October 28, 2005

Do you mind...

...if I continue not paying any attention to news stories with the word "Plame" in them? That's been my policy up until now, and it's saved me a lot of time. Occasionally, I've glanced about the 'sphere and noticed the slavering hyenas waiting for the Fitz-kill, but I've never felt the call to express how repulsive I find them.


Lonesome Payne said...

Just because you're not interested:
My take on why there's been no indictment on the "outing" itself is because the most relevant law seems designed spefically to protect this kind of political speech and jourlalistic inquiry. It's discussed pretty early in this column which seems sane:


It's also possible that an indictment decision may depend some on whether Fitzgerald perceives legitimacy in why the White House may have felt justified in discussing Plame's perceived role; and that may depend on whether he agrees with the proposition that there was some BS in Wilson's statements in 2003.

Of course I'm no lawyer. I am a lonesome layperson.

DRJ said...

A Plame-free zone? Fine with me.

knox said...

I don't mind, it's a snoozer.

Phew, I rarely do, but any time I check in at Daily Kos, I am surprised at how lowbrow it is. I mean, I can giggle at boogers with the best of 'em, but this is supposed to be the premier site of liberal opinion.

Lonesome Payne said...

I apologize for my earlier post. Ignore it. Who cares. Certainly not me.

Knoxgirl: yes. My God yes.

JBlog said...

Might as well ignore it, now that the special prosecutor has served up a big, fat nothingburger on it.

You could practically hear the sighs of disappointment from the media and bushhaters everywhere.

Undercover Christian said...

knoxgirl, I know what you mean. Everytime I go there, I think this is the most popular blog on the web? Really? All the writing is so strictly emotionally based. Is that what people like?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Eliza Althouse: The drain in brain comes mainly from the Plame.

Professor 'Iggins: By George! She's got it!

Sloanasaurus said...

The indictments has to be a dissappointment for Bush's enemies. It looks pretty clear that Libby made some false statements (if the Prosecutor cand prove his facts). But, that is pretty much it. There doesn't seem to be the grand conspiracy to expose Wilson's wife in retaliation for the lies Wilson told about Niger. At least Wilson was smart enough not to lie to Congress about his trip.

This indictment should have a nasty chilling effect on the White House talking to the press. Libby was betrayed by all the press folks he spoke to "off the record." Russert, Miller, and Cooper all betrayed Libby. They all talked. The 1st amendment advocates will be quite upset. If there is a trial, you will have more public display of the press betraying Libby all over again.

Nevertheless, Libby might have done himself in. He got caught up in a prickly issue. It is clear Libby was trying to counter the claims that VP Cheney sent Wilson on this trip, when it was Plame who used her job at the CIA to send Wilson. It's also clear that Wilson was a partisan hack from the beginning, something Cheney and Libby and everyone at the white house knew and tried to do something about. Damn the traitors at the CIA!

The whole thing reminds me of the prickly case with Clinton. Perhaps Libby will be allowed to plea to having his law license suspended for 5 years..... HA You think so?

respondingtojblogs said...

The best part of this story is the debate is sparked over a possible federal shield law.

How about a blogger-shield law?

P_J said...

Ann - Agreed: no Plame game here.

Does that include no singing of Springsteen's "Covert Me"?

Unknown said...

By all means, skip Plame. I go to other blogs for that, anyway...

JBlog said...

A little sympathy for Libby here -- most people can't remember what they had for dinner last night (uh, for the record, grilled chicken and kielbasa, french fries, green salad, and cupcakes for my son's sixth birthday).

Grill them intensely on the details of events happening up to two years ago and they're bound to forget something.

Note: it was a discrepancy between Libby's own notes and his testimony that led to the charges. If he WAS trying to hide something, don't you think he would have done a better job of covering his tracks?

I'm gonna stay with my answer -- this is a nothingburger.

knox said...

Ruthe Anne is on a roll!

You glow, girl!

A.J. Romens said...

Ignoring news that one doesn't want to hear may be how the administration ended up in this mess in the first place.

Troy said...

I appreciate the Plamelessness. Though are we not in fact writing about, however obliquely, the very name we are loath to discuss?

Besides the indictment is ChickenFitz.

Oh -- and just for knoxgirl... Libby is going to have to kick things up a notch.

Anonymous said...

Did the Fitzgerald presser strike anyone else as being a bit too dramatic? Lots of talk about importance of maintaining covert status of agents yet no indictments for revealing identity.

gs said...

I'm skeptical whether 'making false statements' should be a felony. (Was it Ruth Bader Ginsburg who said that Congress has gone into the business of 'manufacturing crimes'?)

1. In view of the potentially felonious nature of a false statement to federal investigators, the self-interest of a prudent individual is to give minimal cooperation to a federal investigation, and that only under compulsion. The general public may come to realize this as false-statement convictions continue to be reported. The results could be a kind of tragedy of the commons, to the detriment of the rule of law and the overall health of society.

2. Something seems wrong when the feds acknowledge that they can't charge anyone with X, but, because you weren't truthful to them about X, they give themselves a consolation prize by nailing you for false statements.

3. On the other hand, it's not okay to send federal investigators off on wild goose chases; in effect, such diversions trick the government into wasting tax dollars which it would otherwise use prudently mmphm (desperately muffling strident laughter).

I've ranked these considerations in order of importance to the health of the body politic, but it appears that the government's ranking is the reverse of mine.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! A democracy taken to war over lies, payback and treason -- that is so jejune! So pre-9/11!

Perhaps though, you could give us the con-law perspective of the importance of perjury (or why we should toss it into the dustbins of history.)

KCFleming said...

Well, at least John Kerry thinks this indictment means it's still 1970: Vietnam, Watergate, and Nixon.

Just imagine that lurchy guy, whining into any available microphone: "See? I told you I shoulda been President," and not even Edwards pays attention. Yawn.

Bye bye, John, we hardly knew ye.

Lonesome Payne said...


Do you understand that the indictments have nothing to do with lies as a basis for the war, or payback or treason?

Actually, I know the answer. Would it be a more interesting question to ask: will you ever know? Probably not.

Matt said...

Speaking as a liberal, there's both a lot of wheat and quite a bit of chaff at Kos. The inexplicably popular (to me) "Cheers & Jeers" leads the parade of "chaff," followed by such crud as "Fitzmas carols." You have to be willing to sift through the "BUSH/CHENEY/ROVE/LIBBY IS A MOTHERFUCKER" chaff to find the well-reasoned, cogent, and well-written stuff criticizing the current administration's policies in a wide variety of area.

Anonymous said...

From Drum:


"But for now, here's the bottom line: Fitzgerald didn't charge Scooter Libby with mistakenly making a few unimportant false statements to the grand jury. He charged him with deliberately constructing a false story about how he learned about Valerie Plame, and then repeatedly telling this story to both FBI agents and the grand jury. That story was a lie, and it was a premeditated lie designed to cover up the fact that he had engaged in a long and persistent effort to uncover information about Joe Wilson's wife and disseminate it to reporters.

Libby could have told the truth, but then he would have had to admit his role in outing a CIA agent in order to score political points against a critic of the administration. He didn't want that campaign to become public, so he invented a cover story, repeated it under oath, and stuck to it on multiple occasions."

From JMM:


"The Libby indictment is just out. And though I've now read through it, it was necessarily a cursory read. So consider this a preliminary reaction subject to revision.

A few points.

It's true that perjury charges can in some cases amount to 'gotchas', prosecutions brought for minor misstatements or possible lapses of memory.

This ain't one of those cases.

An indictment is always the prosecutor's case, unrebutted by the defense. But Fitzgerald seems to make a very powerful case that Libby repeatedly made claims under oath that he simply must have known were false. We'll have time to go over the details as time goes on. But that's my sense from a quick read.

Far more important, however, is the rest of the information included in the indictment. If you read the recitation of events which takes up, roughly, the first half of the indictment, one thing is made very clear: Libby was in communication about what he was doing with all sorts of people at the White House while he was doing it."


"Go to page 5 of the indictment. Top of the page, item #9.

On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilson's wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Divison. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA.

This is a crucial piece of information. The Counterproliferation Division (CPD) is part of the CIA's Directorate of Operations, i.e., not the Directorate of Intelligence, the branch of the CIA where 'analysts' come from, but the DO, where the spies, the 'operatives', come from.

Libby's a long time national security hand. He knows exactly what CPD is and where it is. So does Cheney. They both knew. It's right there in the indictment."

From ReddHedd:

"Fitz made it very clear that this case was not just about the Wilsons and people who may have disliked them -- that this case was about all of our security, now and in the future. And it's not over.

Fitz talked at length about Grand Jury secrecy, and was careful to lay out why it is that a witness in an investigation, in front of a grand jury -- in any capacity throughout an investigation, but especially dealing with a matter of national security -- must tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Fitz detailed, as he did in the indictment, that Libby gave a compelling story initially to investigators -- which it looks like was completely false. Instead of being at the receiving end of bits of information, Libby was the start of a long chain of information being disseminated that should not have been discussed outside the confines of people who had a need to know it for national security reasons.

My read on Fitz was that the lying makes him very, very angry. For a lot of reasons, but most of all because national security is very serious business, and Libby violated not only the legal trust and the laws, but also his fiduciary obligations as a government official in his position in doing what he did. I know it pisses me off.


I'll say this: after watching Fitz, anyone who tries to raise the question of whether perjury is a "technicality" is going to end up looking like a moron. Because that clip of him explaining the importance and ethics of the rule of law in an investigation was exceptional. And the multiple allegations of false statements and testimony point to a considered pattern on the part of Libby.

Clip of Fitz' opening statement at C&L:


Harry Reid: "These are very serious charges," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada. "They suggest 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 administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq."

I myself have been repeatedly injured by an individual that has perjured herself and made false allegations.

Perjury, false statements, obstruction of justice. This is serious stuff. This is part of the negative feedback loop that keeps the wheels of justice moving in the right direction.

I regret Paul, that you fail to understand this and that you stand up to defend the acts of the powerful to lie willy-nilly.

Um, off topic and at the risk of bannination, my blogger verification word was really and truly, "fuoqur". (This time, I think it was referring to you Paul, not to me.)

Wade Garrett said...

I can understand people being fed up with the story, because it has been in the news for a couple of years now. However, I don't think its importance can be understated.

One reason that perjury and the making of false statements are such serious crimes is that, by committing them, you prevent the government from obtaining the evidence required to prove the underlying crimes. If there's no evidence to convict Rove or Cheney of a serious crime, it may simply be because somebody else is lying to cover for them.

Something else, and I'm just going to throw this out there, but it is entirely possible that somebody is going to take the fall on a minor crime in return for being taken care of later.

Ann Althouse said...

I agree perjury is a serious crime. I said as much back when Clinton (whom I voted for twice) was accused of it. I seem to remember a lot of people saying perjury was being used as a political tool. Surely, none of them are drooling over Fitzpatrick's effort.

Wade Garrett said...

I agree, to a certain extent perjury is perjury, and Clinton should have known better. However, I do believe the nature of the underlying act IS important, and if somebody high up in the administration outed a CIA agent in the middle of the war on terror, then that, I would argue, is more serious than what Clinton lied about. That's just my opinion . . . but I think a lot of people would agree.

Anonymous said...

"slavering hyenas"

That's exactly how I see them. A pack of hyenas, howling at the smell of blood.

SippicanCottage said...
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Matt said...

Here's the difficulty with perjury. You have to demonstrate that there was a false statement under oath about a material fact.

Even if you accept that Clinton's statement was "false" (and I think he had at least a technical legal argument that it was not, in fact, false), subsequent rulings of the court in Jones v. Clinton (IIRC) were that Lewinsky-related testimony wasn't material to the case.

Here, assuming the falsity of the statement, I've never heard an "immaterial" defense on the perjuty counts.

Ann Althouse said...

Matt: Reread what I wrote. I said Clinton was accused of perjury and some people defended him by minimizing the significance of perjury and decrying the use of such a charge as a mere political tool. That there was also another defense to be made is irrelevant to my point.

Matt said...

There were certainly some folks who said so, though I think many of the folks who defended Clinton, myself included, were saying that perjury charges on the facts in that case were being used as a political tool. Perjury is a serious crime. It's also one that is EXCEEDINGLY difficult to prove--at least thus far, it looks like Fitzgerald has done a better job than Starr did.

AllenS said...

This whole story can be summed up in two words: "Big Whoop".

I'm Full of Soup said...

Wow, who is your guest blogger? Sure doesn't sound like Ann who tends to talk about things she likes as opposed to things she does not like.

SippicanCottage said...
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Anonymous said...

Also from the transcript, is Fitzgerald saying a) that Plame was covert, b) that the investigation is continuing and c) explaining why he charged what he charged. If you can read this SippyCo and still think that Fitzgerald is admitting that Plame was not undercover than you should go back to 6th grade. If you understand a, b, and c above and you're still sticking to your story, then you're just wingnut, operating from "the talking points" for some agenda of your own.

FITZGERALD: Good afternoon. I'm Pat Fitzgerald. I'm the United States attorney in Chicago, but I'm appearing before you today as the Department of Justice special counsel in the CIA leak investigation.

Joining me, to my left, is Jack Eckenrode, the special agent in charge of the FBI office in Chicago, who has led the team of investigators and prosecutors from day one in this investigation.

A few hours ago, a federal grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia returned a five-count indictment against I. Lewis Libby, also known as Scooter Libby, the vice president's chief of staff.

The grand jury's indictment charges that Mr. Libby committed five crimes. The indictment charges one count of obstruction of justice of the federal grand jury, two counts of perjury and two counts of false statements.

Before I talk about those charges and what the indictment alleges, I'd like to put the investigation into a little context.

Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community.

Valerie Wilson's friends, neighbors, college classmates had no idea she had another life.


QUESTION: Mr. Fitzgerald, this began as a leak investigation but no one is charged with any leaking. Is your investigation finished? Is this another leak investigation that doesn't lead to a charge of leaking?

FITZGERALD: Let me answer the two questions you asked in one.

OK, is the investigation finished? It's not over, but I'll tell you this: Very rarely do you bring a charge in a case that's going to be tried and would you ever end a grand jury investigation.

I can tell you, the substantial bulk of the work in this investigation is concluded.

FITZGERALD: This grand jury's term has expired by statute; it could not be extended. But it's in ordinary course to keep a grand jury open to consider other matters, and that's what we will be doing.

Let me then ask your next question: Well, why is this a leak investigation that doesn't result in a charge? I've been trying to think about how to explain this, so let me try. I know baseball analogies are the fad these days. Let me try something.

If you saw a baseball game and you saw a pitcher wind up and throw a fastball and hit a batter right smack in the head, and it really, really hurt them, you'd want to know why the pitcher did that. And you'd wonder whether or not the person just reared back and decided, "I've got bad blood with this batter. He hit two home runs off me. I'm just going to hit him in the head as hard as I can."

You also might wonder whether or not the pitcher just let go of the ball or his foot slipped, and he had no idea to throw the ball anywhere near the batter's head. And there's lots of shades of gray in between.

You might learn that you wanted to hit the batter in the back and it hit him in the head because he moved. You might want to throw it under his chin, but it ended up hitting him on the head.

FITZGERALD: And what you'd want to do is have as much information as you could. You'd want to know: What happened in the dugout? Was this guy complaining about the person he threw at? Did he talk to anyone else? What was he thinking? How does he react? All those things you'd want to know.

And then you'd make a decision as to whether this person should be banned from baseball, whether they should be suspended, whether you should do nothing at all and just say, "Hey, the person threw a bad pitch. Get over it."

In this case, it's a lot more serious than baseball. And the damage wasn't to one person. It wasn't just Valerie Wilson. It was done to all of us.

And as you sit back, you want to learn: Why was this information going out? Why were people taking this information about Valerie Wilson and giving it to reporters? Why did Mr. Libby say what he did? Why did he tell Judith Miller three times? Why did he tell the press secretary on Monday? Why did he tell Mr. Cooper? And was this something where he intended to cause whatever damage was caused?

FITZGERALD: Or did they intend to do something else and where are the shades of gray?
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.

I also want to take away from the notion that somehow we should take an obstruction charge less seriously than a leak charge.

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.

FITZGERALD: I will say this: Mr. Libby is presumed innocent. He would not be guilty unless and until a jury of 12 people came back and returned a verdict saying so.

But if what we allege in the indictment is true, then what is charged is a very, very serious crime that will vindicate the public interest in finding out what happened here.

Art said...

Everyone's entitled to his or her opinions.
But for your students who happen to read your blog, you might warn them in class not to make statements like, " I'm skeptical whether 'making false statements' should be a felony." in earshot of a prosecutor or a judge.

Obviously the laws about perjury were never intended to apply to the "permanent ruling party" since their drafters simply couldn't comprehend such total perfection thought existing in one body of thought.

But, as I said, some prosecutors and judges may not be as enlightened as you.

Simon said...

I have not followed the actual story, but I read today that there is, in fact, no need to follow the actual story. The indictment of Libby does not relate to the crimes the Grand Jury was charged with investigating, but rather, Libby's conduct in relation to that inquiry, namely, perjury.

How apt. There may or may not have been an original crime, but in the course of the investigation, crimes were committed. Doesn't this all sound rather familiar? High government official caught perjuring himself before the grand jury? Why, yes, it does. In any instance, I argued that Clinton should have been impeached (indicted, even) for perjury, so I can hardly now say that Libby shouldn't be,

SippicanCottage said...
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Anonymous said...

Hey Sloany, conspiracy much? (transcript pdf page 8).

"22. On or about July 12, 2003, LIBBY flew with the Vice President and others to and from Norfolk, Virginia, on Air Force Two. On his return trip, LIBBY discused with other officials aboard the plane what Libby should say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including questions from Time reporter Matthew Cooper.

23. On or about July 12, 2003, in the afternoon, LIBBY spoke by telephone to Cooper, who asked whether LIBBY had heard that Wilson's wife was involved in sending Wilson on the trip to Niger. LIBBY confirmed to COoper, without elaboration or qualification, that he had heard this information too."

What lies did Wilson tell about Niger?

Also, probably no chilling effect on the press at all. We now know Fitzgerald went after Miller and Cooper because Libby lied to the Grand Jury, and alibied himself using Miller and Libby. And one judge, one appeal, and supreme court later, they all agreed with Fitzgerald. So no, no chilling effect, unless you happen to be a source planning on lying to a grand jury and fraudulently using a reporter as your alibi.

Note too, that the policy of the NYTimes was not to give anonymity to sources that lie to the paper. Miller and the Times violated their own policy. So again, no chilling effect unless you are a source planning on lying to the paper for your own ends.

Sloanasaurus said...

What lies did Wilson tell about Niger?

Just read the Senate Committee report on WMD. They say he lied.

IN one instance Wilson stated that he knew the Administration was wrong because he had seen forged documents, yet the Senate Committee found that he did not see the documents until almost a year later. This is a flat out lie.

IN another instance, Wilson says in his book, that his wife did not propose he make the trip to Niger. We know now that this is a lie.

How is it that Wilson, a partisan democrat, managed to get sent on that trip anyways. This is what started the whole thing.

You have it wrong regarding the Reporters. Libby told the reporters the truth, that Plame worked at the CIA. The Reporters then told that to the grand jury... even though they promised to protect Libby as a source.

It will be a serious reminder to anyone in government that the Press (especially the liberal press) is not a friend who can be trusted.

Anonymous said...

Sloany, it wasn't in the unanimously written Senate Report, those claims are in the additional views appendix written by Roberts and Hatch.

Sloany, you may want to write to Roberts and ask him where part ii of the investigation is, the part that was to look in to whether the whitehouse manipulated intelligence. Roberts killed that part of the report.

And the claims are debunked by the CIA itself:


It is unfortunate that the report failed to include the CIA's position on this matter. If the staff had done so it would undoubtedly have been given the same evidence as provided to Newsday reporters Tim Phelps and Knut Royce in July 2003. They reported on July 22 that:

"A senior intelligence officer confirmed that Plame was a Directorate of Operations undercover officer who worked 'alongside' the operations officers who asked her husband to travel to Niger. But he said she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment. 'They [the officers who did ask Wilson to check the uranium story] were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising,' he said. 'There are people elsewhere in government who are trying to make her look like she was the one who was cooking this up, for some reason,' he said. 'I can't figure out what it could be.' 'We paid his [Wilson's] airfare. But to go to Niger is not exactly a benefit. Most people you'd have to pay big bucks to go there,' the senior intelligence official said. Wilson said he was reimbursed only for expenses." (Newsday article "Columnist Blows CIA Agent's Cover," dated July 22, 2003).

In fact, on July 13 of this year, David Ensor, the CNN correspondent, did call the CIA for a statement of its position and reported that a senior CIA official confirmed my account that Valerie did not propose me for the trip:

"'She did not propose me,' he [Wilson] said -- others at the CIA did so. A senior CIA official said that is his understanding too."


Second conclusion: "Rather than speaking publicly about his actual experiences during his inquiry of the Niger issue, the former ambassador seems to have included information he learned from press accounts and from his beliefs about how the Intelligence Community would have or should have handled the information he provided."

This conclusion states that I told the committee staff that I "may have become confused about my own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that the names and dates on the documents were not correct." At the time that I was asked that question, I was not afforded the opportunity to review the articles to which the staff was referring. I have now done so.

On March 7, 2003, the director general of the IAEA reported to the U.N. Security Council that the documents that had been given to him were "not authentic." His deputy, Jacques Baute, was even more direct, pointing out that the forgeries were so obvious that a quick Google search would have exposed their flaws. A State Department spokesman was quoted the next day as saying about the forgeries, "We fell for it." From that time on the details surrounding the documents became public knowledge and were widely reported. I was not the source of information regarding the forensic analysis of the documents in question; the IAEA was.

The first time I spoke publicly about the Niger issue was in response to the State Department's disclaimer. On CNN a few days later, in response to a question, I replied that I believed the U.S. government knew more about the issue than the State Department spokesman had let on and that he had misspoken. I did not speak of my trip.

My first public statement was in my article of July 6 published in the New York Times, written only after it became apparent that the administration was not going to deal with the Niger question unless it was forced to. I wrote the article because I believed then, and I believe now, that it was important to correct the record on the statement in the president's State of the Union address which lent credence to the charge that Iraq was actively reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. I believed that the record should reflect the facts as the U.S. government had known them for over a year. The contents of my article do not appear in the body of the report and it is not quoted in the "additional comments." In that article, I state clearly that "as for the actual memorandum, I never saw it. But news accounts have pointed out that the documents had glaring errors -- they were signed, for example, by officials who were no longer in government -- and were probably forged. (And then there's the fact that Niger formally denied the charges.)"

The first time I actually saw what were represented as the documents was when Andrea Mitchell, the NBC correspondent, handed them to me in an interview on July 21. I was not wearing my glasses and could not read them. I have to this day not read them. I would have absolutely no reason to claim to have done so. My mission was to look into whether such a transaction took place or could take place. It had not and could not. By definition that makes the documents bogus. "

Why was the "partisan democrat" picked? Well he was/is actually a Bush I partisan, a "truely inspiring and courageous" (GHWB) and "A true american hero" (GHWB 1991).

"My bona fides justifying the invitation to the meeting were the trip I had previously taken to Niger to look at other uranium-related questions as well as 20 years living and working in Africa, and personal contacts throughout the Niger government." including the prime minister as well as the former minister of mines.

So there you have it. You identified three flat out lies, and you were right, you are telling three flat out lies. And then you smear a True American Hero. You are truly inspiring.

And with regards to the "Reporters", you don't even understand what was announced today.

Shameful performance on your part Sloany.

Lonesome Payne said...

I was gone for a few hours and this thing exploded!

Quxxo, nothing you provide touches on an accusation that the administration lied about African uranium. That's not saying they didn't, whatever your opinion on that is; it's saying these indictments today don't move the ball at all on that idea. Saying the indictments have anything to do with "taking the country to war based on lies" is wishful tinking on your part. That was my point.

They also say nothing about the id'ing of Plame as "revenge." That's based on your assumptions.

One reason I think Fitzgerald hasn't returned any indictments on an underlying crime regarding outing an agent is because the kind of discussion they were having - legitimate political discussion - was supposed to be protected under the law. Or something. That's my understanding. I talked about it up top with a reference.

With regard to the bipartisan vs. Republican sections of the Intelligence Committee report Sloan brings up, you've got that wrong at least in part. The details on Wilson admitting he misspoke about the forged documents are in the bipartisan section. As is a conclusion that some people in intelligence really did believe that the only new thing his trip added was the report by the former Niger PM about the approach from Iraq on "commercial relations" which he took to mean uranium sales.

Beau said...

'It will be a serious reminder to anyone in government that the Press (especially the liberal press) is not a friend who can be trusted.'

Didn't Libby give Miller a waiver? A high level government official who acts against the best interests of the country during a war doesn't deserve protection. Miller, Cooper, and Novak should have been outraged to receive the information about Valerie Plame. Gah, they're all ghastly, horrible, people.

Meade said...

"slavering hyenas"
two of los kos kidz, doing what they do with drool.

Anonymous said...

PaulFromNoPlace regarding issues about Africa: you're waiting for something that couldn't happen. Fitzgerald himself said he had no authority to investigate Afica. His mandate was to investigate the leak. In investigating the leak, his processes were profoundly and illegally screwed up when Libby perjured himself and alibied himself with reporters, in such a manner as to prevent further investigation.

So Libby gets indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice, and you think that the fact there was no indictment on Africa means that Al Capone was a good citizen overall.

Yeah, right.

Lonesome Payne said...


We don't know why Libby lied. You assume he lied in order to cover up a sordid attempt to smear a truth-telling political opponent; I assume based on all I know he lied because he realized that he had perhaps committed a crime in revealing an agent's identity while trying (from his perspective) to justifiably set the record straight on what her husband was saying.

These specific indictments would be the same in either case; that's the point I'm making, which I think is quite simple. I never said I expected Fitzgerald to investigate the truth of the African situation. That has nothing to do with what I'm saying.

However, you don't try very hard to understand opinions other than your own. You do what most leftists do: frantically find a way to disagree, then move straight to the condemnation, your primary goal in life I'm guessing.

Here, read this, it may help you understand why you and your friends can be so damn right on everything in your own minds and yet the left keeps losing elections:


I'm sure you won't believe me but like the book authors reviewed here, I'm basically left. Based on the feveredness of your argumentation I think it's pretty safe for me to say I know the left's arguments better than you do. I was Chomsky when Chomsky wasn't cool.

I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes...

Anonymous said...

Paul, you constantly shift your goalposts and you constant try to diagnose others via teh intarweb.

Are you nimrod or troll?

Lonesome Payne said...

Much as I dislike the term "troll," Quxxo, I think purely on definitional grounds you're more the troll, on Ann's site sprcifically. And as far as I can remember, you're the only one I analyze around here. That's because you're the disagree-er who comes in with bad reasoning mixed with vile language and insinuation.

I always forget how destructive of one's own dignity it is to try with some people. Goodbye.

Beau said...

'We don't know why Libby lied.'

Does it matter? That he created a false background story and lied about it repeatedly is, I thought, what the indicment is based on.

If the reporters (last year) had of continued to protect their source, but the government officals told the truth to the GJ, the issue of trusting the media would never need to be raised.

Lonesome Payne said...

chum -

For whether he's guilty or not, no, it doesn't matter why he lied.

It only matters for one's interpretation of what this indictment means re the issue of W lying to get us into the war.

Why he lied may (may) also matter for whether Fitzgerald eventually decides to indict him anyone on the potential crime that started the whole investigation: the outing, the passing along of secret info. That he only indicted Libby on what he has - lying during the investigation - I think implies he's not going to do that.

I'm dense, as Quxxo will attest. What's the GJ?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Minneapolis Paul: I'm surmising it's 'Grand Jury' you're looking for.

'Gobbledegook Junk' also works.

Hey, Professor A: Is there a word limit in this essay?

Lonesome Payne said...

See? Dense. Dense, dense, dense.
Thank you.

chuck b. said...

It seems strange to me that we never hear anything from Valerie Plame Wilson, but we hear sooo much from her husband.

Os it that just me?

Brando said...

Ann, i respect the fact that you might want to avoid the Plame feeding frenzie, but there are important and substantive dynamics underneath the hype, especially legal ones.

I for one was incredibly impressed by Fitzgerald's press conference: here's a man that knows the law, respects the law, and it acting with utmost integrity. How refreshing for a change. You'd think a law blogger like yourself would want to cover this on some level. Strikes me as a lost opportunity if you don't.

Ann Althouse said...

Brando: Every road taken represents multiple roads not taken. I choose my subjects, following my own instincts, and it's worked out pretty well for me so far, in part because I don't like politics that much and I'm not very political, so I can offer political comments from the point of view of a nonpolitico. Thus, my choice not to talk about something is itself a rather meaningful statement, if I do say so myself. I will not accept the invitation to comb through the evidence with you, though I certainly see how it would serve the interests of the anti-Bushites if I did. I'm not going into your quagmire.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, remember, way back when DRJ said "A Plame-free zone? Fine with me"?

Verification word: atcow. Yes, I am at cow round about now.