24 July 2005

Rove and Libby's defense against a possible conspiracy count in the prosecutor's eventual indictment

According to Lawrence O'Donnel, who writes on how Rove's attorney, Bob Luskin, is providing client sympathetic leaks to the press now.
In the 21 days since I broke the story that Karl Rove was Matt Cooper's source, Rove's lawyer, Bob Luskin, has been working the press everyday with a new defense angle that, once committed to print in Newsweek, the Washington Post or the New York Times, gets added to the Republican party's talking points on the scandal. Luskin's first response to my revelation was to say that, well, yes, Rove did talk to Cooper about Joe Wilson's wife but he did not "knowingly" disclose classified information -- knowingly being the essence of Rove's criminal defense (as I have previously discussed).

After getting a lot of embarrassing attention for trying to deny to the Washington Post that Rove was the person who finally gave Cooper a specific release to testify, Luskin has gone undercover and now rarely attaches his name to the defense briefs he dictates to reporters, all of whom would love to use a source other than Luskin but no one in the prosecutor's office is leaking, so they're stuck with Luskin. The Washington Post usually identifies him as a source familiar with Rove's grand jury testimony, but Luskin has managed to negotiate a more indirect label with the Times where he appears as a source who has "been briefed on the case." The Times always points out that the source is sympathetic to Rove. Today's Times piece says that Luskin's latest description about how Rove and Lewis Libby worked together (the prosecutor might say conspired) to respond to Joe Wilson's Op-Ed piece was leaked to the the Times "to demonstrate that Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby were not involved in an orchestrated scheme to discredit Mr. Wilson or disclose the undercover status of his wife, Valerie Wilson, but were intent on clarifying the use of intelligence in the president's [State of the Union] address."

Regardless of the outcome, it will indeed interesting grist to read when the special prosecutor spills all the details.

12 July 2005

Shame on those who continue to slander Joe Wilson while giving Bush and his pack of liars a pass

Larry Johnson, CIA classmate of Valerie Plame, pens a scathing rebuttal of the absurd disinformation campaign being conducted by the Republicans, still intent on smearing Joseph Wilson, and obsfucating the truth.
The lies by people like Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, and P. J. O'Rourke insist that Valerie was nothing, just a desk jockey.  Yet, until Robert Novak betrayed her she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world.  When Novak outed Valerie he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her.

The Republicans now want to hide behind the legalism that "no laws were broken".  I don't know if a man made law was broken but an ethical and moral code was breached.  For the first time a group of partisan political operatives publically identified a CIA NOC.  They have set a precendent that the next group of political hacks may feel free to violate.

They try to hide behind the specious claim that Joe Wilson "lied".  Although Joe did not lie let's follow that reasoning to the logical conclusion.  Let's use the same standard for the Bush Administration.  Here are the facts.  Bush's lies have resulted in the deaths of almost 1800 American soldiers and the mutilation of 12,000.  Joe Wilson has not killed anyone.  He tried to prevent the needless death of Americans and the loss of American prestige in the world.

But don't take my word for it, read the biased Senate intelligence committee report.  Even though it was slanted to try to portray Joe in the worst possible light this fact emerges on page 52 of the report:  According to the US Ambassador to Niger (who was commenting on Joe's visit in February 2002), "Ambassador Wilson reached the same conclusion that the Embassy has reached that it was highly unlikely that anything between Iraq and Niger was going on."  Joe's findings were consistent with those of the Deputy Commander of the European Command, Major General Fulford.

On a related note, regarding PlameGate, has Robert Novak already spilled the beans to special prosecutor Fitzgerald?

5 July 2005

Besmirch everyone EXCEPT the criminals

A reality check is sorely needed for KFYI 550 AM radio host Tom Liddy, son of convicted felon and alleged wannabe Nixon enemies assassin, G. Gordon, known best for his crimes against the U.S. Constitution. The younger Liddy still seems to harbor quite a grudge against Mark Felt and Bob Woodward for spilling the beans on the Nixon conspiracy which resulted in a prison sentence for his father, and that along with his penchant for water carrying for the Republican party has him spinning the Valerie Plame story in an incredulous fashion. Funny, though, how he never does seem to mention his family link to a legendary Consitutional crisis, instead, preferring to spew venom at Felt's whistleblowing.

But, first, let's go back to special prosecutor Fitzgerald and the business of who leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Mr. Liddy gave quite a spiel on Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame hated Bush and wanted Kerry to win the election, and that nothing they had to say on the matter of Iraq and WMD could be taken as credible. But Liddy omits this essential truth:

You have to remember what l'affaire Plame is all about: at some point in the run-up to war, forged documents purporting to show Iraq's efforts to procure uranium from Niger turned up in the U.S. intelligence stream and made their way to Washington, where they turned up at the White House and wormed their way into the 2003 State of the Union address in the form of the by-now-infamous "16 words."

Liddy had me howling when he seem to bubble over in praise of NY Times Judith Miller, who is facing a jail sentence for not revealing her source for a Valerie Plame story she did not publish. Liddy's adulation was for her cheerleading pieces in the pre-invasion frenzy, where she ran news stories that were cooked up by another felon and notable international swindler, Ahmed Chalabi.

…Judith Miller, the reporter who wrote or co-wrote four of the six articles singled out as flawed. Miller often didn't let her readers know that she was relying on the Pentagon's pet Iraqi exile, Ahmad Chalabi.

Tardy by more than a year, the semi-mea-culpa article by the Times editors — while failing to provide any forthright explanation of Chalabi's role as a chronic source for Miller's prewar stories — appeared a week after the U.S. government turned definitively and publicly against its exile ally Chalabi. Only then were the top New York Times editors willing to turn definitively and publicly against key Times stories spun by the Chalabi-Miller duo.

Liddy blasted Plame as a infidel who hated George W. Bush and desired for John Kerry to win 2004 election. That's odd, since Wilson's op-ed piece was published way back before Kerry got the nomination. And it has been illustrated that any opposition to the neoconservative war plans was quashed, and that the Bush administration desired only to fix the intelligence to suit the policy, as the Downing Street memos have now collaborated. Others have given testimony on how the neoconservatives have carried out a takeover campaign in military intelligence and CIA ranks. Here is what investigative journalist, Jamres Bamford, who's covered intelligence gathering in the United States for more than two decades, says on the matter:

Intelligence was manipulated, mangled, ignored, and analysts were harassed and bullied to present the false picture that Iraq was an imminent threat to the U.S. In talking with intelligence analysts and case officers, in the months leading up to the war none believed that Iraq posed a threat to the U.S. The most basic evidence was the fact that Iraq had never begun work on a long-range missile system (unlike Iran and North Korea), something that can be easily seen by imaging satellites space with a resolution down to the centimeter. And no country has ever built a warhead without simultaneously building a delivery system.

One CIA analyst from the Iraq Nonproliferation section told me that his boss once called his office together (about 50 people) and said, "You know what – if Bush wants to go to war, it's your job to give him a reason to do so." The former analyst added, "And I said, 'All right, it's time, it's time to go… And I just remember saying, 'This is something that the American public, if they ever knew, they would be outraged.'"

Callers to the Liddy radio program chimed in that they thought a Democrat was behind the leak, but to Liddy's credit, he wagered that their assessment was incorrect. Liddy then allotted some time to defend Robert Novak, who was the one who outed Plame, dancing around the logic that Novak must have came to agreeable terms with special prosecutor Fitzgerald.

Tom, here's a cluebone for you — there's a difference between a case of whistleblower like Mark Felt exposing malfeasance involving presidential crimes against the Constitution, as opposed to a journalist protecting the identity of a suspect who committed a gross act of treason for a solely political partisan purpose. A journalist, when all the details are revealed, may have participated in the act of wrongdoing. On the other hand, it may be an intentional distortion on your part, given your partisan perch and emotional rage over the criminal prosecution of your father.

Meanwhile, Karl Rove continues to duck behind his lawyer as MSNBC Analyst/McLaughlin Group panelist Lawrence O'Donnell poses some questions to Rove, attempting to poke a hole through the Clintonian legalese.