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Excellent Novak deconstruction by emptywheel

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yodermon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 02:48 PM
Original message
Excellent Novak deconstruction by emptywheel

All very interesting, confirming Novakula to be the dissembling neocon scum that he is.
However there was this one tidbit that I'd never known:
One aside about the name. I've pointed out that one version of Novak's October 2003 column used the name Valerie Flame. That was, of course, long before we knew Valerie Flame appeared in Judy Miller's notebooks, apparently coming from one of her sources on Plame. So Novak may have strengthened his Who's Who claim to downplay any chance that "Flame" reference came from the same source Judy got it from.

she links to the "" version of the one of Novak's ass-covering articles, and, sure 'nuff, he refers to her as "Valerie Flame", a la Judy Miller.

Coincidence? (not)
Treason? (uh, yah)
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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. As if the name was important.
If he'd written Valerie Wilson, covert CIA agent, would it have been better somehow?...
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yodermon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. point being
that if he looked her up in "Who's Who" like he claims, he'd have written Plame, not Flame.

And "Valerie Flame" is how Judy Miller had referred to her in her notes from Scooter (although this wasn't known until much after Novak's article).

Suggesting that Novak is a lying asshole, which I admit is already a known fact.
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. which unless I am idiot says that Judy's source(s) is the same as
Novak's source(s)- regarding the Flame notation - correct????

- emptywheel strikes again -
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. You're no idiot
The Judy Miller notebook entry of "Valerie Flame" is from another source, not Scooter, I recall, according to Miller's October 2005 NYT mea culpa.

So, one of Novak's sources was also one of Judy's. Scooter and Rover?
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I think the source
of Flame is Cheney through Scooter to Snooty Miller and Novak

But I could be wrong ;)
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-13-06 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I'm almost afraid to say it
but, that's my gut response.

We know that Cheney was Scooter's original source. It only stands to reason that Fitz would be willing to let Rover walk in exchange for turning on his source, and that Rover's source would have to be one of two people, both of whom outrank Scooter and himself. So, Rover gave up Dead Eye in order to protect the Decider.

Almost an act of loyalty, on Rover's part.

Emptywheel's on the bus, as well.
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-13-06 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I wonder
what concrete links there between Novak and Darth?

This whole deal would explain Rover's ability to stay un-indicted, being that this happened around the same time that court docs showed Darth's desire to discredit Wilson. ie: the handwritten notes on the Wilson article.

It will be curious to see what Darth does in the near future, I am also still intrigued by R. Armitage's role in this investigation. That reporting by D. Schuster that detailed how much Fitz was sneaking D. Armitage into court for testimony makes me wonder what he said about Rover, Cheney and others(*, Rummy & Rice).
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-13-06 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Deconstructing Novak's "Valerie Flame" reference
Robert Novak clearly enjoys his notoriety, and his most recent account of his role in L'Affaire Plame is filled with the unattractive odor of gloating over his and Karl Rove's escape from indictment.

The Next Hurrah is blessed to have an extraordinary investigator, Marcy Wheeler (aka, emptywheel), who has come up with yet another fascinating insight into the Plame case.

Emptywheel corrects a long-lingering misimpression about the Plame case. It was Bob "Lord of Darkness" Novak not Judy Miller who first publicly identified Valerie Plame as "Valerie Flame".


There's been a lot of headscratching about Judy Miller's reference to "Valerie Flame" in her reporter's notebook. That was revealed last October after Miller was released from jail compelling her testimony and release of her notes to the Fitzgerald Grand Jury. Judy brushed off the significance of the notation in her New York Times account of 10/16/2005.

But, as emptywheel points out, Bob Novak referred to "Valerie Flame" in a 10/06/2003 column in Human Events. Two things stand out about that:

* Bob "Lord of Darkness" Novak was the first to use the distinctive "Valerie Flame" misnomer to identify Mrs. Wilson. That name also appears in Judy Miller's reporter's notebook. Recall, Judy had a tryst on 07/08/2003 with Scooter Libby at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, DC. Libby is said to have first revealed Valerie Plame's identity to Miller at that breakfast meeting. The Flame name went unremarked upon until Miller wrote about her meeting with Libby in the New York Times last Fall.

The second thing that juts out from the resurrection of Novak's October 2003 article is that he's shown himself to be a serial liar. That is the main context which we should view his first "Valerie Flame" reference.


Miller's account, "My Four Hours Testifying in the Federal Grand Jury Room", had previously been thought to be the first publication of the name "Flame". This seeming incongruity raises emptywheel's WTF, as well as suggesting the possibility -- but, this is by no means the only possible explanation, as will be explained below -- that Novak and Miller had a common source in 2003 for the name, "Valerie Flame". According to Miller:

"Mr. Fitzgerald asked me about another entry in my notebook, where I had written the words "Valerie Flame," clearly a reference to Ms. Plame. Mr. Fitzgerald wanted to know whether the entry was based on my conversations with Mr. Libby. I said I didn't think so. I said I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall.

"Mr. Fitzgerald asked if I could recall discussing the Wilson-Plame connection with other sources. I said I had, though I could not recall any by name or when those conversations occurred."

Contrast that with this in Novak's Human Events piece account two years earlier of his role in outing Plame, whom he unexplainedly referenced there as "Flame":

"How big a secret was it? It was well known around Washington that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Republican activist Clifford May wrote Monday, in National Review Online, that he had been told of her identity by a non-government source before my column appeared and that it was common knowledge. Her name, Valerie Flame, was no secret either, appearing in Wilson's Who's Who in America entry."

What makes this all the more intriquing is the fact that Novak's syndicated column that set off the firestorm on 07/14/2003 used her correct maiden name, "Valerie Plame":

"Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. "I will not answer any question about my wife," Wilson told me."


What are we to make of these odd mispellings? Do they stem, as Novak has suggested that he learned about Mrs. Wilson's identity from Joseph Charles Wilson's entry in "Wilson's Who's Who in America"? No, he certainly did not see the name "Valerie Flame" there. Neither does it say that she works undercover for the CIA. Rather, Novak and anyone else could read at the bottom of page 5710, second column, third line, the following:

". . . m. Valerie Elise Plame, Apr. 3 1998"

So, how would Novak learn that Joe Wilson wife worked as a covert officer for the Central Intelligence Agency? Two or more Bush-Cheney officials handed him that information in a piecemeal fashion, and Novak says a CIA official confirmed the information.

That odd mispelling of Mrs. Wilson's maiden name is indeed significant. That leak appears to have been structured so that neither official revealed the complete picture about Plame -- publicly naming Valerie Plame as an undercover U.S. intelligence officer -- that would include all the elements of a criminal violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) of 1982. Somewhere along the line, the fictional name, "Valerie Flame" came into existence, and it was written down by both Miller and by Novak, who actually used it in print.

There seem to be two plausible explanations for the use of a misnomer by both Miller and Novak.

One, the same official who misidentified Valerie to Miller as "Valerie Flame" also gave that same misinformation to Novak, who printed it on October 6, 2003. But, that just doesn't seem to make sense in Novak's case, because he had already identified her correctly as Valerie Plame on April 14.

A second explanation, which makes more sense to me, is that the name Valerie Flame was invented by someone and given to both Miller and Novak as a ruse to obscure the real issue of who identified Mrs. Wilson as an undercover intelligence officer.


It is in this context that the depth of malice of Novak's action clear. The day after his initial column appeared, Novak announced on CNN that Plame's nominal employer was Brewster Jennings & Associates.(11) "There is no such firm, I'm convinced," Novak said, noting that "Ms. Valerie E. Wilson" had donated $1,000 to the Gore campaign in 1999 and had listed Brewster Jennings & Associates as her employer.(12) "CIA people are not supposed to list themselves with fictitious firms if they're under a deep cover they're supposed to be real firms, or so I'm told. Sort of adds to the little mystery."(13)

Of course, it turned out that Brewster Jennings & Associates was a real firm, but one that provided cover for a number of covert CIA analysts, including Valerie Plame, who were working under Non-Official Cover (NOC). Of course, Novak totally blew the entire operation, which focused on analyzing foreign WMD programs, and it has been conjectured that was the central point of the exercise on the part of Novak's sources within the OVP.

It's not like Novak didn't know what he was doing. Ibid. When Novak approached the CIA's office of Public Affairs regarding his article on Plame, he claimed that the office expressed no specific danger to anybody in case of the public disclosure of her name, but warned strongly against it. And the CIA officer telephoned later to Novak to repeat his warning.

In "The CIA Leak," Novak stated this explanation for the two "senior administration officials" and the "CIA official" referenced in his June 14 article:

"During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counter-proliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: "Oh, you know about it." The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue.

"At the CIA, the official designated to talk to me denied that Wilson's wife had inspired his selection but said she was delegated to request his help. He asked me not to use her name, saying she probably never again will be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause "difficulties" if she travels abroad. . . (5)(original report, LA Times)"

Bottom-line: There's only one reason Novak and Rove were allowed to walk after they conspired to out Plame and wreck Brewster Jennings. They gave up Cheney.
2006. Mark G. Levey

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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-13-06 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. excellent recap
now it is only a matter of time for Darth, will it be before or after the Libby trial, or better put, why is Fitz waiting on going after Darth?
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
4. Novak got used and tossed
He just didn't count on being left out in the cold after years of loyal service to the cause.
How do you hurt a man without thowing a punch? Go for his wife (or girlfriend)! Works every time.

The whole thing was done to smear Joe Wilson; that's obvious. The method and strategy to do it was treasonous. There were people at the highest levels of security clearance that knew Valerie Wilson's CIA status. To try and spin it that she wasn't at that level is despicable.

I guess if she had come home from a 'business' trip to Iran two weeks earlier, she's not an operative according to them...because she wasn't there 24/7. But, hey! It's The President who decides what is or isn't Constitutional. The President decides who is an "enemy combatant" (or more recently, "unlawful combatant").

Their actions were criminal.
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boston bean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-13-06 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
8. maybe miller learned of it from novaks earlier article and started
asking about it.

I don't know.

I just wish the people responsible would be held accountable.
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