Skip

The return of the frog march.
June 30, 2005 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Time to name names in Plame affair. Time Magazine has announced that they will hand over the full notes and emails of their reporter to federal investigators, revealing the identity of the White House official(s) who leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA officer. Will Joseph Wilson finally get his frog march?
posted by insomnia_lj (80 comments total)

 
*fingers crossed* Bolton?
posted by drezdn at 11:46 AM on June 30, 2005


Can someone please explain to me how Bob Novak has remained untouched by all this, even though, as I understand events, he was the one who originally "outed" Plame?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:55 AM on June 30, 2005


So the Bush Administration has put us in a situation where we are to face either a "chilling effect" in the press corp (ie: No protection for sources) or a chilling effect in the intelligence community (Plame's outing, retaliation against whistleblowers)?

Maybe both?
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 11:59 AM on June 30, 2005


Will the name(s) become public knowledge right away or is it "confidential" (i.e. until it gets leaked)?
posted by xmutex at 12:01 PM on June 30, 2005


My money's on Deputy Assistant to the President & Principal Deputy for Legislative Affairs, Ziad Ojakli. They guy's dangerous.
posted by dhoyt at 12:02 PM on June 30, 2005


xmutex,

I believe it's supposed to be confidential.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 12:07 PM on June 30, 2005


Can someone please explain to me how Bob Novak has remained untouched by all this, even though, as I understand events, he was the one who originally "outed" Plame?

It's believed that he may have talked to the grand jury in exchange for immunity.
posted by drezdn at 12:07 PM on June 30, 2005


Thorzdad: This has some speculation about why Novak might have been spared so far.
posted by Bezbozhnik at 12:09 PM on June 30, 2005


So, maybe the Bush administration was right all along.

Maybe we *DID* need to curtail some of our freedoms to get at the bad guys.
;-)
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:09 PM on June 30, 2005


Novak talked, making him both scummy and spineless.

The indictments are sealed, which means any leaks could be prosecuted.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:12 PM on June 30, 2005


So when are we going to find out...Assuming this all moves forward?

The cynic in me say this will drag out until 2010 or so well after the administration leaves and the justfications for Iraq are long forgotten...
posted by aaronscool at 12:20 PM on June 30, 2005


I'm not a conspiracy theorist by nature (ok, I do think that Howard Hunt was on the grassy knoll), but didn't Arie Fleischer resign rather coincidentally with this whole affair? There was some smoke about that, iirc.

Fwiw, I would chip in on a pay-per-view of Bob Novak getting ze frog walk.
posted by beelzbubba at 12:26 PM on June 30, 2005


I'm going to need more popcorn...this should be interesting to watch. Although, I may lose my stomach soon, since more Abu Gharib abuse photos are supposed to be released.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 12:30 PM on June 30, 2005


insomnia_lj writes "Maybe we *DID* need to curtail some of our freedoms to get at the bad guys. "

You know, I've never seen how this could be framed as a "freedom of the press" issue. It's certainly important for reporters to be able to protect the confidentiality of anonymous sources, but this isn't a simple case of an anonymous source. In revealing Plame's identity to the reporters, the source committed a crime. The reporters were witnesses to this crime, and are subject to subpoena. This is an unusual situation, unique to this kind of crime (revealing classified information), and it doesn't seem to apply to source confidentiality in general.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:31 PM on June 30, 2005


Frog Marilyn
posted by dhoyt at 12:33 PM on June 30, 2005


That's an interesting point, mr_roboto. That totally hadn't occured to me.
posted by COBRA! at 12:37 PM on June 30, 2005


From the linked article: But [Novak] said he would write the same story again.

"Being a columnist or a reporter for this many years is sort of like never having to say you're sorry," he said
.

Nice.
posted by Termite at 12:42 PM on June 30, 2005


The odd thing -- why this case is waiting on the testimony of these two people? Fitzgerald stated this, to the Supreme Court, during arguments about this case.

I think he's got the real leak nailed, but is on the threshold of something bigger -- obstruction of justice, possibly conspiracy to do the same, and it involves a big name (or names,) so he's got to have Chapter and Verse when he files charges.

My bet is one of the people he's almost got enough to nail is Bob Novak, who almost certainly has already testified. It's *very* odd that Fitzgerald is apparently ignoring him, unless he's already testified. If Fitzgerald has a possibility of catching him out as a liar, though, it lets him nail Novak for O-of-J *and* makes the case against the real leaker that much stronger, esp. if the leaker and Novak explicitly conspired to hide the leaker.

As I said before, my bet as to the point leaker (the person who actually made the first leak) is Bolton. It's very much his MO, he was in a position to get the info, and BushCo is fighting like hell to keep documents related to his intelligence actions out of sight. The one counter argument is "Then it was stupid to nominate him for anything," but that's never stopped BushCo before.

As to Cooper and Miller. I'd be more supportive of the argument of Journalistic privilege if the story itself wasn't the crime. Allowing them to refuse to name sources when they're being used to commit the crime makes a complete mockery of the whole point of protecting sources. There's a world of difference between protecting the leaker who's telling you about the secret war the administration is fighting, and protection the source of the person who's leaking information to retaliate for a perceived slight.

The leaker who did this wasn't trying to protect the public from government abuse, they were actively abusing the idea of confidential sources to attack a political opponent. If this is what "journalistic privilege" means, I'm all for explicitly destroying it.

On preview, mr_roboto sums it up nicely.
posted by eriko at 12:42 PM on June 30, 2005



Even better?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 12:45 PM on June 30, 2005


A good link on all the leading Novak theories. Thanks to Bezbozhnik's link which lead to it.

My biggest question in this whole affair is how come the leaker doesn't have a cool nickname yet? Douche Throat, perhaps? Dark Thelt?
posted by Osteo at 12:48 PM on June 30, 2005


Can someone please explain to me how Bob Novak has remained untouched by all this, even though, as I understand events, he was the one who originally "outed" Plame?

As some understand it, the Intelligence Identities Act, the statute in play, states that you must know that the person who's cover you are exposing, is undercover, and you must also be intentionally blowing their cover.
The Plame inquiry is justified, we're told, by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which Congress passed because our intelligence community was apoplectic over Mr. Agee's "outing" during the 1970s of CIA covert agents stationed abroad to purposefully disrupt the agency's operations. The bill probably should have been called the "Get Philip Agee" Act.

The law requires a prosecutor to show that a person has disclosed information that identifies a "covert agent" (not an "operative") while actually knowing that the agent has been undercover within the last five years in a foreign country and that the disclosed information would expose the agent. For a person who had no classified access to the outed agent's identity, the law provides the additional hurdle of proving a pattern of exposing agents with the belief that such actions would harm the government's spying capabilities.

As a practical matter, this high degree of proof of willfulness or intentionality would be almost impossible to find in any circumstances other than in a Philip Agee clone (and maybe not even him). To interpret the statute more broadly would flout the longstanding American jurisprudential tradition of narrowly construing criminal laws, especially those that encroach upon free-speech values.

The legislative history of the law could not make its narrow purpose more clear. The "principal thrust of this [statute] has been to make criminal those disclosures which represent a conscious and pernicious effort to identify and expose agents with the intent to impair or impede the foreign intelligence activities of the United States by such actions," reads the Senate report. Legislators emphasized that they crafted the bill to "exclude the possibility that casual discussion, political debate, [or] the journalistic pursuit of a story on intelligence . . . will be chilled."
Outing Operatives, Jailing Journalists
By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Bruce W. Sanford
The Wall Street Journal
December 14, 2004; Page A14
Section 421. Protection of identities of certain United States undercover intelligence officers, agents, informants, and sources

(a) Disclosure of information by persons having or having had
access to classified information that identifies covert agent
Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified
information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses
any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not
authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the
information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the
United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert
agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be
fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or
both.
(b) Disclosure of information by persons who learn identity of
covert agents as result of having access to classified
information
Whoever, as a result of having authorized access to classified
information, learns the identify of a covert agent and
intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert
agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified
information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies
such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative
measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship
to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned
not more than five years, or both.
(c) Disclosure of information by persons in course of pattern of
activities intended to identify and expose covert agents
Whoever, in the course of a pattern of activities intended to
identify and expose covert agents and with reason to believe that
such activities would impair or impede the foreign intelligence
activities of the United States, discloses any information that
identifies an individual as a covert agent to any individual not
authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the
information disclosed so identifies such individual and that the
United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such
individual's classified intelligence relationship to the United
States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than
three years, or both.
(d) Imposition of consecutive sentences
A term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be
consecutive to any other sentence of imprisonment.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:57 PM on June 30, 2005


My money is on Karl Rove being the source, with Novak and Rove being in it together. Rove has a long history of using Novak and the media as tools against his political opposition.
posted by camworld at 12:58 PM on June 30, 2005


My money is on Karl Rove being the source

It's probably even up that you're right on that, but Rove just has so many people willing to fall on their swords for him, that I have difficulty believe that the truth (if that is, in fact, the truth) will out. The only wildcard is if there is a latent John Dean in the administration. All evidence to the contrary, so far.
posted by psmealey at 1:08 PM on June 30, 2005


*dares to hope*
posted by realcountrymusic at 1:18 PM on June 30, 2005


it lets him nail Novak for O-of-J

I knew the real killers were out there! See, he had good reason for looking on all those golf courses! Who knew a putz like Novak had it in him. (Sorry, I totally read this wrong the first time and couldn't figure out how you were connecting OJ to this, I am stupid and tired)
posted by Pollomacho at 1:21 PM on June 30, 2005


Rove is an evil genius. He has out smarted the left at every turn. And with this little number he banked on the political left not living by it's supposed core principles in order to gain political advantage. And he was right. And if not? Either way it's a GOP BIG win!

See. The congressional democrats and Move On just couldn't help themselves, could they? Either they let Novak go and let an egregious act and lie propagate and maintain the higher ground of First Amendment and journalistic integrity -OR- they swoop down like greedily little bitches screaming "cover-up, lies, Niger-Gate" to a public simply unable to appreciate or understand the issue.

They should have let it drop. But no. Now as a result of this there will and IS indeed a chilling effect on leaks at a time when they would be MOST important and revealing.

Fucking democrats. It's ALWAYS about the principle. Sadly, the left is on it's way to being a permanent minority. That's right. You heard me. You disagree? Sorry. Revisit this statement when a fucking Republican wins the presidency and when Republicans maintain control of congress. It is a 60-75% certainty at this point.
Fuck.
posted by tkchrist at 1:22 PM on June 30, 2005


Bet on I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Dick Cheney's chief of staff. [scroll down or search for "Scooter."]
posted by digaman at 1:26 PM on June 30, 2005


A real piece of work, that Mr. Libby.
posted by digaman at 1:29 PM on June 30, 2005


I agree, this will be terrible for leaks. and we won't see the liberal media's war-cheerleader in chief, ie Judy Miller, spend a few weeks in jail. it's lose/lose.

digaman -- I love you man, you know that -- but I wouldn't trade a nobody, easy-to-replace apparatchik like Scooter Libby frogmarched out of the White House with the collective soiling that happened today in the underwear of the people who planned -- or maybe were just thinking about -- leaking important stuff to the media. Libby isn't worth it. nobody is. not even Rove. seriously.


when a fucking Republican wins the presidency

I was under impression that most Republicans who get to the White House basically aren't fucking at all -- cocaine-snorting, yes. draft-dodging, of course. alcohol-imbibing, yessir. wildly antiSemitical? check.

but fucking? isn't that a prerogative of the Democratic Presidents?

posted by matteo at 1:41 PM on June 30, 2005


He has out smarted the left at every turn.

It doesn't take a genius to do that, the "left" politicians in the US are idiots.
posted by chaz at 1:45 PM on June 30, 2005


Osteo's link to the LA times was very thought provoking. One theory holds that the grand jury may eventually charge Novak, so they subpoenaed Cooper and Miller as a way to gather evidence.

This is an exciting prospect, but I still find the precedent disturbing.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 1:51 PM on June 30, 2005


wildly antiSemitical

I thought they quite liked the Jews, albeit for somewhat scary eschatological reasons.

posted by carter at 1:55 PM on June 30, 2005


We can always dream, mr.curmudgeon, we can always dream.

That being said, Rove is far too shrewd to have left any real evidence of his involvement, if he was involved. Then again if Fitzgerald meets up with "an unfortunate accident" I might change my mind about that.
posted by clevershark at 1:57 PM on June 30, 2005


carter, in matteo's world "Republicans" are both controlled by a Jewish 'neocon' conspiracy and anti-semitic at the same time.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:58 PM on June 30, 2005


He hasn't out smarted the left, he just has balls, which they are sorely lacking. The Dems. bend over backwards to wuss out of any situation. They are so afraid of getting dirty they won't do anything. Its sad really. Zell Miller is about the only one with balls left and he's sold his soul to Lucifer himself! (No, I'm not so twisted as to think the GOP is satanic, wrong mostly, yes, but satanic, no. Just a little colorful language there to express my dismay.)
posted by Pollomacho at 1:59 PM on June 30, 2005


in matteo's world "Republicans" are both controlled by a Jewish 'neocon' conspiracy and anti-semitic at the same time.

Where, the real world?

Heritage Foundation and PNAC deal with each other all the time, have shared members, and there are certainly anti-semites in the new eugenics plans of Heritage.

But I know you don't care, Steve.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:03 PM on June 30, 2005


Y'all give Rove too much credit here. I think most people can see the difference between a "leak" that is in fact propagated in furtherance of a political vendetta (and a crime) and "whistle blowing." The solution would be to protect whistle-blowers -- in theory the law does this -- rather than "journalists," which is such a broad category that almost anyone can claim the privilege. The "leak" here *is* the crime, not because it's a leak per se, but because of the kind of information leaked and the purpose for which it was done. If this has a "chilling effect" at all, I would hope it would be on the (many) "journalists" who routinely do the administration's propaganda dirty work for them. There's a fine line between cheerleading and conspiracy in our media these days.

What Novak did is not journalism, even if one considers him to be a journalist. Arguably, Miller is no journalist either, but a teller of tales. I have no clear opinion on the Time story, but the editors there should have stopped publication of the story when they realized what it was.

Bolton, Rove -- both small fish. I suspect it may go quite a bit higher up. Maybe Fitzgerald will be a hero. Ribbitt.
posted by realcountrymusic at 2:05 PM on June 30, 2005


realcountrymusic writes "Y'all give Rove too much credit here."

Don't "misunderestimate" Karl Rove. There's a reason he's known as "Bush's brain", and not ALL of them can be traced back to Bush.
posted by clevershark at 2:13 PM on June 30, 2005


[This is bad] for the First Amendment, insofar as the story will be spun as another example of an "out-of-control" press abusing its "privileges", especially with regard to the use of anonymous sources, in reckless pursuit of The Big Scoop (aka "Gotcha journalism run amuck"). I'm predicting a chilling effect, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.
posted by gigawhat? at 2:21 PM on June 30, 2005


"The reporters were witnesses to this crime, and are subject to subpoena."

Yes, but what about a situation where a source tells a reporter that they were a part of a criminal conspiracy -- or a potential war crime, for that matter -- but decides to go public to a reporter with evidence indicating what happened?

Frankly, I don't think a reporter in such circumstances should face imprisonment... even if it is Judith f*cking Miller.

(Bob Novak, on the other hand, should burn.)
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:22 PM on June 30, 2005


Rove! Rove! Rove!

Please, let it be Rove!

anyway, whoever leaked Plame is, as we say around our house, "Mr. Naughty McPotty."
posted by craniac at 2:25 PM on June 30, 2005


Actually, to clarify my comments, perhaps my example isn't appropriate. Judith Miller, et al... were witnesses to a crime. They didn't just hear from someone who admitted to being a part of it.

But there are plenty of situations where telling a reporter about ______ would be a violation of the law, national security, state secrets, etc. If this kind of criteria were applied to the Downing Street Memos, for instance, then the Blair Government could force the reporters for the Times of London to reveal who leaked the memos to them...

Chilling effect, indeed.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:31 PM on June 30, 2005


Either Novak talked or he's a target. He may have already been indicted. The prosecutor may be waiting to unseal the indictment. The left hates him, but Novak generally has good ethics.
posted by stevefromsparks at 2:38 PM on June 30, 2005


Steve_at_Linwood:

Something tells me the prosecutor in this case, who decided to investigate, has a wee bit better grasp of the relevant law than you or the WSJ, and they decided to purse the matter. The whole "there's been no crime" canard is infantile. The prosecutor may or may not be able to prove that someone broke the law, but they most certainly believe that statute was violated, or they wouldn't have bothered to pursue that matter.

From the status that Plame had, the number of people who know Plame was a CIA operative was vanishingly small. And whoever let it slip committed a crime. More importantly, it is quite likely that obstruction of justice or the like has happened at this point, because the prosecutor would not need the testimony of Miller or Cooper otherwise, because he could just subpoena phone records and know exactly who they talked to.

As far as the press chilling issue: there is no Federal shield law. So unless and until we get one, a reporter has no legal ability to protect their sources if subpoenaed. I think there should be a Federal shield law, but it most certainly needs language to try and separate public good from simple criminality. That ain't an easy task. But until such a law exists, there was no other way for this to be decided.
posted by teece at 2:43 PM on June 30, 2005


A provocative theory: "What started as a potential case of intentionally leaking the identity of an agent has now become about perjury and obstruction of justice in an attempt to conceal White House involvement in fixing the intelligence that led to war."
posted by digaman at 2:48 PM on June 30, 2005


On the first amendment issue:

The media in this case was the tool used to break the law. If Novak or any other reporter had said to the source "I can't keep you anonymous if we use this", do you think this story would actually have seen the light of day and thus the crime committed?

It is another issue to have information about a crime or criminal act that has happened and try to report that using anonymous sources.

Here is a gross analogy: A serial murder calls up to a reporter gives his name and the name of his next victim. Should it be legal that the report be allowed to keep that source anonymous?
posted by aaronscool at 2:50 PM on June 30, 2005


most Republicans who get to the White House basically aren't fucking at all

You would be wrong. Or perhaps you missed the bit where a guy who was a gay prostitute had White House press credentials?

I just got back from a week in DC. The clubs are jam-packed with the shiney-faced Blonde GOP-jugend nibbling on X and grinding up and down on each other's naughty bits.

Seeing that people in this thread are rubbing their own bits on the hopeless fantasy that Rove may some how get a perp walk proves my point about the left. It will never ever happen. Well. Maybe if he gets pulled over for drunk driving with the body of an underage Laotian boy in the trunk of his car.

What we need is to stop chasing Roves spin-phantoms and get people ratting out the misdeeds of their superiors so then - perhaps - we can address these misdeeds with facts for the next election.

But convicting Judith Miller won't ever do that.
posted by tkchrist at 2:51 PM on June 30, 2005


On preview - digiman has it just about right.
posted by tkchrist at 2:53 PM on June 30, 2005


carter, in matteo's world "Republicans" are both controlled by a Jewish 'neocon' conspiracy and anti-semitic at the same time.

Nixon, Stevie. Richard Nixon. it's not that I require that you actually know who he was, so don't worry. but he had a big problem with, and i'm quoting him, the "disloyal" "Jew boys". but to fair, your beloved President also had a big problems with "lazy" Mexicans and, and i'm quoting him here, the "niggers" or "jigaboos". it's all on tape, Stevie. enjoy.

you see, in matteo's world, ie the real world, as others have pointed out, Nixon was a racist and an anti-Semite, with evidence on tape to perpetuate the shame. and in the real world, you have a delicious, USDA-prime bovine tendency to put your hoof foot in your mouth.

________

Or perhaps you missed the bit where a guy who was a gay prostitute had White House press credentials?

do you seriously think that Gannon was Bush's boyfriend? McLellan, maybe, or some other two-bit staffer. but Bush? come on.
posted by matteo at 3:15 PM on June 30, 2005


matteo....where is this on tape by Bush? Did I miss something?
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:21 PM on June 30, 2005


To clarify, I think that eschatological Republicans are fond of Jews in the same way that the Big Bad Wolf was fond of the Three Little Pigs - if that is not too unkosher an analogy ;-)
posted by carter at 3:27 PM on June 30, 2005


According to an interview (RealPlayer) that Julian Borger of the Guardian did in 2003, reporters have admitted off the record that it was Karl Rove.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:38 PM on June 30, 2005


do you seriously think that Gannon was Bush's boyfriend?

I never said anything 'bout Duhbya? There are about four hundred other people punching the clock in that there Whitehouse, sparky.

And Gannon was everybody's boyfriend. The nasty, nasty slut.

Sorry to burst your bubble but them Republicans are pretty horny debbils. Sex is still dirty for them.
posted by tkchrist at 3:41 PM on June 30, 2005


Gannon was a whore. Whether he did sexual favors for Republicans is another matter.
posted by stevefromsparks at 3:50 PM on June 30, 2005


I put a blue chip on Scooter. (peeks over pokerhand) these cards are marked! "go fish!"
posted by hortense at 4:14 PM on June 30, 2005


To put it more succintly, Gannon whored himself to the Republicans while posing as a reporter. The fact that he actually turned out to be a real prostitute just made the whole thing amusing.
posted by clevershark at 4:56 PM on June 30, 2005


William Safire wrote the best column I've read about this situation.
posted by cribcage at 5:03 PM on June 30, 2005


It was Rove or Scooter Libby.

I'd bet money on it.
posted by rougy at 5:50 PM on June 30, 2005


Wow. Time really screwed the pooch on this one. They should have kept mum and let him go to jail. It was his choice, obviously. They've just undermined their entire journalism department's credibility to keep a secret. "Unless the Bush administration REALLY wants to know" is kind of a lame disclaimer.

They will 'only' have to serve as long as the grand jury is composed, which should be October (thanks, NPR).

I'm baffled by what exact information they're fishing for.
If the two informants have already outed themselves (or Novak gave them up to keep his remaining douchebag years outside of jail), what do they even need from these two reporters?

I think the purpose is more to intimidate the press than anything. Basically, the first term of the administration saw more leaks than they'd've liked, being obsessed with secrecy.

I've avoided most paranoid delusions, outside of Lovecraft's mythos, but this seems to basically hamstring the notion of a do-gooder coming forward to inform the public about any wrong-doing inside this administration. If there ever is some, of course.

It's been an interesting second term so far, for sure.
Oh, and I blame Rove for the call, though I doubt he'd've bothered to pick the phone up himself. Little smarter than that.
posted by Busithoth at 6:04 PM on June 30, 2005


digaman - thanks for the link. Indeed, quite a provocative theory.
posted by ericb at 6:14 PM on June 30, 2005


You're welcome.
posted by digaman at 6:41 PM on June 30, 2005


Judith Miller? Judith Miller... Oh yes, wasn't she the one who wrote all that lurid and fantastic fiction about Saddam Hussein's fearsome Wunderwaffen? This seems like poor payback from the Bush Gang for all her hard cheerleading war work.
posted by meehawl at 7:22 PM on June 30, 2005


From the Washpost a year ago:

Officials at Time said Cooper, who had been threatened with jail time for refusing to respond to a grand jury subpoena, gave a deposition Monday about his conversations with a single anonymous source -- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff for Vice President Cheney -- after Libby waived Cooper's responsibility to keep their conversations on the topic confidential. Time officials said Libby was the only source of Cooper's that special counsel prosecutors asked about.

There must be more to it, if he already named Libby a year ago and they still want his notes. What that more is, I haven't the foggiest but I think a lot of these theories are just wishful thinking.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:02 PM on June 30, 2005


I really like digaman's link too, especially the conclusion:

Its [sic] not just the identity of the source, it is what the WH was saying and when that will show that they lied to Fitzgerald and the Grand Jury to cover up their manipulation of and lying about prewar intelligence. This is what happens when the administration's Orwellian alteration of history occurs in a venue where lying is a crime and providing talking points is conspiracy to obstruct justice.

What's particularly frustrating, however, is that this information was obvious to anyone with half a brain, including many conservatives and supporters of the occupation. That we need a court to draw our official attention to this is perhaps the greatest indictment of American voters. We let little things slide, like a completely fabricated justification to invade another country, as a "coherent message."
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:22 PM on June 30, 2005


The link digaman gives to Kos is interesting, but it has some major holes, and rests upon a couple of suppositions with absolutely no evidence to back them up, the primary one being: is there anything to indicate Plame was an impediment to the Bush "fixing" of intelligence in the run up to the war? It's easy to assume she was, but we don't have anything other than a wild guess to prove it.
posted by teece at 8:34 PM on June 30, 2005


Novak: 'I will reveal all'

I dunno. I look at his picture and I pray he doesn't reveal it all. Ugh.


posted by five fresh fish at 8:41 PM on June 30, 2005


cribcage writes "William Safire wrote the best column I've read about this situation."

William Safire, as usual, the Administration's apologist in the matter. His basic argument seems to be that the Plame affair shouldn't be prosecuted at all. What a fucking tool.
posted by clevershark at 8:56 PM on June 30, 2005


Metafilter: Drunk driving with the body of an underage Laotian boy in the trunk
posted by Rothko at 9:21 PM on June 30, 2005


According to an interview (RealPlayer) that Julian Borger of the Guardian did in 2003, reporters have admitted off the record that it was Karl Rove.

Pleaseopleaseopleaseopleaseiwon'taskforanythingeveragain
posted by craniac at 9:22 PM on June 30, 2005


Something tells me the prosecutor in this case, who decided to investigate, has a wee bit better grasp of the relevant law than you or the WSJ, and they decided to purse the matter. The whole "there's been no crime" canard is infantile. The prosecutor may or may not be able to prove that someone broke the law, but they most certainly believe that statute was violated, or they wouldn't have bothered to pursue that matter.

You could not be more wrong. Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, was selected to investigate this matter by Attorney General John Ashcroft. Ashcroft wanted someone outside of Washington D.C. to investigate this for obvious reasons.

Ashcroft only initiated an investigation after media and political pressure. Fitzgerald did not "bother to pursue that matter" but rather was ordered to do so.

There very well may have been no crime committed here. Not that it will satisfy the talking points crowd.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:50 PM on June 30, 2005


I'd really like to know about the "No crime was committed" meme...

It kind of seems to me that a crime was committed it's just a question of who did the deed. Am I under the mistaken impression that outing a CIA operative is not actually a crime? Folks who spoke up in the FBI and CIA seem to think it is...
posted by aaronscool at 12:22 AM on July 1, 2005


I think that they may be in no hurry to prosecute because if it happens too fast, then even an indictment would give GW time to pardon the offender. What is to stop him?
posted by spock at 12:30 AM on July 1, 2005


There very well may have been no crime committed here. Not that it will satisfy the talking points crowd.

shorter S@L, and all the other apologists here:

IOKIYAR.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:44 AM on July 1, 2005


Am I under the mistaken impression that outing a CIA operative is not actually a crime?

It is if it meets the strict standards listed above.
  1. You have to have classified access
  2. They have to have beeen a "covert agent" in a foreign country in the last five years
  3. You would have to know that disclosing information would expose the agent
The two biggest hurdles for Novak has to being in charged is that he doesn't have clearance to classified access, and it wasn't exactly a secret that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.

Read the statute.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:07 AM on July 1, 2005


If no crimes were committed why doesn't the Whitehouse just tell everyone who leaked Plame's name?
posted by Freen at 9:34 AM on July 1, 2005


The two biggest hurdles for Novak has to being in charged is that he doesn't have clearance to classified access, and it wasn't exactly a secret that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.

I'd suggest it's likely that Novak and other reporters will not be charged with the crime of disclosing Plame. Obstruction of Justice and other things if they tried to cover up their source sure.

I thought we were looking for the administration official who leaked the information to the press in the first place. That said it certainly was secret that she worked covertly in the middle east looking for nuclear weapons (hence the disclosure, hence the crime). Whomever disclosed her name to the press appears to fit all three of those requirements.
posted by aaronscool at 9:50 AM on July 1, 2005


Not sure how credible this is, but according to this article, Cooper says it's Rove. Let the frog marching begin!
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:36 PM on July 1, 2005


...[or rather, Lawrence O'Donnell says Cooper's documents say it's Rove].
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:42 PM on July 1, 2005


If Rove is half the evil genius MeFi generally makes him out to be, and he is successfully convicted, by god I will be relieved.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:58 PM on July 1, 2005


Other panelists then joined in discussing whether, if true, this would suggest a perjury rap for Rove, if he told the grand jury he did not leak to Cooper.
posted by y2karl at 2:40 AM on July 2, 2005


« Older Beethoven 6, 7, 8 and 9   |   F1=Divide Loaves, F2=Walk on Water, F12=Rapture Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post