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July 13, 2005

Comments

. . . the liberal position that Joe Wilson was really a good fit for this job . . .

Can you name the liberal who thinks Wilson's "fit" matters at all at this point? Do you understand why so many people think that talking about Wilson at all, at this point, is just misdirection?

blogme, thanks, that link is helpful.

Hope this doesn't burst your little bubble. Notice how nicely Wilson has inserted the word clandestine to confuse the issue.

This is flat out wrong, blogme. As in, factually incorrect. Wilson did not insert the word at all. Wolf Blitzer introduced the word "clandestine":

BLITZER: But the other argument that's been made against you is that you've sought to capitalize on this extravaganza, having that photo shoot with your wife, who was a clandestine officer of the CIA, and that you've tried to enrich yourself writing this book and all of that.

What do you make of those accusations, which are serious accusations, as you know, that have been leveled against you?

WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity.

BLITZER: But she hadn't been a clandestine officer for some time before that?

WILSON: That's not anything that I can talk about. And, indeed, I'll go back to what I said earlier, the CIA believed that a possible crime had been committed, and that's why they referred it to the Justice Department.

She was not a clandestine officer at the time that that article in "Vanity Fair" appeared. And I have every right to have the American public know who I am and not to have myself defined by those who would write the sorts of things that are coming out, being spewed out of the mouths of the RNC...

blogme, Larv nailed it. This isn't nit-picky parsing. Wilson is saying that his wife was not clandestine because her cover was blown by Novak's column, and this is why appearing in Vanity fair was appropriate. The damage was done at that point.

If anything is confusing the issue it's pulling quotes out of context like this.

If anything is confusing the issue it's pulling quotes out of context like this.

Isn't that the point?

blogme: But, there is also the political agenda that many agents at the CIA seemed to have. It looks alot like Plame was fixing the data, by having her hubby go and evaluate Niger.

Please cite where you have found proof that Valerie Plame got Joseph Wilson to go and evaluate Niger. That is, show that she was the person at the CIA who had the responsibility to authorize investigative trips abroad by American former diplomats. Or just quit making stuff up, okay?

According to the reports it turns out the Joe proved Valeria wrong in her assumption about Hussein attempting to purchase yellowcake from Niger.

This is such a muddled sentence I cannot actually tell even who you're talking about. I assume "Joe" is Ambassador Wilson (though I wasn't aware you were on first name terms with him). But who is Valeria? And what assumptions was she making? And how did Wilson prove those assumptions wrong?

blogme

"WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

There's alot of parsing going on. Like everything else with this issue I think we have to wait and see what his words really mean.

Why wait?


Blogme,

What puzzled me about your 12.48PM question was that you seemed to suggest Rove’s critics should focus on Plame’s integrity. Why should they care? It’s Rove they’re after. Suppose his excuse is that he outed Plame because he believed she was serving some (real or imaginary) CIA political agenda. As a motive that’s not very creditable. But it wouldn’t be any worse just because he turned out to be wrong. Rove’s critics will hardly settle for showing that he misjudged a hard-working woman. He has done worse things than that in his time. The important thing for the critics is what he did, not why he did it. His motive can only redeem him if it is a motive he would be happy to reveal. What you are suggesting wouldn’t help him at all, even if true.

It looks alot like Plame was fixing the data, by having her hubby go and evaluate Niger.

Perhaps she was involved in publishing the Downing Street Memo's too?

You seem to be taking a leaf out of Roves book as you present your 'arguments' here. But it won't work.

Jesurgislac,

"That is, show that she was the person at the CIA who had the responsibility to authorize investigative trips abroad by American former diplomats. Or just quit making stuff up, okay?"

I have no problem admitting that Plame didn't authorize it. But are you suggesting that that maybe she didn't lobby for her hubby to go? If so please back that assertion up.

I'm sure in your perfection you have never made a few typos. Please feel free to play dumb.

From what I have already posted she called the reports crazy. Joe came back and said the PM of Niger verified them.

I suggest you read the SSIC report.

Gromit,

He may not have been parsing. I was judging him by past behavior.

Postit,

I'm waiting because Joe really isn't that trustworthy of a guy. He has in the past stated one thing only to find out in the SSIC report he reported something different.

Btw, does everyone here no that Wilson's wife was listed on his CV before all this even started.

Btw, does everyone here no that Wilson's wife was listed on his CV before all this even started.

Know, I didn't no that. What was she listed as? Do you think the fact that he was married was supposed to be a secret?

Actually, according to information reported so far it wasn't a secret from her neighbors either. It only lends credence to the fact that a reporter could have put two and two together and come up with four.

If you're claiming that Joe Wilson's CV had a line reading, "Spouse: Valerie Plame; Spouse's Occupation: CIA Spook," or anything even remotely close to that, I'm going to have to ask for a very, very reliable cite. Like a copy of it.

Maybe I shouldn’t change the subject but I saw an interesting article about Rove .

Remember Rove? Karl Rove. There was a thread here about Rove, before it became a thread about some married couple.

It’s about laws he may or may not have broken:

Karl Rove may be able to claim that he did not know he was leaking "classified information" about a "covert agent," but there can be no question he understood that what he was leaking was "sensitive information." The very fact that Matt Cooper called it "double super secret background" information suggests Rove knew of its sensitivity, if he did not know it was classified information (which by definition is sensitive).

Of course he could have stayed within the law and still deserve to be sacked but I thought it was interesting.

I suggest you read the SSIC report.

I suggest you learn to be sceptical of reports produced by political committees dominated by partisans of the same stripe as the executive who's work is being investigated. Particularly when said partisans feel it necessary to author addenda meant to discredit individuals which even their own majority refuse to sign on to. And especially in light of the fact that the chairman of said committee has 1st stalled and now backslid on a promise to undertake an investigation of the use of intelligence material by the executive which was to follow on from the investigation of the intelligence production.

blogme: I have no problem admitting that Plame didn't authorize it.

Then don't imply she did.

But are you suggesting that that maybe she didn't lobby for her hubby to go? If so please back that assertion up.

Why? Joseph Wilson was plainly the perfect candidate for an official fact-finding trip to Niger with regard to the rumors that Iraq was trying to obtain yellowcake: he had a 22-year history of public service as a career diplomat, experience including both Africa and Iraq.

I don't see any reason at all to assume that Wilson would not have been chosen for the trip to Niger regardless of who he was married to. I think it's you who needs to prove that Wilson was, by his track record prior to 2002, obviously unfit to carry out the job successfully.

You will find it difficult, since clearly he did carry out the job successfully: SH was not trying to obtain yellowcake from Niger, as we now know with 20/20 hindsight, and Wilson reported that there was no evidence for SH obtaining yellowcake from Niger. But if you're so convinced he was the wrong person for the job, show that he was by his actions and writings prior to 2002. With cites.

I'm sure in your perfection you have never made a few typos.

Of course I have - as who has not? But the fact is, name-typos are the worst, and it avoids confusion if you include full names. It would have been clear whom you meant had you typed "Valeria Plame".

From what I have already posted she called the reports crazy. Joe came back and said the PM of Niger verified them.

Um, no. You have posted a cite which claims at second-hand that Plame said the reports of SH trying to buy yellowcake from Niger were "crazy". (Assuming that the report was accurate, she may well have been referring to the clumsy forgeries which the Bush administration bought into: or she may have thought it was crazy that anyone would believe SH was trying to buy yellowcake when he already had plenty but no known means of processing it. I'm unwilling to take such a distant report as gospel.)

As we know, Wilson came back from Niger and reported that the claims of SH obtaining yellowcake from Niger were untrue.

blogme: He may not have been parsing. I was judging him by past behavior.

I know you have a lot of comments to respond to, but do you have a response to the context of that Wilson quote?

Jesurgislac,

"As we know, Wilson came back from Niger and reported that the claims of SH obtaining yellowcake from Niger were untrue."

Bush didn't claim that SH obtained yellowcake. He claimed British intelligence said he tried to. Which they still claim and Wilson validated. I don't see why it is so difficult to accept that.

Also, I never implied that Plame authorized her husbands trip to Niger.

"It looks alot like Plame was fixing the data, by having her hubby go and evaluate Niger. "

Reports so far indicate she made a concerted effort to have her husband be the point man on this trip. I never said she authorized. She seems to have "made" it happen.


postit,

Isn't your post a two way street? Maybe, we should aslo be sceptical of a CIA operative who "arranges" for her husband to go to Niger. A husband that voted for Gore and who is comfortable appearing with a very partisan Democrat and so on and so forth. A husband that publishes misleading and false statements. I'm willing to be sceptical. Are you?

Gromit,

"I know you have a lot of comments to respond to, but do you have a response to the context of that Wilson quote?"

The context seems to be what Larv suggested. But as postit has suggested we should remain sceptical.

"WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity.

BLITZER: But she hadn't been a clandestine officer for some time before that?

WILSON: That's not anything that I can talk about. And, indeed, I'll go back to what I said earlier, the CIA believed that a possible crime had been committed, and that's why they referred it to the Justice Department.

There's enough parsing here for everyone no matter what side of the issues you fall on. Mainly, because we don't have all the facts yet.

For example, I find it very difficult to believe she was covert say the week before the Novak article based on his statements.

""WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

"BLITZER: But she hadn't been a clandestine officer for some time before that?

WILSON: That's not anything that I can talk about."

He actually doesn't answer the question. So we don't know if she was in the previuos 5 years.

Then he says:

"CIA believed that a possible crime had been committed,"

I "believe" world peace is "possible", but that don't make it so.

Maybe there was a crime. I don't know, I don't think Joe Wilson knows, and I don't think Fitzgerald even knows yet. I also think that we truly have no idea that Rove is guilty of anything at all other than repeating what a report told him. Which means this whole Rove things is really nothing.

However, I do think we know for certain Joe Wilson was misleading in the articles he published whether intentional or not.

blogme

I gave you a cite here
that specificaly addresses your contention regarding the Blitzer interview yet you continue to ignore the import and continue to insinuate a falsehood.

In my book that's called lying, which makes you a liar.

Rove could clear this all up at any time by stepping in front of a microphone. But he won't because that would expose him to jeopardy should he utter a falsehood which he could hardly avoid if he were to repeat the orchestrated talking points no doubt emanating right now from his office and parroted by people like you.

postit,

I guess you didn't bother to read my post to Gromit.

"The context seems to be what Larv suggested. But as postit has suggested we should remain sceptical."

"In my book that's called lying, which makes you a liar."

Play nice now let's don't violate the posting rules.

I hope you enjoy selectively applying your scepticism!

"Rove could clear this all up at any time by stepping in front of a microphone."

I guess allowing anyone who had a conversation with him to talk to Fitzgerald isn't relevant.

" parroted by people like you."

Speaking of parroting talking points.

Rope-adope dope.

How's it feel?


The context seems to be what Larv suggested. But as postit has suggested we should remain sceptical. WTF?

He actually doesn't answer the question. So we don't know if she was in the previuos 5 years.

He doesn't answer because he isn't supposed to answer questions regarding her CIA employment - even now when her identity has been blown, he's playing by the rules this WH broke!

I guess allowing anyone who had a conversation with him to talk to Fitzgerald isn't relevant.

No it isn't when those waivers are blanket waivers Fitzgerald forced Rove and other individuals to sign. Journalists don't regard such waivers as releasing them from their confidentiality agreements because they are coerced by the prosecuter. But Rove could issue specific waivers any time he want's, why doesn't he?

Judith Miller is in jail either because her source won't issue a specific waiver or Judy figure it's better not to talk waiver or no. Cooper isn't in jail because he called Karls bluff when his loudmouth lawyer proclaimed Cooper wasn't withholding anything that could implicate Rove and Cooper took that as a specific waiver release.

When will Karl Rove issue specific waivers to allow people to talk?

Isn't your post a two way street? Maybe, we should aslo be sceptical of a CIA operative who "arranges" for her husband to go to Niger. A husband that voted for Gore and who is comfortable appearing with a very partisan Democrat and so on and so forth. A husband that publishes misleading and false statements. I'm willing to be sceptical. Are you?
What on Earth have we to be skeptical of? Assuming Joe Wilson to be the Devil and Valerie Plame to be Beelzebub, what relevance does this have on the matter at hand? Assuming we treat everything Joe Wilson says as a lie unless backed up by a written affadavit from Bush's crooked claw, what difference does it make to the question of whether or not someone who is not Joe Wilson should have burned a CIA agent?

What, exactly, are we being called upon to doubt? We're here saying "they burned Plame because Wilson was partisan" and the response is, crazily, "no, they burned Plame because Wilson is partisan!" We know! That's the point! That is insufficient justification for what happened.

postit:

You asked why wait? Looks like I should have. From your same article.

"During the early afternoon of July 15, 2005, the Associated Press issued a corrected version of the article noting Wilson's clarification that "his wife lost her ability to be a covert agent because of the leak, not that she had stopped working for the CIA beforehand."

Hmm... she lost her "ability" to be a covert agent. That isn't really Wilson claiming that his wife "was" a covert agent preceeding the leak. Well, atleast it isn't to me.


Is this relevant?

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20050715-121257-9887r.htm>washingtontimes.com

A former CIA covert agent who supervised Mrs. Plame early in her career yesterday took issue with her identification as an "undercover agent," saying that she worked for more than five years at the agency's headquarters in Langley and that most of her neighbors and friends knew that she was a CIA employee.

"She made no bones about the fact that she was an agency employee and her husband was a diplomat," Fred Rustmann, a covert agent from 1966 to 1990, told The Washington Times. . . . In addition, Mrs. Plame hadn't been out as an NOC since 1997, when she returned from her last assignment, married Mr. Wilson and had twins, USA Today reported yesterday.

McDuff,

"That is insufficient justification for what happened."

I guess it is insufficient justification. Down with all reporters who leak covert agents identities.

See there really are multiple issues as I have stated above. I can easily acknowledge that and have already done so in this very thread. (Catsy, see it's not my I have to repost the same info.) If Administration officials break any law they should face the appropriate punishment. From jaywalking to outing covert agents.

But at the same time can you acknowledge that Rove may be completely innocent? If he learned about Plame from reporters which is looking more and more likely what's he guilty of? Talking to reporters who know things he doesn't?

So why does Wilson's credibility come up? He along with others have convicted Rove and the administation in general, but yet the facts as we currently know them, don't support most of his conclusions. From Cheney reading his report to his wife not being involved with selecting him for the Niger mission.

One has to wonder why Wilson keeps going on and on. It is reasonable to assume he has his own agenda. Which could have biased him and his wife long before he set foot in Niger. While it is accurate to say that is separate from outing a covert agent it does speak to the veracity of his claims. Does it not?

Postit,

Goodness don't let the facts get in your way.

"Cooper isn't in jail because he called Karls bluff when his loudmouth lawyer proclaimed Cooper wasn't withholding anything that could implicate Rove and Cooper took that as a specific waiver release."

I guess the fact the Cooper's lawyer calling Rove's lawyer and asking him and them saying of course, that's why we signed the waiver for Fitzgerald isn't relevant.

Is this relevant?

washingtontimes.com

In a word, no.

Will he be writing a book? 'CIA vets for the truth'? will I find him being showcased by Limpdick on his radio show and Shaun Hackery on Fox 'news'? will I be hearing shortly about his ties to reclusive Texas GOPers with money to burn?

If the CIA didn't think there was anything to the 'outing' of Valerie Plame and hadn't substantiated her status they wouldn't have referred the case for investigation, the GOP justice department wouldn't have accepted it, Ashcroft wouldn't have recused himself, a special prosecutor would never have been appointed, the several judges who have ruled on Fitzgeralds requests would have shut him down. Lastly this President would never have said 'bring me the head of this traitor', actualy on the last I'm sure he wished he hadn't (since his statements pre-date the appointment of a special prosecutor) and given a mulligan he probably would be better advised not too. Point is they thought they could get away with it just like Nixon, and just like Nixon, though the original crime was bad enough it's the cover-up that's more likely to get them.

Bring it on!

postit

While I am relatively certain that our experienced African Hand won't pay much attention to any requests I make, I hope the same is not true for you. Please don't try and match him for invective or use nicknames to make your point. Since Edward is on sabbatical and Hilzoy is on vacation, it is clear that there won't be much action taken to clean up this mess, so letting it rest for a bit might be good. I'm sure there will be more news in the coming weeks and I can't imagine any of it will be good for Rove supporters.

blogme: One has to wonder why Wilson keeps going on and on. It is reasonable to assume he has his own agenda. Which could have biased him and his wife long before he set foot in Niger. While it is accurate to say that is separate from outing a covert agent it does speak to the veracity of his claims. Does it not?

No. It does not. And no, one does not have to wonder why Wilson keeps going after the Bush administration. Unless Novak is a liar, two senior Bush Administration officials revealed Valerie Plame's affiliation with the CIA. The right has been smearing Wilson since he questioned Bush's SOTU claims. Karl Rove called Wilson's wife "fair game".

I would not take such things lightly. Would you, were they done to you? To imply that this treatment had little effect on Wilson's attitude toward the Bush White House is myopic at best and disingenuous at worst.

lj

Fair enough, outa here.

Well, no more toe to toeing at least.

lj,

Uhmm... Joe is actually his name. It's not a nickname.

Gromit,

"After his eight-day investigation, Wilson said it was "highly doubtful" that Niger had sold uranium to Iraq. Later, documents purporting to be connected to such a deal were proved to be bogus."

Yes, I too would be upset if someone was accusing me of things I never said. For example, if I was the President of the U.S. and some CIA agents husband accused me of saying something I didn't when their own investigation agreed with what I actually did say I would be quite upset and wonder why they were being misleading on t.v. and in the magazines they were appearing in.

"That British intelligence..."

But, still if a crime was committed in outing Valerie Plame it's a crime and people should be punished. If we find out that the reporters were responsible for outing her can you concede that Rove should be left alone and that it is not the administrations fault?

"Wilson's attitude toward the Bush White House is myopic at best and disingenuous at worst."

And to say that Joe Wilson didn't start it by providing misleading informationn would be disingenous also.


lj,

Uhmm... Joe is actually his name. It's not a nickname.

blogme,
Why do you think I am addressing you? I realize it can be taken as a personal insult to call someone's reading comprehension into question, so I would simply encourage you to re-read what I wrote as it doesn't mean what you think it does.

blogme: If we find out that the reporters were responsible for outing her can you concede that Rove should be left alone and that it is not the administrations fault?

Which reporters had security clearance? This is the dumbest talking point I've seen come out of the right-wing spin machine in a while. The media must be moving up in the hierarchy of the shadow government or something, now that they can leak classified information without the involvement of cleared government officials. Or maybe the New York Times has a crack team of ninjas that can break into some of the most highly-secured buildings in the world to procure classified documents. This one makes the folks who think it was Wilson, Plame, and/or "Democrats" who orchestrated this leak appear to be grounded in reality.

Or maybe the New York Times has a crack team of ninjas that can break into some of the most highly-secured buildings in the world to procure classified documents.

Or they could have sent Sandy Berger :)

Or maybe the New York Times has a crack team of ninjas...

Dude.... MONKEY ninjas! Simian Joe Lieberman strikes again!

blogme: If we find out that the reporters were responsible for outing her can you concede that Rove should be left alone and that it is not the administrations fault?

John Dean’s article, which I linked earlier, addresses that:

While there are other potential violations of the law that may be involved with the Valerie Plame Wilson case, it would be speculation to consider them. But Karl Rove's leak to Matt Cooper is now an established fact. First, there is Matt Cooper's email record. And Cooper has now confirmed that he has told the grand jury he spoke with Rove. If Rove's leak fails to fall under the statute that was used to prosecute Randel, I do not understand why.

But even if Dean is wrong and Rove is in the clear legally, surely spreading the news about covert CIA activities is considered bad behaviour? Why should he be left alone?

Not being American myself, I am open to the argument that, by damaging the CIA, Rove has done the wider world a favour. The CIA does a lot of harm, maybe more harm than good. But I don’t see how an administration official can use that defence.

Even if Rove is legally in the clear, leaking a CIA agent's identity to a reporter (Matt Cooper) should get him fired, regardless of how Rove came upon the information in the first place. Why is this so difficult to understand?

Why is this so difficult to understand?

Understanding is the least of some's concerns.

lj,

I don't think you were talking to me. I think you were referring to me. It's nice to know that Obsidian Wings is so welcoming to those with different opinions that many feel the need to bad mouth them and be rude. I think it speaks to an insecurity that they many may have and a frustration due to often being on the the losing side.

"While I am relatively certain that our experienced African Hand won't pay much attention to any requests I make, I hope the same is not true for you. Please don't try and match him for invective or use nicknames to make your point."

Well in another thread you said:

Just for reference, I am assuming that blogme is quoting this article, as I am assuming that he has not actually gone to Niger. Checking the link, the following points stand out...

I have a sinking suspicion that blogme is categorically opposed to debt reduction for African countries,...

Seems like you are really the one being invective. Putting words into anothers mouth that they never came close to speaking! This reminds me of how quickly an invective tone got set after Charles posted. Ignore the content. Attack the delivery man. The strategy didn't work under Clinton or Bush.

Gromit,

"This is the dumbest talking point I've seen come out of the right-wing spin machine in a while."

It's really not that hard to understand. The reporters could have easily figured out she worked at the CIA. It was fairly common knowledge in the beltway. Can you agree with that? From the research done so far David Corn is the first one to suggest she was an undercover operative. She could have easily been outed, but no one knew they were outing an undercover agent. It's really not that difficult to follow.

1 You are a reporter.
2)Someone accuses the President of being dishonest
3)You do some research on said person
4)You find out his wife works at the CIA
5)You call around and ask some adminstration officials about it
6)They say yeah, I heard that too.
7)You report it

Kevin,

" Why should he be left alone?"

Agreed, that maybe he shouldn't. But, then if you take that path you have to acknowledge that it then becomes a credibility issue and Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame's credibility should be taken into account to provide the proper context.

This all really could have been so easily by Joe Wilson if he and his wife had not had a political agenda and he had not had that "other" business to take care of in Niger that led his wife to volunteer him.

If he had not been misleading about his report there would be no issue. If he had said, "The President using intelligence from Great Britian has accused Hussein of attempting to buy yellowcake from Niger. While that statement is accurate as my report verifies Hussein did not actually make the purchase."

End of story if Wilson had been honest.

...Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame's credibility should be taken into account to provide the proper context.

Suppose, for the hell of it, that they have zero credibility. Then that's the context. How does that help Rove?

blogme: You are a reporter.

Okay, I'm a reporter.

2)Someone accuses the President of being dishonest

Plenty of people have pointed out examples of George W. Bush's lies, but continue.

3)You do some research on said person
4)You find out his wife works at the CIA

Yes. Now, stop right here. What Novak actually said was not "Valerie Plame works at the CIA": he said "Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction." cite

5)You call around and ask some adminstration officials about it
6)They say yeah, I heard that too.

Now, even if you want to assume that Novak found out Valerie Plame was a CIA operative via some other source that the "two senior administration officials" he admits talking with, there is still the issue of - who? And why didn't those two senior administration officials, if they realised that they were being asked about the identity of a CIA agent, inform someone that a major leak had happened? Your argument is old: it was being claimed back two years ago that Novak's phrasing could be parsed to say that the leak of Plame's identity as a covert operative came from some other source than the two "senior administration officials" anonymously referred to.

Of course, if those two senior administration officials merely confirmed the leak, while they won't be in as much trouble as the actual leaker, they're still in serious drek*. It was their responsibility to tell Novak either "I have no idea" or "I can't confirm or deny that".

The issue is not "What did Joseph Wilson do in Niger" - we have another thread for that. The issue is - how on earth can Bush-supporters still manage to spin such a major breach in national security on their team as being so unimportant?

*Or would be, if Bush took national security at all seriously.

I think it speaks to an insecurity that they many may have...

Like thinking that I was accusing you of using nicknames? That strikes me as insecurity writ large.

Seems like you are really the one being invective.

Just for your information, invective is a noun, not an adjective. This and other mistakes suggest that you don't really understand what has been written.

Putting words into anothers mouth that they never came close to speaking!

To suggest that I've put any words in your mouth while you make quotes like this:
"Wilson's attitude toward the Bush White House is myopic at best and disingenuous at worst."

from statements like these:
To imply that this treatment had little effect on Wilson's attitude toward the Bush White House is myopic at best and disingenuous at worst.

is pretty rich, unless you don't understand that what you quote and what was written are two different sentences.

It would really be nice if someone else other than Hilzoy could figure out how to use the Typepad control panel. I really don't think one has to be a liberal to do so.

Jesurgislac,

I agree the thread isn't really about Wilson, but it comes up when we get around to credibility issues.

"Plenty of people have pointed out examples of George W. Bush's lies, but continue."

Both you and Wilson have the same credibility issue. How can we evaluate the leak properly when you start your assumptions with Bush lied?

"Yes. Now, stop right here. What Novak actually said was not "Valerie Plame works at the CIA": he said "Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction."

Yes, let's stop right there. Novak did not claim that she was "covert"! Read your own quote. See the difference. He doesn't state that she is/was covert. (Which we still don't know either, but according to data released so far it seems she wasn't at the time of the article.)

Wilson himself raised the issue of her being covert not Novak. No one really knew until Wilson said she was covert.

Also, you are taking liberties with Novak's sentence that he says aren't accurate:

"A big question is her duties at Langley. I regret that I referred to her in my column as an "operative," a word I have lavished on hack politicians for more than 40 years."

Wilson and Plame obviously are political hacks. So we could investigate to see if this statement made by him is truly accurate.

""two senior administration officials" he admits talking with, there is still the issue of - who?"

No the is "what" was said. We know that the "who" is focused on the administration.

"And why didn't those two senior administration officials, if they realised that they were being asked about the identity of a CIA agent, inform someone that a major leak had happened? "

We atleast know that Rove did file a report, but you are taking some liberties with the phrase "major leak". What we know prett well now is that there was no "major" leak. She probably was not covert within the last 5 years and we can almost all agree she wasn't covert at the time the article was written.

"It was their responsibility to tell Novak either "I have no idea" or "I can't confirm or deny that".

Or if they weren't really sure of what the deal was they might say something like, "...double super secret background."

Which Rove did.

Blogme is accusing others of following the strategy of "Ignore the content. Attack the delivery man."? I really think the administration needs to set up an a Federal Irony Meter Replacement Fund to compensate those of us who are exposed to its defenders and suffer unexpected explosive failures.

lj,

Maybe you should go to this link:

http://www.dictionary.com

in·vec·tive


n.
Denunciatory or abusive language; vituperation.
Denunciatory or abusive expression or discourse.

adj.
Of, relating to, or characterized by denunciatory or abusive language.

I made a reply to Gromit. I think it is safe that I did not make an attempt to change the intention of his original statement. I followed his statement with one of mine in the same context.

"And to say that Joe Wilson didn't start it by providing misleading informationn would be disingenous also."

You might have a point if I had tried to make Gromit say something he didn't mean, but I didn't.

It seems you are letting your frustration get the better of you. You try to make a point about me being ignorant with respect to language. But, it turns out you are the one who was mistaken. Then you try to show me misquoting Gromit, but you had to take my sentence out of context to do it. I didn't do that to Gromit.

I don't expect an apology, but that would be a good will gesture on your part.

blogme, all "double super secret background" is meant to protect is the identity of the person handing sensitive information over to Matt Cooper. It is in no way comparable to saying "no comment". It is more like saying "here's the dish, but don't dare tell anyone I said it."

And the use of quotes in the post LJ was referring to was a bit confusing. More clear attribution would be nice in the future, though I did ultimately get what you were trying to do (which had a whiff of "I'm rubber and you're glue" to it).

Gromit,

"(which had a whiff of "I'm rubber and you're glue" to it)."

Maybe, but don't you think your initial comment did too?

X told the truth about Niger.
Y accused X of not telling the truth.
X bad mouthed Y.
Y bad mouthed X.

Insert whoever you want for X or Y. It works for either side.

As far as the double super secret and its application and relevance I think will be up to the grand jury.

Maybe you should go to this link:

http://www.dictionary.com

in·vec·tive


n.
Denunciatory or abusive language; vituperation.
Denunciatory or abusive expression or discourse.

adj.
Of, relating to, or characterized by denunciatory or abusive language.

Now this is interesting. Yes, dictionaries give invective as an adjective, because it comes from a latin verb. However, a quick search at the British National Corpus at BYU reveals that in 100 million words in the modern era, there is only one example of invective modifying a noun and that seems to be a transcription error:

splendid fellow Had an obsession with perspective That aroused invective Mellon adds

Also interesting that at the connected link, none of those usages would be considered an adjective.

(btw, you have to register to use BYU's front end for the BNC, but on the extremely unlikely possibility that you are interested in the correct usage of English, I would recommend it).

So, I suppose you are reviving an old usage (as befits what I assume to be your conservative position). However, the notion that invective is an adjective is so old that you are virtually creating a new collocation. And the notion that I think you are 'being invective' really demonstrates a rather severe persecution complex.

Unfortunately, this 'new' usage is a lot like the rest of your posts, in that you seem to scuttle about trying to dig up small fragments to refute others. (my favorite is the reading of Wilson's "My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity.") On the rather méchant assumption that you are not actually typing all of the 'new" information you are presenting, I have googled phrases and these often lead to a swamp of right wing sites (the Dallas newspaper travel article for the hotel in Niger being an humorous exception.) Given that the posts at these sites predate your use of many of the phrases, I have to assume that you realize that citing where you get things would be a bit problematic. Of course, now that many people have provided links for you to dig thru (demonstrating once and for all that 'don't feed the trolls is not just friendly advice, it is a categorical imperative) it's really impossible, absent you being honest, to determine where you pull these things out.

What is really sad is that the putative conservative side of this blog is like a baseball team that doesn't have the requisite number of players and is driven to taking whatever help it can get.

lj,

Sorry, but it still sounds like you are the one creating an invective tone at this site.

Maybe you could do some research on Colloquial. I didn't know that blogs were being quite so formal these days.

" "My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

That was really the AP's mistake don't you think?

"AP falsely reported Wilson "acknowledged his wife was no longer in an undercover job" when her identity was first publicly leaked"

Which by the way I more than willingly acknowledged to Gromit and Larv.

Man, this whole Plame thing really has alot of you out of whack. Take a breather.

Tell you what, blogme. Let's see if we can both take a couple of days off from the Plame thing. You've got a timestamp of 17 July, 10:18 pm, let's say 2 days, so 19 July, same time? Can you do it? Consider this a friendly challenge.

lj: Can you do it? Consider this a friendly challenge.

;-) I suppose it would be unfair to tempt blogme by responding to his various points, so I won't.

Man, this whole Plame thing really has alot of you out of whack. Take a breather.

Speaking of not being able to breathe. Funniest thing in days.

Talk about the crow calling the raven black.

lj: What is really sad is that the putative conservative side of this blog is like a baseball team that doesn't have the requisite number of players and is driven to taking whatever help it can get.

Oh, be fair, lj: with regard to the Plame Affair, the sensible conservative bloggers are either condemning what happened (even if they prefer to avoid the issue of Bush's inactivity) or else just doing the not-touching-that-with-a-bargepole thing. The only people willing to stand up and claim that the whole thing is one big fuss over nothing and anyway let's go point at Joseph Wilson - are the bloggers like blogme.

So, Jes, you are going to try and get me to break instead? ;^)

I have faith in your strength of character and purity of intentions, LJ.

That makes one of us...

Which reporters had security clearance?

None of them.

Even if Rove is legally in the clear, leaking a CIA agent's identity to a reporter (Matt Cooper) should get him fired, regardless of how Rove came upon the information in the first place. Why is this so difficult to understand?

Because it's not true. If Rove was told this and wasn't advised about classification, then he's in exactly the same position as anyone else who comes by classified information in this manner. The law places all consequences on the leaker and none on the leakee. I'm not saying this is the case, here, just that this is an incorrect conclusion to draw from this particular scenario.

On thinking this over, the question of whether Rove was in fact cleared to know Plame's identity is still open. So I don't think we can assume that he had clearance. Level, maybe; need-to-know, though, I'd tend to not assume.

If Rove was told this and wasn't advised about classification, then he's in exactly the same position as anyone else who comes by classified information in this manner. The law places all consequences on the leaker and none on the leakee.

If that's the case then John Dean is just wrong about the law (see my comment above July 16, 2005 06:17 PM). Are you sure he is wrong?

But as Nixon said to that same Dean all those years ago: "Legal, schmegal." If my local bookie is quoting even money, I will back Rove to wriggle out. That doesn't alter the fact that he deserves to be sacked, of course.

Yes, I'd suggest that Dean is wrong on this one. Reread his article, and search for "alleged theft". If Rove didn't know it was classified, and Rove was on the receiving end of an unauthorized disclosure of classified information, Rove stole nothing. Key phrase from the statute:

Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted -

emphasis mine, of course. If Rove heard this by word-of-mouth, and he wasn't in fact cleared to know about Plame, he'd have no reason to think this was information obtained illegally.

Again, this supposes much, and I want to make it clear that I don't think this is an exoneration of Rove. It's simply an example of how Rove is not automatically a criminal, given what we do know.

Slarti, I'm sure you recognize the difference between 'deserves to be fired' and 'deserves to be jailed.' Is not what we already know sufficient for the former? What more would you need?

Slarti: If Rove was told this and wasn't advised about classification, then he's in exactly the same position as anyone else who comes by classified information in this manner.

Legally he may be: ethically he is not.

Given that the topic was legal culpability, my not addressing his suitability for ongoing employment is not an oversight, J.

I suppose there are scenarios under which he could be legally innocent by morally chock full o' guilt, and in those scenarios (I can only think of one, but it's not that I've put much effort into it) he ought to be fired.

Oh, the first half ought to have been addressed to CharleyCarp more than Jesurgislac. My bad.

Seems to me that whether Rove deserves to be fired depends on what he thought about Plame's status. If he didn't know she was covert, or if he thought the fact that she was CIA was an open secret, then his talking to reporters about her doesn't seem particularly blameworthy to me.

Gripping hand, though, if publicly identifying (or even confirming the identity of) CIA agents below the Director level (for instance) is explicitly a no-no regardless of circumstances, and Rove did in fact do that, then he probably needs to go. I'd think, though, that if it's that sensitive, reporters would also be admonished (or even constrained) against so doing.

Slartibartfast, M. Christmas's comment, which you quoted in your response to it, was about firing, not jailing.

I'm heartened by Bush's embrace of strong job protection -- much stronger than any union has ever demanded. Apparently he now believes people can't be fired unless they've been convicted of illegal activity. Maybe we were all wrong about his views on worker rights.

Ah, my bad. Still untrue, for reasons I've detailed above. It may be true, contingent on other things being true.

kenB: If he didn't know she was covert, or if he thought the fact that she was CIA was an open secret, then his talking to reporters about her doesn't seem particularly blameworthy to me.

It would to me if Karl Rove were any man-in-the-street. But a senior administration official ought not to be so cavalier with the identities of CIA agents. Assuming utter innocence on the part of Karl Rove*, he still should have thought to ask the CIA about Plame's status, and if he got the response Novak got (which was, as I understand it, a "cannot confirm or deny but please don't talk about this") then he ought to have realised that he shouldn't talk publicly about Plame's status.

So, if we assume Rove to be innocent, he's incompetent, and his incompetence led to a major security breach. If we assume any ill-will whatsoever (which isn't difficult, given the amount of bile being vented at Joseph Wilson) then he may well not be innocent - as well as not being incompetent.

*Tricky, but let's do it.

he still should have thought to ask the CIA about Plame's status

Presumes that he had a reason to think that Plame might not be in the open. Since we're presuming innocence and all, let's go all out.

I understand you, kenB. Of course, he was telling journalists because he was sure they didn't know. And the CIA thought it serious enough to refer to Justice.

I think even an inadvertent mistake can be sufficient for termination, if the person making it should have known better, and the motives for making it are inconsequential at best, slimy being a reasonable adjective.

But then I think Rovism* (I mean this is a procedural not substantive sense) is a cancer on American politics. Misdirection is a great electoral device, but leads to vague mandates, and poor accountability. I would rather live in a world where the response to the Wilson editorial was about what went on between Iraq and Niger -- or at least what the government thought in January 2003 had gone on -- and was not at all about the personalities of Wilson, Novak, Miller, and all the rest.

* I used to call it Atwaterism, and if someone can give me the name of a Dem operative who plays the game at the skill level of a Rove or Atwater, I'll use a still different name.

Presumes that he had a reason to think that Plame might not be in the open.

Isn't that an assumption that he's required to make upon learning that someone works at the CIA? And even assuming he's not legally required to make that assumption (which, I believe, he is), isn't his failure to consider that her occupation might be classified irresponsible to the point where he has no business having a security clearance?

Isn't that an assumption that he's required to make upon learning that someone works at the CIA?

I have no idea. Is it?

And even assuming he's not legally required to make that assumption (which, I believe, he is), isn't his failure to consider that her occupation might be classified irresponsible to the point where he has no business having a security clearance?

Don't be silly, Catsy. Rove works for Bush: being classified irresponsible is a job requirement.

IANAL, Slart, nor have I ever held a government clearance of any sort. I understand that you have, so perhaps you can speak more authoritatively on this. On yesterday's MTP, Russert said the following:

MR. RUSSERT: When one is given classified clearance, they are asked to sign an oath, and they are given a briefing book with form--Standard Form 312<, it's called. And if you read this briefing book, it says this: "Before...confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of"--"SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not...confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure."

Seems pretty unambiguous to me, if accurate.

Do we know what clearance Rove had at the time this happened?

What was Rove's title back then -- he wasn't deputy COS yet, correct? Was he a "senior administration official"?

CharleyCarp, he was clearly trying to discredit Wilson's story by saying that Plame got him sent to Niger. This seems like fairly unexceptional behavior for a political operative, if not for a decent human being. If he was legally culpable, or if he had good reason to think that talking about Wilson's wife was ill-advised, then he should go. Otherwise, it's run-of-the-mill politics.

It just seems to me that there's a lot of information we're not privy to, and people are leaping to judgment a little prematurely.

IAAL, I have a clearance, and have signed a http://www.dss.mil/files/pdf/new_sf312.pdf>SF 312. I wouldn't say that it completely answers all questions, but I'm plenty comfortable with saying, based on what I understand to be the facts, that Rove's conduct is sufficiently negligent to lead to dismissal.

Rove after all knew that he had some classified information on the subject, as he told Cooper.

kenB: CharleyCarp, he was clearly trying to discredit Wilson's story by saying that Plame got him sent to Niger. This seems like fairly unexceptional behavior for a political operative, if not for a decent human being. If he was legally culpable, or if he had good reason to think that talking about Wilson's wife was ill-advised, then he should go. Otherwise, it's run-of-the-mill politics.

KenB, I really can't understand this point of view. Karl Rove knew that Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. So it's okay for him to broadcast information about her in an attempt to discredit Joseph Wilson - providing he's such an ignorant little scut that it has not occurred to him that she might be a covert operative? It's an ideal excuse for breaches in national security, I guess; "I was stupid. I didn't think. Therefore, I am not culpable, because you cannot force me to think."

In law, I believe that may be an adequate defense - you're allowed to be thoroughly stupid. (IANAL.) In employment, if Karl Rove really is so thoroughly stupid it never occurred to him that Plame might be an operative and at least he should check, he should definitely be sacked.

or if he had good reason to think that talking about Wilson's wife was ill-advised, then he should go. Otherwise, it's run-of-the-mill politics.

KenB, I really can't understand this point of view. Karl Rove knew that Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. So it's okay for him to broadcast information about her in an attempt to discredit Joseph Wilson - providing he's such an ignorant little scut that it has not occurred to him that she might be a covert operative? It's an ideal excuse for breaches in national security, I guess; "I was stupid. I didn't think. Therefore, I am not culpable, because you cannot force me to think."

In law, I believe that may be an adequate defense - you're allowed to be thoroughly stupid. (IANAL.) In employment, if Karl Rove really is so thoroughly stupid it never occurred to him that Plame might be an operative and at least he should check, he should definitely be sacked.

Unambiguous, but I'd like to point out must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified presupposes a knowledge that it was classified in the first place. Rove could conceivably [caveat: not saying this is what happened] have obtained this information without knowing or suspecting it was classified.

he was clearly trying to discredit Wilson's story by saying that Plame got him sent to Niger

It's a non sequitur. Jeb Bush went to Indonesia after the tsunami. The fact that his brother sent him -- that he got the job only because he is the brother of the president -- is utterly inconsequential wrt anything Gov. Bush says about what he observed.

Yes, Rovism/Atwaterism is run-of-the-mill. It's too bad. And it's too bad that it works, because it is infantilizing. For example, I'm sure that GHWB (for whom I have a great deal of admiration) would have won without Willie Horton, Boston harbor, or the flag factories. He would have won being who he really is, not who the Atwater machine made him. This was a real problem when he went for re-election as himself, Atwater being unavailable, and all his accomplishments -- his governance as an adult -- was seen by the red meat eating Rep base as insufficient. The Atwater diet is too high in protein, and doesn't have enough roughage.

Jes:

Karl Rove knew that Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. So it's okay for him to broadcast information about her in an attempt to discredit Joseph Wilson - providing he's such an ignorant little scut that it has not occurred to him that she might be a covert operative?

Lots of people work for CIA who aren't undercover. If (continuing our hypothetical) Rove heard this information from a reporter or some other unofficial channel, and it was presented in an offhand way, why would he think to check her official status? And if he didn't have official access to this information, would anyone even have answered his question? I assume I can't just call up the government and say "I heard that So-and-so is a NOC, can you confirm that for me?"

Charley:

he was clearly trying to discredit Wilson's story by saying that Plame got him sent to Niger

It's a non sequitur.

That it may be, but charges of nepotism are often effective in calling a person's credentials into question. Having a reasonable, rational discussion about the merits of this or that argument is a fun pastime for the politically aware, but unfortunately it has nothing to do with politics in the real world.

Anyway, I'm of course no fan of Rove, but I don't think that we have enough evidence yet to say that his actions in this particular incident render him unfit for the office. And my concern is that the farther that people on the left get ahead of the story, the more foolish they'll look if one of the more innocuous scenarios turns out to be the "truth".

Is this site being infested with open tags, or something?

Jesurgislac,

"Don't be silly, Catsy. Rove works for Bush: being classified irresponsible is a job requirement."

There really isn't really any reason to discuss this issue any more. We don't know all the facts, but even if we did most people at this site hate Bush. There isn't any relevant discussion taking place.

There really isn't really any reason to discuss this issue any more. We don't know all the facts

I am glad to hear that you will be limiting your discussion here to those topics on which you know all the facts. For the rest of us, since the standard required before posting speculation on a blog on the internets is slightly lower than that of mathematical proof, we will continue such speculation about who knew what, and when they knew it, and which administration statements are operative or inoperative at the moment.

Felix,

So touchy.

Do you really believe that being incompetent is a job requirement in the administration?

If you think that adds to the dicussion fine. I for one don't.

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