the Democrats in the 1860s, nothing including the survival of the country does the present Democratic party value in the whole wide world when weighed in the balance against its own need for political dominance.

It will not stop until it entangles the whole Bush adminstration in litigious trammels.

It forgets one thing, which is the one thing it can't face up to, and that is the fact that George W. Bush is President of the United States by way of a legitimate, constitutional national vote.

The country continues apace toward civil war.

10/24/2005 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Michael McCanles
The growth of the Federal Government continues apace. Never before would so many limitiations of free speach or property rights been allowed or found Constitutional.

The Republicans or Democrats, two sides of the same coin. We are far far away from Civil War.
Where stands the US Army in your scenario?

10/24/2005 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Is that what IIRC means? Ding-dang persistent memory! Google will flood it over, don't worry.

Tony, IIRC actually means I'm inconsolable remembering Clinton, but close enough!

Had history not restarted under Bush, Fitzgerald probably would have recommended that the WH use a little plumber's putty and the CIA some adult diapers for those trivial, nuisance leaks. Unfortunately, as it now stands, he'll want his place in the textbooks...

10/24/2005 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger geoffb5 said...

Michael McCanles said.
"Like the Democrats in the 1860s, nothing including the survival of the country does the present Democratic party value in the whole wide world when weighed in the balance against its own need for political dominance."

I agree.

I've thought for quite a while now that the ideals of the leaders of the Democrats are best decribed by the phrase "Party Uber Alles" The leaders themselves I think of as "Thugs 'R Us" since they always seem to be in support of thugs worldwide.

10/24/2005 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

If this blows over they can always jump on the GI Joes Barbecued Jihadi story from Afghanistan.

What do you call Americans desecrating bodies as an Aussie TV crew films them?

Criminally stupid.

They stink? Then bury them or kick them downhill out of noserange if too lazy to bury them.

Some soldiers will get some well-deserved jail time. And I hope some higher up gets his/her career thrown in the shitter. After Abu Ghraib, there should be no excuse for any asshole in the military being unaware that they hand the enemy huge propaganda when they do stupid things in front of or for the media. (like trying to sell pics of mutilated Iraqi bodies to UK media in return for internet porn)
access)

10/25/2005 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Foobarista said...

I didn't imagine that anyone would have a fresh take on l'affaire Plame, after the terabytes wasted on this silliness. But Wretchard managed to pull it off!

When are you going to get your own Sunday show?

10/25/2005 12:36:00 AM  
Blogger Michael McCanles said...

Desert Rat said:

The Republicans or Democrats, two sides of the same coin. We are far far away from Civil War.
Where stands the US Army in your scenario?

Republicans and Democrats are no more indistinguishable today than they were in 1860. The simple screaming fact that echoes from horizon to horizon is that the Democratic party has absolutely no idea in the whole wide world about how to deal with terrorists. Absolutely none at all. Except to cut and run.

The armed forces, like the Republican party, knows very well how to deal with terrorists. That tells me why "in my scenario" a fighting civil war will not happen: the Democrats have no guns, a fact that throws into the limelight the fundamental perversion of current Democratic politics: their maneuvers, like judicial activism, depends absolutely upon the very political structures they are busy destroying. Talk about sawing off the limb you're sitting on. I'm referring to the fact that the basis of, e.g., the current attacks on the Bush administration depends upon the viability of the whole investigative and punitive system of law the credibiity of which the Democrats are seriously in the business of undermining. "Investigations," "Grand Juries," "trials," "punishment" are all political acts that depend for their efficacy and force on the country's continued agreement that such means can continue to be used in the interest of party vendettas.

Oh yeah, it's been done before in America's history, and the country has survived.

Meanwhile we have on our hands an enemy armed with or at least seeking to be armed with weapons that for the first time in history threaten America's continued existence as we know it. And the Democratic party is going after the only power in the country capable to dealing with this threat simply in order to bring it down.

This is treason, the Democratic party is treasonous, and should be dealt with as such.

10/25/2005 04:25:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Very interesting commentary.

I stepped into the middle of yet yesterday by linking to another blog linked to by Drudge. Did you catch the story about Al Franken on Letterman? He is counting down the days until Rove, Libby, and the President are executed. How ironic, Code Pink passes on thousands upon thousands of dollars to the Iraqi terrorists (who of course, were not there before the invasion) and is hailed as patriotic dissneters.

While I agree this is not a big a of deal as its made out to be, it is very dangerous for the administration and the conduct of the situation in Iraq. Fact of the matter is indictments may be coming against high administration offiicials and this will definitely chill any attempts to counter criticisms especially considering how the Mainstream Mastadons and the President's opponents seem to be very succesful in framing this fight.

C4, your former comment I agree with you for a change.

10/25/2005 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Michael McCanles said That tells me why "in my scenario" a fighting civil war will not happen: the Democrats have no guns

The brie-and-wine set does not like to use firearms themselves. This does not mean that they would hesitate to toss the Bloods and the Crips into the fight if it suits their purposes

10/25/2005 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger david bennett said...

I must take the conservative view on this.

It is generally wrong to expose secret information. Huge numbers of people are around it routinely and can guess it, but to make it public is wrong.

I think as a general itt is not up to the individual to decide whether information should or not be secret. And the argument that many Washington insiders knew or suspected Plame was a CIA agent means nothing. Most families on military bases and many shop keepes around them know all kinds of stuff that they don't blab to the press.

That's how secrets are kept.

Because people who know things do not blab them to everyone. Thus many of the people she met overseas would not have a clue about this.

Similarly the fact that she worked at the CIA building is not proof that she was not to some degree undercover. She quite possibly had front addresses and phone numbers, and again the people who she dealt with overseas were not monitoring her daily activities. Undercover CIA agents, FBI agents and regular cops do routinely work out of headquarters.

So rationalizations that tis information was not really secret and the CIA had no right to make it so are questionable. This is not the way to relax our obsessive secrets machine. Only radicals would support it as such.

I can with reservations support the revelation of secrets for some clear public good, but no great public good waas accomplished in this case. And I do not think even when such cases occur that punishment shuld be waived. There is responsibility whichh means taking consequences.

As to the issue reaching the papers, lying to investigations is wrong. Clinton was rightfully punished for lying over an issue marginal, to the subject of the investigation. Now many of the same individuals are arguing that it is purely pasrtisan to punish individuals for lying over matters central to an investigation.

These individuals are allegedly conservativem but they now rationalize lying to cops and grand juries. Again their position is radical, arguing that our traditional institutions are illegitimate and can be defied.

10/25/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

The MSM misunderstands and misrepresents its role in the leak game. They like to pretend that they are "investigating" wrongdoing, and are protecting the people from abuses of governmental power.

The reality of the situation is quite the opposite. The press is the unwitting but cooperative tool of the bureaucrats who "leak" information to wage their wars against elected officials and other bureaucracies.

This is illustrated by the recent identification of "Deep Throat" of Watergate fame, as a high FBI official.

The Plame affair is wonderful in its construction. The strophe was a CIA attack on the Bush administration, mounted it appears to defend themselves from being blamed by the administration for faulty pre-war intelligence. The "leak" was a defensive move by the administration, intended to reveal the source of the CIA attack through Wilson.

The CIA's counter of criminal referral was a desperate move, since they could not control what would happen or its timing. They clearly hopped for the indictment of Rove before the November 2004 election.

If Fitzgerald wanted real justice he would indict Plame, Wilson and a few reporters.

If Fitzgerald indicts Rove or Libby, he will be punishing the Administration failing to do what they should have done in 2001 -- do a top to bottom house cleaning at the CIA and the State Department.

10/26/2005 08:52:00 AM  

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