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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:43 PM
Original message
Plamegate: Questions the corporate media have not asked.
Posted earlier today in GD - - but, due to the volume of London bombing posts there, well you know the story. These issues are too important to let sink. I ask your assistance to get these issues to your local media outlet's editorial board and/or submited in letters to the editor. To facilitate, use's media search tool. Please let them know they're missing out on a very serious story - /)

Mods: received by email from American Progress, so this should be exempt from the 4 paragraph rule.

Stunningly, no member of the White House press corps has asked press secretary Scott McClellan about Karl Rove's role in outing former CIA operative Valerie Plame since Rove's lawyer admitted on Saturday that Rove was one of Time reporter Matt Cooper's sources. Below are ten vital facts that the media needs to communicate -- and that Americans deserve to know -- about PlameGate.

1. THE PLAME LEAK IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE: Commenting on the remarks of the federal judges who have ruled on Cooper/Miller case, Lawrence O'Donnell today pointed out that "All the judges who have seen the prosecutor's secret evidence firmly believe he is pursuing a very serious crime, and they have done everything they can to help him get an indictment." And remember, it was George W. Bush's father who, speaking at CIA headquarters in 1999, said, "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious, of traitors." Likewise, when asked whether exposing Valerie Plame's identity would be "worse than Watergate," President Bush's close colleague Ed Gillespie said, "Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it," adding that "to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime." Those who try to play down the importance of PlameGate are deceiving themselves.

2. KARL ROVE HAS NOT YET ANSWERED WHETHER HE IS A SUBJECT OF THE INVESTIGATION: Rove's attorney Robert Luskin acknowledged over the weekend that Karl Rove has testified "two or three times" before the grand jury. These multiple visits prompted one lawyer "representing a witness sympathetic to the White House" to tell Newsweek that there is "growing 'concern' in the White House that the prosecutor is interested in Rove." Luskin has insisted in several recent interviews that Rove is not a "target" of Fitzgerald's investigation. But this leaves open the possibility that Rove is a "subject" of the investigation. The difference? While a "target" is a "putative defendant" according to the U.S. Attorneys' Manual, a "subject" is a person not yet thought to have committed a crime but "whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury's investigation" (these two definitions are distinct from the third possible status, a mere "witness"). Lawrence O'Donnell, who broke the news of Rove's contacts with Time reporter Matt Cooper, notes: "Three trips to the same grand jury is frequently an indicator of subject status." So, Mr. Rove, if you're not a target, are you a witness or a subject?

3. ROVE HAS NEVER DENIED LEAKING THE IDENTITY OF WILSON'S WIFE: The public statements by Karl Rove and his attorney Robert Luskin regarding Rove's role have been worded vaguely, in such a way that leaves unclear whether Rove is denying that he ever revealed (in any way) the true identity of Joseph Wilson's wife, or whether he is merely denying that he revealed the specific name -- Valerie Plame (also her maiden name) -- that she used only while carrying out her covert work. Rove's attorney told Newsweek that Rove "did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA"; he told the Los Angeles Times that Rove "absolutely did not identify Valerie Plame." And in August 2004, Rove denied knowing Plame's name: "Well, I'll repeat what I said to ABC News when this whole thing broke some number of months ago. I didn't know her name and didn't leak her name." Under a strict interpretation, these statements confirm only that Rove did not leak Plame's name, not whether he revealed her role as a covert operative.

4. ROVE'S DISCLOSURE OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION IS UNCLEAR: As several commentators have noted, Rove's attorney has almost uniformly stated that Rove never "knowingly" disclosed classified information (although on one occassion, Luskin did apparently say to Bloomberg News that Rove "did not reveal any confidential information," leaving off the word "knowingly"). As Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out: "Not coincidentally, the word 'knowing' is the most important word in the controlling statute (U.S. Code: Title 50: Section 421). To violate the law, Rove had to tell Cooper about a covert agent "knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States." So, did Rove ever unknowingly disclose classified information? Moreover, a legal memo obtained by Hill reporter Josh Marshall interpreted the relevant laws to hold that "a government insider, with access to classified information, such as Rove is also prohibited from confirming or further disseminating the identity of a covert agent even after someone else has leaked it." According to today's New York Times, "Cooper's decision to drop his refusal to testify followed discussions on Wednesday morning among lawyers representing Mr. Cooper and Karl Rove, the senior White House political adviser, according to a person who has been officially briefed on the case." Did Rove ever confirm or disseminate classified information?

5. ROVE COULD COME CLEAN AT ANY TIME: A simple, clear statement by Rove would do much to end speculation about his role in any potential wrongdoing. Yet Rove is refusing to answer questions about the case, and, more suspiciously, his attorney is justifying his silence with the specious claim that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has "asked us not to talk about what Karl has had to say." As O'Donnell points out, "Prosecutors have absolutely no control over what witnesses say when they leave the grand jury room. Rove can tell us word-for-word what he said to the grand jury and would if he thought it would help him." The only thing that prevents him from doing so, O'Donnell adds, is "a good lawyer who is trying to keep him out of jail."

6. BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS COULD KEEP MILLER OUT OF JAIL: Whether one supports or opposes Judith Miller's refusal to reveal her source, the fact remains that she never had to face this fate. At any time, the Bush administration officials who leaked Valerie Plame's identity could step forward and relieve Miller of her difficult circumstances. As Joseph Wilson noted last night, "The sentencing of Judith Miller to jail for refusing to disclose her sources is the direct result of the culture of unaccountability that infects the Bush White House from top to bottom. ... Clearly, the conspiracy to cover up the web of lies that underpinned the invasion of Iraq is more important to the White House than coming clean on a serious breach of national security." Likewise, John Dean, former White House counsel to President Nixon during the Watergate controversy, said on Tuesday: "Whoever it is, he or she is a huge coward. And the fact that they would let somebody -- this is the sort of thing that Mafia people do, that drug kings do, not somebody who's serving in the White House as a public servant."

7. ROVE AND NOVAK HAVE A TRACK RECORD: Karl Rove and Robert Novak apparently have a history of spreading damaging information. In January 2003, Ron Suskind reported in Esquire that "Sources close to the former president say Rove was fired from the 1992 Bush presidential campaign after he planted a negative story with columnist Robert Novak about dissatisfaction with campaign fundraising chief and Bush loyalist Robert Mosbacher Jr. It was smoked out, and he was summarily ousted."

8. AT LEAST ONE WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL HAS BEEN CAUGHT IN A LIE: Rove's acknowledgement of his role in spreading information about Wilson and Plame seems to clearly contradict a claim in October 2003 by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, who said that "those individuals assured me they were not involved with this." So, did Karl Rove and his White House colleagues deceive Scott McClellan, or did Scott McClellan deceive the American people?

9. AN APPARENT DISCREPANCY EXISTS IN THE TIMELINE OF ROVE'S CONTACTS WITH JOURNALISTS: Though Rove's involvement in spreading information about former ambassador Wilson and his wife is now known, the timeline remains unclear. Recent statements from Rove's lawyer have only muddied the picture. In October 2003, Rove reportedly admitted to the grand jury "that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists," part of an "aggressive campaign to discredit Wilson through the leaking and disseminating of derogatory information regarding him and his wife." According to investigative journalist Murray Waas, Rove told the grand jury that "he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in Novak's column." But according to Rove's attorney Robert Luskin, "Rove spoke to Cooper three or four days before Novak's column appeared." What's the real story here?

10. PRESIDENT BUSH'S THOUGHTS ARE UNKNOWN: For well over a year, the White House line has been that "no one wants to get to the bottom of more than the President of the United States." Considering his great interest, it seems surprising, then, that President Bush has had nothing to say about Saturday's revelation that his own top advisor, Karl Rove, apparently did indeed participate in the coordinated campaign to smear former ambassador Joe Wilson. This fact alone speaks volumes about the character of this White House.

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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kick.
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Al-CIAda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. .
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wallwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. Nice synopsis
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Booster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. A well deserved kick for the members of the Press Corp who just
might be reading DU and looking for questions to ask Scotty - here ya go.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
5. Excellent compilation. Here are two David Corn articles on recent events
in the Plamegate saga. I think they clarify possibilities a bit:

From Corn's blog at The Nation:
BLOG | Posted 07/07/2005 @ 5:33pm
More Trouble for Rove in CIA Leak Case?

Article at TomPaine.CommonSense
Novak Squealed
David Corn
July 07, 2005


That brings me to my best guess of what did happen: Novak told Fitzgerald a story that helps his sources. It went something like this:

"Yes, Mr. Fitzgerald, Bush Aide X and Bush Aide Y both told me that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA and that they suspected she had sent Joseph Wilson on his now-infamous trip to Niger where he determined it was highly unlikely that Iraq had been shopping there for uranium to be used in a nuclear weapons program. But neither one of these two fine Americans told me that she was an undercover operative at the CIA. If you will again look at what I wrote, I referred to her as an "Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction." I never reported she was in a secret position. In fact, the use of the word "operative"which I suppose could connote a clandestine position but does not necessarily do sowas mine alone. These sources merely said to me she was employed at the CIA. As a newspaper columnist, I used the most evocative term I could think of at the time. I take full responsibility for that."

And to make everything neat and tidy, Bush Aide X and Bush Aide Y each essentially said the same thing to Fitzgerald:

"I heard hallway chatter that Valerie Plame was at the CIA and that she had something to do with Wilson's trip to Niger. I passed this on to Novak and Time magazine. I was never aware that she was working undercover or that by sharing this gossip I would be disclosing confidential information that identified a covert official. After all, as you know, Mr. Fitzgerald, not every CIA employee is a clandestine official."

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pa28 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. And of course . . .
How many ongoing WMD investigations and how many undercover contacts working under Plame have been compromised by this leak?

Has national security been jeopardized? I'd love to hear Scotty answer that one.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
8. Does it sort of sound like..
.... Rove's defense is going to be that he said "Wilson's wife" instead of "Valerie Plame"?

If that's what he has in mind, I think he's in for big trouble.
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Independent_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
9. Kick!
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Laura PourMeADrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
10. CLUES from Rove's testimony..... ...

Plugging Leaks
More details emerge on the Plame investigation, as Karl Rove's testimony is revealed for the first time.
Murray S. Waas

President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told the FBI in an interview last October that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists, according to a government official and an attorney familiar with the ongoing special counsel's investigation of the matter.

But Rove also adamantly insisted to the FBI that he was not the administration official who leaked the information that Plame was a covert CIA operative to conservative columnist Robert Novak last July. Rather, Rove insisted, he had only circulated information about Plame after it had appeared in Novak's column. He also told the FBI, the same sources said, that circulating the information was a legitimate means to counter what he claimed was politically motivated criticism of the Bush administration by Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Rove and other White House officials described to the FBI what sources characterized as an aggressive campaign to discredit Wilson through the leaking and disseminating of derogatory information regarding him and his wife to the press, utilizing proxies such as conservative interest groups and the Republican National Committee to achieve those ends, and distributing talking points to allies of the administration on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Rove is said to have named at least six other administration officials who were involved in the effort to discredit Wilson.

Rove, through an aide, declined to comment for this story. The White House also declined comment, referring any further inquiries to the Department of Justice because of the ongoing criminal investigation.
These revelations come on the heels of a Newsday report that Justice Department officials had subpoenaed the phone records of Air Force One for several days in July before the Novak column ran. In addition, according to Newsday, officials subpoenaed records from the same time period of the White House Iraq Group, an internal task force created to strengthen the case for war made to Congress and the American public. In addition to Rove, prominent members of the task force included National Security Council deputy Stephen J. Hadley; I. Lewis Libby, chief of staff to Vice-President Dick Cheney; and former Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs Nicholas E. Calio.

The leak of Plame's name to Novak last July came at a time when Plame's husband was criticizing the Bush administration for using faulty intelligence to bolster its case to go to war with the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. Wilson had led an eight-day, CIA-sponsored mission to Niger to investigate allegations that Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium to build an atomic weapon. Wilson reported back to the CIA that the allegations were contrived and that documents purportedly revealing the scheme were crude forgeries.

Still, President Bush, in making the case to go to war with Iraq, cited the allegations in his 2003 State of the Union address. Bush has since admitted that using the Niger information was a mistake, and he has appointed a presidential commission to investigate that and other instances of faulty intelligence considered by Congress before it authorized war.

It was last July, when Wilson first made public his criticisms, that Novak wrote his now-infamous newspaper column alleging that Wilson had received his assignment because his wife had recommended him for the position. The claim has since turned out to be untrue. Novak revealed that Plame was a covert CIA operative in the context of incorrectly asserting that she was responsible for her husband's appointment.

According to sources, Rove, in his interview with the FBI, said that he and others on the White House's political staff wanted to contain the political fallout from Wilson's allegations, and that they thought the charge of favoritism was a legitimate issue. Rove added that when he steered others in the direction of the now-disproved charges, he believed them to be true, in part because he regarded Novak as a credible news source.

When the Justice Department investigation began last September, the White House press corps repeatedly questioned White House press secretary Scott McClellan as to whether Rove was the person who leaked Plame's name to Novak. Initially, McClellan said that Rove had denied that he was the leaker.

Then, on September 28, The Washington Post reported:
"Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. `Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge,' the senior official said of the alleged leak. A source said reporters quoted a leaker as describing Wilson's wife as `fair game.'"

A subsequent Newsweek story suggested that the Post had been incorrect in some details. According to the magazine's account, the calls to "at least six Washington journalists" took place after Novak's column appeared, rather than before. Furthermore, Newsweek made an assertion (confirmed by Wilson) that MSNBC talk-show host Chris Matthews called Wilson in July, a full week after Novak's column appeared, telling the former ambassador that "Karl Rove said your wife was fair game."

When grilled on this variation of Rove's involvement, McClellan became evasive. McClellan insisted that the criminal investigation only centered on "whether someone leaked classified information;" questions regarding the "fair game" report were "down the road of rumor and innuendo and unsubstantiated accusations."

McClellan then warned reporters "not to read anything into what I said," refusing to answer questions about whether it was, in one reporter's words, "ethical for a senior administration official to advance a story about an illegal disclosure of a CIA operative, basically giving that story legs."

McClellan then repeatedly refused to exonerate Rove, according to a transcript of his remarks, instead insisting that any White House comments were merely a matter of "setting the record straight" rather than "spreading information to punish someone for speaking out," something the White House "would not condone."

As a result of the Post report, federal investigators are now hunting for not only the identity of the administration official who leaked Plame's name to Novak but also the administration official who told the paper about the telephone calls to the six other reporters. The investigators believe it likely, according to an attorney familiar with some aspects of the criminal investigation, that the source of the Post story may very well know the identity of the person who leaked Plame's name to Novak.

In interviews with potential witnesses, investigators have taken to referring to the story and its mysterious source as "one by two by six," meaning that one official may know the identity of two other administration officials who spoke to the six reporters.
"If they find 'one by two by six,' then just maybe they have also found their guy," said one attorney familiar with the criminal investigation.
Still, little else is known regarding special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the Plame leak. A federal grand jury only recently began hearing evidence in the matter. FBI agents working on the probe have signed unprecedented secrecy agreements as a condition for working for the special counsel, and Fitzgerald has asked government officials and their attorneys appearing before his grand jury to agree not to disclose anything to the press or the public.
Media attention has so far focused largely on four current and former White House aides who have testified: McClellan; Claire Buchan, a deputy press secretary; Adam Levine, a former White House communications aide, and Mary Matalin, a former adviser to Vice-President Dick Cheney.

But several sources have said that some news reports were reading too much into the recent grand-jury appearances. One government official familiar with the inquiry suggested that the grand jury was focusing on the "periphery of the action" and working toward "ruling certain people out and certain theories wrong." Reporters, meanwhile, were "maligning people simply because they did not know anything and had nothing to write." Questioning of more than one witness who has appeared before the grand jury, said an attorney familiar with the inquiry, was "truncated ... and over fairly quickly," adding that "they gave every impression they were closing some doors."

Murray S. Waas is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. (Read more at . ) Research assistance for this article was provided by Jeff Dubner.

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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-05 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Laura PackYourBags
Per DU copyright rules
please post only four
paragraphs from the
copyrighted news source.

Thank you.

DU Moderator
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Virginian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
11. Why are wingers trying to say Plame was a file clerk?
On MSNBC the other night, one of the guests kept acting surprised that Valerie Plame was an agent and not a file clerk. This was not the first time I had seen this "excuse."

She sure held a lot of clout for a file clerk if the CIA would send her husband on a "vacation" in Niger at taxpayer's expense.

That was also a right wing comment that he had been sent on a pleasure trip to Niger instead of a fact finding trip.

Who is organizing these lies? Rush?
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
12. I think these are the LEAST of the questions that the news monopolies
have not asked Rove, Cheney, Libby, and Bush regarding Plamegate.

How about this? What on earth were you doing, destroying a 20+ year CIA WMD information network with covert contacts all over the world, at a time when accurate information on WMDs is so critically important to national security?

Was this destruction of the CIA's eyes and ears on WMDs around the world done for political revenge, or was it done to prevent discovery of Dick Cheney's nefarious weapons profiteering?

Plame...the tip of the iceberg...

Did Dick Cheney send Joseph Wilson to Niger? If so, didn't Cheney know perfectly well that Wilson would not find any evidence of Iraq nukes there? Why then did he send him?

Is the outing of Valerie Plame's identity and her being Wilson's wife not a cover story for Cheney's involvement in, a) requesting that Wilson go to Niger; b) planting the false Iraq nuke claim in Bush's State of the Union speech; and c) baiting Wilson--setting him up--AS AN EXCUSE to destroy the CIAs WMD network?

Why has the Bush regime been destroying WMD and terrorist investigations all over the world--recently in England (Naeem Noor Kahn) and in Italy (untimely and illegal arrests blowing yet another investigation)--and going all the way back to pre-9/11 with the ousting of the FBI's John O'Neil, the ousting of Richard Clarke, and the denial of FBI Colleen Crowley's repeated requests to open Zacharias Moussoui's computer?

And, while we're at it, what WAS Nicholas Berg's name, email address and email account password DOING in Zacharias Moussoui's computer? Huh? (Note: Berg beheaded in Iraq, May 2004, after weeklong, secret, US interrogation. News articles quoted FBI about Berg email info in ZM's computer. End of story. Not one single question raised by news monopolies.)

And isn't it damned odd that, at the same moment you were outing Valerie Plame and her WMD network, Brit chief weapons inspector for Iraq David Kelly was writing his last email, warning of "dark actors playing games" to none other than Judith Miller, who appears to have LAUNDERED the Plame information to reporters in an effort to cover your sorry asses?


THAT's the kind of questioning I would LIKE to see. In our dreams.
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donkeyotay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. The questions are piling up. Some big. Some small.
And isn't it damned odd that, at the same moment you were outing Valerie Plame and her WMD network, Brit chief weapons inspector for Iraq David Kelly was writing his last email, warning of "dark actors playing games" to none other than Judith Miller, who appears to have LAUNDERED the Plame information to reporters in an effort to cover your sorry asses?

We need a unified theory to tie the threads together, connect the dots. I think we're getting close.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
15. Will GHWB and Gillespie have the guts to backup their statements now??
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
16. I go back to the weird visits of Gannon to the White House as a
"journalist". We got nowhere with that oddity and I think that case ties in with the overall case against this White House crew and how it is they control and wag the dog at the citizens. The fake journalist and the double dipping journalists outed at the beginning of this year are all symptoms of the same lying administration.
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