Fitzgerald Investigation of Leak of Identity of CIA Agent

Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 10:47 am
Novak contradicted himself
Novak contradicted himself on Senate committee's Niger conclusions

Syndicated columnist and CNN contributor Robert D. Novak falsely stated in his August 1 column that the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously contradicted former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV's denial that his wife, former covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, suggested him for a 2002 mission to Niger. In fact, the bipartisan committee did not reach an official conclusion about how the CIA made the decision to hire Wilson. Moreover, the only contradiction appears to be with Novak himself; in a July 2004 column, he reported that the Democratic committee members had rejected an official conclusion that Plame had suggested Wilson for the fact-finding mission.

In the August 1 column, Novak stated that the "unanimous Senate Intelligence Committee report ... said that Wilson's wife 'suggested him for the trip.'" But in a July 15, 2004, column, Novak clearly recognized that the committee did not reach an official conclusion about how the CIA made the decision to hire Wilson:

Like Sherlock Holmes's dog that did not bark, the most remarkable aspect of last week's Senate Intelligence Committee report is what its Democratic members did not say. They did not dissent from the committee's findings that Iraq apparently asked about buying yellowcake uranium from Niger. They neither agreed to a conclusion that former diplomat Joseph Wilson was suggested for a mission to Niger by his CIA employee wife nor defended his statements to the contrary.

While the committee report stated that "interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicated that his [Wilson's] wife, a CPD [Counterproliferation Divison] employee, suggested his name for the trip," the full committee refrained from approving an official conclusion that she had suggested the mission. In a partisan addendum to the report, committee chairman Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) wrote that Democrats had specifically opposed including the statement, "The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador's wife, a CIA employee," in the full committee's report. News reports that appeared both before and after the intelligence committee's 2004 investigation undermined this claim.

In addition, Novak further distorted the contents of the committee report in his August 1 column. He wrote that the "Senate committee reported that much of what he [Wilson] said 'had no basis in fact,'" apparently referring to Wilson's July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed, as well as his public statements following its publication. In the article, Wilson stated that the facts as he "understood them" did not support President Bush's claim in his 2003 State of the Union address that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

But the assertion that Wilson's claims "had no basis in fact" appears only in Roberts's addendum and not in the report ratified by the committee as a whole. Rather than proving that Wilson was incorrect, the committee's report suggested the opposite: that by the time the president delivered his State of the Union address in January 2003, the Niger claim was no longer supportable. The committee wrote: "Until October 2002 when the Intelligence Community obtained the forged foreign language documents on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal, it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reporting and other available intelligence."

The committee report also found that while the CIA indeed interpreted Wilson's Niger findings as confirmation of its assessment at that time that Saddam had sought uranium in Africa, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) interpreted it as confirmation of its competing assessment that Iraq had not sought uranium from Niger. The committee concluded that INR's assessment of Iraq's nuclear program as a whole, which Wilson's op-ed supported, was the correct assessment based on the intelligence available at the time:

After reviewing all the intelligence provided by the Intelligence Community and additional information requested by the Committee, the Committee believes that the judgment in the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program, was not supported by the intelligence. The Committee agrees with the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) alternative view that the available intelligence "does not add up to a compelling case for reconstitution."

Moreover, the CIA later repudiated its assessment of the Niger allegation; then-Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet publicly stated in July 2003 that "[t]hese 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the President."

From Novak's August 1 column:

There never was any question of me talking about Mrs. Wilson "authorizing." I was told she "suggested" the mission, and that is what I asked Harlow. His denial was contradicted in July 2004 by a unanimous Senate Intelligence Committee report. The report said Wilson's wife "suggested his name for the trip." It cited an internal CIA memo from her saying "my husband has good relations" with officials in Niger and "lots of French contacts," adding they "could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." A State Department analyst told the committee that Mrs. Wilson "had the idea" of sending Wilson to Africa.

The recent first disclosure of secret grand jury testimony set off a news media feeding frenzy centered on this obscure case. Joseph Wilson was discarded a year ago by the Kerry presidential campaign after the Senate committee reported much of what he said "had no basis in fact."
0 Replies
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 11:43 am
Kaus Misses the Mark on the Miller Story
Arianna Huffington
Kaus Misses the Mark on the Miller Story

Mickey and Judy: I liked this pairing better when it was Rooney and Garland… Mickey Kaus must be spending time in Washington with some of Karl Rove's friends. They are apparently getting nervous since, as The Note makes clear this morning, Fitzgerald may be closing in on Rove.

So the Roveians have begun grasping at wish-fulfillment straws, such as the idea that what Kaus calls the Judy Theory in some way -- any way! -- exonerates Rove. I actually don't know of anyone -- certainly not me -- who is suggesting that Judy Miller was the ONLY source of the Plame-is-CIA info. Indeed, I have repeatedly said just the opposite -- that Miller was only one of the many people who wanted to discredit Wilson so as to discredit his story discrediting the administration's Saddam-is-building-nukes claims. What makes the Miller angle unique and compelling is that she was, for heaven's sake, theoretically an objective member of the media and not some White House hack with a partisan agenda. Theoretically.

The odds are very high that the info on Valeria Plame poured into the White House from multiple sources -- from Cheney and Libby's arm-twisting visits to Langley, from all the neocons -- including Doug Feith -- with inside intelligence info, from the State Dept. memo. Maybe even from new UN ambassador John Bolton. But none of them had a front-page byline on the paper of record or have undergone an Extreme Reputation Makeover ("Tonight at 10, see our Extreme Makeover team turn a discredited WMD hyper into a dazzling champion of the First Amendment!")

… P.S.: If you want to understand how liberals really feel about the Judy Theory read Matthew Yglesias

… P.P.S.: In fact, I believe that when all is said and done neither Miller nor Rove nor Libby nor anyone in the White House nor Kaus' neocon pals will have anything to celebrate.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 11:57 am
Judith Miller won't get 'Conscience in Media' Award
Writers Group Won't Give Judith Miller 'Conscience in Media' Award After All
The New York Times Company
Judith Miller
By E&P Staff
Published: August 03, 2005 11:08 AM ET

NEW YORKThe board of The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) has voted unanimously to reverse an earlier decision to give its annual Conscience in Media award to jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller, E&P has learned.

The group's First Amendment committee had narrowly voted to give Miller the prize for her dedication to protecting sources, but the full board has now voted to overturn that decision, based on its opinion that her entire career, and even her current actions in the Plame/CIA leak case, cast doubt on her credentials for this award.

The group's president, Jack El-Hai, posted an explanation on an internal list-serve yesterday, noting the opposition from the rank and file, and also mentioning two other reasons for the unanimous vote:

* "A feeling that Miller's career, taken as a whole, did not make her the best candidate for the award"

* "Divided opinions on the board over whether her recent actions merit the award."

The American Society of Journalists and Authors is a 50-year-old group of some 1,100 non-fiction independent writers. The earlier vote by its First Amendment committee had already prompted at least one member of that panel to quit her position.

Anita Bartholomew, a freelance journalist who has contributed to Reader's Digest, wrote in a resignation letter, "The First Amendment is designed to prevent government interference with a free press. Miller, by shielding a government official or officials who attempted to use the press to retaliate against a whistleblower, and scare off other would-be whistleblowers, has allied herself with government interference with, and censorship of, whistleblowers. When your source IS the government, and the government is attempting to use you to target a whistleblower, the notion of shielding a source must be reconsidered. To apply standard practices regarding sources to hiding wrongdoing at the highest levels of government perverts the intent of the First Amendment."

El-Hai told E&P at that time, "It is unusual to have this kind of disagreement about an award, but independent writers are a prickly bunch."
E&P Staff ([email protected])
0 Replies
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 01:50 pm
Oy vey. That is what came into my mind after reading that piece. So much there.

Pipes, Gonzales, MET ALpha.

Miller often referred to her relationships with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and others at the Pentagon, including Undersecretary Douglas Feith.

"Judith was always issuing threats of either going to the New York Times or to the secretary of defense," the officer said. "There was nothing veiled about that threat,"

Getting MET Alpha's orders rescinded by going and talking with a military officer? Are we being serious here?

My mind is reeling.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 01:54 pm
I am too slow, BBB. Or you are too good in posting stuff. Or both.

My comments above are in reference to your first, lengthy piece.

Now I see that you have subsequently posted other stuff.

Must read faster.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 01:58 pm
I now also see that I missed a couple of posts just prior to the lengthy one. I will come back and read all when I have time to digest. Later this evening.

Good reporting, BBB.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2005 02:15 pm
0 Replies
Reply Thu 4 Aug, 2005 09:41 am
Top GOP Fictions on the White House Leak Case Refuted
Top GOP Fictions on the White House Leak Case Refuted
News from the DNC:

The Right-Wing Attack Machine is running at full speed to defend Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and other Bush Administration insiders implicated in the leaking of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity. It should come as no surprise that Karl Rove's defense is being scripted from his own playbook: distort, distract and divide. The attacks confuse fact with fiction. Here's how.

Fiction: Valerie Plame's identity could have been discovered by looking at the almanac, Who's Who in America, thus somehow allowing Bob Novak to have discovered who she was on his own.

Fact: Not only does the Almanac not list Valerie Wilson's employer as the C.I.A., Novak's latest version of events contradicts his previous assertions that he received the information of her identity from others.

"Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me," he said. ŒThey thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it.'" [Newsday, 7/22/03]

Fiction: Rove and Libby weren't really leaking because their statements were made to steer reporters away from bad information, not to blow Plame's cover.

Fact: There was nothing bad about the information. Wilson returned from Africa with no evidence that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from Niger, findings now admitted to be true.

* The White House formally repudiated the President's claim, in his 2003 State of the Union address, that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium from Africa. [MSNBC, 9/26/03]

* CIA Director George Tenet later confirmed the uranium story was false. [CNN.com, 7/11/03]

* Condi Rice did too. [CNN.com, 7/11/03]

* And Stephen Hadley. [Associated Press, 7/23/03]

* According to a recent Gallup poll, 51% of those surveyed now believe the Bush Administration deliberately misled the American public about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. [CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, June 22-24, 2005]

* And maybe they have good reason: no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq.

Furthermore, the reason for the leak - even had it stemmed from concern for accuracy in journalism -- doesn't matter.

* The Intelligence Identities Act makes it a crime to intentionally reveal the identity of a covert officer. [Congressional Research Service Report "Intelligence Identities Protection Act," October 2003]

* The Espionage Act makes it a crime to willfully disclose classified information -- like, say, from a State Department memo labeled "Top Secret" -- that could be used against the United States Government. [18 USC §793(d) and (e)]

* The non-disclosure agreement signed by Executive Branch employees who handle classified information states that it is a violation of the agreement to confirm information without first checking to see that it is no longer classified. Even if you do so only negligently. [Standard Form 312, "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement" and accompanying booklet]

Keep that in mind as you re-read Matt Cooper's recollection of his conversation with Karl Rove:

Rove told me material was going to be declassified in the coming days that would cast doubt on Wilson's mission and his findings...Rove did, however, clearly indicate that she worked at the Œagency' -- by that, I told the grand jury, I inferred that he obviously meant the CIA and not, say, the Environmental Protection Agency. Rove added that she worked on ŒWMD' (the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction) issues and that she was responsible for sending Wilson. This was the first time I had heard anything about Wilson's wife." [Time, July 25, 2005]

Fiction: Valerie Plame wasn't really covert or undercover.

Fact: Valerie Plame was a covert officer of the CIA.

* Since her exposure two years ago, the CIA has consistently said that she was a covert officer. [NY Times, 7/28]

* The CIA wouldn't have referred the case to the Justice Department if Plame was not a covert employee. [CIA submits a standard 11 part questionnaire used by the DOJ to determine whether an investigation is warranted -- Washington Post, 10/1/03]

* Former CIA officers have testified that she was covert from her first day at the Agency:

I worked with this woman...She has been undercover for three decades. She is not, as Bob Novak suggested, a CIA analyst...people she meets with overseas could be compromised. When you start tracing back who she met with, even people who innocently met with her, who are not involved in CIA operations, could be compromised. For these journalists to argue that this is no big deal, and if I hear another Republican operative suggesting that well, this was just an analyst, fine, let them go undercover." [Larry Johnson on Newshour, PBS, 9/30/03]

There are thousands of undercover CIA employees who drive through the three gates at CIA Headquarters in McLean, Virginia everyday. [Larry Johnson]

* Even Plame's neighbors had no idea she was CIA. [USA Today, 7/24]

* It's simply not credible to believe that the Special Prosecutor would still be investigating so aggressively if Ms. Plame was not covert.

Fiction: Joe Wilson's wife sent him to Niger on some sort of nepotistic junket.

Fact: This ignores CIA guidelines and what the Agency itself has said, not to mention the question of choosing Niger as a holiday destination.

* Plame didn't have the authority to send her husband to Niger. [Testimony of Larry Johnson, DPC Hearing 7/22]

* Wilson wasn't paid for his services. [NY Times, 7/6/03]

* Wilson, who has served as Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council and as Ambassador to multiple African countries, was not an illogical choice to send on the mission. ["Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV - Our Team," Corporate and Public Strategy Advisory Group website, 7/26]

* Niger has been in the news for another reason recently: its population faces the risk of mass starvation and resulting epidemics. Some junket. [Voice of America, 7/29]

Fiction: Joe Wilson is a liar who said Cheney sent him to Niger when he didn't.

Fact: As many times as the Republican talking heads put words in Joe Wilson's mouth, it doesn't make them true.

* Wilson never said he was sent by Cheney. Period. [Salon.com, 7/13]

* The White House has shown a persistent unwillingness to consider intelligence that conflicted with what it wanted to hear. If Cheney and other high-ranking officials didn't end up getting Wilson's report after asking the CIA to investigate, it says more about the Bush Administration's approach to intelligence than it does about Wilson's mission to Niger.

Fiction: The special prosecutor is engaged in some sort of crusade to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of reporters.

Fact: Reporter Judith Miller is in jail, for which the source who refuses to provide a specific waiver bears sole responsibility.

* But regardless of what one thinks of a federal shield law for journalists, it doesn't yet exist. And if a common law privilege existed, all three D.C. Circuit Court judges who considered the case have said that it would be an exception to that privilege. [In re Grand Jury Subpoena (Miller), 397 F.3d 964 (D.C. Cir., 2005)]

Fiction: Alberto Gonzales's decision to inform Andy Card of the opening of an investigation at least 12 hours before White House staff is completely justified by the fact that he had the ok of the Justice Department to delay his disclosure.

Fact: Ashcroft had to recuse himself in December 2003 from the investigation and Alberto Gonzales was on record saying that the investigation raised issues of separation of powers issues.

* The New York Times reported in 2003 that senior criminal prosecutors and FBI officials criticized the Attorney General's failure to recuse himself or to appoint a special counsel. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that whether the Attorney General should step aside has been discussed in the department and by his own senior advisors. They "fear Mr. Ashcroft could be damaged by continuing accusations that as an attorney general with a long career in Republican partisan politics, he could not credibly lead a criminal investigation that centered on the aides to a Republican president." [NY Times, 10/16/03]

* When Alberto Gonzales was White House Counsel, he claimed that Congressional suggestions about how to handle the leak were unconstitutional: "We believe it is inconsistent with the constitution's separation-of-powers principles for members of Congress to direct the president's management of White House employees." [Reuters, 10/15/03]

Fiction: The Senate is now finally going to investigate.

Fact: Senator Roberts has said he will first ask whether the CIA really knows what "covert" means, then investigate the investigation. [Reuters, 7/25/05]

* Senator Roberts's parroting of the RNC talking points show he's simply not serious about getting to the bottom of what happened. If he was serious about these issues, he would have begun the Phase II intelligence hearings months ago. [See Boston Globe, 7/27]

Fiction: The House is now finally going to investigate, starting by asking how we can strengthen our laws regarding classified information.

Fact: Laws already exist, they're just not being enforced.

* If Rep. Hoekstra really wants to talk about laws protecting classified information, shouldn't he begin by asking why the President hasn't enforced Executive Order 12958, the law already on the books?

Fiction: When Democrats raise questions about this breach of national security they are launching political attacks.

Fact: This case is about national security.

* Just ask Col. W. Patrick Lang (ret'd), former director of the Defense Human Intelligence Service, why this case matters. Here's what he'll tell you:

[When] the major country in the world, deliberately, and apparently for trivial and passing political reasons, decides to disclose the identity of a covert officer, the word goes around the world like a shock [that], "The Americans can't be trusted ‹ the Americans can't be trusted. If you decide to cooperate clandestinely with the Americans, someone back there will give you up ‹ someone will give you up, and then everything will be over for you." So you don't do it. [DPC Hearing, 7/22/05]

Fiction: The refusal of the White House to act or give any explanation to the American public is justified by the ongoing criminal investigation.

Fact: Bush could demand accountability from his staff now.

* The White House used to comment despite the ongoing investigation - when they had more favorable things to say. [White House Press Briefing, 9/29/03]

* Executive Order 12958, which the President signed in March 2003, says the White House has an affirmative legal obligation to investigate any leaks and punish those responsible. If they didn't have reason before Matthew Cooper's article in Time, they do now.

* It's not like the White House isn't talking, it's just not issuing its statements directly. The consistency of the statements coming from Rove and Libby's defenders shows a coordinated communications effort. It's just not happening on the record by White House spokespeople. [White House Press Briefing, 7/11/05 - Present Day.]

Fiction: The President can be trusted to get to the bottom of this.

Fact: The President and his spokesman repeatedly said they wanted to get to the bottom of things, but they have expressed shifting standards of accountability as the investigation has developed to include high level officials.

* McClellan - September 29, 2003: "The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He's made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration." - Scott McClellan [White House Press Briefing, September 29, 2003]

* George Bush : "I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action." - [Press Pool, Chicago, Illinois, September 30, 2003]

* McClellan - October 7, 2003: "Let me answer what the President has said. I speak for the President and I'll talk to you about what he wants." and "If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that's not the way this White House operates, that's not the way this President expects people in his administration to conduct their business." - Scott McClellan [White House Press Briefing releases/2003/10/20031007-4.html, Savannah, Georgia, June 10, 2004]

* Bush: "If someone committed crime, they will no longer work in my administration." [USA Today, 7/18/05]
0 Replies
Reply Fri 5 Aug, 2005 06:04 am
Excellect summarization.
0 Replies
Reply Sat 6 Aug, 2005 07:06 am
C.I.A. Leak Case Recalls Texas Incident in '92 Race

C.I.A. Leak Case Recalls Texas Incident in '92 Race
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 - These hot months here will be remembered as the summer of the leak, a time when the political class obsessed on a central question: did Karl Rove, President Bush's powerful adviser, commit a crime when he spoke about a C.I.A. officer with the columnist Robert D. Novak?

Whatever a federal grand jury investigating the case decides, a small political subgroup is experiencing the odd sensation that this leak has sprung before. In 1992 in an incident well known in Texas, Mr. Rove was fired from the state campaign to re-elect the first President Bush on suspicions that Mr. Rove had leaked damaging information to Mr. Novak about Robert Mosbacher Jr., the campaign manager and the son of a former commerce secretary.

Since then, Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove was the source, even as Mr. Mosbacher, who no longer talks on the record about the incident, has never changed his original assertion that Mr. Rove was the culprit.

"It's history," Mr. Mosbacher said last week in a brief telephone interview. "I commented on it at the time, and I have nothing to add."

But the episode, part of the bad-boy lore of Mr. Rove, is a telling chapter in the 20-year friendship between the presidential adviser and the columnist. The story of that relationship, a bond of mutual self-interest of a kind that is long familiar in Washington, does not answer the question of who might have leaked the identity of the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, to reporters, potentially a crime.

But it does give a clue to Mr. Rove's frequent and complimentary mentions over the years in Mr. Novak's column, and to the importance of Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak to each other's ambitions.

"They've known each for a long time, but they are not close friends," said a person who knows both men and who asked not to be named because of the investigation into a conversation by Mr. Novak and Mr. Rove in July 2003 about Ms. Wilson, part of a case that has put a reporter for The New York Times, Judith Miller, in jail for refusing to testify to the grand jury.

The two men share a love of history and policy, as well as reputations as aggressive partisans and hotheads.

People who have been officially briefed on the case have said Mr. Rove was the second of two senior administration officials cited by Mr. Novak in his column of July 14, 2003, that identified Ms. Wilson by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and said she was a C.I.A. operative.

The larger question has been whether Mr. Rove might have been using the columnist to confirm Ms. Plame's identity to punish or undermine her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who had accused the Bush administration of leading the nation to war with Iraq on false pretenses.

Mr. Novak, who stalked out of a live program on CNN on Thursday after uttering a profanity on the air, declined to be interviewed for this article.

The anchor of the program, "Inside Politics," Ed Henry, has said he was preparing later in the broadcast to ask Mr. Novak about his role in the leak case.

Mr. Rove also declined to be interviewed.

But Mr. Novak, through his office manager, Kathleen Connolly, provided the information about his first encounter with Mr. Rove. Mr. Novak, by his recollection, met Mr. Rove in Texas in the mid-80's, when Mr. Novak turned up to write columns about the state's shifting out of Democrats' hands into those of Republicans.

In those years, Mr. Rove regularly had dinner with Mr. Novak when the columnist went to Austin. Mr. Rove, in his mid-30's, was a rising political operator who in 1981 founded his direct-mail consulting firm, Karl Rove & Company. Gov. William P. Clements, a Republican, was one of his first clients.

Mr. Novak, in his mid-50's, was big political game for Mr. Rove. He was the other half, with Rowland Evans Jr., of a much read and increasingly conservative column that was syndicated by The Chicago Sun-Times and published weekly in The Washington Post. Evans and Novak, as it was called - Mr. Evans retired in 1993 -closely chronicled the Reagan era, and it would have been a sign of Mr. Rove's arrival on the national scene for Mr. Novak to mention him in print.

Still, a computer search of Mr. Novak's columns shows that Mr. Rove's name did not appear under his byline until 1992, when Mr. Novak wrote the words that got Mr. Rove into such trouble.

"A secret meeting of worried Republican power brokers in Dallas last Sunday reflected the reality that George Bush is in serious trouble in trying to carry his adopted state," the column began.

The column said that the campaign run by Mr. Mosbacher was a "bust" and that he had been stripped of his authority at the "secret meeting" by Senator Phil Gramm, the top Republican in the state.

Also at the meeting, Mr. Novak reported, was "political consultant Karl Rove, who had been shoved aside by Mosbacher."

Specifically, Mr. Mosbacher told The Houston Chronicle in 2003 that he had given a competitor of Mr. Rove the bulk of a $1 million contract for direct mail work in the campaign.

"I thought another firm was better," Mr. Mosbacher told The Chronicle. "I had $1 million for direct mail. I gave Rove a contract for $250,000 and $750,000 to the other firm."

The other firm belonged to Mr. Rove's chief competitor, John Weaver, and Mr. Rove was so angry, Texas Republicans say, that he retaliated by leaking the information about Mr. Mosbacher to Mr. Novak.

Mr. Mosbacher fired Mr. Rove. As a result, Mr. Weaver, who later faced off against Mr. Rove as the political director of Senator John McCain's presidential campaign in 2000, walked away with Mr. Rove's $250,000, too.

"That's about the only time that a Novak column benefited me," Mr. Weaver said this week in a telephone interview.

Mr. Rove again turned up in Mr. Novak's columns in 1999, when Gov. George W. Bush was running for president. Mr. Rove, Mr. Bush's national campaign strategist, was quoted briefly on the record in at least three columns, even though Mr. Novak has said on CNN, "I can't tell you anything I ever talked to Karl Rove about, because I don't think I ever talked to him about any subject, even the time of day, on the record."

Whether Mr. Novak forgot about the 1999 mentions is unclear. What is clear is that Mr. Rove has made frequent appearances in Mr. Novak's column in a positive light, often in paragraphs that imparted information about the inner workings of Mr. Bush's operation, feeding perceptions here that Mr. Rove is one of the columnist's most important anonymous sources.

In April 2000, under the headline "Bush Thriving Without Insiders," Mr. Novak wrote of the fears of the Republican old guard about the triumvirate of "rookies" in Austin - led by Mr. Rove - who were running Mr. Bush's "supposedly fading" presidential campaign.

"Actually," Mr. Novak wrote, "the Austin triumvirate has managed the most effective Republican campaign since Dwight D. Eisenhower's in 1952."

Last December, Mr. Novak wrote that the "retention of John Snow as secretary of the treasury was viewed in the capital's inner circles as a defeat for presidential adviser Karl Rove, who wanted a high-profile manager of President Bush's second-term economic program."

Although Mr. Novak did not directly debunk that view, he did suggest a different turn of events when he wrote that two Wall Street executives had said no to the position and that it was "decided at the White House to relieve Snow from his uncertainty and keep him in office."

These days, friends of the two men say they have not seen Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak at dinner together and note that there is little the two would have to celebrate. But in June 2003, The Chicago Sun-Times gave a party for Mr. Novak at the Army and Navy Club here to salute 40 years of his columns.

The biggest political celebrity guest, to no one's surprise, was Mr. Rove.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2005 11:53 am
The Expanding Judy File
08.07.2005 Arianna Huffington
The Expanding Judy File

The Judy File expands. A well-connected media source e-mailed to say that the most interesting development on the Miller story is coming from inside the Times: "I gather that Doug Jehl, who is a dogged and respected reporter, has been assigned to do an in-house investigative report for the Times and that he is already cutting pretty close to the bone. Several editors he has spoken to are now asking themselves why there wasn't more questioning of whether Miller's silence reflects a fear of incriminating herself rather than betraying a source. I predict this will start to unravel in the next couple of weeks -- if only because the Times is afraid of getting scooped again by outside rivals." A different source within the Times confirmed that Jehl is indeed on the story, having been given the assignment not from New York but from the paper's Washington bureau. And the Plamegate story he filed last week shows that he isn't afraid to step on the toes of his bosses. Stay tuned.

Speaking of the Times' Washington bureau, according to another source within the Times, the DC office has put in a dedicated phone line specifically for the purpose of receiving Judy's collect calls from prison -- which are then forwarded to whoever it is she wants to talk to. It's been dubbed "the Judy Line." No word on whether the number is 1-800-4-MARTYR.

One of the more intriguing tips directed me to Miller's lawyers' motion [pdf] seeking home detention -- and to Fitzgerald's response [pdf]. The question was whether Miller might have opened the door to more trouble with Fitzgerald by invoking the ill health of her 76-year-old husband, Jason Epstein, when trying to convince Judge Hogan to let her serve her time at home. The fact that after Judy was sent to jail, Epstein headed off on a Mediterranean cruise, led my e-mailer to suggest: "When Fitzgerald and Hogan find out about the cruise, Miller could get hit with a separate contempt charge for misleading the court -- judges and prosecutors do not take that kind of thing lightly." It's hard to say whether Miller was misleading the court since the parts of her motion relating to her husband's health have been marked "confidential" and filed under seal. However, the non-confidential part says: "Also relevant to consider is the health of Ms. Miller's 76-year-old husband." Why would it be relevant if it wasn't being used to stop the judge from sending Judy to jail? And glean what you will from Fitzgerald's acid response: "We do not dispute the accuracy of the sealed filings concerning Miller's health conditions, nor those concerning her husband. Suffice it to say, however, that...one who can handle the desert in wartime is far better equipped than the average person jailed in a federal facility.... Miller could avoid even a minute of separation from her husband if she would do no more than just follow the law like every other citizen in America is required to do." [Emphasis added]

During a conversation with Gore Vidal (more about that tomorrow) we talked about the fact that we had both heard from different people that Judy was planning to start writing a book about her experiences in the Plame case while in jail. "De Profundis it's not going to be," Vidal said, referring to Oscar Wilde's jailhouse classic. "More like De Shallow-undis."

Gore also made the point that Miller had continued to carry water for her neocon chums right up until her incarceration. The last articles she wrote before going to jail -- about Kofi Annan and that neocon bugaboo, the UN -- stand as an example of sloppy and slanted journalism that required two Times corrections, one of them an entire article. For chapter and verse on this, look here and here.

Then there is the e-mail I received from a Judy File-ophile regarding "the truly burning question" about Miller. It too involved her husband and his Mediterranean vacation. "Here's what I want to know," my e-mailer wrote: "Who is taking care of the cockapoodle that Judy gave Jason so that he would have company when she went to jail?"

Fear not: we'll leave no stone -- or kennel receipt -- unturned to bring you the answer.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2005 12:25 pm
Haven't seen this posted yet. Looks like a change in management that may thwart the investigation:

Leak Investigation: An Oversight Issue?


Aug. 15, 2005 issue - The departure this week of Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who has accepted the post of general counsel at Lockheed Martin, leaves a question mark in the probe into who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Comey was the only official overseeing special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's leak investigation. With Attorney General Alberto Gonzales recused, department officials say they are still trying to resolve whom Fitzgerald will now report to. Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum is "likely" to be named as acting deputy A.G., a DOJ official who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter tells NEWSWEEK. But McCallum may be seen as having his own conflicts: he is an old friend of President Bush's and a member of his Skull and Bones class at Yale.

Newsweek Link
0 Replies
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2005 01:09 pm
Yeah, I saw that. But he is to stay for another year.
0 Replies
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2005 01:44 pm
Another Nixon-era saturday night massacre?

0 Replies
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 10:29 am
Vanity Fair Rips Media Conspiracy Covering Up Role re Plame
"Vanity Fair' Rips Media 'Conspiracy' in Covering Up Role in Plame Scandal
By Greg Mitchell
Greg Mitchell ([email protected]) is editor of E&P.
Published: August 11, 2005 9:00 PM ET

NEW YORKIn an article in the September issue of Vanity Fair (not yet online), Michael Wolff, in probing the Plame/CIA leak scandal, rips those in the news media -- principally Time magazine and The New York Times -- who knew that Karl Rove was one of the leakers but refused to expose what would have been "one of the biggest stories of the Bush years." Not only that, "they helped cover it up." You might say, he adds, they "became part of a conspiracy."

If they had burned this unworthy source and exposed his "crime," he adds, it would have been "of such consequences that it might, reasonably, have presaged the defeat of the president, might have even -- to be slightly melodramatic -- altered the course of the war in Iraq." In doing so they showed they owed their greatest allegiance to the source, not their readers.

And their source was no Deep Throat, not someone with dirt on the government -- the source "was the government."

So in the end, he concludes, "the greatest news organizations in the land had a story about a potential crime that reached as close as you can get to the president himself and they punted, they swallowed it, they self-dealt." And why did they do it? Well, "a source is a source who, unrevealed, will continue to be a source."

Even after the news first emerged last month that Rove had leaked to Cooper, the media still waited days to even ask the White House press secretary about it. It was a story, "in full view, the media just ignored."

The title of the Wolff article is "All Roads Lead to Rove."

Wolff mocks Time's Matt Cooper and Norman Pearlstine and can't seem to make heads or tails of "genuinely spooky" Robert Novak. He holds off full judgment on the Times' jailed reporter Judith Miller, while noting the "baloney" she retailed for the White House. But he pointedly notes, concerning Miller, that reporters are born "blabbermouths" and even when they don't write or print a certain story they are prone to "serve it up to everybody they know."

He closes with a frontal blast at the media, many members of which will soon be exposed, he predicts, for having "lined up for these lies" spun by the White House.

Links referenced within this article

[email protected]
mailto:[email protected]

Find this article at:
0 Replies
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 10:39 am
0 Replies
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 11:01 am
Probe Accents Issue of What Rove Told Bush
Probe Accents Issue of What Rove Told Bush
The Associated Press
Thursday, August 11, 2005; 10:22 PM

WASHINGTON -- Among the many questions surrounding the investigation into who in the Bush administration leaked the name of an undercover CIA officer is whether President Bush's top political adviser told his boss the truth about his connection to the case.

Two years ago, the White House denied that Karl Rove played any role, but revelations in the past month have shown that Rove spoke with two journalists about the operative, Valerie Plame. Whether Bush knew the truth while the White House was issuing its denials is not publicly known.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan was so adamant in his denials in September 2003 that he told reporters the president knew that Rove wasn't involved in the leak.

"How does he know that?" a reporter asked, referring to the president.

"I'm not going to get into conversations that the president has with advisers or staff," McClellan replied.

Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald questioned Bush a year ago and the prosecutor's office has questioned Rove repeatedly, so presumably investigators know the answer to what, if anything, Rove told Bush.

Whether Rove shaded the truth with Bush two years ago is a potential political problem. The president so far has stood by Rove's side, even raising the bar for dismissing subordinates. Two years ago, Bush pledged to fire any leakers, but now he says he would fire anyone who committed a crime.

If Rove didn't tell Bush the truth, that theoretically could be a legal problem for the presidential aide under the federal false statement statute.

Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning said the false statement law covers statements made to all members of the executive branch, including the president acting in his official capacity. In contrast, a typical false statement case involves lying to investigators or writing false information on a form to the government.

The difficulties in bringing even a typical false statement case are considerable. Simply misleading someone isn't enough to bring a prosecution.

"If the president asks Rove, `Do we have anything to worry about here?' and Rove says `No,' that would not be a false statement," said Henning. "These two men have known each other a long time, the president is not going to question Rove closely as a law enforcement agent would, and that makes all the difference."

Henning is a former federal prosecutor in the Justice Department's fraud section in Washington and has written a law school textbook on white-collar crime.

What is clear about Rove is that after the White House's public denials in 2003 saying Rove wasn't involved in the leak, the presidential aide told investigators behind closed doors about his conversations regarding Plame.

Asked whether it wants to retract its earlier denials, the White House refuses to comment on the grounds that the criminal investigation is ongoing.

Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and apparently at least one other government official were involved in leaking information to reporters about Plame, the wife of Bush administration critic and former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Presidential scholars say a White House's refusal to comment can suggest an administration in political trouble.

"When under fire they suddenly hide behind the shield of secrecy as though they have no control over the matter," said Mark J. Rozell, a public policy professor at George Mason University who has written five books on the presidency.

"What we really don't know factually is whether Rove lied to the president or whether the president knew something about Rove's role and dissembled," said Rozell.

The White House decision not to answer the question makes sense from the standpoint of political damage control, says Steve Hess, senior fellow emeritus at the Brookings Institution.

The CIA leak story "has very little traction on Main Street," but all that would change, Hess said, if someone is indicted in Fitzgerald's criminal investigation.

The federal grand jury investigating the leak expires in October.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2005 08:58 pm
0 Replies
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2005 10:59 am
Career Lawyer Gets Oversight of CIA Probe
Career Lawyer Gets Oversight of CIA Probe
By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer
Fri Aug 12, 5:40 PM ET

David Margolis, a lawyer at the Justice Department for 40 years, was named Friday to oversee a special prosecutor's investigation of who in the Bush administration disclosed the name of an undercover CIA officer.

Margolis, whose title is associate deputy attorney general, is taking the place of Deputy Attorney General James Comey, whose last day of work was Friday. Comey will be Lockheed Martin's new general counsel.

Comey made the designation of Margolis. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has stepped aside from the probe because he was White House counsel when Valerie Plame's name was leaked in 2003 and he has testified to the grand jury investigating the unauthorized disclosure.

Comey gave broad discretion to U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago when he was appointed to investigate the leak in December 2003. Margolis is not expected to alter Fitzgerald's mandate in what are likely to be the final months of his investigation. The grand jury ends its term in October.

No one has been charged in the Plame case. However, it's known that Karl Rove, a top aide to President Bush, and Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, discussed Plame with reporters before her name was first published by columnist Robert Novak in July 2003.

New York Times reporter Judith Miller has been jailed since July 6 for refusing to tell prosecutors to whom she talked about Plame.

The departure of Comey, who had been second in command at the Justice Department since 2003, leaves vacancies in two key posts. Christopher Wray resigned as head of the Criminal division in May.

President Bush has nominated Timothy E. Flanigan, once Gonzales' deputy in the White House, to take Comey's job. Alice Fisher has been nominated to lead the criminal division.

Neither has been confirmed. Flanigan faced tough questioning in his Senate confirmation hearing about his role in allowing aggressive interrogation techniques be used on detainees from Afghanistan and Iraq and his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the Judiciary Committee chairman, indicated he might oppose Flanigan's confirmation because he didn't like his answers. A committee vote on Flanigan has not been scheduled, and the committee will begin hearings on John Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court when Congress returns to work in September.

Fisher's nomination had been held up through July by at least two senators, one Republican, one Democrat. Sen. Charles Grassley (news, bio, voting record), R-Iowa, was seeking to question an FBI agent about a delay in obtaining a wiretap in a terrorism financing investigation. Grassley lifted his objection after meeting with Gonzales.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., also met with Gonzales, but he continues to hold up Fisher's nomination because he wants to talk directly to an agent who wrote an e-mail about allegedly abusive interrogations at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval facility.

"In my weekly meetings with DOJ we often discussed (Defense Department) techniques and how they were not effective or producing intel that was reliable," the agent wrote. In his next sentence, he said Fisher, then the No. 2 in the criminal division, was among department officials who attended all the meetings.

Fisher has said she did not recall taking part in such discussions and Justice officials have said the agent did not intend to say she had. But Gonzales has refused to let senators question the agent, saying it violates long-standing policy.

After failing to persuade Levin to let Fisher's nomination proceed, Gonzales went public with the dispute, saying the vacancy was especially inopportune following terror attacks in England and Egypt in July.

Comey's departure "makes it imperative that key national security officials, such as Ms. Fisher, be confirmed so that the department is able to adequately respond to whatever emergencies may arise," Gonzales said in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

On the Net:
Justice Department: http://www.usdoj.gov
0 Replies
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2005 11:20 am
Looking at the names of potential people involved in the leak, I recalled what Alan Fleischer said about his son just as he retired his position:

I guess if Ari had to rebel, being a Republican is better than being on drugs, but not by much.

-- Ari Fleischer's dad Alan, quoted in the Stamford Advocate
0 Replies

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
TEA PARTY TO AMERICA: NOW WHAT?! - Discussion by farmerman
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.1 seconds on 06/18/2024 at 09:50:14