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This story is a gift that just keeps on giving. Fitzgerald clearly doesn't know the whole story. His hands have been tied by DOJ rules and the Constitution. We face a collision between the rights of the press and the rights of a criminal defendant, both prominently and importantly protected by the Constitution. I can't wait to see what happens when the irresistable force meets the immovable object. The fact that reporters (who presumably take notes) have conflicting recollections can only help a defendant in a case where he is criminally charged for the same thing. I have wondered whether "Valerie Flame" was a memory trick. I read a book once about how to remember names - I'm terrible at it - and one trick is to use a variation of a name that is easy to visualize. The fact that Woodward mentioned the name to Pincus is evidence that reporters do talk to one another. I am curious about how widespread the knowledge about Plame was among reporters. I doubt anyone considered it significant - or even memorable - until there were allegations that she played a role in getting Wilson the gig to Niger.
JBG As a matter of common sense, we should be a hell of a lot more concerned about funny business in the White House, as compared with funny business in Wilson's house. What happened at the Wilson house is quite relevant since it ended up on the pages of the nation's most influential newspaper, adding its credibility to what still appear to be blatant lies about the genesis of the war in Iraq. Wilson, through Kristof, accused Bush of knowingly asserting false claims in his SOTU about Iraq's WMD. As far as we know, Bush was at the time as ill-informed by our intelligence services as everyone else.
My favorite quote of the day (from the NY Daily News): Bush did not feel misled so much by Karl and others as believing that they handled it in a ham-handed and bush-league way," the source said. Responding to jukeboxgrad, who wrote: The stakes were very high, which is why WHIG went into full countermeasures-mode, even before Wilson wrote the oped. The triggering event for WH countermeasures was the May 6 Kristof op-ed, augmented by Pincus, Kristof again and picked up by the news media generally. The theme was the explosive charge that the WH knew - before the President's SOTU - that the Niger claim was bogus. The "proof" of that pre-knowledge was that an unnamed envoy had reported the forgery after being sent on a mission by the VP himself. Once Wilson went public, many weeks later, he scaled back his charges dramatically. But with anonymous leaking and the megaphone of a receptive press, the "sense" of the story had already been implanted in the public mind. Did Wilson know in November 2002 that the documents were forged? If yes, how did he know? If no, then he spread a lie through the press.
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2005 on A Hint On Hannah at JustOneMinute
What has caught my attention is that Libby openly talked about the facts that Wilson's wife promoted her husband for the Niger trip and that she worked at the CIA. That is inconsistent with public claims that he wasn't involved with outing Plame except in the limited sense - if true - that the reporters he talked to already knew.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2005 on Libby And Rove - Check The Markets at JustOneMinute
no one has said that Joe Wilson and his wife were pro-Saddam and pro-Iraq. I would characterize Wilson as convinced that war against Iraq was not justified or in America's best interests. He seems to have relied more on hindsight, however, than what he learned from his mission to Niger; unless his CIA contacts knew things we haven't yet heard about.
IF any indictments happen such as perjury, classified material, etc. will people like Miller have to testify? Very interesting because the U.S. Constitution guarantees an accused the right to confront the witnesses against him. I don't know what would happen if many of the witnesses (i.e., the reporters) refused to testify about matters germane to the accused's defense. I assume this is a problem that the SP is puzzling over.
remember that story in the Times and Post about six months ago re Iran's nuclear capacity? Someone released classified information from the NIE stating that the mullahs were 8-10 years away from putting together a nuclear device? Clearly, that was an attempt by someone to weaken the W.H.'s hardline against Iran. I generally don't have any problem with "leaks" that accurately inform the public. But we have to trust the gatekeepers - the press - to assess the credibility of their sources. Some have lost that trust; I'm sure others have it and abuse it.
Why do you think Powell, Wolfman? My opinion is based on few facts and poorly developed intuition. Novak had said something to the effect that the source passed on the Plame information almost by accident and is not a partisan gunslinger. Powell neatly fits the description of not being a partisan gunslinger. I also recall that the INR memo (marked with the scarlet "s") was commissioned either by or for Powell; certainly by his agency. Also, Powell's agency (INR) was the most skeptical about the yellowcake claims (note that Powell himself never repeated those claims).
Still possible that [Libby] was Novak's other source. Time Magazine is reporting that Novak's first source is known to the SP and is not someone from the WH. My two cents, that's all I can afford, is on Powell.
SMG, To me the more interesting story - mostly unreported - is the way that political opponents use the press to fight their battles. And the fact, I believe, that the press becomes participants - rather than simply reporters - in the political wars to some degree. Wilson started this chain of events by leaking to the NYT (Kristof) then others. Had he told the truth, I'd have a different view of this entire affair than I currently do.
It was done to make him look like a schmuck, because they didn't want to discuss the truth openly. What "truth" are you referring to? Given the developing timeline, the Administration appears to have been trying to discredit the claims made by Wilson anonymously in the Kristof and Pincus articles. They were sufficiently untrue, particularly about the forged documents, that Wilson has distanced himself from those claims.
But the question remains why mention Wilson's wife at all? Many have speculated that there was a faction in the CIA that strongly opposed the Bush administration's emerging policy towards Iraq. Perhaps the linking of Wilson with a CIA wife was meant to indicate to reporters - who presumably are "in the know" - that Wilson was just part of that cabal rather than a truly new, independent and informed voice for the anti-Administration point of view.
Wonder what the other [still classified] part [of the NIE] says? Is there any credible reporting to support Wilson's original claim - made through Kristof - that the WH knew about the forged documents before the SOTU. I read somewhere that even Wilson now distances himself from those claims.
I do agree with Wolfman that Wiilson was claiming Bush knowingly lied in the SOTU. I also think Wilson was right. This is the key charge made by Wilson and how one answers it determines whether you support or hate Bush. Today everyone knows that WMD have not been found in Iraq despite diligent searching. Was Bush told before his SOTU and, more importantly, before invading Iraq that there weren't any WMD? As best I can determine, Wilson isn't credible in his claim about the timing of Bush's knowledge. Instead, Bush appears to have been misinformed just like the rest of us. That, of course, is troubling for a whole lot of reasons.
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2005 on Defending Judy Miller at JustOneMinute
Or someone that could actually stop Novak from publishing her name? I don't think we want to stop the press from publishing even classified information. This story exemplifies a public relations war that takes behind the scenes with "sources" - often anonymously - making their case to the press which assesses, filters and tells the story to us. Wilson appears to have started this one by using Kristof to tell a story distorted in quite significant ways.
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2005 on Defending Judy Miller at JustOneMinute
The only reason Wilson's op-ed was published is because it left the impression that the Administration, specifically Cheney, disregarded intelligence from its own fact-finder. It's worth remembering that Wilson, anonymously through Kristof and Pincus (among other outlets), charged that the Administration absolutely had been informed - by him - that the Niger claims were bogus before the President said otherwise in his SOTU. He essentially claimed that the President was knowlingly lying to the American people in his SOTU.
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2005 on Defending Judy Miller at JustOneMinute
I love how no one addresses what is the likeliest crime. That nasty perjury/obstruction thing . . . . If the SP indicts, I hope it's based on a substantive crime and not just different recollections about things that were said in conversations from several years ago. Judith Miller, according to her own account, can't remember who said what and she has notes. She even speculates about alternative explanations for items she wrote down.
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2005 on Defending Judy Miller at JustOneMinute
Did the CIA know the Yelow Cake Papers were forgeries, and when did they know it? Wilson, through his reported leak to Kristoff repeated in Kristoff's May 6, 2003 op-ed, claimed that the CIA and the State Department knew about the forged documents when he reported about his trip to Niger in November 2002.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2005 on Check The Timestamps at JustOneMinute
I have wondered why the press has always focused on what happened after Wilson's NYT article. The earlier (5/6/03) Kristoff article had to catch someone's attention at the WH and CIA. In it, Kristoff wrote: In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged. The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade. . . . The envoy's debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration and seemed to be accepted — except that President Bush and the State Department kept citing it anyway. The forged documents were the "smoking gun" that really called Bush's State of the Union comments into question. Did the WH learn they were forged before or after the speech? Kristoff's article clearly claims before. The WH still maintains it did not learn until later. The WH had to be very interested in the Kristoff article. Who provided the information to Kristoff (BTW, we now know it was Wilson)? If Kristoff's reporting was true, why didn't that information make it to the WH (some probably believe it did)? Was someone at the CIA trying to sabotage the case for war in Iraq? I'd be shocked if the WH wasn't trying to learn everything it could about the Kristoff article. Among other things, that would mean checking with potentially helpful media figures (Miller?) since the "leak" appeared in the media.
Toggle Commented Oct 12, 2005 on Check The Timestamps at JustOneMinute
Bill Arnold, Wolfman, I examined the Washington Post article you appear to have cited ( registration required) and do not see anything about diversion of funds. The thrust of the WP article was that enormous sums of federal money had been spent in Louisiana for water projects. Over the past five year, $1.9 billion in federal funds has been so spent. While it is true that a lot of money was spent on flood control projects, the article notes: But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Since you examined the article, you know - for example - that a lock was built for increased barge traffic that never materialized. Why? Here's the answer provided by a NO resident: Pam Dashiell, president of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, remembers holding a protest against the lock four years ago -- right where the levee broke Aug. 30. Now she's holed up with her family in a St. Louis hotel, and her neighborhood is underwater. "Our politicians never cared half as much about protecting us as they cared about pork," Dashiell said. Apparently someone decided that pork projects were more important than reinforcing or upgrading the levee system. In hindsight, that diversion was ill-chosen.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2005 on Democrats Unite! at JustOneMinute
Steve J: I am a bit late responding, but your quoting me out of context to pervert my post nevertheless prompts me to respond. I wrote: At first, the media wrongly reported that NO had dodged a bullett when Katrina veered a bit to the east of the city. It had not. You then quoted me as follows, dropping the beginning of my sentence. You followed with a comment that suggested I did not understand that Katrina had veered somewhat. Obviously I did. WOLFMAN - Katrina veered a bit to the east of the city. It had not. No, it did veer at the last moment. I was watching the live coverage from WDSU. I doubt it matters to you but silly perversions of what others write makes me doubt whether anything you write can be taken seriously. You also responded to another comment I made as follows: WOLFMAN - 3. Why wasn't the National Guard at those locations? LANG was there. Wolfman, no offense, but you are a bit lacking in knowledge. My source is the Oprah show (thanks to Tivo) on which a number of evacuees were interviewed about their experiences at the Superdome and the Convention Center. Their consistent comment was that they never saw anyone in uniform to protect them from a thug element that was present. I'm not in a position to second guess their stories.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2005 on Democrats Unite! at JustOneMinute
Appalled Moderate asked, Where do we go from here? Should New Orleans be rebuilt? Is Bush neutered by this, and what's the consequence of that? Will New Orleans ever really be New Orleans again? At the moment, the feds seem inclined to spend whatever amount of money it takes to help NO recover and be rebuilt. It will be interesting to see whether that attitude continues after the horror of this catastrophe diminishes and the real cost of rebuilding a city below sea level sinks in. I wonder how many of NO's displaced citizens will return. Tens of thousands are being dispersed throughout the country. If they are away for a long enough period of time, and integrate into their new communities, I would expect many of them not to return.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2005 on Democrats Unite! at JustOneMinute
The federal failings were these: 1. Failure to properly fund the infrastructure. Clearly levee failure was a much more rational fear for New Orleans than is terrorist attack in ANY American city. Just one way the anti-government crusade has weakened our country. E, This claim seems to be belied by the WP article today that says that Louisiana received gigantic federal funding for "water projects" but used it for questionable projects rather than shoring up NO's levees. The article suggests that the decision about where the money was spent was made by local politicians, including Louisiana's Congressional delegation.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2005 on Democrats Unite! at JustOneMinute
The Katrina disaster has been quickly used as a political battering ram by administration critics. Predictably, this has resulted in administration defenders going on the offense - which is always preferred to playing defense. I have a few simple questions: 1. With a cat 5 bearing down on NO, why weren't more meaningful efforts taken to evacuate citizens who didn't have the means to evacuate themselves? I am astounded that city and school buses - or even National Guard trucks - weren't used for that purpose. They couldn't have gotten everyone out, but evacuating thousands of additional citizens before the storm arrived would have been a good thing. 2. Is it true (and I hope it's not) that the Louisiana government prevented the Red Cross from delivering food and water to the Superdome and Convention Center immediately after the hurricane passed? If true, heads of those responsible should roll. 3. Why couldn't the NO police department provide adequate security at the Superdome and Convention Center? Why wasn't the National Guard at those locations? 4. Why weren't food & water pre-positioned at the specified evacuation center? 5. What caused the delay in the post-hurricane response? If our emergency response system is ill-designed, then change the design. If the leaders are incompetent, fire them or - if they are elected officials - get them out of the loop. This disaster has proven once again that first reports are almost always wrong. At first, the media wrongly reported that NO had dodged a bullitt when Katrina veered a bit to the east of the city. It had not. I suspect a lot of the "facts" now being reported will prove to be wrong as well, and that we will learn new information that affects our view about this entire affair.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2005 on Democrats Unite! at JustOneMinute
Etienne, Thanks for the info. I have now visited the Intel-Dump site which has some interesting information. There isn't a satisfactory explanation for why lawyers - and I note the plural - reached the conclusion they did that the 9/11 terrorists were "U.S. persons" thereby blocking the sharing of intelligence. I've now seen conjecture about everything from Waco to Gorelick to simple incompetence. I'm leaning toward a theory that the lawyers were risk averse. They could be blamed for mistaken action; inaction wouldn't lead to consequences. If I'm right, then they were horribly wrong.