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MikeinDC
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EW I applaud your tenacity and logic in trying to exclude Armitage and appreciate your efforts in putting all of your arguments into this thread. I should just "give in" to the sheer evidence of your arguments. In fact, I'm having a hard time completely pushing back but, of course, I need to try to get a theory that fits the facts (however incomplete) that I know - the source for both Novak and Woodward's leak is Armitage. I keep coming back to your initial challenge - give me a means and a motive and I'll entertain the notion. Regarding the means, there is are a number of ways that Armitage could have gotten access to this information - many of which are outlined on this thread. Motive is MUCH more difficult to prove, especially to both Woodward and Novak. Swopa and TM make reasonable arguments (especially Swopa) that the leak to Woodward could have come up in an accidental way (through gossip or sheer sloppiness on the part of Armitage when Woodward asked him about the Niger stuff), which is exactly the way that Woodward took it. I also agree with your argument (and Swopa's) that the motivation for leaking to Novak appears to be completely different and part of the "poisonous conspiracy". The only possible explanation is yours, I think - that Novak called up Armitage after being tipped off by Rove. I buy your argument that Rove is an IIPA violation and that Armitage was the confirming source. I understand that means Rove lied but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. I think that Fitzgerald has the goods on Rove to go after him for an IIPA violation but wants to be VERY careful that he has built a strong case. BTW, by the sheer evidence that has been presented, I would agree that it doesn't seem like Woodward and Novak's source was the same. And if we knew that to be the case, I would also argue that it doesn't appear likely that Armitage would be the leak. My source on the Armitage stuff doesn't have a good explanation for the seemingly different motives for these two events. So, we're stuck with presenting a weak argument for what we know to be true. I'm looking forward to "filling in the blanks" when the truth comes out. I just don't have a strong case for motive, especially for the Novak leak. Good work - I very much enjoy reading your very logical arguments and wish I could be more helpful. I'll let you know more information if I get it. In the mean time, keep up the good work!
EW I agree with reticulant and 2lucky - I'm not sure why you are dismissing both the Time magazine AND LA Times articles or why you need to see other documented proof from the "stenographers" that Armitage had access to the information at that time. Also see reticulant's argument about IIPA violation. I agree that Armitage is guily of unauthorized disclosure of classified information. And do you really find it incredible to believe that Rove is lying? My issue is that you are keep dismissing Armitage as "neocon tripe" and want to see a good reason why he might smear Wilson. Many of us are arguing that Armitage (known as a gossip) leaked this information early, off the record and NOT meant as a deliberate smear. When Rove and Libby (and the others) started the deliberate smear campaign and the shit hits the fan after Novak's article came out, he realized he was one of Novak's sources and was being lumped in the same category as Rove and Company. He goes to Fitzgerald and tells what he knows (but NOT about Woodward because he doesn't think Woodward will say anything and doesn't want to get himself into more trouble). My information says that Armitage was expecting to be indicted and breathed a big sigh of relief when he wasn't. When Woodward called him when the indictment came out and Woodward realized he had heard the information first, Armitage panicked and called Fitzgerald to fess up to talking to Woodward, which then caused Woodward to be called in to testify. EW - You are trying to deduce all of this based on the evidence that is out there in the press that you consider "well sourced" and are dismissing other evidence that doesn't fit your theory. I'm telling you that there are a number of folks in DC who KNOW the source was Armitage, don't have any neocon motives and want nothing more than to see Rove and Libby (AND Cheney) rot in jail. You and Jane and others are doing the hard work of trying to figure out how the puzzle pieces fit together. I don't want you all to discard an important puzzle piece because you don't think it fits because of a bad motive. I just don't want everyone to be taken off guard when it comes out that Armitage is Woodward and Novak's source. I know it will be spun as a victory for Karl and Libby. (Heck, as Atrios points out, Luskin would spin a recorded phone call with Rove telling Novak that Plame was a NOC as evidence that his client was innocent!) I just want us to have our arguments in place as to why Armitage is the leak doesn't change in any way Rove or Libby's guilt.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2005 on Is Rove Woodward's Source? at The Next Hurrah
EW: I know you don't want to entertain that Armitage is Woodward's source but I really think you need to give it more consideration. On Saturday's thread Swopa pointed to the LA Times article that you cite (and don't believe) above and this article from TIME ---------------------------------------------------- That's incorrect -- this is from Time magazine on Jul. 31st (the August 8th issue): "... Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman asked for and received a memo on the Wilson trip from Carl Ford, head of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Sources familiar with the memo, which disclosed Plame's relationship to Wilson, say Secretary of State Colin Powell read it in mid-June. Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage may have received a copy then too." Posted by: Swopa | December 03, 2005 at 16:14 ---------------------------------------------------- Here is what I am hearing. 1) Armitage is Novak's source, tells FBI and Fitz right away after investigation is underway. 2) Fitz has Armitage come in and give his statement. Fitz says we'll get back to you. 3) At the end of one of Woodward's interviews with Armitage, he asks about the Niger stuff. Armitage tells him what he has heard from the memo. 4) Woodward knows Armitage has told him this information and he considers it "offhand" 5) When indictments come out and Woodward reads the details, he realizes that Armitage hasn't told Fitz about his conversation. Armitage only volunteers the Novak conversation. 6) Woodward calls Armitage and wants to write a story about this - he realizes it's big news. ("Gets his investigative reporting juices flowing".) Armitage tells him to take a hike and says he'll call Fitz. 7) Armitage calls Fitz and admits he is the Woodward leaker as well. Fitz is fit to be tied. 8) Armitage doesn't want to be identified by Woodward. I totally agree with AL that this might not even be a deliberate leak. It just means it's a sideshow. It does NOT detract from the issues with those with more sinister motives - like Rove and Libby. Here's my theory - following up on Steve Clemons post here - http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/001099.html Armitage is Fitzgerald's Deep Throat. He talks about Plame in an offhanded way to Novak and Woodward, which is why Woodward doesn't think it was a big deal. When he first testifies to Fitz, he realizes that Rove and Company have been agressively pushing this story to punish Wilson, which wasn't Armitage's original intenion. That's why he spills the beans: "Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. Wilson had just revealed that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson's account touched off a political fracas over Bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq. "Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak. The fact that Armitage leaks to Novak and Woodward (unintentionally) doesn't mean that he isn't upset when Rove and Libby do intentionally for the wrong reasons.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2005 on Is Rove Woodward's Source? at The Next Hurrah
KM The point was that Wilson was the first one attacking the Administration's credibility on any of these allegations. So attacking Wilson was an attempt to send a message to everyone else to not challenge the administration. As Smokestack point out, perhaps Armitage thought he was Samwise protecting Frodo and eagerly went on the attack.
Toggle Commented Dec 5, 2005 on One Nugget from Fitzgerald at The Next Hurrah
EW As for the means - as Swopa points out above, Armitage certainly had access to the original memo that mentioned Wilson's wife. As for the motive, I would argue that Powell, as the face of the Administration in front of the UN and the world, wasn't too excited about people questioning the intelligence that Powell himself thought was shaky. I don't think it's unreasonable to postulate that Armitage, being the loyal water carrier that he was, might want to discredit Wilson to make sure that history wouldn't judge his boss to be both a fool and a tool. Clearly, that's what happened when Wilson's information turned out to be correct. I'm hoping that you take this perspective seriously because you and Jane and some of the others have been totally discounting Armitage because he seems "too useful" to the Administration argument. I'd rather we are positioning ourselves to say that the fact that Armitage was Novak (and Woodward's) source doesn't change the underlying crimes that were committed by the Administration. Otherwise, when it is confirmed that Armitage is the source (and he will be), the wingnuts will be able to say that you (we) were wrong all along about this so why should we buy your arguments now.
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2005 on One Nugget from Fitzgerald at The Next Hurrah
I haven't posted here before but have been hearing from folks who know that Woodward's source is the same as Novak's and that it's Armitage. Even more interesting is that Fitzgerald has known this from the beginning. When I initially heard this I didn't want to believe it, as it seemed like neocon spin. However, it's coming from a source that is very reliable and very interested in seeing Rove and Company behind bars where he belongs. I bring this up because I think it's important for bloggers to begin thinking about what our response to the neocon spin is going to be when this becomes public, which it ultimately will (probably sooner rather than later). I don't think it hurts our case at all as it proves that this was even more widely discussed within the Administration than was previously thought. My assumption is that Armitage is the one witness who has not come public with his testimony to Fitzgerald that is mentioned in Fitzgerald's filing. I'm curious about your perspective (and Jane's)on how this changes things, if at all.
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2005 on One Nugget from Fitzgerald at The Next Hurrah