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Libby to Fitzgerald: If You Won't Name the CIA Leaker, I Will
National Review Online ^ | March 20, 2006 | Byron York

Posted on 03/20/2006 7:57:28 AM PST by Cboldt

It's sometimes difficult to remember, given the legal twists and turns it has taken, that the CIA leak investigation was begun to find out who exposed the identity of CIA employee Valerie Wilson to columnist Robert Novak and whether that person violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act in doing so. After more than two years of investigating, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has not charged anyone with that crime -- if indeed it was a crime -- nor has he publicly answered either question. Fitzgerald has even refused to provide lawyers for the only person indicted in the case, former Cheney chief of staff Lewis Libby, with evidence that Wilson was indeed a covert agent at the time of the July 14, 2003, Novak column, or that the exposure of her identity did any damage to national security, arguing that that information -- the very heart of the CIA leak case -- is not relevant to the perjury and obstruction charges against Libby.

But now the Libby defense team is attempting to return the case to first things. In an extraordinary 35-page motion filed with Judge Reggie Walton late Friday, Libby's lawyers lay the groundwork for a plan to use his perjury trial as a way to find what happened in the CIA leak affair. After all, just what is it that Libby is accused of lying about? Why was it that all the conversations in question were taking place? Who said what to whom? If Libby's lawyers persuade Judge Walton to order Fitzgerald to turn over some of the reams of information he has gathered in the case, we might finally found out -- most likely over the prosecutor's vigorous objections -- what actually happened in the CIA leak case.

Libby's motion is, formally, a request for documents relating to the expected testimony of an imposing roster of current and former government officials likely to be called as witnesses in the trial. In the motion, they are listed together (at least publicly) for the first time:

  1. Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State
  2. Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary
  3. Marc Grossman, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
  4. Stephen Hadley, former Deputy National Security Advisor
  5. Bill Harlow, former CIA Spokesman
  6. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State
  7. Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President
  8. George Tenet, former Director of Central Intelligence
  9. The CIA Briefer referred to in paragraph 11 of the indictment (Craig Schmall, Peter Clement or Matt Barrett)
  10. The Senior CIA Official referred to in paragraph 7 of the indictment, who may be either Robert Grenier or John McLaughlin
  11. Joseph Wilson
  12. Valerie Plame Wilson

[Libby's lawyers also say they expect Vice President Cheney to testify, but his name is not on the list because Fitzgerald has already turned over documents from Cheney's office, and thus Libby is not requesting any new evidence from that source.]

Some of the witnesses are expected to testify that they told Libby that former ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, or that Libby told them that -- accounts Fitzgerald believes will help him make the case that Libby lied to the grand jury about how he learned about Valerie Wilson. But in the new motion, Libby argues, in effect, that these people also know the larger story of the CIA leak. And knowing that larger story is necessary to understand Libby's testimony; for Libby's lawyers to question the witnesses about his allegedly false testimony, the lawyers will have to know what was going on at the time. Is one of the witnesses himself Novak's source? Does anyone have a motive to shade his testimony against Libby? And what was the context in which all the talking was taking place? In the court papers, Libby's lawyers suggest that the answers to those questions will demolish Fitzgerald's interpretation of events.

The indictment against Libby contains a series of statements which strongly suggest that the White House's desire to retaliate against Joseph Wilson led to a scheme to expose his wife's identity. But Libby's lawyers say Fitzgerald, tightly focused on Valerie Wilson, missed the big picture of what was happening in May, June, and July 2003. During that time, the motion argues, Libby was preoccupied with the now-famous "16 words" in the president's State of the Union address concerning Iraq's alleged attempts to purchase yellowcake uranium in Niger, and also with parrying ferocious Democratic attacks on the administration's case for the war. In addition, the lawyers say, Libby was fighting a rear-guard action against other officials of the Bush administration, specifically those in the CIA and the State Department, who were trying to blame the White House for the Iraq intelligence debacle. Compared to that -- in what was surely one of the most intense periods in an administration filled with intense periods -- the identity of Valerie Wilson, Libby argues, was small potatoes. "The indictment presents a distorted picture of the relevant events," the motion says,

by exaggerating the importance government officials, including Mr. Libby, attributed to Ms. Wilsons employment status prior to July 14, 2003. The prosecution has an interest in continuing to overstate the significance of Ms. Wilsons affiliation with the CIA. Doing so makes it easier to suggest that Mr. Libby would not have forgotten or confused his conversations concerning Ms. Wilson and has therefore intentionally lied. In contrast, the defense intends to present a more complete and accurate narrative. The defense will show that during the controversy about the sixteen words in the Presidents 2003 State of the Union address and about Ambassador Wilsons criticism of the Bush Administration, government officials, including Mr. Libby, viewed Ms. Wilsons identity as at most a peripheral issue. To the extent that these officials were focused on Mr. Wilson, they were concerned with publicly disputing mistaken or misleading reports about his trip [to Niger] and his findings, not with where his wife worked.

In another part of the motion, the Libby defense team refers to Valerie Wilson's role in the matter as "minor" and "not important" and also refers to the "falsity" of some of Joseph Wilson's statements. Specifically, the motion says, "Contrary to Mr. Wilson's claims, he did not debunk as forgeries documents suggesting that Iraq was attempting to purchase uranium from Africa." It was claims like that, which received extensive coverage in the press and cried out for rebuttal, the lawyers argue, that demanded Libby's attention -- not the place of Wilson's wife's employment.

"If the jury learns this background information," the Libby motion continues, "and also understands Mr. Libbys additional focus on urgent national security matters, the jury will more easily appreciate how Mr. Libby may have forgotten or misremembered the snippets of conversation the government alleges were so memorable."

And who actually leaked Valerie Wilson's identity to Robert Novak, and was it a crime? The Libby defense team writes that it expects "witness testimony that within the government Ms. Wilsons employment status was not regarded as classified, sensitive or secret, contrary to the allegations in the indictment." And the motion states flatly that "the primary source for Mr. Novak's article" was not only not Lewis Libby but was "an official from outside the White House." [emphasis in the original] As for who that might be, the Libby team points the finger toward the State Department.

Specifically, the top of the State Department. The motion says, "The defense may call Mr. Powell to testify about a September 2003 meeting at the White House during which he is reported to have commented that everyone knows that Mr. Wilson's wife works at the CIA. At the same meeting, Mr. Powell also reportedly mentioned a 2002 meeting during which Ms. Wilson suggested her husband for the CIA mission to Niger." Later, the motion requests "Any notes from the September 2003 meeting in the Situation Room at which Colin Powell is reported to have said that (a) everyone knows that Mr. Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that (b) it was Mr. Wilson's wife who suggested that the CIA send her husband on a mission to Niger."

In other parts of the motion, the Libby team, echoing recent media reports, suggests that the trio of Powell, his former deputy Richard Armitage, and former top State Department official Marc Grossman knew about Valerie Wilson's job and talked to reporters about it:

Documents pertaining to Mr. Wilsons trip from Mr. Grossmans files must also be examined carefully by the defense because Mr. Grossman may not be a disinterested witness. This week, Vanity Fair, the Washington Post and The New York Times, as well as other media outlets, reported that Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State, told Bob Woodward of the Washington Post that Ms. Wilson worked for the CIA. There has been media speculation that Mr. Woodwards source and Mr. Novaks source are the same person. If the facts ultimately show that Mr. Armitage or someone else from the State Department was also Mr. Novaks primary source, then the State Department (and certainly not Mr. Libby) bears responsibility for the "leak" that led to the public disclosure of Ms. Wilsons CIA identity.

As for the CIA, Libby contends that the agency, once the Wilson matter blew up, did its best to undercut Libby and the vice president's office. It appears that Libby believes strongly, but does not have any proof, that the CIA was out to get Libby and his colleagues, and that therefore the testimony of any CIA officials might be suspect. "If CIA officials perceived that Mr. Tenet or the Agency were being unfairly criticized or scapegoated, these officials likely expressed their discontent about this bureaucratic infighting in email messages and other documents," the Libby motion says. "The defense is entitled to review any such documents because they bear directly on potential bias against Mr. Libby by CIA witnesses."

In the end, if Libby's version of events is correct, not only did he not commit any crimes in the Wilson matter, but no one at the State Department or the CIA committed any crimes, either. All anyone is guilty of is cutthroat bureaucratic infighting -- and having the misfortune of seeing that cutthroat bureaucratic infighting become the subject of a special prosecutor's attention.

Fitzgerald will no doubt work hard to keep these issues out of the courtroom during what he contends is a straightforward perjury case. But surely what Libby is accused of lying about will ultimately be part of the trial. And it is in that way that Fitzgerald may have backed himself into a corner. Throughout the pre-trial motions in the case, he has argued, over and over, that it doesn't matter who leaked Valerie Wilson's identity, or why. It doesn't matter if Wilson was covert. It doesn't matter if the leak did any damage. In other words, the CIA leak is not relevant to the CIA leak case. Surely he will continue to argue that throughout the trial itself. But is that what his investigation -- now in its third year -- was really about?

TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: byronyork; cialeak; leak; libby
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To: Cboldt
How the heck could Fitz have gone looking for a leaker without first proving or finding there was an actionable leak?

Fraud against the American people by accepting money (salaries) for continuing to investigate a non-crime?

61 posted on 03/20/2006 9:51:51 AM PST by Real Cynic No More (A member of the Appalachian-American minority -- and proud of it!)
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To: gogeo
I think Fitzgerald may be guilty of prosecutorial misconduct. I believe Justice Dept guidelines say that the first step in such an investigation is determining whether any crime was committed. If there was no crime, there should have been no investigation. There appears to have been no crime, and Fitzgerald should have drawn that conclusion.

Fraud? Can we indict him and make him pay us back the money he's wasted? And triple that amount because he's been negligent?

62 posted on 03/20/2006 9:55:59 AM PST by Real Cynic No More (A member of the Appalachian-American minority -- and proud of it!)
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To: Wristpin
"This is a serious leak and the leaker will be punished,"

I don't recall the President ever saying that. He said "leaks are serious" , "if someone broke the law they will no longer work in my administration".

Yeah - I was paraphrasing, pretty much from memory. At any rate, given the profile of the case, my point was that Libby could reasonably be thought to have a motive to hide leaking (if he was a leaker), just based on the risk of disapproval (something short of being fired even) from the President.

I don't blame Libby for trying this angle of defense, some people will fall for it. I personally think it has a fatal logical flaw.

I believe that he [President Bush] personally pushed for the investigation in order to give the appearance of transparency.

Which has the effect of lending gravitas to the investigation.

It backfired when Fitz ran amuck.

If Libby had said to investigators, "Yep - I knew Plame worked at CIA. I checked it out because the Wilson/Plame story was a bit of a news event," Libby wouldn't be in this case, and who knows what Fitz would be doing.

63 posted on 03/20/2006 9:57:37 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Real Cynic No More
How the heck could Fitz have gone looking for a leaker without first proving or finding there was an actionable leak?

Fraud against the American people by accepting money (salaries) for continuing to investigate a non-crime?

I blame the CIA for making a bogus referral, then demanding it be chased. What's Fitz supposed to do, call the CIA a pack of liars, first thing out of the block? He got stuck 'tween a rock and hard spot. If Libby had't (allegedly) mislead investigators, I think the whole case would have run its course with no report.

64 posted on 03/20/2006 10:01:08 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: Real Cynic No More

I don't see that happening, but I believe it would call the entire case into question. My hunch is that's why Fitz doesn't want to go there.

65 posted on 03/20/2006 10:25:34 AM PST by gogeo
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To: Verginius Rufus
"Fitzgerald is playing "Calvinball"...
66 posted on 03/20/2006 10:38:12 AM PST by Redbob
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To: Cboldt
What's Fitz supposed to do, call the CIA a pack of liars, first thing out of the block?

Was he supposed to almost exclusively go after the White House as if they were a pack of liars? He was given wide ranging authority, he chose a very narrow path.

67 posted on 03/20/2006 10:52:31 AM PST by Dolphy
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To: Cboldt
"I blame the CIA for making a bogus referral, then demanding it be chased. What's Fitz supposed to do, call the CIA a pack of liars, first thing out of the block? He got stuck 'tween a rock and hard spot. If Libby had't (allegedly) mislead investigators, I think the whole case would have run its course with no report."

Have we seen that original referral that was supposedly sent by the CIA? I say supposedly because I am not convinced that someone outside the CIA authored it, talking pointed it or in some manner arranged it.

And do we know if Rockefeller in his esteemed position is a player in all this, being seated on the intel committee sent a request for an investigation separate from the CIA? Now wasn't he the chairman during this time? His memo laying out their premeditated road map to criminalize the Bush presidency just cannot be ignored.

I am sorry that I have to keep asking you questions, and I do appreciate your knowledge, so I thank you in advance for your information.
68 posted on 03/20/2006 11:14:27 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
Have we seen that original referral that was supposedly sent by the CIA?

No. Fitz isn't sharing that with the public, and has argued that it is irrelevant to the Libby false statements and perjury trial.

The general form of "the leak questionnaire" is at -> this post.

... do we know if Rockefeller in his esteemed position is a player in all this ...

Perhaps at the Wilson/Niger and "16 words in the SOTU" level, but not at the "did Libby mislead investigators" level.

I am sorry that I have to keep asking you questions ...


69 posted on 03/20/2006 11:22:11 AM PST by Cboldt
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To: 1Old Pro
This story is soooo old I could care less,. The only person I feel sorry for is libby because of his defense costs.

If we had a sane legal system.....the loser would pay the winners legal costs and people like Libby would be treated fairly.

And most of these bastard trial lawyers would stop raping the America people.......

Lawyers are America's leprosy.

70 posted on 03/20/2006 11:53:43 AM PST by pop-gun (A dumbed down population is more dangerous to our country than terrorism.)
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To: Cboldt
I had the wrong senator in my memory bank, it was Schumer who was demanding the special prosecutor.....

71 posted on 03/20/2006 2:41:02 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
Schumer wasn't the only one. I'll have to dig through my pile of stuff to find the other (at least) one.

Meanwhile, a minor repair to your link ...

(your link has a " embedded at the end)

72 posted on 03/20/2006 2:46:05 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt

See posting links is not my thing, and I usually leave it to the pros. Thanks for the correction.

73 posted on 03/20/2006 2:50:37 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
Ahhh ... found some discussion in the Congressional Record, September 30, 2003 (Senate>. Quite the cast of characters.


Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I came to the Chamber this morning because I thought we would be on the DC appropriations bill and was prepared to offer a sense-of-the-Senate amendment to that bill concerning the appointment of special counsel to conduct a fair, thorough, and independent investigation into a national security breach.

I ask unanimous consent that my amendment be printed in the Record. There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

(Purpose: To express the sense of Congress concerning the appointment of a special counsel to conduct a fair, thorough, and independent investigation into a national security breach)

... Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, this is serious stuff, and I was furious. I had no idea who had done it at that point in time. "High administration official" can mean a whole lot of things. So I wrote the letter to Mr. Mueller and publicly called on him for an investigation.

I learned shortly thereafter that for such an investigation to proceed, the CIA had to fill out, I think it is, an 11-point questionnaire about the person named, what they did, and what was revealed. Of course, last week it came out on television and in the newspapers that the CIA had asked for an investigation. The logical, though not certain, conclusion of that, of course, is that they believe a crime might well have been committed; that Ms. Plame, indeed, was hurt by the revelation, and that it was illegal to reveal it. ...

Mr. REID. Mr. President, I have a question. Will the Senator yield?

Mr. SCHUMER. I will be happy to yield to my colleague from Nevada for a question.

Mr. REID. Mr. President, I say to my friend from New York, I have been at a meeting with the Iraqi Governing Council, and I was stunned when I came back to the Senate Chamber and was advised by my staff that we are no longer on the DC appropriations bill. We are suddenly in morning business until our weekly caucuses.

I say to my friend from New York, why in the world would someone be afraid to vote on an amendment the Senator from New York and others are going to offer that says: Let's take a look at this; let's find out what happened? We know there was a crime committed. I don't use those words often. I know there was a crime committed. It is only a question of who did it. Why wouldn't our friends on the other side of the aisle allow a debate on this issue? ...

Mrs. BOXER. I thank the Senator so much for yielding. I have a few questions. What I want to do is make a 4- or 5-minute statement and then ask three or four questions and hope the Senator can answer them in his inimicable fashion.

First, I thank Senator Schumer so much for picking up on this issue. I remember reading about this in July and just scratching my head. I essentially thought: This cannot be true. I cannot believe that someone in the White House would reveal the identity of a person who is working at the CIA undercover. Whether she is an analyst, an operative, or an agent, it matters not, but certainly someone whose identity had never been revealed. I thought: This cannot be happening.

To be honest, I should have done more about it, but I did not, and thank the Senator for writing to the head of the FBI, for whom I have a great deal of respect, and letting him know this.

Here are my questions: As I look at this, I think, why would someone do this? Well, clearly the idea behind attacking Ambassador Wilson's wife was that Ambassador Wilson gave the White House news they did not want to hear, which was that there was really no proof that Saddam Hussein was getting nuclear materials from Niger. They did not want that answer; it was kind of a kill-the-messenger type of response; and in order to get back at him, they out his wife, which is despicable and a crime, but I think it is about arrogance and it is about intimidation. ...

Mr. HARKIN. I thank my friend from New York for yielding for a question. I am proud to be a cosponsor of the amendment that the Senator is trying to offer. I came over to the floor from the Appropriations Committee meeting to speak on this amendment. Evidently, I now find out, I understand--am I correct, I ask my friend from New York, that the majority, Republican side, has extended this period of morning business which will keep you from offering this amendment? Is that correct?

Mr. SCHUMER. That is correct.

Mr. HARKIN. Again, I am proud to cosponsor the amendment. I think it gets to the heart of the matter, and that is to try to get a special counsel to look into these serious allegations. ...

Mr. HARKIN. I thank my colleague for responding. I have a couple more questions.

I appreciate what the Senator just said. There have been some allegations made. I don't know whether or not this is some partisan effort or something like that. We know that a law has been broken. There is a clear law against leaking the names of our intelligence agents, and it is punishable by 5 years--or 10?


Mr. HARKIN. Ten years or a $50,000 fine. A crime has been committed. ...

Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, I wanted to pick up on something the Senator from New York said. I can best illustrate it with Veterans Day and Memorial Day when we typically are commending those young men and women in uniform. We have to modify that now because of the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq. We commend the young men and women not only in uniform but in the service of their country, because the CIA was the first to go into Afghanistan. They were all over Afghanistan before we ever went in with our military forces. They are working in conjunction with our military forces. Indeed, the first American to be killed in Afghanistan was Mike Spann, a CIA agent.

What we are dealing with, lest folks get this all mixed up with politics, is a crime of the most serious nature because it jeopardizes the security of the United States and its people. When someone's identity is suddenly revealed and is an agent of the U.S. Government, their life is in jeopardy and the lives of their contacts are in jeopardy. That is the gravity of this leak. ...

Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I thank all of those involved in the discussion and the agreement we have just reached procedurally. This is an important issue and it deserves the consideration of the Senate.

I want to especially acknowledge the leadership Senator Schumer has shown on this matter, and I expressed the gratitude of our caucus to him for providing this legislative leadership as we consider what to do in this particular case.

I think there are several facts we know for sure. We know the law was violated. We know what the law says with regard to violations of this magnitude. We know the chilling effect it has on our intelligence- gathering capability and on personnel involved in the front lines with regard to intelligence-gathering responsibilities.

We know, if we can believe the reports that have already been printed and reported, what motivated someone in the White House or someone in this administration was retaliation, retribution for being critical of the administration. Those things we know. ...

Mr. DURBIN. Thank you, Mr. President. I thank Senator Schumer for his leadership on this issue.

This is not a new issue. This article was written by columnist Robert Novak back in July. It is interesting at the end of September and the beginning of October that it finally surfaces and is receiving the attention it deserves.

What Senator Schumer is asking is for the Senate to go on record in calling on the Bush administration to appoint a special prosecutor, someone who will be independent enough to ask the hard questions and try to find out who was the source of this very serious security leak.

Keep in mind what happened here. A decision was made by someone in the administration--perhaps in the White House--to disclose the identity of a woman working for one of our intelligence agencies. ...

Who was behind this? I don't know. I do not know if it reaches to the White House. I can't say. Mr. Novak has only said "administration sources." But what Senator Schumer brings to the floor today to really confront is the fact that we cannot honestly expect Attorney General John Ashcroft to really treat this case in the manner it deserves to be treated for the good of our intelligence gathering, for the integrity of the people who work at those agencies and, frankly, for justice to be served. ...

Mr. REID. ... This is as serious as it gets. I used the word "traitor" yesterday in a colloquy with Senator Harkin. I know that is strong language, but I believe that about anyone who would leak this kind of sensitive information at a time when we are at war. This is a crime. It is a felony punishable by 10 years in prison.

This morning we heard that the Justice Department has launched an investigation into this crime. Realistically, we not only have to do away with what is bad but what looks bad. To have John Ashcroft, former Senator, longtime political confidant of the President doing this investigation simply won't sell. Considering the grave nature of what has happened, this case warrants an independent counsel, a special counsel, someone who does not have political ties to the White House. If we need an independent counsel to investigate a private real estate deal, certainly a breach of national security deserves the same level of scrutiny. We must act quickly before memos and phone logs and computer records are destroyed.

We must find the source of this leak and send a message to everyone everywhere who betray the United States: Loose lips sink ships, and they will land you in jail.

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I have cosponsored the Schumer sense-of- the-Congress amendment which is before the Senate. The amendment calls upon the Attorney General to appoint an independent special counsel to investigate allegations that a high ranking official or officials within the Bush administration purposely disclosed to the media the identity of a CIA agent involved in clandestine operations.

If these allegations are true, they are extremely serious. ...

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard. The point of order has been made. The amendment is not germane. The point of order is sustained. The amendment falls.


The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.

Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I am very happy to point out that the good Senator from Tennessee and I served as Governors together, and his emphasis was always education then and obviously still is. I respect him greatly.

I would like to speak for a few minutes on Senator Schumer's amendment to call on the Attorney General to appoint a special counsel, it having been laid aside on the basis of germaneness.

I rise in support of the erstwhile amendment--maybe it will come back--calling on the Attorney General to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegations that senior Bush administration personnel-- perhaps including those working at the very highest level of the White House--may have knowingly and deliberately revealed to the press the identity of an undercover CIA agent.

I speak as a Senator from West Virginia and also as vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is a matter of national security. It is a matter of criminal law. It is a matter that demands the most careful, impartial, and independent investigation possible. As I will explain shortly, it is actually a matter without legal precedent. ... or ...
15 . APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COUNSEL -- (Senate - September 30, 2003) continued at ...

74 posted on 03/20/2006 3:21:52 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Cboldt


75 posted on 03/20/2006 3:23:56 PM PST by BunnySlippers
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To: Cboldt
Thank you, funny thing what these people say about Plame is almost verbatim as to the words Fitz used in describing her/position. Not one of them dare out right say she was a covert or "covered" agent.

A couple did go out on a limb and say the "law" was broken...
76 posted on 03/20/2006 3:31:27 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Cboldt

77 posted on 03/20/2006 3:34:02 PM PST by nopardons
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To: Just mythoughts
Here's more stuff (I was googling -- harkin special prosecutor libby), that while from a leftie website, is rather interesting in hindsight.

Saturday :: July 09, 2005
Lewis Libby and the Valerie Plame Investigation

1. First up is the transcript (25 pages, pdf) of a Democratic Policy Committee Hearing held on October 24, 2003, presided over by then Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, on the national security implications of the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. The chief witnesses were Jim Marcinkowski, Former CIA Case Officer; Larry Johnson,Former CIA Analyst; and Vince Cannistraro,Former Chief of Operations and Analysis, CIA Counterterrorism Center.

In his opening remarks, Cannistraro says:

CANNISTRARO: Thank you, Senators, for inviting me here today. I'll make my comments as brief as possible. I think it's very important to understand the context in which this leak occurred. We had a pattern of pressure directed at CIA analysts for a long period of time beginning almost immediately after September 11th in those disastrous events. The pressure was directed at providing supporting information data for the belief that Saddam Hussein was, one, linked to global terrorism and, two, was a clear danger not only to his neighbors but to the United States of America. ...

The vice president and his chief of staff went out to CIA headquarters on a number of occasions -- at least on two occasions -- specifically to address the questions of weapons of mass destruction and the attempt to acquire a nuclear capability. These meetings, I'm told secondhand, were contentious, but the vice president insisted that there must be some support for this reporting of the yellow cake acquisition attempt. CIA analysts, I'm told, didn't have any independent data to verify that, but as a result of the insistent pressure being applied to the analysts and particularly to the nonproliferation center, the CIA did send, as they've said publicly, Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson on a fact-finding mission to Niger.

Later, the Senators take turns asking Cannistraro questions:

Sen. Harkin: The last point I wanted to make was, again, Mr. Cannistraro, I want to be perfectly clear on this as much as I can. I read your testimony and I heard you say it again that the vice president and his chief of staff, Lewis Libby, visited the CIA headquarters to engage the CIA analysts directly on this issue of uranium acquisition in Africa.

You call it, "an unprecedented act for the vice president to engage desk-level analysts resulted in a contentious give-and-take. Vice president insisted that CIA analysts were not looking hard enough for the evidence."

HARKIN: Again, in all of your years you've never seen a vice president or his chief of staff come down and engage in that kind of activity?

CANNISTRARO: No, I haven't, Senator. The vice president gets the president's daily brief every morning and he's briefed by a senior-level CIA official who goes out to the White House and does the briefing. So he has no need in going out and debating with desk-level analysts.

This transcript makes it clear that to the CIA, Valerie Plame was indeed an undercover operative at one time, that she might have gone back into undercover work, and even if she didn't, the agency and other agents would still want to protect her identity. For example, if it were known she had been an undercover CIA agent, she'd be ripe for a kidnapping ever after to get classified information out of her. ...

Some questions I still have: ...

3. Is Scott McClellan going to be a corroborative witness for Fitzterald on a perjury charge? See below:

USA TODAY, October 8, 2003,

On Tuesday, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan ruled out three senior Bush aides as possible sources of the leak: Karl Rove, Bush's political adviser; Lewis Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff; and Elliott Abrams, a senior official on the National Security Council. All have been named in Washington speculation.

He said each, when asked by him, denied leaking the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson to newspaper columnist Robert Novak, who revealed her identity in an article July 14. "They were not involved in leaking classified information, nor did they condone it," McClellan said.
Here's more Harkin, speaking out on July 7, 16 and 20, 2004 ...

And one last piece - I think it pretty well refreshes the memory that the Democrats were pushing HARD for a special prosecutor.

Monday :: July 25, 2005
Senators Call for Congressional Plame Investigation

Press release out today ....26 Senators have written a letter to the House Speaker and Majority Leader of Congress calling for a Congressional investigation into the outing of Valerie Plame. Here's part:

The United States Congress has a constitutional responsibility to provide oversight of the executive branch, whether a law has been broken or not. It is time for Congress to fulfill that constitutional responsibility in this matter by initiating a thorough investigation.

We recognize that a criminal investigation is underway and that a special prosecutor continues to present testimony before a grand jury. These actions in no way preclude Congress responsibility to provide oversight. We urge you to exercise your authority as Congressional leaders by requesting the appropriate committees to begin oversight hearings and an investigation immediately.

The Senators named in the letter

Senators Kerry, Levin, Stabenow, Schumer, Lautenberg, Rockefeller, Reed, Feinstein, Dorgan, Harkin, Kohl, Durbin, Carper, Salazar, Boxer, Inouye, Corzine, Wyden, Mikulski, Obama, Murray, Bayh, Johnson, Clinton, Sarbanes, and Landrieu.
A repeat of link to the press release ... [Hahahahahahaha!!]

78 posted on 03/20/2006 3:45:52 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: Mo1; Howlin


79 posted on 03/20/2006 3:48:15 PM PST by onyx (IF ONLY 10% of Muslims are radical, that's still 120 MILLION who want to kill us.)
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To: Cboldt
I would like to know how much Fitzgerald has earned PERSONALLY in the two or so years he's been keeping this case going. It's public record and as such, some enterprising reporter should find out.

Maybe a freeper can ferret it out for a scoop, LOL.

I'd like to know what Fitz is charging per hour for his own work. I'm not talking about the hundreds of thousands he's spending of taxpayers' money.....I'm talking about what HE is earning personally.

Also, how much is he paying his staff and what is the total so far. I'm talking about personal wages.

I'd also like to know the total so far for Fitz's personal expenses.....and for the personal expenses for his staff. Travel, hotels, meals, gasoline, car rentals, you name it....I'd like to see it.

This running legal account of Fitzgerald's is indeed a mystery in the sense no one is reporting on it. I hope some newshawk or newshen will go after it.


80 posted on 03/20/2006 3:51:05 PM PST by MinuteGal (Sail the Bounding Main to the Balmy, Palmy Caribbean on FReeps Ahoy 4. Register Now!)
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