Jan 25 2007

Fitzgerald’s Folly III

Published by at 7:02 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

I am still stunned Fitzgerald is trying this case, because it is clear EVERYONE was talking to the press about Wilson and the CIA had basically never made any effort to tell anyone not discuss Wilson and Valerie. Read to the end where today’s witness saw the VP direct Libby to call reporters (Andrea Mitchell and ‘someone’ Martin), and learn how Libby says absolutely NOTHING about Plame. Nada. At the peak of the firestorm the supposed coordinated attack on Wilson fails to materialize. Learn how this same witness was with Libby as he contacted Matt Cooper, Bill Kessler and Newsweek, and never once mentioned Valerie Plame. How do we know these reporters (other than Cooper) never talked Plame? These reporters are not part of the indictment! The linchpin of the case is whether there was a coordinated effort to get Wilson – testimony by Cathy Martin, OVP Press Contact indicates the answer to that part of the indictment is clearly ‘no’.

F introduces Kristof’s column.


M describes Kristof’s column.

F introduces but not for truth.

F Could you describe what your reaction was. [displayed it on the screen] Blow up second half of page.

F reads the “wholesale deceit” article Is it fair to say it was viewed as a negative article.

M It’s fair to say it WOULD be viewed as such, but I don’t know that it was

F How much attention paid to this

M Not that much

As we have all suspected, the Office of Vice President was NOT running a fire drill to find out who Wilson was from the May 6th Kristof article (note the claims about forged documents).

So why did Grossman initiate his investigation of his pal Wilson? The next installments of the story were not until June 12th and 13th when Pincus and Kristof did another round on the mysterious ex-ambassador. But this is too late for the Grossman timeline of events (in my mind). Bob Woodward met with Armitage on June 13th, the day of Kristof’s second article. But the INR memo, which is was the conclusion of Grossman’s investigation into the mysterious Ambassador, was first produced on June 10th. So how is it Cathy Martin testifies there was no real response to the first Kristof article? How is it Grossman kicks off an investigation that no one seems interested in? Curious. Because Martin clearly dates one of her telephone calls with Harlow and Libby AFTER the second round of articles, which is AFTER Grossman’s investigation is COMPLETED. Check this part of her testimony (as paraphrased by the blogger at Firedog Lake):

F Trying to get her to reconstruct the two Harlow conversations. Do you recall those conversations. Describe the conversations you had.

H First [conversation] was pleasant [emphasizes] I had never spoken to him before, talked about press reports, I was asking him, “we didn’t send him.” so I was saying to him, you must have sent him, who is this guy, what are you saying to the press, they’re not taking my word for it. I remember him being, I didn’t know who he [Wilson] was either, but apparently his name is Joe Wilson he was a charge in Baghdad, and his wife works over here. I understand charge to be diplomat who works overseas. Had been a charge, former is my recollection of what that meant. Has notes, but the notes don’t have a precise date. Asked to see VP and shortly thereafter [he Harlow] told him [VP] and Scooter was there as well, told them what I had learned. It was the same day. I remember going into VP’s office Scooter was there which was pretty normal. He told me Ambassador’s name and apparently he was a charge and his wife works at CIA. Don’t remember any specific response.

F Other convesation

M Calling Harlow to find out who was continuing to call on this story. BC story continuing to be written, we OVP still in as having sent him or traveling at behest of. Press stopped calling our office, this became truth, I think I called NSC first and then called Harlow, I can’t specifically connect all this. Harlow was a little less friendly told me who was calling him, Mitchell and David Martin were working on story. Week of July 7.

Definitely the second conversation was after June 12-13th, after the second round of articles. The first call is sometime after May 6th (the first Kristof article). But if the first article did not generate much of a response, as she says, could it have also been after the Pincus article?

Can’t help but notice Andrea Mitchell has now entered the timeline. She clearly was trying to hunt down Wilson’s identity BEFORE it was made public. Also, note much of this is happening well after Armitage spilled the beans to Woodward on June 10th. All of these second rounds of effort are in early July. Right before Wilson goes public.

M Week of July 7 was a busy week. I had more contact with Scooter it was particularly busy bc no one was around and there was a lot going on in the press. My staff would do a search for stories that reference VP and they would cut and paste into word document to see what media was saying. Cutting and pasting, electronically cut and paste.

F Ordinarily see ewspaper articles cut out of newspapers in VP office

M Not that often

M Sometime during that week we began monitoring TV, mostly monitoring print, normally just print. TV transcripts take longer to put up, so we weren’t looking for TV. That week we started keeping track of TV. Some point had a conversation VP told me to keep track of this story, the commentators that were continuing to write on this story, and talk about us. Just myself, VP and Scooter. Occurred on Tuesday or Wednesday of that week. There’s a document I’ve seen that helped me place the date of that.

Note how the VP’s staff starts monitoring news in earnest in July – not May, which is when Grossman should have started his investigation (supposedly for Libby). You don’t finish something in memo form, with signature cycle review, on June 10th (date of first INR memo with the conclusions) unless you start it at least two weeks in advance. In may all there was in the media was one kooky Kristof article. Nowhere near the level of something that would start to garner the interest of the Federal government (it just doesn’t move that fast).

Second problem for Fitzgerald, Libby talks to reporters Andrea Mitchell and Martin (Bruce Martin, NBC?), but apparently he failed to leak Plame’s identity about Valerie.

F You mentioned you had a conversation with Harlow. Can you describe what you did following that phone call.

M Going to VP to give an update, it was an unscheduled visit, talked to VP and Scooter, I wasn’t getting any calls directly, Mitchell and Martin doing pieces for Evening News. Discussed with them should we try to talk to them and make sure they don’t repeat the things we think are false. Should we make sure we’re part of the story. General consensus was “yes” and Scooter would call them back. And Libby would call them back. VP made the decision to have Scooter call them back. Went into VP ante-office, Scooter has a little office there. Scooter called one of the reporters, I was there for the portion of one of the calls. I believe this was July 8. I left, I had a lot of phone calls I still needed to return. I was still not certain about NIE and was a little uncomfortable talking about the NIE and I was aggravated that Scooter that I was calling reporters and I wasn’t.

So much for the WH coordinated effort at payback. So we have a witness to Scooter’s discussions to reporters, at the direction of the VP noe less, and at the pinnacle of the media firestorm, and he fails to mention Wilson’s wife? What kind of attack was this? Possibly more later, but there are SO MANY wholes in Fitzgerald’s case already it is stunning. Clearly Plame was not mentioned, or else these reporters would be part of the indictment.

And then again later,

34 responses so far

34 Responses to “Fitzgerald’s Folly III”

  1. Soothsayer says:

    Couple technical points:

    The Grand Jury found there was enough evidence of conflicting statements to indict Libby for whatever Fitz was bringing (perjury, obstruction) and send this to trial.

    1. No, the Grand Jury did not indict for “conflicting statements” – they indicted because they felt they had heard sufficient evidence that Libby “lied” to Federal investigatiors, “perjured” himself to the Grand Jury, and in the process thereof “obstucted justice.”

    2. Unlike other attorneys, United States attorneys are charged not with zealously representing their client (in this case the Unitd States of America), but with seeing that “justice is done.” (See, U.S. v. Demanyuk, and others). US attorneys have considerable discretion; Fitzgerald is unlikely to to have asked for an indictment unless he ws confident he could obtain a conviction; and his track record of putting Mobsters and crooked politicians – both Democrats and Republicans – in jail gives him credibility IMO.

    3. While the OVP may rebut allegations made by citizens – it is unlawful to use government assets in order to “retaliate” against a citizen who has criticized the government (See, Nixon’s enemies list, IRS investigations critics, J.E. Hoover harrassment and illegal surveillance of MLK, breakaing into Ellsberg’s psychiatrists office); outing a covert NOC CIA agent, and intentionally misrepresenting her part in sending Joe Wilson to Niger is getting very close to crossing that line.

    4. Keep in mind, Wilson never said Cheney sent him to Niger; what Wilson said was that in response to questions asked by Mr. Cheney, the CIA – in an effort to answer Cheney’s questions – sent him. The decision to send Wilson was made above Plame’s pay-grade – and it was not a junket. He wasn’t playing golf at St. Andrews with Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff. Cheney’s problem with Wilson was Wilson’s report contradicted the WMD lies that Cheney and Bush used to secure AUMF in Iraq.

  2. Dc says:

    You’ve not read any thing I’ve written Soothsayer? Or are you simply repeating liberal blog “legal” analysis, etc?

    1) The Grand Jury process does not determine”guilt or innocence.

    2) Oh Please!! Yes..Attorneys are known for their sense of public duty and doing the right thing?? Give me a break!! Attorneys, prosecutors, etc. argue on which ever side is paying them (or they are assigned to).

    3) LOL!! Good Lord son…you must have a screw loose? There ARE no charges against US office OR the gov. in this case. The only charges in this case (or indictment) was filed against one person, ie..as an individual—not the OVP or any other Gov institution. What does the indictment say? Does it say …vs..OVP? Does it say…VS US gov? Are you just playing dumb or are you really so jaded here that you cannot accept reality? There have been no charges filed against anyone regarding a “leak”, OR using gov assets or any of the other bull crap you have piled on here. This case isn’t about any of that crap. You can wish in one hand..and crap in the other…and guess which one is going to be full? You can’t take “opnions” and your politics to trial as a legal argument. It doesn’t work no matter how much you wish it were so, or believe it to be right, or how much you hate someone. (see FAIR vs Rumsfeld)

    4. You don’t come here to hunt do you? (old Bear joke)

    -Wilson asserted more than once that he was sent to “answer questions” from the OVP. The CIA disputes this claim, and says that there were several offices that asked for more clairfication on the report..including the Dept of State. It was never just OVP. It was Wilson who made that assertion and it wasn’t accurate. And the reason the OVP was the focus of this in the media was because of Wilson’s repeated claims (and clarifications) that this was singularlly driven by the OVP when the fact is…it was not and never was.

    -Wilson claimed knowledge of the forged documents and that it was part of his invetigation and reporting. That was brought up in the investigation. CIA claims Wilson never saw any documents. Wilson suggested in his testimony that he must have been mistaken about when he heard about them. Again, it’s Wilson…NOT anybody else who is mistaken in this.

    -Contrary to confused people’s continued allegations…Colin Powell never used the “forged documents” in his presentation to the UN. Just thought I’d throw that one in for you.

    -Wilson claimed he found nothing to the story that Iraqi’s had bought yellowcake and that he assumed that this result and final analysis was passed back to the persons who requested it …the OVP. The facts AGAIN show, It’s Wilson that was mistaken. The OVP was NOT the sole requestor of information as we have already determined. But, Wilson also mischaracterized his role and the information that he brought back to his CIA debriefers (Wilson was not an analyst, nor did he write a report). The information in the CIA report made from his debreifing differs from what Wilson has publically stated. Wilson in fact confirmed that the Iraqi’s had approached the offical for what the offical thought was potential sale of yellowcake under the guise of “expanded trade”. The offical denied any such sale happened and discussed all the various safegards in place to protect against such and illegal sale. All of this was brought up in the Senate intell investigation. Finally, according to the CIA…a general report was circulated with information from Wilson’s debriefing. BECAUSE it was inconclusive and could not shed any further light on the matter NO FURTHER REPORTS WERE MADE AND NO DIRECT RESPONSE WAS EVER GIVEN TO OVP OR ANY OTHER AGENCY WHO HAD REQUESTED FURTHER CLARIFCATION ON THE ISSUE. The OVP wasn’t the only one requesting further clarification on the original report…and none of the offices that did ever saw “Wilson’s” report..because “Wilson” never himself made one. And that report from his debrieing says something very different than Wilson has stated publically it did.

    -Wilson says he shot down the idea that Saddam bought yellowcake (because they had read “his” report that said that the Iraqi’s had not bought yellowcake)…but the President used the “16 words” anyway which proves that they knew and lied.
    Lets go right to the source shall we?

    G. Tenet released this to respond to some of the fire that came from Wilson’s media campaign onto the WH…specifically..about the WH “lieing” about the intel they were given on yellowcake. According to testimony, the CIA cleared use of the language as factually accurate on 2 occasions prior for speeches (but it was not used).

    Maybe you better sit down? The entire yellowcake issue is a redherring…in so far as “why” the intelligence communities believed Saddam was still persuing WMD including a nuclear program .

    Here’s another straight from horses mouth:

    What part of this don’t you get? The part where Tenet says…”A great deal has been said and written about the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Much of this commentary has been misinformed, misleading, and just plain wrong.” he’s talking about the accusations in the press and public media campaigns of Wilson, and others…who reported any number of allegations, distoritions and mischaracterizations to keep this ball rolling.

    But, these are just public statements. There’s an entire library to go through if you want…of testimony, investigations, etc…that “is” the factual record we have as the result of looking into the initial “allegations”…of Wilson and plenty of others behind him..NONE OF WHICH..supports the idea that the CIA and others told the president and OVP one thing and they “lied” about what the intelligence community was telling them. There has never been any evidence of record (meaning under oath or part of offical record) that supports that charge. That hasn’t stopped any number of people from making public or otherwise media statements as former CIA or this and that. The problem has always been that once they were put under oath or interviewed as part of an investigation…they always say something else. This was acknowledged by the intelligence committee investigation when they said they interviewed any number of people who had made media allegations or etc…who all recanted or said something entirely different under oath. They nevr found one person who would attest to the fact under oath that would support any of the allegations that they were pressured somehow..or asked to change their findings or etc.

    Feel free to suggest “how” and “what” the president “lied” or lied about what intelligence he was given at the time….and back it up with facts.

  3. Soothsayer says:

    Read the indictment, DC, before you embarass yourself even more.

    1. I didn’t say the Grand Jury determined guilt – I said the Grand Jury indicted Libby for “lying, perjury and obstruction” not for making misstatements. Can you not read??

    2. Say what you will – as a matter of law, the standard for behavior of a US attorney is to “see that justice is done”. If you want case cites, I’ll provide them – but since you can’t read it won’t matter.

    3. If you read the indictments, and listen to the testimony already given under oath by officals of the US government – you will see that the OVP was engaged in retaliations against a citizen. Has anyone been indicted? I agree – they haven’t been – not yet.

    If you follow thie history of Fitzgerald’s prosecutions – in many cases – convictions lead to further indictments.

    4. What the president lied about? The “sixteen words” that were removed from an earlier speech and then re-inserted. Twist it as you will, that’s the fact, jack. And – the “intelligence communities” were deeply divided about Saddam’s WMD programs. The pe9ople who knew the most about them – Scott Ritter and others – insisted all along that there were none – and gtuess what? They proved to be right.

  4. Soothsayer says:

    DC – sorry you are so misinformed:

    The Grand Jury process does not determine”guilt or innocence.

    Not exactly true. In order to issue the indictment, the Grand Jury must find it probable i.e., more likely than not, that the indictee committed the crime charged – in this case, lying, perjury and obstruction of justice.

    Attorneys, prosecutors, etc. argue on which ever side is paying them (or they are assigned to)

    Wrong again. As a matter of law, US attorneys are required to see that “justice is served.” US attorneys are not bound by the same ethical rules as other attorneys in the United States, for a number of reasons I won’t delve into here – but – and I would cite you the cases if I thought it would do you any good – they are required by precedent case law to “see that justice is done.”

    The only charges in this case (or indictment) was filed against one person, ie..as an individual—not the OVP

    Read the indictments. They’re available at the DOJ website. There is no doubt that government resources were used to retaliate against Wilson. I agree there are no other indictments – yet. But you might want to acquaint yourself with some background on previous Fitzgerald investigations – prosescutions that put Mobsters and crooked politicians behind bars. And they usuallly progress similarly – indictments and convictions leading to further indictments and convictions. We’ll see how chipper Scooter is when he’s looking at 30 years. Remember Maximum John Sirica – and how Watergate exsploded once the burglars were facing hard time.

  5. Soothsayer says:

    ‘Pologize for the similar – but not matching – as Hugh Downs would say – posts. I posted the first one and 3 hrs later it hadn’t appeared – so I re-wrote the post.

    Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

  6. Dc says:

    Count 1 of the indictment against Libby:
    Obstruction of Justice for making false and intentionally misleading statements in the course of the investigation.

    Count 2 of the indictment:
    False statement

    Count 3:
    False statement

    Count 4:
    Perjury (because of his false statements)

    Count 5:
    Perjury (because of his false statements)

    Yes I’ve read the indictment. Like I said…it’s for false and misleading statements that Fitz culled together charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. That’s what “I” said before.

    Futher, if you were careful to read it, it also follows the timeline of Wilson’s contributions to media articles, etc..where it “clearly” shows that Wilson referred to forged documents, directly accused admin officals (including the VP) of “flat out lieing” about the Niger story, and went on to accuse the adminstration and the OVP directly of “suppressing dissent in the intelligence agencies and wrongly portraying intelligence that was given them. Do you still insist that Wilson never said or was the source for these accusations?

    And using your own point….if there was a case to be made otherwise in this….Fitz would have made it or be making it. There isn’t. I guess you can hold out hope?? I know “truthout.org” still has a Rove indictment vigil ongoing.

    As to the 16 words: I HATE doing other people’s homework for them…but here:
    From G Tenent:
    Portions of the State of the Union speech draft came to the CIA for comment shortly before the speech was given. Various parts were shared with cognizant elements of the Agency for review. Although the documents related to the alleged Niger-Iraqi uranium deal had not yet been determined to be forgeries, officials who were reviewing the draft remarks on uranium raised several concerns about the fragmentary nature of the intelligence with National Security Council colleagues. Some of the language was changed., From what we know now, Agency officials in the end concurred that the text in the speech was factually correct – i.e. that the British government report said that Iraq sought uranium from Africa. This should not have been the test for clearing a Presidential address. This did not rise to the level of certainty which should be required for Presidential speeches, and CIA should have ensured that it was removed.

    What did he just say? That the text was factually correct..but still..they concluded in the end should not have been used?
    You might want to check the other link I provided earlier about his public comments on the NIE as well.

    Now..lets cross check this with the relevant Senate intelligence hearing findings: pg 45….”On Sept 11, 2002 the NSC staff contacted the CIA to clear language for possible use in a statement for use by the President. The language cleared by the CIA said, “Iraq has made several attempts to buy high strength aluminum tubes used in centrifuges to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. And we also know this: wihin the past few years, Iraq has resumed efforts to obtain large quantities of a type of uranium oxide known as yellowcake, which is an essential ingredient of this process. The regime was caught trying to purchase 500 metric tons of this material. It takes about 10 tons to produce enough enriched uranium for a single nuclear weapon.”

    The approved text was identical to the above with the exception that the CIA suggested adding “up to” before the 500 metric tons. The President..never used the approved language publically. But, it was approved by the CIA. That’s one.

    pg. 51: ..on Sept 24, 2002, NSC staff contacted the CIA to clear another statement for use by the President. The statement said “we have intelligence that Iraq has sought large amounts of uranium and uranium oxid, known as yellowcake, from Africa. Yellowcake is essential ingredient of the process to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons”.

    The CIA cleared the language, but suggested “of the process” be changed to “in the process”. The President did not use the language publically. So, far Soothsayer,This isn’t looking so hot for your version of events here.

    To start with, the entire notion that “yellowcake” was THE central issue or reason that we went to war in Iraq..is a ludicrous and whollly factually incorrect statement to start with. That would be Wilson’s wet dream. HE was the one who pushed “that” particular case…not the president (although the issue resonated with them for sure) or the intelligence community (who found it not central to their larger assessments).

    As to the use of intelligece by Congress for their vote to authorize the war:
    The senate requested intelligence breifing before voting on the resolution to authorize use of force in Iraq. On Sept 12, the DCI officially directed the NIO for strategic and nuclear programs to draft an NIE (national intelligence estimate). The NIC drew the discussion of nuclear reconstitution for the draft NIE largely from an August 2002 CIA assesment and a SEPT 2002 DIA assessment, “Iraq’s Reemerging Nuclear Weapons Programs”. The NIO sent draft of the entire NIE to IC analsyts on Sept 23, 2002 for coordination and comments and held an interagency coordination meeting on Sept 25th to discuss the draft and work out any changes.

    Regarding uranium from Africa, the lanuage of the NIE said:

    Iraq has about 550 tons of yellowcake and low-enriched uranium at Tuwaitha, which is inspected annually by the IAEA. Iraq also began vigorously trying to persue uranium ore and yellowcake; aquiring either would shorten the time Baghdad needs to produce nuclear weapons. (bulleted point) A foreign gov service reported that as of early 2001, Niger planned to send several tons of “pure uranium” (probably yellowcake) to Iraq. As of early 2001, Niger and Iraq reportedly were still working out arrangements for this deal, which could be for up to 500 tons of yellowcake. We do not know the status of the arrangement.
    (bulleted point 2) Reports indicate that Ira has also sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We cannot cofirm wehther Iraq succeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake from these sources.

    INR was dissentor in the consensus view of the rest about this and requested their own box to put their alt views in on both procurement efforts and alum tubes theory.

    PG 52….at the bottom…CIA, DIA and DOE analysts ALL said that at the time the NIE was written, they agreed with the NIE assessment that Iraq was attempting to procure uranium from Africa. Some analysts said in retrospect, the language should have been more qualified than it was, but they generally agreed with the text.

    Wow….what as surprise?. Congress used this to vote on the Authorization…and CIA, DIA and DOE analysts all say “at that time” they generally agreed with the text about yellowcake attempts. Ok..lets get our timeline here. That was Sept 2002. Wilson went to Niger in Feb 2002…meaning..they already had his findings, etc..taken into account. WOW. How could that be? The president/admin just made the whole thing up based on forged documents and Wilson had debunked the entire thing with his trip?CHECKMATE! on that one. (there’s plenty more text on the subject if you care to read it…including INR’s dissent on the entire nuclear issue. None of it supports your position here ).

    Next: The Cincinnati Speech: (was the speech where reference to Iraq being caught trying to procure yellowcake in Niger was removed)

    pg 55. Oct 4th, 2002. NSC sent drafts of letters for Presidents speech that again had references in it concerning yellowcake procurments from africa. (” that Iraq had been caught trying to procure 500 tons of uranim from Africa”) CIA Deputy director this time voiced concerns on 3 fronts…CIA analysts felt the evidence wasn’t strong enough for the president to be a fact witness on it in this way. They had already testified before Senate that they had concerns about it in regards to the British white paper. And they didn’t feel it was particularly significant to Iraq’s nuclear ambitions because Iraq already had stocks of it.

    The reference was removed and not used in the Cinncinati speech. On the same day, the CIA prepared comments on a draft White House paper “A Grave and Gathering Danger”. The comments suggested a change to the draft languae saying “better to generalize the first bullet as follows: “Sought” uranium from Africa to fee the enrichment process”. The original text from the WH had said, “sourght uranim oxide, an essential ingredient in enrichment process, from Africa”. The White House, did not publish the paper. But, the language was approved.

    That was the 3rd time..it was cleared by the CIA and not used.

    The Presidents State of the Union:
    Here you go Soothsayer — page 66 4th paragraph,
    “On January 28, 2003, the President noted in his speech…”the British gov has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa”
    Here’s the part you need to pay attention to : AT THE TIME THE PRESIDENT DELIVERED THE STATE OF THE UNION, NO ONE IN THE IC HAD ASKED ANYONE IN THE WHITEHOUSE TO REMOVE THE SENTENCE FROM THE SPEECH. hmmm. Lets look at that again shall we? In spite of disagreements, people remmebering things one way or another over what was said to whom, when, etc….NO ONE from the Intelligence community….asked anybody…at the WH to remove that from his speech! To continue:
    “CIA Iraq Nuclear analysts and the Director of WINPAC (oh-my-GOD..would that be V Plame’s division>????), told Commitee staff that at the time of the State of the Union, THEY STILL BELIEVED THAT IRAQ WAS PROBABLY SEEKING YELLOWCAKE FROM NIGER, and they continued to hold that belief until the IAEA reported the documents were forgeries.”

    Rhut Rhoh….checkmate again.

  7. Soothsayer says:

    How gullible are you, DC?

    1. Your re-wording of the indictments shows I was correct – the Grand Jury found probable cause (as opposed to the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standared required for conviction) that I. Lewis Libby lied and perjured himself, thus obstructing justice. You’re right that he has not been convicted – YET. But the idea that he was indicted based on misstatements – rather than intentional lies and misrepresentations under oath – is absurd: to wit:

    2. Last Thursday, the fourth witness to be called by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was Cathie Martin, who during the CIA leak scandal was Dick Cheney’s senior public affairs aide. Currently deputy director of communications and planning at the White House, Martin testified that she had told Libby that Valerie Wilson worked at the CIA weeks before the information was leaked–reinforcing Fitzgerald’s accusation that Libby lied to the FBI and a grand jury when he claimed that he possessed no direct knowledge of Valerie Wilson and her CIA employment at the time of the leak.

    Martin described a conversation she had with William Harlow, the CIA public affairs chief, noting it likely occurred around June 11, 2003. At that time, Walter Pincus of The Washington Post was asking Vice President Cheney’s office whether it had been involved in former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s trip to Niger (which had been cited in a May 6 New York Times column by Nicholas Kristof that did not name Wilson). Martin testified that as the result of a call between Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, and a CIA official (probably Robert Grenier, an earlier witness in the trial), she had been put in contact with Harlow.

    During her conversation with Harlow, Martin testified, she asked him what the CIA knew about the trip to Niger taken by the then-unnamed ambassador. Harlow told her the former diplomat was Joseph Wilson and revealed that his wife worked at the CIA. Later that same day, in the vice president’s office, she shared with Cheney and Libby what Harlow had told her, including the information that Wilson’s wife was employed at the CIA.

    Fitzgerald showed once again that Libby was making efforts to gather information on the Wilson trip when little was publicly known about it. As a result of this effort, he was told by Martin that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA. Martin also testified that Libby was intensely engaged in a campaign to rebut Joseph Wilson.

    3. The phrase

    the British gov has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa”


    The same phrase – without the bogus qualifier “British government has learned” – had been taken out of a speech the preceeding Fall at Geroge Tenet’s request. Which was why Tenet was “surprised” to hear it at SOTU.

    The argument you use on the cherry-picked WMD evidence mirrors Bill Clinton’s it depends on what your definition of is is It was a losing argument then – it’s a loser now. Bush is a liar.

    Shah mat, DC.

  8. Soothsayer says:

    More Bad News for Scooter:

    Scooter Libby told Patrick Fitzgerald’s grand jury in 2004 that he first learned that Joseph Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA when Tim Russert told him on or about July 10, 2003.

    Ari Fleischer testified today that this was not true. This morning in Libby’s perjury trial, Fleischer said that Libby told him on July 7, 2003, that Wilson was sent to Niger by his wife and that his wife worked in the counterproliferation division of the CIA.

    Fleischer said that Libby told him the information was “hush-hush” and “on the q.t.”

    He said he didn’t know what Libby meant by that, but he interpreted it as meaning that the information was “kind of newsy.”

  9. Dc says:

    Ok then Soothsayer, Back for more I see. Like I said..you don’t come here to hunt do you.

    Yes, I’m right..he has not been convicted of anything yet…and…just for the record..regardless of your legal free-association here, there is always the presumption of innocence. And further, no matter WHAT you might think…justice is NEVER served if someone is wrongly prosecuted and/or convicted (as to your earlier comments about US attorneys seeing justice done….as in only in terms of prosecution). Your wrong, have been wrong and are just wallowing in it now.

    Do a word search of Fitz’s indictment for the world “liar, lieing, etc”…and what do you find? Nada, zippo, ziltch…save “one” quotation of the word from one of Wilson’s press slams against the admin. It was you who brought up the whole “technical” thing. And “technically” “liar” and “lieing” is not a “legal term”. (but then you knew that??)

    Congrats: you have aboslutely confirmed that Libby and others were gathering information on the Wilsons trip and planned to rebut his allegations. duh! And Fitz is carefully laying out his case in the indictment using events and witnesses. Although I have no horse in this race, and personally could care less what happens to Libby, I will say, that some of the “legal” theories, predictions and analysis coming from the cheap seats…is entertaining at best, and simply ridiculous at worst. Personally, I think I’ll wait a bit yet before making a conviction if you don’t mind.

    In regards to your silly attempt here to qualify your position on 16 words (ie..Bush’s “lie”)….you are only making it worse. No, Tenent never requested they remove those words. Try again. In regards to cherrypicked….oh..you mean like an indictment is cherrypicked information? Seriously Soothsayer…you are sunk here. And you are only making it worse. Of course, you are free to read the “entire” thing. Please…don’t take “MY” word for it.

    The whole “Bush “lied” was a media campaign. It was a baseless allegation to start with, but effective. IT was also an election campaign slogan as well. Not that some gullible people don’t actually “believe” it. If you want to dispute and challenge the voracity of 2 international investigations, actual statements underoath of the people invovled, plus a entire mound of paper, and otherwise evidence, …with David Corn articles or Ko’s Kid blogs or etc…feel free. OR..you can do what most liberals do when confronted with the same thing…..just keep repeating..there’s no place like home. (make a mantra out of it and keep saying it) and keep saying “Bush lied”.

  10. Soothsayer says:

    Do a word search of Fitz’s indictment for the world “liar, lieing, etc

    DC, your inability to process even simple information is very amusing. The indictment frequently refers to “false statements” as being the underlying causes of action for the charges. Where I come from, we call false statements “lies” – maybe not so much in your neck of the woods?

    As for

    Tenent never requested they remove those words.

    1. His name is T-e-n-e-t.
    2. George Tenet told the White House not to include the African yellowcake reference in the president’s speech in Cincinnati three months before the State of the Union.
    3. Tenet did not review the State of the Union address ahead of time, and so, not knowing the false reference would be IN the speech, it wouldhave been kind of hard for him to request it be removed.

    And of course I don’t come here to hunt – cause who wants bag slugs and dung beeetles.

  11. AJStrata says:


    No name calling. If you cannot debate above a 3rd grade level you will be outta here.

  12. Soothsayer says:

    Name calling? Who did I call names?

  13. Dc says:

    Ahh, back for more eh?

    There “is” a difference with a distinction in the language used in a legal document vs a press conference. A murder indictment might read you intentionally and willfully, etc..caused the death of (person) by (manner in which it was done). There is a reason they don’t just say, you are indicted for murder. The reason is, beause as the result of a trial, where you can acually defend yourself, a jury may decided that yes, you caused the death of the person, but you did not do so willfully, etc.. They don’t just all string together automatically to say….your a murderer, who then must prove you are not.

    A person can make a false statement, but not have done so intentionally to obstruct the prosecution. A person can obstruct a prosecution..without having made a statement at all! THATS why it’s different. That’s why the charges are seperated as they are and that’s why you won’t find the word “liar” or “lied’ in the legal language of the indictment. I can honestly say, I’m happy I’m not from “your neck the woods” and hope I never have to come in front of a juror like yourself. Perhaps we might all get lucky, considering your understanding of our legal system, that you might be from another country?

    Is it your undrestanding that anyone who makes a statement that turns out to be inaccurate or not true is therefore a liar? Is that how they do things in your neck of the woods? Bush said there were weapons. There were no weapons. Therefore Bush lied, etc..etc. ? Is that about the size of it. Just wondering.

    As to your yet further attempt to clarify on the 16 words ….nope. Sorry Soothsayer, but you are wrong again. It was the ADDI Strategic Programs who handled and coordianted the vetting of the Cincinnati speech. Not the DCI.

    And the Statement they were vetting was this : “..and the regime has been caught attempting to purchase up to 500 tons of uranium oxide from Africa – an essential ingredient in the enrichment process”. Not the same language that had been cleared before.
    It was a nuclear analyst who raised concerns about the language. Tenet was not present.

    I won’t even mention (again) all the various statements from heads of those divisions, analysts, etc..some of which are posted above in all caps (including from Tenet himself), that suggest that you are simply mistaken. Of course…feel free to call all of them liars too.

  14. Dc says:

    And you know what Soothsayer….while you are at it…why don’t you send these folks an email and let them know they are liars too..