Oct 29 2005
I have been accused of not being able to read by some, who are not understanding my positions. So I will stipulate I am not clear in my writing – but I can read. My problem with the indictment is first, Libby was indicted for not outing Plame using his inside knowledge (e.g., “yes, we can confirm from the CIA and others she works for the CIA and she set up the trip for her husband Joe Wilson”). He simply misled by saying he had heard it from other reporters – which was never disproved.
Second Libby may be like me when it comes to memory. I have a nearly photographic memory for technical details, numbers (I can remember my phone number from 1966 when we move from across the street from the entrance of the CIA). But I cannot remember a name to save my life and I definitely cannot put events onto a calendar or timeline. My wife has an excellent memory too. I can track more details – she can nail when something happened years in the past. To the day. Libby seems to have screwed up the sequence because he was not focused on when he learned about Valerie (which was irrelevant early on) but whether he told reporters he could confirm her CIA status and role in Wilson’s lies.
Fourth, the indictment is a selection of information which is not repeated from transcripts, but synopsized by the prosecutor. We do not know whether Libby did testify to the internal meetings and just messed the sequence up or not. The prosecutor is not telling us all of the testimony – just some cherry picked sections he describes for us. If I am guilty of anything it is not treating the document as the Gospel of Fitz. I see no reason to believe Russert over Libby.
Fifth, Fitz takes two party exchanges with no witnesses and selects to believe one side without any evidence. The Russert meeting is the most disturbing. Fitz believes Russert when he claims Libby never discussed Plame. But why would Libby make this whole thing up? Again, either it truly is faulty memory or Russert is not on the up and up. I have not been convinced yet that Libby was so dumb as to make up these stories – he knows better. So to ask me to think a man of his stature, background and knowledge became stupid all of a sudden is too much of a stretch given all we know. And we know a lot.
Finally, Fitz did not determine, without a doubt, the press did not know about Valerie’s role. I have pointed out many times that Kristof and Pincus had to have know about Valerie’s role because she was the only person who would second source Wilson’s claims about the debriefing in their home, which she was at.
So Fitz, all upset about the outing of Plame, uses Libby’s testimony that he only referred reporters to comments from other reporters about Plame instead of his inside knowledge as confirmation of her role. Fitz indicted Libby for not outing Plame. But used that testimony as some kind of evidence regarding a different topic! When he learned about Plame (which is irrelevant if what you are concerned about is whether she was outed).
But let’s speculate ourselves. What if the media planned with the Wilson’s to out Valerie! What if the plan was to draw the Administration into a fight about the intelligence just so Valerie could blow her cover and the Wilson’s get book deals? Do I have evidence of such a wild claim? Why, yes I do.
July 4th, 2003 the Wilson’s hosted a big party to celebrate the holidays. It included Valerie’s parents, and possibly others (I believe Larry Johnson was there). There were also reporters there. And the reporters asked about Valerie’s role at the CIA. Now, the truth is all I have is this Washington Post article from the Washington Post which is written contemporaneously to the party and discusses the outing of Plame. Was all the information culled by reporters at the party? Who knows – it is written that way. And it takes place two days before Wilson’s article runs in the NY Times and the Pincus-Leiby article runs in the Washington Post. And one of the authors of this article (which ran months later) is Leiby.
This leads me to believe Leiby was at the Wilson’s doing final work on the article he and Pincus wrote. So again, we can place reporters with both Wilsonâ€™s and probable knowledge about Valerieâ€™s CIA position. But why canâ€™t we speculate like Fitzgerald did? Why canâ€™t we assume there was thought out, multi-staged plan to damage the WH politically. At this stage all the reporters have been peppering the WH for confirmation on Valerieâ€™s role. They know once Wilson goes public in two major newspapers the WH will be more driven to link Wilsonâ€™s fuax trip to Valerie! And they have Novak to do the dirty work â€“ egged on by Larry Johnson, who met Novak in the street prior to his article?
Did Fitzgerald disprove this before assuming Libby, who testified he did not out Plame, lied to the grand jury when he was making the case he did not out Plamre? Fitzgeraldâ€™s twisted logic tells me we need a new prosecutor to finish this work up. I was concerned our legal system would become a mockery and therefore useless â€“ because without respect it will fail. We have seen this too many times. But to indict someone because they did not out Valerie Plame â€“ using as proof in the indictment they did not out Valerie Plame â€“ is a travesty.
Will not be around today â€“ so if your comment is not getting posted it is because I have to moderate it and that will not happen until late tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience.
BTW, Mac Is Back! Looks like he is going to have to hold down the fort for some of us out of pocket this weekend.
Jack Kelley has an interesting take on the subject here.