Calls are growing
for a special counsel to investigate leaks of classified information by the Obama administration. Concerns have been raised over leaks involving classified information on cyberwarfare
of an Al Qaeda cell in Yemen, and drone warfare
procedures. [more inside]
"Yeah, I did." On November 15, Scott McClellan, former white house press secretary to President George W. Bush revealed to an audience at the Miami Book Fair that President Bush had confided in him that he had personally authorized Scooter Libby to leak the classified information in the Plame affair.
Worried about social-network data mining? Facebook hires Ted Ullyot, former right-hand man to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
, as its general counsel. Tapping Ullyot, who worked on the infamous torture memo
and other illustrious projects
, is a sign that the burgeoning Scrabble platform "is a little more grown-up,"
says Facebook public-policy VP Elliot Schrage.
Resolved, that Richard B. Cheney, vice president of the United States, should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that these articles of impeachment be submitted to the American people. If the evidence presented at the Scooter Libby trial was not already enough of an indictment of Real Journalism in the U.S. mainstream media (when it falls to New Yorker magazine to break the really big stories) it takes a magazine with the political prowess of GQ (and bloggers) to make a cohesive case for action against most unconstitutionally powerful Vice President in U.S. history. Those following the Libby case closely are beginning to realize that the Plame leak prosecution is anything but over. With a guilty verdict for Perjury and Obstruction of Justice, Libby would effectively be removed from being a defense witness in any forthcoming charges against Cheney. Fitzgerald still has Sealed v Sealed in his back pocket and it is now beginning to dawn on some that it indicts not Rove, but Cheney.
Hat's off to Emptywheel for seeing this as far back as Oct. 30th, 2005: Tricky Fitzgerald!! He's been hiding Dick right in the middle of his Libby indictment
. Now with a job approval rating in the teens the Curse of Dick Cheney continues. (Interesting to note that both New Yorker and GQ are owned by Conté Nast)
Liveblogging the Scooter Libby (Plame-outing) Trial.
Get your popcorn. This is compelling (and potentially historic) stuff. Firedoglake.com
recommended. There is also a lot of knowledge to be found in the comments. Feel somewhat behind and want to catch-up quickly?
Some are wondering why this isn't getting more play in the evening news. Perhaps the public isn't clamoring for it? ABCnews
, CBS News
, NBC/MSNBC News
(does this page even work?), FoxNews
, and CNN
: In opening arguments today
in the Plame investigation perjury case against Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, the prosecutor portrayed Libby as an agent of a Cheney-driven media offensive
. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day came from Libby's attorney, who portrayed his client as a White House-chosen scapegoat for Karl Rove's misdeeds
. A conservative reporter saw in Libby's emerging defense a "dramatic split inside the Bush White House
." An MSNBC host asked whether
this hullabaloo could lead to Cheney's resignation.
Background on the case. Liveblogging of today's arguments from an anti-administration perspective.
"I learned Valerie Plame's name from Joe Wilson's entry in 'Who's Who in America.'"
Bob "Prince of Darkness" Novak comes clean (sort of) on his role in the Plame scandal. Novak asserts that Fitzgerald knew the identities of his source for Plame's identity. "That Fitzgerald did not indict any of these sources may indicate his conclusion that none of them violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act," Novak says. Further, he says that his source spilled the beans inadvertently: "After the federal investigation was announced, he told me through a third party that the disclosure was inadvertent on his part."
The War They Wanted, The Lies They Needed.
"The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. As much of Washington knew, and the world soon learned, the charge was false. Worse, it appears to have been the cornerstone of a highly successful 'black propaganda' campaign with links to the White House." (Via Sic Semper Tyrannis.)
Bush authorized Plame leak? According to Libby,
"Libby, testified in 2003 that he provided reporter Judith Miller with information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate after being told by Cheney that Bush 'specifically had authorized'
him to 'disclose certain information in the NIE.'" [via Drudge]
"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on
in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," writes former CIA official Paul Pillar, coordinator of U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until 2005, in an article soon to appear in Foreign Affairs
, hardly a radical rag. More confirmation that Seymour Hersh was right about the administration "cherry-picking" intelligence
to justify a foregone conclusion to go to war in Iraq.
Special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald says emails relevant to the Valerie Plame leak investigation have gone missing from the White House.
"In an adundance of caution," Fitzgerald wrote [PDF
] to "Scooter" Libby's lawyers on January 23, "we advise you that we have learned that not all email of the Office of the Vice President and the Executive Office of President for certain time periods in 2003 was preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system." Might this help explain why Alberto Gonzales -- now the Attorney General, and lately so busy
mustering arguments to assert that Bush's NSA domestic-spying
program is "legal" -- waited 12 hours
before instructing White House staff to preserve documents relevant to the leak investigation after telling Andrew Card
about it? Shades of the late, great yoga instructor
, Rose Mary Woods
. [More on Plame here
Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago
"Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed." Woodward's statement. [PDF]
The unnamed official isn't Libby or Rove. [via]
Who Is Lying About Iraq?
A (thorough) editorial from Commentary Magazine
by Norman Podhoretz
examining the case for war, the allegations of Bush administration deceit, the yellowcake incident, Democratic party claims and backtracking, and Plamegate. Obviously partisan, obviously biased, but I've never seen such a clearly laid out rebuttal with citations of many of the allegations made against the Bush administration with respect to Iraq.
Unraveling thread now reaches VP Cheney
(NYTimes) and Reuters
, (for those of you desiring a reputable
Why outing Plame mattered.
If you wonder what's really at stake behind all the media buzz around the Fitzgerald indictments, read this lengthy and cogent analysis by Stratfor's
no-nonsense George Friedman. "Rove and Libby had top security clearances and were senior White House officials. It was their sworn duty, undertaken when they accepted their security clearance, to build a 'bodyguard of lies' -- in Churchill's phrase -- around the truth concerning U.S. intelligence capabilities... The minimal story -- that they talked about Plame with a reporter -- is the end of the matter."
Cheney to step down in favor of Rice?
Don't hold your breath. Play a round of Indictment Bingo
if you need to pass the time sorting through all the stories
flying around, but don't hold your breath
Did Dick make him do it?
The Huffington Report claims that both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomsburg News are working on stories indicating that Vice President Dick Cheney is the target of the special prosecutor's investigation into Plamegate
. George Stephanopoulos also recently claimed
that a source close to the investigation told him that Cheney and Bush were involved in discussions on how to handle the Wilson affair that may have led to the leak. Meanwhile, Cheney's chief spokesman has left the country until October 26th
, two days before the conclusion of the grand jury investigation.
novak loses it
some are guessing because the host had warned him
he would be asked about the valerie wilson outing ...
Testimony of former CIA case officer James Marcinkowski
on the Plame Affair, via David Corn. Now that the US government has exposed a CIA case officer and endangered her contacts, it will be much more difficult for CIA officers to recruit informants in the future. Any undercover officer, whether in the police department or the CIA, will tell you that the major concern of their informant or agent is their personal safety and that of their family. Cover is safety. If you cannot guarantee that safety in some form or other, the person will not work for you and the source of important information will be lost. ... What has suffered perhaps irreversible damage is the credibility of our case officers when they try to convince our overseas contact that their safety is of primary importance to us.
Robert Parry disentangles the Plame game.
He uncovered the Contra/Cocaine story
. Now he's got a very sensible hypothesis on Plame. Lots more good stuff at Consortium News.
Why Judith Miller should go to jail.
Also, her actions as an embeded reporter in Iraq
make me question if she really is such a bastion of journalistic ethics. via billmon
RoveFilter (via Drudge): Where does it go now?
The AP is now saying Bob Novak told Karl Rove
about Valerie Plame, who then passed it on to other journalists. So who told Novak? Pass the popcorn, this could get interesting.
As much as I would like to see Rove's head on a pike, I still don't understand why outing a CIA agent should be a crime. After all, we managed to get through World War II and most of the Cold War without such a law. Once upon a time liberals opposed the intelligence Identities Protection Act
, and for good reasons
. Namely, the law is more likely to ensnare journalists making legitimate inquiries
than the kind of traitors that spawned the law
. It also requires a very high legal standard, as no one has officially confirmed that Valarie Plame, who's cover had been previously compromised and was well-known in Washington circles, still qualifies as a covert agent under the legal definition
. After all, only one person has ever been convicted
under the intelligence Identities Protection Act.
The media's pursuit of Karl Rove was inevitable.
Faced with the persistent hammering by the press on the issue, Scott McClellan seems to channeling former Nixon Press Secretary Ron Ziegler.
And of course the scent of a big scandal around Rove has some people asking if the
" has reached the end of the line
David Corn is claiming
that Newsweek is going to nail Karl Rove tomorrow. Not that anyone's surprised, I'm sure, but nevertheless -- where's that popcorn? (via tpm
"Too many people know this. It should break wide open this week"
First mentioned on Friday
, Sunday brought confirmation : "E-mails surrendered by Time magazine to a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA agent's identity show that a top White House aide, Karl Rove, was one of the sources, Newsweek magazine reported Sunday."
Is Karl Rove in trouble ? Read between the lines
it was rove
"MSNBC Analyst Says Cooper Documents Reveal Karl Rove as Source in Plame Case"
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
Condi's plan for Iraq: cut and run
. Conservative columnist Robert Novak -- the same guy who hung Valerie Plame
out to dry -- launches the media campaign to prepare the US electorate for withdrawal even if, as he puts it with exquisite understatement, "what is left behind
constitute perfection." (I
.) US commander Gen. George Casey seems to be on the same page
Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation,
said Porter Goss while downplaying Valerie Plame's outing. Bush's choice today to replace Tenet as head of the CIA
had already been shot down
by the very people who'll be voting on his confirmation. It is widely believed that Bush will soon appoint a new CIA director, partly to avoid extra criticism should terrorists strike the homeland between now and November.
first the plame affair - now stolen confidential memos
from democratic senators servers ... business as usual on capitol hill?
Chronology of Wilsongate Articles
Some may scream "overkill," but I found this illuminating and bookmark-worthy even though I've been reading everything I can find on this scandal. New blogger Alex Parker has compiled links to all the relevant pieces in this story, with annotations. As the WH strategy seems to be to constantly confuse us about what facts are nailed down and who knew, or said, what, to whom, and when, this is a good BS-cutter. (via Calpundit)
The Daily Kos challenges readers
to come up with a new name for the CIA-Wilson-Plame business that doesn't include the term "gate." Many amusing suggestions have been logged in comments. Entries include The Plame Game, Intimigate, FrogMarch, Novack-aine, and Karl's Bad. Whatever your political persuasion, the name game can be fun. Surely MeFi wags can come up with a few witty ideas.
Journalists say off the record "it was Karl Rove that I spoke to..."
Julian Borger of the Guardian reveals that several journalists have revealed "off the record" that Karl Rove revealed the identity of the CIA operative, but that the reporters aren't publicly admitting it, in order to protect their source. But aren't they also material witnesses to a federal crime? Does not revealing their source make them accessories to that crime?
Search the New York Times website for any occurrence of the words "Valerie Plame" during the last week
...and you'll find nada, zilch, zip. The so-called "paper of record" has remained totally mum on what may be one of the biggest scandals of the Bush administration yet. You can read about it at Newsday
, and The Nation
, and it's been mentioned on NBC... but not a word from the New York Times (save for a reference to it last week
by syndicated columnist Paul Krugman, and a wire service story
today; neither of those pieces mentions Plame by name). The Times' news and editorial divisions are asleep at the switch on this story. Maybe the Jayson Blair scandal was a distraction from the deeper problem: a paper that is so concerned with being balanced and respectable, it refuses to cover any politically controversial stories. You can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
to ask why the Valerie Plame news blackout. Or just click this link
a few dozen times to send 'em a message.