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Why Fitz HAD to go after the Niger Docs...

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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:38 AM
Original message
Why Fitz HAD to go after the Niger Docs...
Edited on Mon Oct-24-05 08:39 AM by jsamuel
The motive of getting back at Joe Wilson just doesn't seem to hold up very well when you consider the gravity of the crime that was committed. Kind of like killing a fly with a cannon.

In order for motive to really stick, Fitz had to investigate the actual Niger forgeries to show that there was more reason to out Plame than just retaliation.
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kurth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Fitzgerald can't investigate Niger forgery - Newsday
Newsday
October 23, 2005
Counsel has special power
BY TOM BRUNE

WASHINGTON - The federal prosecutor investigating the leak of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity has extraordinarily broad authority to pursue the case, with powers much greater than most special counsels. According to the letters outlining his role, he was granted "all the authority of the attorney general" and was directed to exercise that power "independent of the supervision or control" of any official at the Justice Department. Unlike other special counsels, he does not have to report on his probe to anyone, he has no pre-set budget and he does not have to seek approval for his actions, whether issuing subpoenas to reporters, filing appeals in related litigation or, in the end, issuing indictments...

"The appointment gives Pat very broad authority to conduct the investigation," said Eric Holder, who was deputy attorney general in the late 1990s. Fitzgerald's one major limit, said Holder and former Justice Department legal counsel Douglas Kmiec, is that his probe and prosecution must be tied to the "unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity." Fitzgerald likely could not extend his investigation to related alleged crimes, like, for example, the allegedly forged documents that said Iraq sought yellowcake uranium from Niger, without first getting new or expanded authority, they said.

But he can prosecute violations of any federal criminal laws related to the leak, not just the difficult-to-prosecute Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which requires proving someone knowingly sought to "out" an agent. He can pursue any crimes committed to interfere with his investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence. And he has no time limit. He does not have to file charges by Friday, when the grand jury he has been using expires...

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usfit...
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ClassWarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Appears tied to the CIA case to me. And probably pretty easy to prove.
NGU.


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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. In DC we always ask "who benefits?" In this case...
Edited on Mon Oct-24-05 08:47 AM by MookieWilson
the same folks 'benefit' from the Niger documents AND from trashing Joe Wilson.

It's logical for there to be a connection.

And the total lack of interest in who forged the documents looks suspicious. Why isn't Bush angry over this forgery? Or anyone else? It's as though it never happened.
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. "they said"
I think "they" are wrong. As I stated above, if the docs tie directly into proving motive in the CIA leak case, then he can investigate it.
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Well he requested and received the un-redacted report of the
Italian legislature into the forgery of the Niger document. When the report was made public by the Italians it had a great deal of redaction; but Fitz requested and got the un-redacted version. If he can't investigate the forgery, I wonder what he is doing with that report? I wouldn't trust anything Newsday says...
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. yeah, that argument is like the "Plame wasn't covert" argument
We already know he IS investigating the docs, he wouldn't if he couldn't. Just like they CIA wouldn't have asked for an investigation if a crime wasn't committed.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. I disagree with that assessment because the forged docs are,...
,...most certainly tied to the disclosure. It's all about motive. Why,...why did they seek to go after Joe and his wife? Wellll,...cause Joe exposed the fraud associated with assertions about what,....about yellow-cake being sought from Niger. Why would they expose Valerie? Wellll, Valerie was involved in an operation exposing WMD proliferation.

I believe Fitz is fully authorized to investigate and expose the underlying motivations for the outing of an agent and operation.
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CantGetFooledAgain Donating Member (635 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
4. I agree with that assessment
The media have simply bought into the "retaliation" theory as though it were a universally known and accepted fact. It always sounded more like spin to me, an effort to deflect attention from the real crime by providing a plausible explanation.

At the same time, they've steadfastly ignored the impact on the CIA of the devastation of a long-running covert operation. People died because of this leak. And nobody is talking about it.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. How does showing a motive deflect attention from a crime?
Retaliation (and intimidation) are by far the most likely motives
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. I believe a motive was control of information.
Edited on Mon Oct-24-05 09:43 AM by Just Me
Sure, retaliation was somewhat involved; but, it's pretty obvious to me that the control of information was a stronger motivation. They did not want their fraud and misrepresentation concerning WMDs to be revealed and they had to shut down Joe, Valerie and Brewster Jennings. The fact they went beyond Joe and Valerie (revenge factor) and actually destroyed an undercover operation tracking WMD proliferation strongly indicates their motive was something beyond mere revenge.

They had something to hide re WMDs.
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. I believe a motive was to make sure no one investigated the Docs.
Edited on Mon Oct-24-05 09:24 AM by jsamuel
They knew the trail would lead back to the US Govt and the Bush Admin.

That is why they shot off the cannon at the fly. They thought the fly could turn into a dragon.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. Do we know that BJ was involved with Iraq -- at all?
I haven't seen any confirmation of this, and don't believe the WH would compromise all CIA attempts at gaining proliferation intel just to get into Iraq.
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CantGetFooledAgain Donating Member (635 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #10
20. In that the retaliation "motive" is far less sinister, perhaps
than the real motive. You see it in the corporate media every day:

Retaliation = "Hardball politics". Wilson attacked and the White House hit back. Happens every day.

Real motive = Treason. By letting slip that Brewster, Jennings and Associates is a CIA front company, that operation is completely compromised along with everyone associated with it. This is an enormous crime, not dissimilar to what an Aldrige Ames did.

So my question, and yes it has been addressed here before, is who stood to gain from tearing down BJ? And who stood to gain enough to justify the huge risk of violating the espionage act to to do it?

All roads lead to Cheney, but there just isn't enough solid evidence in the public domain yet.
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melissinha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
19. Precisely
People have to think what worse than the obvious motive of retaliation???? Could it have been a conspiracy to out Brewster Jennings in its entirety, making Plame and Wilson just pieces of that puzzle???? I thought I read somewhere that they had already identified PLame before the OpEd piece, before there was a public statement to retaliate against...
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. Motive and opportunity eom
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tcookie5 Donating Member (48 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. documents
I just talked to my brother, I couldn't hear him very well. He said he heard on the radio? That he heard something about the documents may have been stolen a few years back? Has anyone else heard this? I have to wait till later to call him back to find out what he said and heard.
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Yes, Judy Miller said they were stolen the day after she "found" them
when she was with CHALABI
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #13
21. Hi tcookie5!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
11. Here is an article about Fitzgerald's pursuit of the Niger documents
WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The CIA leak inquiry that threatens senior White House aides has now widened to include the forgery of documents on African uranium that started the investigation, according to NAT0 intelligence sources.

This suggests the inquiry by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into the leaking of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame has now widened to embrace part of the broader question about the way the Iraq war was justified by the Bush administration.

snip

The first is that Fitzgerald last year sought and obtained from the Justice Department permission to widen his investigation from the leak itself to the possibility of cover-ups, perjury and obstruction of justice by witnesses. This has renewed the old saying from the days of the Watergate scandal, that the cover-up can be more legally and politically dangerous than the crime.

The second is that NATO sources have confirmed to United Press International that Fitzgerald's team of investigators has sought and obtained documentation on the forgeries from the Italian government.

more

http://www.upi.com/InternationalIntelligence/view.php?S...

It is good to see confirmation that Fitzgerald has the documentation in hand. It seems Newday is wrong in saying Fitzgerald cannot investigate the forgery, it is part and parcel of the investigation of the leak.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
12. the WHOLE is greater than the sum of its parts
and they all go together.

i for 1 am ecstatic that he is rumored to be considering the whole scope of the charge.

:woohoo:

peace
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
14. The Bush cabal is not unlike the mob
which uses extraordinarily ruthless methods achieve its ends. They thought they could get away with it, that's all.
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-05 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. while that is a valid opinion...
it wouldn't hold up in court
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