January 24, 2010
The first problem I have with President Obama stems from his refusal to uphold the rule of law and hold the Bush administration accountable for possible criminal activity. It doesn't matter if we need to look forward, have big problems on the table, whatever. The first job of government is to uphold the rule of law, or the legitimacy of that government is undermined.
The conspiracy to invade Iraq needs to be investigated. If it is determined that these people lied, planted evidence, etc. in order to cause us to invade that country, this is the most serious crime imaginable. Enough people in this country and the world think this is a possibility that it undermines law and democracy not to look into this and see what we can find out.
Next move on to torture. This must be investigated, or else everyone will come to believe first that there are different standards in the law for people in power, and that it is the accepted policy of our country.
Now move on to the appearance of bribery, embezzlement, cronyism, favors to campaign contributors, selective prosecutions, no-bid contracts, improper political appointments, etc. These, if fond to have actually occurred, are all crimes. They are all supposed to be investigated and prosecuted. The rule of law demands that this is done. If they did these things and get away with it, then these things will happen again, with the bush administration as only a starting point next time.
President Obama's failure to uphold the rule of law is inexcusable.
August 12, 2008
The court ruled Cheney and the others were acting within their official capacity when they revealed Plame's identity to reporters.Oh, and by the way,
Chief Judge David B. Sentelle wrote the opinion and was joined by Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson. Sentelle was appointed by President Reagan and Henderson by the first President Bush.Sentelle ...
In 1992, for reasons that have never been explained, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist replaced MacKinnon with one of the most right-wing judges in the federal judiciary, U.S. Appeals Court Judge David Sentelle.
By naming Sentelle, Rehnquist altered the political climate surrouding the selection of special prosecutors, effectively injecting conservative ideology into the process in a way that had been avoided during the previous 14 years.
. . . A North Carolina Republican, Sentelle was seen as a hard-line conservative, a protege of Sen. Jesse Helms and a close ally of Sen. Lauch Faircloth, two of the Senate's most conservative members.
Before donning black robes, Sentelle also had been a Republican Party activist.
. . . Even after his appointment to the federal bench, Sentelle engaged in public writings harshly critical of liberals. In one article, Sentelle accused "leftist heretics" of wishing to turn the United States into "a collectivist, egalitarian, materialistic, race-conscious, hyper-secular, and socially permissive state."
. . . Since his appointment, Sentelle has steered nearly all sensitive investigations into the hands of partisan Republicans.
In late 1992, when the Bush administration was caught searching Clinton's passport files looking for derogatory information, Sentelle's three-judge panel handed off the investigation to GOP stalwart Joseph diGenova, who found no wrongdoing by his Republican associates.
After Clinton's inauguration, Sentelle's panel kept picking Republicans for high-profile cases. David Barrett, head of Lawyers for Reagan in 1980, was named to pursue allegations that Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros had understated how much money he had paid a mistress.
. . . But Sentelle's most controversial special prosecutor was Kenneth Starr.
November 20, 2007
Chris Dodd today released the following statement in response to the claims of former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan that he "unknowingly passed along false information" to the American public and that "the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in [his] doing so," including the Vice-President and the President:
"Today's revelations by Mr. McClellan are very disturbing and raise several important questions that need to be answered. If in fact the President of the United of States knowingly instructed his chief spokesman to mislead the American people, there can be no more fundamental betrayal of the public trust.
"During his confirmation process, Attorney General Mukasey said he would act independently. Accordingly, today, I call on the Attorney General to live up to his word and launch an immediate investigation to determine the facts of this case, the extent of any cover up and determine what the President knew and when he knew it."
August 13, 2007
Karl "Party over Country" Rove is resigning "to spend more time with his family."
Karl Rove did more to divide America than anyone since Newt Gingrich. (See Language: A Key Mechanism of Control)
Just one example, after 9/11 Rove engineered the creation of the Homeland Security Department, which was entirely a "wedge" device for use in the 2002 elections. The core of the concept was to get rid of government employee unions. The idea was to force the Democrats to either vote against unions or pound them as "unpatriotic." And then, to pound them as unpatriotic anyway.
Simon Rosenberg, How Rove will be remembered,
Karl Rove was the "architect" of one of the worst governments in American history, and the one who engineered the end of modern conservatism, one of the most successful ideological movements of recent times.Shakesville,
Brilliant yes. Bold, without a doubt. A compete and utter failure who left his country and his movement weaker than the found it? Yep.
Eventually, perhaps, disgraced.
How typical of him to slink off out of the bunker and leave the mess for someone else to clean up.FDL,
All Karl ever wanted was to be left alone to work in secret to destroy America’s political landscape, and not be held accountable.
July 12, 2007
For people who closely follow the Valerie Plame / Scooter Libby case, this is an important story: The Next Hurrah: Why the Libby Lobby Story about Armitage Is False
And in any event, it wasn't about "the leaker" it was about a conspiracy to leak the identity of a covert CIA agent.
July 2, 2007
It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals.
Firedoglake has a statement from Patrick Fitzgerald, Scooter Libby's prosecutor:
We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.
* We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.
* Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process. [emphasis added]
The Democrats in Congress have been trying to avoid having to face what we are dealing with in this country at this time.
We have a President asserting that he is above the law. He is backed by an authoritarian political movement that feels that laws should not apply to them, either. They have been and are working to destroy the agencies of government and fracture each and every one of the institutions of civil society. They have politicized the system of justice in the country to the point where we don't just wonder, we know that people are prosecuted or left alone based on their political affiliations.
They have launched aggressive war.
The pendulum is not swinging back. This is not a normal time. This is not business as usual. We can't think that impeachment will get in the way of "getting things done."
This is about principles and the Constitution. This is about Rule of Law and democracy. This can no longer be avoided.
Watch your backs.
June 14, 2007
The judge in the Scooter Libby case ordered Libby to go directly to jail while he appeals.
Firedoglake liveblog: Libby Loses Liberty
Judge Reggie Walton said Libby is "not a danger to the community," but that there is also "not a likelihood it [his conviction] will be overturned."
June 5, 2007
Scooter Libby has been sentenced to 30 months and a $250,000 fine for his role in blocking the prosecutor from finding out what happened with the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Wilson/Plame.
May 29, 2007
The cover-up continues. In a court filing the CIA-leak prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald makes it clear that "Scooter" Libby obstructed the investigation to discover who was behind the leak. That is the reason Libby was convicted of obstruction, and the reason no one has yet been indicted for the leak itself.
Special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald has made it clearer than ever that he was hot on the trail of a coordinated campaign to out CIA agent Valerie Plame until that line of investigation was cut off by the repeated lies from Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.And just WHO is the prosecutor talking about?
[. . .] Libby's lies, Fitzgerald wrote, "made impossible an accurate evaluation of the role that Mr. Libby and those with whom he worked played in the disclosure of information regarding Ms. Wilson's CIA employment and about the motivations for their actions."
Not clear on the concept yet? Fitzgerald adds: "To accept the argument that Mr. Libby's prosecution is the inappropriate product of an investigation that should have been closed at an early stage, one must accept the proposition that the investigation should have been closed after at least three high-ranking government officials were identified as having disclosed to reporters classified information about covert agent Valerie Wilson, where the account of one of them was directly contradicted by other witnesses, where there was reason to believe that some of the relevant activity may have been coordinated, and where there was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President."
April 14, 2007
This looks like it might be yet another political prosecution. This time it isn't a US Attorney engaging in a political prosecution in order to keep the job -- instead it involves one of those NEW, Rove-approved US Attorneys who replaced those US Attorneys fired for failing to engage in political prosecutions. This prosecution shows us what to expect from now on. This one is prosecuting a guy entirely for political and not legal reasons, AFTER the courts threw out the case AND after the judge said they should drop the charges.
This case is about medical marijuana. California voters passed an initiative allowing the use of marijuana for AIDS, cancer and other patients because it helps them to eat and reduces symptoms. The Christian Right doesn't like that so the Bush administration has been prosecuting people for Federal crimes - even though they are legally operating according to state law.
From the article, Prosecutors will retry Ed Rosenthal, known as the `guru of ganja',
Federal prosecutors said today they would retry marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal on cultivation charges, even after a federal judge urged them to drop the case and chastised the government for lodging charges solely to punish the self-proclaimed "guru of ganja."So here we go, another political prosecution from a Rove-connected prosecutor?
U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer demanded to know who in the Department of Justice made the decision to continue pursuing Rosenthal, who had his original conviction overturned last year.
... Newly appointed U.S. Attorney Scott Schools made the decision, said Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan, but he was not sure if Department of Justice officials in Washington were involved. [all emphasis added]
March 16, 2007
I am watching the CIA Leak hearing on C-SPAN right now. You should, too.
March 7, 2007
The right's talking point on the "outing" of Valerie Plame is that there was no crime. They say that Fitzgerald would have brought charges for the outing if the outing were a crime.
I would like to remind everyone that Fitzgerald said that he indicted Libby for obstruction of justice BECAUSE Libby obstructed - "threw sand in the eyes of" - the investigation which kept it from finding out who committed the crime. That is what "obstruction of justice" means, and that is what Libby was convicted of. He blocked the investigation into the crime.
And what we have when someone charges obstruction of justice, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He's trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view.There are a lot of people trying to throw sand in everyone's eyes now that Libby is convicted. Here is where we are today: A covert CIA agent was outed by the White House, and the Vice President's Chief of Staff has been convicted of obstructing the investigation into who was behind it.
... This is a very serious matter and compromising national security information is a very serious matter. But the need to get to the bottom of what happened and whether national security was compromised by inadvertence, by recklessness, by maliciousness is extremely important. We need to know the truth. And anyone who would go into a grand jury and lie, obstruct and impede the investigation has committed a serious crime.
I suggest reading the entire transcript.
March 6, 2007
"We're not saying that we didn't think Mr. Libby was guilty of the things we found him guilty of," said the juror, Denis Collins. "But it seemed like he was . . . the fall guy."And what did President Bush say about the verdict?
... "Where's Rove, where's -- you know, where are these other guys?" Collins said, referring to Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser, and Richard L. Armitage, a former deputy chief of staff who testimony showed had been the first person to leak Plame's name.
Moreover, Collins said, jurors believed that Libby had been carrying out a directive by his immediate boss, Cheney, to "go out and talk to reporters" to tarnish Wilson's reputation. But Collins said jurors stopped short of discussing whether the vice president specifically urged Libby to tell journalists about Plame's CIA job.
Dana Perino, the deputy White House press secretary, said President Bush watched the news of the verdict on television in the Oval Office. She said Mr. Bush respected the jury’s verdict but “was saddened for Scooter Libby and his family,” using Mr. Libby’s nickname.Yes, you read that right - he was saddened for Libby's - the perpetrtor's - family, not Valerie Wilson/Plame's - the victim's.
Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA agent, working to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists. We, of course, do not know how much damage was done when the White House "outed" her. We do not know the fate of those she may have met with in countries where she operated. But governments like Iran keep track of people traveling in their country, and when it was revealed that she was a CIA operative, they go back over their records and see who she met with and worked with. We do not know if any of them were jailed or killed as a result.
Outing her also revealed that her cover company was a CIA front. So ALL the agents working for that company were ALSO "outed." And all the people THEY met with in all the countries where THEY operated were ALSO revealed. And of course we do not know how many of THEM were jailed or killed as a result.
July 14, 2006
eeiposte at The Left Coaster: Wilson lawsuit - everything you need to know.
Then go here.
June 12, 2006
Jason Leopold has been on the hotseat for a while after reporting on an imminent Karl Rove indictment that was never announced. But now Leopold says he even knows the case number. Sealed vs. Sealed:
Four weeks ago, during the time when we reported that White House political adviser Karl Rove was indicted for crimes related to his role in the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, the grand jury empanelled in the case returned an indictment that was filed under seal in US District Court for the District of Columbia under the curious heading of Sealed vs. Sealed.He is not backing off. Truthout isn't either. Maybe there is something to this.
As of Friday afternoon that indictment, returned by the grand jury the week of May 10th, remains under seal - more than a month after it was handed up by the grand jury.
The case number is "06 cr 128." On the federal court's electronic database, "06 cr 128" is listed along with a succinct summary: "No further information is available."
Update - Salon says maybe not.
April 19, 2006
Think Progress wonders whether Karl Rove has lost his security clearance which could account for his shift in positions.
February 13, 2006
Raw Story is breaking a big story: Outed CIA officer was working on Iran, intelligence sources say.
February 1, 2006
Does anyone remember the weeks of headlines when Hillary Clinton's former law firm was accused of shredding documents? (It was just another false accusation).
So how does that coverage compare to today? Here's something to compare: From Leak prober got supersecret files,
Fitzgerald's letter says that "we have learned that not all email of the Office of 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."Never forget that a few major conservative corporations own and control all major media outlets.
Through Talking Points Memo
Update - Digby, too.
November 15, 2005
In a Letter to President Bush, several former intelligence officers call on Bush to put the country's interests ahead of The Party's interests. Fat chance.
Therefore, we are asking that you immediately suspend the clearances of all White House personnel who spoke to reporters about Mrs. Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA. They have mishandled classified information and no longer deserve the level of trust required to have access to this nation’s secrets.Go read it all. And send a copy of this letter to relatives.
We also ask that you make it clear that any individual, who is convicted of a crime stemming from the leak of the classified identity of Valerie Wilson, will not receive a pardon. The refusal, so far, of I. Lewis Libby to heed your call for full cooperation with the prosecutor raises the specter that he will try to stonewall the investigation in hopes of ultimately being pardoned by you.
We believe that the President, in his role as Commander-in-Chief, has a duty to demonstrate the highest standards when it comes to protecting our nation’s secrets.
... If you take these steps you will be sending a clear message that your first priority is the nation’s security rather than your aides’ well being.
November 11, 2005
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald delayed a decision on whether to seek criminal charges against Karl Rove in large part because he wants to determine whether Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Cheney, can provide information on Rove's role in the CIA leak case, according to attorneys involved in the investigation.Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald hopes the threat of years in prison will convince Libby to tell the truth. But this can't work if Libby has been promised - or just expects - a pardon. There is no other reason Libby would remain silent at this point. Everyone involved understands this.
This is why Bush refuses to rule out a pardon In my opinion refusal to rule out a pardon for someone who can put you in jail if he doesn't get a pardon is blatant obstruction of justice. It's obvious that it's not Rove Libby is protecting - Rove can't pardon him. It's Bush.
November 3, 2005
Bloggers have been asking for quite some time. Now it moves to the mainstream press: Is Rove a Security Risk? - Newsweek Politics - MSNBC.com,
Section 5.1 of Clinton’s executive order prohibits “any knowing, willful or negligent action that could reasonably be expected to result in an unauthorized disclosure of classified information.” While the law against revealing the identity of a CIA operative requires that the perpetrator intentionally disclosed such classified information (a high standard, which may be one reason Fitzgerald did not indict on those grounds), the executive order covers “negligence,” or unintentional disclosure.
That means the only proper answer to a reporter’s questions about Joseph Wilson’s wife would have been something along the lines of, “You know I cannot discuss who may or may not be in the CIA.” The indictment makes clear that this was not the answer Official A provided when the subject was discussed with reporters Bob Novak and Matt Cooper.
October 31, 2005
One of the reporters at the center of the investigation into the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA officer, says he first learned the agent's name from President Bush's top political advisor, Karl Rove.Why is Rove still in the White House? WHy does he have a security clearance?
Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper also said today in an interview with "Good Morning America," that the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, confirmed to him that Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a covert CIA operative.
[. . .] "There is no question. I first learned about Valerie Plame working at the CIA from Karl Rove," Cooper said.
TalkLeft says: Time For Cheney to Come Clean.
From Time Magazine this week, Joe Klein: The Perils of the Permanent Campaign,
Last week there was more of the same, according to a prominent Republican, who told me that the White House had sent out talking points about how to attack Brent Scowcroft after Bush the Elder's National Security Adviser went public with his opposition to the war in the New Yorker magazine. "I was so disgusted that I deleted the damn e-mail before I read it," the Republican said. "But that's all this White House has now: the politics of personal destruction."On the nomination of Alitio to the Supreme Court, People For the American Way President Ralph Neas,
He has chosen to divide Americans with a nominee guaranteed to cause a bitter fight."Rovism": Destroy people, and set people against each other for political gain. Karl Rove is still in the White House, and Rovism continues.
Rove and the Republicans are going to pursue a scorched-earth policy now. The country is divided down the middle and they are going to do everything they can to aggravate that and fracture society -- because they believes that "their side" will come out on top. Quoting TPM:
It all reminds me of a line from a famous, or rather infamous, memo Pat Buchanan, then a White House staffer, wrote for Richard Nixon in, I believe, 1972 when their idea of the moment was what they called 'positive polarization'.Prosecutor Fitzpatrick, your country needs you now. If you have something on Rove use it soon.
At the end of this confidential strategy memo laying out various ideas about how to create social unrest over racial issues and confrontations with the judiciary, Buchanan wrote (and you can find this passage on p. 185 of Jonathan Schell's wonderful Time of Illusion): "In conclusion, this is a potential throw of the dice that could bring the media on our heads, and cut the Democratic Party and country in half; my view is that we would have far the larger half."
And there you have it. Tear the country apart. And once it's broken, our chunk will be bigger.
October 28, 2005
Remember that we KNOW that "Bush's Brain" Karl Rove talked to a reporter and disclosed that Valerie Wilson was a CIA agent. He was not indicted (today) because under the legal statutes that apply the charge is "hard to prove."
We KNOW he blew the cover of an agent and we also know that he is still in the White House, still has a security clearance, and is still capable of blowing the covers of other agents. Great.
Prosecutor Fitzgerald made it pretty clear that he isn't prosecuting for the leak itself because he can't, and that is the source of the Obstruction of Justice charge. He was obstructed from getting to the truth. From the Patrick Fitzgerald Press Conference Transcript (you'll love where this is posted):
And what we have when someone charges obstruction of justice, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He's trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view. As you sit here now, if you're asking me what his motives were, I can't tell you; we haven't charged it. So what you were saying is the harm in an obstruction investigation is it prevents us from making the fine judgments we want to make.And later in the press conference,
What I'm simply saying is one of the harms in obstruction is that you don't have a clear view of what should be done.
Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid released the following statement.
“These are very serious charges. They suggest that a senior White House aide put politics ahead of our national security and the rule of law.
“This case is bigger than the leak of highly classified information. It is about how the Bush White House manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq and to discredit anyone who dared to challenge the president.
“It's now time for President Bush to lead and answer the very serious questions raised by this investigation. The American people have already paid too steep a price as a result of misconduct at the White House, and they deserve better.”
Go here and start hitting refresh... Update - It's there now, with a press release.
Update - Nothing on the site yet, but TV says Libby indicted on 2 counts of perjury, 2 counts of making false statements and 1 count of Obstruction of Justice. It says Libby "Endagnered National Security."
Significant - Libby did not resign in advance, which means a senior member of the Bush Administration has been indicted. This is a major historical event.
Still no resignation... Still not fired.
Update - Libby has resigned. Question - did he wait to resign because he wanted to make history by being a senior White House official indicted? Did he do this to embarrass Bush and Cheney?
October 27, 2005
Question - if Rove or Libby are about to be indicted, or are pleading to lesser charges, why aren't they resigning?
October 26, 2005
There have been several reports that the Special Prosecutor's office has been asking Valerie Plame's neighbors whether they knew she was a CIA agent.
A series of interviews by F.B.I. agents on Monday revived the possibility that Mr. Fitzgerald might be considering such a charge. Several neighbors of Ms. Wilson and her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador, were asked whether they knew that Ms. Wilson, also known by her unmarried name, Valerie Plame, had covert status.Maybe they are looking into the man who said this:
Several neighbors, some who have known her for years, said they did not know before Mr. Novak's column that she worked for the C.I.A.
A former CIA covert agent who supervised Mrs. Plame early in her career yesterday took issue with her identification as an "undercover agent," saying that she worked for more than five years at the agency's headquarters in Langley and that most of her neighbors and friends knew that she was a CIA employee.Bringing out someone like Rustmann would fit the pattern. (Think Swift Boaters.) This was in the Washington Times. I heard it on Limbaugh. And of course it was repeated on Fox. Remember the people who said things about the Clintons, and we found out later they were paid?
"She made no bones about the fact that she was an agency employee and her husband was a diplomat," Fred Rustmann, a covert agent from 1966 to 1990, told The Washington Times.
Washington Note: Fitzgerald has rented more office space.
Just got off the phone with a source who has appeared before Fitzgerald's grand jury who thinks that the Special Counsel is going to "go wide" with indictments -- i.e., a lot of people are going to get nailed.Think Progress: [Time reporter] ALLEN: “A Likely Scenario For What Happened Today Is Patrick Fitzgerald Got Some Indictments”
No Quarter: Aides To Be Indicted, Probe to Continue
Even as Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald wrapped up his case, the legal team of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has been engaged in a furious effort to convince the prosecutor that Rove did not commit perjury during the course of the investigation, according to people close to the aide. The sources, who indicated that the effort intensified in recent weeks, said Rove still did not know last night whether he would be indicted.CNN:
Asked about anxiety levels at the White House, press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday, "There's a lot of speculation going around, and I think there are a lot facts that simply are not known at this point. It remains an ongoing investigation, and we'll let the special prosecutor continue to do his work."
He added, "This White House is focused on the priorities of the American people."
October 25, 2005
This is where the indictments (if any) will appear online: US Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel
October 22, 2005
As previously discussed at Seeing the Forest, a Kos diary today, TreasonGate: The little-discussed ace in the hole asks if a CIA agent was killed as a result of the White House leak of the identity of an undercover CIA agent,
Wayne Madsen, a reporter and former NSA employee, has claimed, "CIA sources report that at least one anonymous star placed on the CIA's Wall of Honor at its Langley, Virginia headquarters is a clandestine agent who was executed in a hostile foreign nation as a direct result of the White House leak."I think the title of this Kos diary is unfortunate, and some of the tone. We're talking about a government that has caused possible loss of life, damage to our country and our safety, not about some political "us vs them" game. But it is possible that one reason the prosecutor is taking this so seriously is that the leak very well could have led to loss of life.
It's a good question for the daily White House briefing, "Were any agents or sources killed as a result of the leak?"
October 19, 2005
Yikes! This report would lead one to think that Rove has turned, and is pointing the finger at "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's Chief of Staff: Rove Told Jury Libby May Have Been His Source In Leak Case,
White House adviser Karl Rove told the grand jury in the CIA leak case that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff, may have told him that CIA operative Valerie Plame worked for the intelligence agency before her identity was revealed, a source familiar with Rove's account said yesterday.More at The News Blog.
October 17, 2005
August 24, 2005
It has been 775 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”
August 15, 2005
Several of the federal investigators were also deeply concerned that then attorney general John Ashcroft was personally briefed regarding the details of at least one FBI interview with Rove, despite Ashcroft's own longstanding personal and political ties to RoveThis led to career Justice Department investigators demanding that Ashcroft step aside from the investigation, finally allowing a Deputy Attorney General to appoint a Special Prosecutor.
August 9, 2005
August 7, 2005
I swear this is for real. The wingnuts are blaming the Clintons for the leak of a CIA agent's identity. THE PLAMEGATE HOAX - What Did Hillary Know and When Did She Know It?. (Don't forget to read the comments!)
OF COURSE! (Don't forget that the lack of any evidence whatsoever of Clinton wrongdoing was absolute proof of a massive cover-up.)
(Through Daou Report's Rove Scandal page.)
August 6, 2005
Here's the deal. "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff is refusing to give jailed NY Times reporter Judy Miller a personal waiver to disclose conversations she had with him. And President Bush is refusing to direct Libby to do so.
So it (of course) comes down to Bush blocking the probe.
Every blogger and blog reader should be on the streets demanding that Bush stop blocking this probe. Someone leaked the identity of a CIA operative who was working to keep terrorists from getting their hands on nukes. The leak rolled up her operation, endangered her life, risked the lives of every contact she had, and exposed her cover company, rolling up every agent and operation taking place under that company's cover.
This leak could yet mean an American city goes up in smoke.
And Bush is blocking the probe. If you're not just fucking hopping mad angry shouting about this ... you should be.
Update - Digby is on it, too:
This is bullshit. The white house cannot get away with saying they are cooperating with the prosecutor by not talking --- and then not require the staff to fully cooperate with the prosecutor.
August 3, 2005
"This story is still very much alive."
July 26, 2005
I was thinking, as time passes sometimes we can lose sight of the important things. Finding and punishing the person/people who leaked the identity of Valeris Plame is an important thing. From something I wrote earlier this month:
Just keep pounding on Rove, what he did, and why this is important. Rove outed a covert CIA agent working on keeping WMD out of the hands of terrorists. This "rolled up" her network of contacts, possibly getting some killed. And by exposing her he exposed her cover company, possibly causing damage to other agents and networks as well.
Rove did this at a time of war against terrorists. His act exposed all of us to increased danger of attack by those WMDs she was trying to keep away from terrorists.
July 25, 2005
In Watergate's "Saturday Night Massacre" Nixon ordered special prosecutor Archibald Cox, Jr. to be fired. Both Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than fire Cox. Next in line was U.S. Solicitor General Robert Bork who did fire Cox (and was later rewarded with a notorious Supreme Court nomination.)
So now here it comes around again. See Daily Kos: GOP to investigate Fitzgerald. (More here.) The Republican Senate is adding an
intimidation investigation of the CIA Leak special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to hearings designed to blame the CIA for the Rove leak.
Furthering the Watergate comparisons, someone pointed out to me that the 12-hour warning Gonzales gave to the White House is 38.9189 times worse than the famous "18 1/2-minute gap." (Blog by the same name here.)
This just in:
At 3:30pm today, Frank Lautenberg will unveil a new 'Web clock' on the Rove-CIA leak scandal. The calendar will be on display and will be used by lawmakers to highlight the number of days that have passed since the White House leaked the identity of a CIA agent and the Republican controlled Congress hasn¹t held one single hearing on the issue. Additionally, the lawmakers will release a letter to Speaker Hastert and Majority Leader Frist demanding the Congress take action and begin an investigation.From the Rove-CIA leak scandal clock page:
CIA Leak Case By the Numbers
Number of days after the article outing Ambassador Wilson’s wife appeared until the White House required its staff to turn over evidence relating to the leak: 85
Rough number of hours between when Alberto Gonzles gave Andy Card a heads-up about the investigation and when he formally told the staff to save their files: 12
Number of questions the Department of Justice asked the CIA to answer in detail before opening an investigation: 11
Number of D.C. Circuit Court judges who thought the issues involved in the Plame leak were serious enough to warrant jailing a reporter: 3
Number of D.C. Circuit Court Judges and Supreme Court Justices who disagreed: 0
Number of redacted pages in Judge Tatel's opinion: 8
Minimum number of hearings held by Senate Republicans to investigate accusations against President Clinton involving the “Whitewater” case: 20
Total hearings held by Senate Republicans to investigate the leak of the covert identity of Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife: 0
Total briefings requested by Senate Republicans on the damage assessment conducted by the CIA after the Plame leak: 0
Following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Republicans responded by validating the bombers' complaints. They launched hearings blaming the government for the fire at the Waco Davidian cult compound and the shootings at Ruby Ridge.
They're at it again. In response to the White House betrayal of a CIA operative, Senate Republicans are launching hearings into why the CIA doesn't do a better job of keeping their operatives' identities secret. That's right, no hearings into the betrayal of her identity. No hearings into the cover-up and shredding. No hearings into the lies that led to war. No accountability of any kind. Just blame - and smear - the victim.
The Carpetbagger Report says The 12-hour gap is worse than you think
On Friday, Sept. 26, 2003, the CIA directed the Justice Department to launch a criminal probe into the leak. Three days later, on Monday, Sept. 29, 2003, the WH counsel's office was formally notified about the investigation. And then 12 hours after that, Gonzales told White House staff to preserve materials. In other words, the amount of time Bush aides were given to, perhaps, discard and destroy relevant evidence after the DoJ began its work wasn't just 12 hours; it was several days.This is getting more and more serious.
July 24, 2005
Big news! The White House was given a 12-hour warning to shred documents!
Frank Rich remembered the story:
As White House counsel, [Gonzales] was the one first notified that the Justice Department, at the request of the C.I.A., had opened an investigation into the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife. That notification came at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2003, but it took Mr. Gonzales 12 more hours to inform the White House staff that it must "preserve all materials" relevant to the investigation.On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer asked Gonzales who he told. Crooks and Liars has the video.
White House counsel Alberto Gonzales was told by the Justice Department to ask everyone in the White House to preserve all documents and materials related to the leak of a CIA agent. Gonzales called White House Chief of Staff and warned him that in 12 hours all staff members would be asked to preserve document. This gave the White House a 12-hour opportunity to shred and destroy anything they could find that might cause trouble.
For starters, did Mr. Bush know in the fall of 2003, when he was telling the public that no one wanted to get to the bottom of the case more than he did, that Mr. Rove, his longtime strategist and senior adviser, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, had touched on the C.I.A. officer's identity in conversations with journalists before the officer's name became public? If not, when did they tell him, and what would the delay say in particular about his relationship with Mr. Rove, whose career and Mr. Bush's have been intertwined for decades?If Rove told Bush he wasn't involved, he lied to the President. Why is he still working in the White House? And, if that is the case, why do we have a President who would let someone who lied to him stay in the White House?
If Bush didn't ask Rove, or if Rove did tell Bush he was involved, why is Bush still in the White House?
From the NYTimes story,
By September 2003, as a criminal investigation was getting under way, Mr. McClellan was telling reporters that Mr. Rove had nothing to do with the leak, saying he had checked with Mr. Rove about the topic.So we have, at the very least, indications that either Rove lied to McClellan, the White House Press Secretary, or McClellan lied to the public. One or both should have been fired by now. That neither has, and bother continue in their jobs, says more about Bush than Rove or McClellan.
July 21, 2005
Why the ongoing smearing of Joe Wilson? If you have listened to Rush lately you have been hearing an ongoing campaign to ruin one family - Ambassador Joe Wilson and his wife. Why is this the tactic The Party is using to defend Rove? Yes, it's what they do. But I think there might be more to it than that. I've been thinking about it with the question in my mind, "How does this help Rove?" How does smearing Wilson deflect that Rove revealed the name of a CIA agent?
I've been reading the DC Court of Appeals decision It's interesting that toward the end the decision refers to "the plot against Wilson."
The greater public interest lies in preventing the leak to begin with. Had Cooper based his report on leaks about the leaks—say, from a whistleblower who revealed the plot against Wilson—the situation would be different. Because in that case the source would not have revealed the name of a covert agent, but instead revealed the fact that others had done so, the balance of news value and harm would shift in favor of protecting the whistleblower.In other words, the reporter was participating in rather than revealing a crime, because the crime was the smear campaign against Wilson.
So apparently one of the reasons for sending Miller and Cooper to jail was that a crime was in progress - "the plot against Joe Wilson." If The Party is assuming this might be part of an upcoming indictment, increasing the smear campaign againt Wilson the Right is engaging in a strategic advance discrediting campain against the Special Prosecutor and the foundation of the indictment itself. By getting "the base" on board smearing Wilson, when the indictment comes out they can feel justified in going after the Prosecutor.
This ongoing smearing of Wilson and his wife is a continuation of the crime. Every time you hear Limbaugh or Hannity or any of the others continuing to smear Wilson and his wife, every time you read a right-wing blog engaging in the smear campaign, you are witnessing a crime.
July 20, 2005
Here is the text of Bush's remarks at the swearing-in ceremony for senior members of the White House staff on Jan. 22, 2001.The liar.
An excerpt: "We have all taken an oath, and from this moment on it is our jobs to honor it. . . .
"[W]e must remember the high standards that come with high office. This begins with careful adherence to the rules. I expect every member of this administration to stay well within the boundaries that define legal and ethical conduct. This means avoiding even the appearance of problems. This means checking and, if need be, doublechecking that the rules have been obeyed. This means never compromising those rules."
The Boston Globe asks Will Bush give Rove a pass?
So why has Bush not acted? It seems there are two possibilities. The first is that he is a man of his word only when it suits his interests. Rove has been instrumental in Bush's political success. Perhaps Bush meant to say that he has one set of rules for his advisers and another for everyone else. The second, more disturbing, possibility is that Bush authorized, either explicitly or implicitly, the leak to retaliate against Joseph C. Wilson IV, who publicly presented evidence that the administration was distorting facts to sell the American people on going to war. Either way, the president has painted himself into a corner.Stop the cover-up.
July 19, 2005
Bush was going to nominate someone for the Court later in the summer. Instead the White House obviously rushed the nomination out tonite in an effort to distract the press from covering the story that the White House - most notably Karl Rove - leaked the identity of a CIA agent. In fact, this was a direct statement of the Republican strategy:
"Republicans should stop holding back and go on the offense: fire enough bullets the other way until the Supreme Court overtakes" events, said Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.)But is this nomination about more than just the timing?
Bush has nominated a Ken Starr clone, one of those partisan insiders who can be counted on to do the bidding of the "conservative movement," to the Supreme Court. Was it because Bush is worried that the CIA leak case is headed to the Supreme Court? Did Bush nominate Roberts as a Court vote to protect Rove? Is the nomination of Roberts part of the cover-up?
Scotty and the White House have made a big deal out of not commenting on an ongoing investigation. Think Progress asks an interesting question. Mehlman and the White House: What's the connection?
Has former Rove deputy Ken Mehlman discussed the Plame matter with any White House officials, specifically Karl Rove, in the past three weeks? What was the specific nature of those conversations — who was involved, how long did they last, what was discussed?
The answers to these questions are important. If the answer to the first is yes, (a) the White House claim to be “not commenting” on the grand jury investigation falls apart, since administration officials are merely pushing their talking points out to Ken Mehlman; and (b) Mehlman immediately loses serious credibility, since he has suggested that he has not coordinated his message on the Plame investigation with the White House.
I've got a question for Atty. Gen. Gonzalez. Is he going to pursue unauthorized leaks as aggressively as Ashcroft did?
The Bush White House and the Right Wing Smear Machine would have us believe that there is only one statute that Rove and Scooter Libbey could have violated when they leaked Valerie Plame's name. Hat Tip to King of Zembla for pointing us in John Dean's direction, Leak Laws.
As it turns out, John Ashcroft prosecuted a similar case:
Former White House counsel John Dean, always looking for a fresh angle, mentions yet another statute that the Ashcroft DoJ invoked in a "relatively minor leak case that it vigorously prosecuted, though it involved information that was not nearly as sensitive as that which Rove provided Matt Cooper.
Isn't that interesting? The Ashcroft Justice Department set a precedent for rigorously prosecuting leakers.
(click through to King of Zembla for links)
I am referring to the prosecution and conviction of Jonathan Randel. Randel was a Drug Enforcement Agency analyst, a PhD in history, working in the Atlanta office of the DEA. Randel was convinced that British Lord Michael Ashcroft (a major contributor to Britain's Conservative Party, as well as American conservative causes) was being ignored by DEA, and its investigation of money laundering. (Lord Ashcroft is based in South Florida and the off-shore tax haven of Belize.)
Randel leaked the fact that Lord Ashcroft's name was in the DEA files, and this fact soon surfaced in the London news media. Ashcroft sued, and learned the source of the information was Randel. Using his clout, soon Ashcroft had the U.S. Attorney in pursuit of Randel for his leak.
We all know how serious Atty. Gen. Ashcroft was about enforcing our drug laws. It looks like it was OK with the Ashcroft Justice Department to be a drug kingpin, as long as your politics were politically correct:
By late February 2002, the Department of Justice indicted Randel for his leaking of Lord Ashcroft's name. It was an eighteen count "kitchen sink" indictment; they threw everything they could think of at Randel. Most relevant for Karl Rove's situation, Court One of Randel's indictment alleged a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. This is a law that prohibits theft (or conversion for one's own use) of government records and information for non-governmental purposes. But its broad language covers leaks, and it has now been used to cover just such actions.
This may explain why Ken Mehlman refused Tim Russert's offer to agree in advance with whatever conclusion and indictment Fitzgerald returned from his Grand Jury investigation:
Randel, faced with a life sentence (actually, 500 years) if convicted on all counts, on the advice of his attorney, pleaded guilty to violating Section 641. On January 9, 2003, Randel was sentenced to a year in a federal prison, followed by three years probation. This sentence prompted the U.S. Attorney to boast that the conviction of Randel made a good example of how the Bush Administration would handle leakers . . . .
A year in prison doesn't seem nearly sufficient punishment for a more serious leak that affects national security. Randel should be out on probation by now. I wonder what's going through his mind right now?
While there are other potential violations of the law that may be involved with the Valerie Plame Wilson case, it would be speculation to consider them. But Karl Rove's leak to Matt Cooper is now an established fact. First, there is Matt Cooper's email record. And Cooper has now confirmed that he has told the grand jury he spoke with Rove. If Rove's leak fails to fall under the statute that was used to prosecute Randel, I do not understand why.
There are stories circulating that Rove may have been told of Valerie Plame's CIA activity by a journalist, such as Judith Miller, as recently suggested in Editor & Publisher. If so, that doesn't exonerate Rove. Rather, it could make for some interesting pairing under the federal conspiracy statute (which was the statute most commonly employed during Watergate)
Another Hat Tip to King of Zembla for linking up, of all people, Jeff Gannon with the State Department Memo that either Colin Powell or Ari Fleischer carried on to Air Force One. We Smell A Ratfucker:
The "conservative news outlet" to which the dubious INR document was leaked was Talon News, and the seasoned investigative reporter who promoted it in print was that indefatigable bloodhound -- or should we say bulldog? -- J.D. Guckert, aka "Jeff Gannon."
July 18, 2005
"...if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."Let's Google some names:
But it sounded good to the focus groups.
Peter Daou's Daou Report has a new page just for the Rove Scandal.
The Carpetbagger Report is asking questions about Rove's Security Clearance Agreement. You'll be hearing a lot more this week about this - it's a big deal. Standard Form 312 is a nondisclosure agreement for federal officials, laying out rules for discussing classified information. We know from Rove's lawyer's own statements that Rove, of course, broke those rules.
In Memo To Rove: Read the Classified Information Nondislcosure Agreement, Think Progress goes into some detail. Swing State Project is also on it.
Rep. Henry Waxman wrote Friday about Karl Rove's Nondisclosure Agreement, pointing out that Rove clearly violated the Agreement and the White House has not come through on its obligation to revoke Rove's clearance.
Under the executive order, the White House has an affirmative obligation to investigate and take remedial action separate and apart from any ongoing criminal investigation. The executive order specifically provides that when a breach occurs, each agency must "take appropriate and prompt corrective action."More on this at The Stakeholder. As does Liberal Oasis' Bill Scher, blogging at Huffington Post.
. . . The executive order further provides that sanctions for violations are not optional.
. . . There is no evidence that the White House complied with these requirements.
Meanwhile, Cooper Learned of CIA Wife From Rove Call
Time magazine's Matthew Cooper says a 2003 phone call with White House political adviser Karl Rove was the first he heard about the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson apparently working for the CIA.
[. . .] The White House had insisted for nearly two years that neither Rove nor Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, had any connection with the leak of Plame's name.
Democratic Veteran asks, Could it be any clearer than this?
It seems that all the major media outlets are falling for the easy republican talking point that there is no problem for Rove, because Wilson (and his report were discredited) by many, many wise men. What does this talking point ignore? That Valerie Plame's cover as a CIA operative was compromised, and by doing so all the operations and operatives she had worked with and groomed to feed information back to CIA about actual Weapons of Mass Destruction (and or components, precursors, transactions and anything related) were terminally and completely fucked from then until forever. Who knows if people lost their lives, livihoods and of course confidence in being able to cooperate with CIA never knowing whether or not their contributions to our National Security will be sold down the river by a petulant partisan politician.TalkLeft has a Question About Cheney and Wilson. Cheney claims he had not met Wilson and didn't know him - Jeralyn shows pretty convincingly that Cheney must have. (And remonds us of Cheney claiming never to have met John Edwards -- until a picture surfaced.)
Nice job on the whole keeping our country safe morons. What's next, blue state flypaper?
Crooks and Liars has a great video of Bob Schieffer blasting the White House.
BooMan Speculation on Rove,
I'm guessing that the big enchilada was the March 8th, 2003 meeting where the decision to investigate Wilson was made. That meeting allegedly took place in the office of the Vice President, and was attended by Cheney, "Scooter" Libby, Newt Gingrich, Steven Hadley, and perhaps Rove.Grey Matter
I don't know what Fitzgerald's got, or how high he wants to set his own bar. But if this were containable wouldn't Rove be gone already?
Democrats can't rely solely on Air America and the liberal blogosphere to keep this controversy on the front-and-center burner. Instead, they need to take a page from the Clinton playbook and assemble a control center (ala Carville/Stephanopoulos) that conducts intensive research and strategy, and responds immediately.Iddybug brings Michael Ledeen into the mix.
Shakespeare's Sister says, Don’t Insult Me:
Something that drives me absolutely insane is when I am treated as a fool. You see, I have a brain, quite a good one as it happens, and I like to use it. When someone tells me something that is so obviously a lie, so clearly absurd and counter to everything that reason and logic would otherwise suggest, it absolutely infuriates me—more so that they demonstrably think I am an idiot, than because of the underlying lie.
This is how the Bush administration treats us all, relying on the fact that most Americans, unfortunately, are either trusting, ignorant, or crooked enough to take them at their empty word. Well, I’m neither gullible, nor uninformed, nor a fan of their Machiavellian ends-justify-the-means strategies, and I’m tired of being treated as a fool. It’s time to get real. And this is the reality…
July 16, 2005
I really think that Rove is in trouble, and that his loss will seriously reduce Bush's ability to get much more of his program through. And that's all good.
But I have to confess I'm taking much joy from the spectacle. For one thing, I really never thought it would ever be my task to defend the poor little CIA against bad people.
More seriously, when it becomes necessary for the executive branch to be investigated by special prosecutors, etc., it shows that the electoral system (and the media) really aren't working very well. Nixon, Reagan, and Dubya all had obvious major deficiencies, but democracy was helpless against them.
If something like this was happening in a foreign country, we'd regard it as an internal power struggle going on secretly within the elite. And I think that that's what we should think is happening right now.
Bush has followed the Humpty Dumpty strategy all along: screw things up so badly that they can't be fixed. Even if he's stopped now, he's been very successful already.
What would cheer me up? Basically, the Democrats putting together a strong team with a non-accomodationist strategy, and an honest media springing up to compete with the media we've got now.
The L.A. Times demonstrates that it can cover a story when it wants to. There is going to continue to be more public exposure of how the CIA works and the details of the life of a NOC operative than the agency every wanted anybody to know. Karl Rove has unleashed a flood of information that will make his name synonymous with Benedict Arnold for decades.
Even at this late date, there is still concern at the CIA about additional information being revealed. This story was clearly vetted, but I have no doubt it reveals more information than the agency wanted the whole world to read about in a front page story. Consider the implications of this story being damage control from the CIA.
Several months after her identity as a CIA operative was exposed in a newspaper column, Valerie Plame had dinner with five of her classmates from the agency's training academy.
Four had left the CIA, and they spent the evening catching up on what they'd done during their clandestine careers, as well as the jobs and moves that followed. But even though Plame's "cover" had been cracked wide open, her dinner companions didn't pry for details. Even in that tight circle, no one wanted to spill any more secrets.
"Cover is a mosaic, it's a puzzle," said James Marcinkowski, a former CIA case officer who attended the dinner. "Every piece is important [to protect] because you don't know which pieces the bad guys are missing."
One fascinating gem that I have been wondering about puts the issue in stark perspective from the agencies point of view:
The total number of NOCs is believed to be in the dozens, although the exact number is a closely guarded secret, and some NOCs can spend decades in their assignments.
Dozens? I would have guessed in the hundreds. Here is the type of agent I was thinking of and what the Right Wing Spin Machine would have you believe Valerie Plame was:
The vast majority of the agency's overseas officers are under what is known as "official cover," which means they are posing as employees of another government agency. The State Department allows hundreds of its positions in embassies around the world to be occupied by CIA officers representing themselves as diplomats.
Valerie Plame was a valuable asset who had put her life at risk for her country:
NOCs are known for taking extreme risks as part of their work. If caught by a foreign intelligence service, they have no diplomatic immunity to protect them from prosecution under their host country's laws.
NOC agents are a very rare asset and this story confirms that there is absolutely no question that Plame was a NOC agent.
A more rare and dangerous job category is "nonofficial cover" — or "NOC" (pronounced knock) — in which CIA officers pose as employees of international corporations, as scientists or as members of other professions. Such covers tend to provide a plausible reason to work long periods overseas and come in contact with foreign nationals the agency wants to recruit.
Plame worked under official cover early in her career, but moved to nonofficial cover during the 1990s, maintaining that status after she returned from overseas to work at CIA headquarters.
Plame had certainly been pulled from the field:
In recent years, she has worked in the counter-proliferation division of the agency's clandestine service. Despite her continued use of commercial cover until Novak's column, some former CIA officials contend she was not a NOC in the purest sense of the term, because operatives in that super-secret program rarely go near agency facilities, let alone take jobs at headquarters
Valerie Plame had not been working in the field recently, but her career and usefulness as a NOC agent was far from over. Read the rest of the article for some fascinating details and examples of what the life of a NOC agent is like and how seriously the agency takes keeping a NOC agent's identify secret. The CIA forwarded a complaint to the Justice Department because the agency is very serious about the lives and welfare of NOC agents. They wanted to nip in the bud what could have become a political fashion trend of revealing the identity of NOC agents. They didn't care who got burned.
Nobody messes with the CIA.
Bilmon has a very intriguing post up that accepts the assumption that Karl Rove actually did learn Valerie Plame's identity from a reporter. Only the reporter was Judy Miller instead of Robert Novak. That would certainly explain the big mystery about why Judy Miller is the only person sitting in jail.
After parsing all of the possibilities, inclulding the possibility that Rove still had a legal and ethical obligation to keep Plame's identity secret, regardless of where he learned it from, Bilmon ponders the implications:
The first is that Judy Miller very well may be the key to the case. If Rove (as well as Scooter Libby) testified that they originally heard about Plame from another journalist, and if Fitzgerald has decided (probably based on phone records) that Miller is that person, then it's easy to see why Judy is sitting in jail right now. She's the only person in the world who can contradict Rove's story. However, if Miller is Rove's original source, she would have many reasons to want to avoid testifying, including:protecting her original source
not being indicted under the espionage statute (if she knew that Plame's relationship with the CIA was classified information)
not having to admit publicly that she was a cog in Rove's intelligence gathering and sliming operation.
If Miller did tell Rove that Plame was a NOC, then to that list you could add:avoiding the need to choose between fingering the most powerful political operative in the country or committing perjury in front of a grand jury.
If Miller actually was Rove's source, then I'm guessing that jail cell in Alexandria probably doesn't seem like such a bad place to be right now, considering the alternatives.
Well that certainly puts Judy Miller's noble sacrifice for "the profession" in a different light doesn't it? Is the ass in CYA hers? Visit The Whiskey Bar if your throat is parched for more analysis and information.
July 15, 2005
The latest excuse, Reports: Rove Learned About CIA Officer's Identity From Journalists.
OK, just for fun, suppose this is true that reporters called Rove telling him that Valerie Plame was a covert CIA operative. Why didn't Rove immediately go to the proper authorities to warn them about a serious security leak? Should someone with judgement like that be at the very top of our government?
President Bush and Karl Rove have driven better men than Bob Somerby to the brink of insanity and stark raving shrillness. It has been well documented that The facts were driven shrill and even objective reality is shrill and unbalanced.
I fear that Bob's constant exposure to Bush and Rove has driven him unshrill, an unholy condition worse than the fate of the undead. I ask Seeing the Forest readers to join hands in shrillness and offer a prayer from the Krugmanomicon for Bob's speedy recovery:
Hige Sceal þe Heardra, Heorte þe Cenre, Mod Sceal þe Mare þe Ure Maegen Lytlað!
Aaaiii! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Keith Olbermann R'lyeh wagn'nagl fhtagn! Aaaiii!!! Yog-Sothoth! Shrub-Niggurath!! The Black Goat with a Thousand Young Who Hates America Is Here!!!!!!!
aaiii! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Eric Umansky R'lyeh wagn'nagl fhtagn! Aaaiii!!! Yog-Sothoth! Yog-Sothoth!! YOG-SOTHOTH IS HERE!!!!!!!
Illegal war? Bah! Why talk about that now? Look, a bird! Aaaaiiii! Aaaaiiii! N'ppeakkeeth hynd c'rtainnn! Powell sssh'rt timm'rr! Aaaaiiiiii!!!!
I am confident that the prayers of Seeing the Forest readers will restore Bob to his customary state of holy untranquil shrillness.
July 14, 2005
Here is what it all comes down to: A top Presidential advisor has admitted revealing to a reporter the identity of a CIA agent.
And that advisor is still in the White House. Bush hasn't done anything about it.
So it's time for the focus to shift to Bush.
The President won't fire an aide who revealed the identity of a CIA agent. And that President is still in the White House.
ROVEGATE -- July 10, 2005 --Newsweek magazine is reporting on the contents of a July 11, 2003 email between reporter Matt Cooper and Time Washington bureau chief Michael Duffy that was handed over, along with other email and notes, to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Although the email shows that Rove talked to Cooper about Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife, there is no mention of how columnist Robert Novak obtained the information on Brewster Jennings & Associates, the carve out brass plate firm that was used by Valerie Plame and her colleagues and which was rolled up as a result of the leak. Rove and his lawyer are trying to limit the spin to Rove "not knowing" Plame's name, let alone that she was a covert CIA agent. Yet Plame's association with a non-official cover (NOC), by default, means that she was covert, pure and simple. Brewster Jennings reportedly "suffered greatly" as a result of the disclosure, according to a knowledgeable source. Another source reported that at least one Brewster Jennings NOC operating in a hostile intelligence environment was executed by counter-intelligence agents as a result of the White House disclosure. Other B&JA assets were forced to abandon their ongoing operations to identify networks involved in weapons of mass destruction proliferation. The CIA has been working on a damage assessment report on the Plame/B&JA disclosures. If no indictments of White House officials result from the Fitzgerald investigation, look for parts of that highly classified report to be leaked and then look for more imprisonments of journalists who refuse to divulge the source(s) of those leaks. Word from intelligence sources is that the damage assessment report is "devastating."(Thanks to Randi Rhodes show.)
Eric Alterman: Smearing patriots,
One thing worth keeping in mind is the quality of the people they are seeking to smear. Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame were both life-long public servants. Wilson, whom the right is seeking to smear as a partisan-minded Democrat—not that he wouldn’t have the right to be if he chose—contributed to the presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush, and took many hazardous and unpleasant duties on behalf of his country.
... Valerie Plame, meanwhile, lived her entire life under cover—no small or easy thing—in the service of her country.
Here is what I think the Rove thing will come down to: Is Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for northern Illinois, the special prosecutor investigating the Plame leak, able to withstand the kind of intense pressure and character assassination that will be applied to him?
If Karl Rove is known for anything, it is what happens to people who go against him. Remember the Rove quote, "We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!"
Everyone understands this, right down to obscure candidates in "backwater" states. From an AP story today: "I think he should resign," said Jim Holt, a GOP state senator from Arkansas who is running for lieutenant governor. He joked, "I hope Karl Rove doesn't come gunning for me."
People nervously joke about this, but it is not a joking matter. Ask Joe Wilson, Plame's husband and the current target of a Rove smear campaign. Rove said of Wilson, "Get him!" and the ENTIRE Republican smear machine went into operation. Senators, Congressmen, The Republican Party, TV anchors, newspapers, and the entire AM radio band but for Air America went into full-time operation smearing one person.
Here's the clue: Rove "burned" a CIA agent working to keep WMDs out of the hands of terrorists during a war against those terrorists, and you can't find a single Washington Republican willing to say that was wrong. That is beyond just cultish ideological loyalty, that is pure fear.
July 13, 2005
July 12, 2005
Bush's version of "honor and integrity":
Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, September 29, 2003:
"If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration."President Bush, February 10, 2004:
"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," Bush told reporters at an impromptu news conference during a fund-raising stop in Chicago, Illinois. "If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of."President Bush, June 10, 2004:
Q And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so? ["leaked the agent's name"]Update - Robert Parry:
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
In the Iran-Contra Affair, for instance, Ronald Reagan fired aides Oliver North and John Poindexter on Nov. 25, 1986, the day the scandal was revealed, rather than wait for the conclusion of a criminal probe.Actually, as far as I know Bush has not taken disciplinary action against anyone in his administration for anything, period. NO accountability whatsoever. Impunity. Total and absolute corruption.
On April 30, 1973, as the Watergate scandal was unfolding, Richard Nixon ousted chief of staff H.R. Haldeman, domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman and White House counsel John Dean. Nixon famously promised "no whitewash at the White House.
By contrast, George W. Bush has taken no known disciplinary action against anyone for letting the identity of a covert CIA officer leak out."