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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

fast and furious: WSJ update

First there was the Murray Waas piece in the National Journal letting us know that Libby misled Fitzgerald about his conversations with Judith Miller in June of 2003...

Then there was this announcement in Editor and Publisher revealing (on the basis of a leaked internal memo from inside the New York Times...a memo examined in full by Jay Rosen) that Judith Miller 'must' testify before the grand jury tommorrow. The piece also included these two key paragraphs from Bill Keller of the Times:

"As we've told readers, once her obligations to the grand jury are fulfilled, we intend to write the most thorough story we can of her entanglement with the White House leak investigation. It's a complicated story involving a large cast, and it has required a meticulous reporting effort -- in part to chase down and debunk some of the myths kicked up by the rumor mill.

"Judy has talked to our reporters already about her legal battle, but the story is incomplete until we know as much as we can about the substance of her evidence, and she is under legal advice not to discuss that until her testimony is completed. This may be frustrating to our armchair critics, and it is frustrating to all of us, but it is not unusual even for this investigation. Matt Cooper of Time wrote about his conversation with his source, Karl Rove, only after his cooperation with the special counsel was completed and the contempt citation had been vacated."

(Keller is telling us something significant there about how much they know and don't know...and what kind of legal jeopardy Judith Miller is in.)

The E & P piece was followed immediately by the Huffington Post reporting that the WSJ and Reuters are preparting stories identifying the Vice President as "the target" of Fitzgerald's investigation...and, indeed, as wg noted below, tommorrow's Wall Street Journal (courtesy link to their subscription page) has hit the steps and ...stealing wendell's phrase and link...Flip your WHIG! The WSJ is now talking about conspiracy and the White House Iraq Group:

"There are signs that prosecutors now are looking into contacts between administration officials and journalists that took place much earlier than previously thought....[snip]

Mr. Fitzgerald's pursuit now suggests he might be investigating not a narrow case on the leaking of the agent's name, but perhaps a broader conspiracy...[snip]

Lawyers familiar with the investigation believe that at least part of the outcome likely hangs on the inner workings of what has been dubbed the White House Iraq Group. Formed in August 2002, the group, which included Messrs. Rove and Libby, worked on setting strategy for selling the war in Iraq to the public in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion."

-from the Oct. 12th edition of the Wall Street Journal (thanks to litegatormom at dKos)

But it didn't stop there: Raw Story confirmed the above, TPM is spot on...and don't miss tonight's NYT story either. And billmon's take on Andrew Card is devastating.

Aieee!! That's fast and furious.

Coda: Redd Hedd closes out the night, with the pitch perfect Why this Matters...as succinct and powerful a summary of the moral failure behind the Plame affair as I've yet read.



  • Delicious....

    I can't imagine Cheney going down quietly while the idiot son of an asshole stays put.

    This is getting REAL tasty.

    By Blogger NYBri, at 7:05 PM  

  • If this is true (remember Stephenapalous also suggested either the VP or P was a focus of Fitzgerald this weekend!) it is surely on a conspiracy. Not that Cheney himself called up reporters. So something in Libby's action that can be pegged as coordinated with/by his boss.

    What could this be? Certainly that June meeting right? Libby can't simply lie because Fitzgerald is also getting information from Miller. And Miller was willing to go to jail because she didn't want to bring down Cheney himself?

    If all that's the case then how would Rove fit into the picture?

    By Blogger awol, at 7:17 PM  

  • Rove-Cooper


    That's why Fitz wanted both of them to testify.

    Rove and Libby/Cheney are both going down. The questions remaining is how far will Fitz take the conspiracy...and will Cheney now take Chimpy with him?

    By Blogger NYBri, at 7:27 PM  

  • My take: this whole thing gets more and more like the shootout scene in the Lady from Shanghai and tonight, well, tonight may be the Night of the Long Knives in Washington.

    Rove, if you ask me to bet, has pushed hard to move heaven and earth...kicking up some dirt...and using the classic distract and divert...Libby/Cheney...Miller...Miller/Fitzgerald.

    Wanna bet there's something truly nasty and messy up his sleeve? It's very hard to believe that Rove is not at the heart of this evil in the White House.

    "Fair game"...indeed.

    By Blogger kid oakland, at 7:36 PM  

  • Flip yr WHIG.

    By Blogger wg, at 8:10 PM  

  • Jackpot!

    And the WHIG has tentacles that reach even further into the White House.

    Oh, and if there is a Cheney/Libby v. Rove/Bush battle royal going on, then they will drag each other down to the bottom.

    What a Halloween.


    By Blogger NYBri, at 8:32 PM  

  • Fast and furious? Indeed, a Land Speed Record. It's a New Day Rising as Everything Falls Apart for BushCo.

    I don't care what you say,
    I don't care what you're drinking today
    I don't care what they say,
    I'll be drinking today
    --Husker Du, "Whatcha Drinkin?"

    By Blogger wg, at 8:35 PM  

  • "The special prosecutor is conducting a very serious investigation - he's doing it in a very dignified way, by the way - and we'll see what he says," Mr. Bush said. -- NYT 10/12/05

    We'll see indeed. But that "very dignified" bit is curious. Is that just run-of-the-mill Bush verbal chaff, or is he signalling something? And if so, to whom? Fitzgerald?

    By Blogger wg, at 9:08 PM  

  • Okay, that bit about the Separate Interviews gets more interesting now.

    Dignified. Hmmm. I take it to mean..."please, have the FBI use the back door, if at all possible."

    Regardless, I can't get over that Miller has got to testify tommorrow and perhaps Rove as well.

    This is quite the context. And a great deal rides on that testimony. What can/does the President say to Rove in this context?

    I'd really like to know what Bush said in that 70 minute conversation.

    By Blogger kid oakland, at 9:15 PM  

  • Bunk. This sentence from the Times: "Associates of Mr. Libby have said that he was not part of an effort to discredit Mr. Wilson, but had sought to distance Mr. Cheney from any suggestion that he had a role in sending Mr. Wilson to Africa." This sounds like more recycled spin -- Libby was only at the WHIG meetings for this reason, and it's really "Mr. Cheney" who was being smeared in all this. It's also a horribly ambiguous sentence for one of the key, sourced comments in the article: is the "he" in "he had a role" Cheney or Libby?

    It seems like one thing that might emerge from Fitzgerald's report -- and this could be very powerful and clarifying -- is an emphasis on the victims of the criminal actions. And here I don't mean the second-order victims (all of the American people, the world) but the first-order ones: Plame -- but also Wilson. This would be a way to really punch a hole through the very center of the Bush-Rove-Cheney world: not the behavior toward Plame alone, but also toward Wilson.

    Think about how much this man has been beat up, starting with the adminstration-orchestrated attacks and then extended by so much of the press corps. Fitzgerald, if he's going back to the WHIG operation pre-leak, might be suggesting that the line which was crossed when a CIA agent was outed is perilously tied up with the larger enterprise of smearing and propaganda that WHIG was involved in.

    The outing of Plame is embedded then in a (criminal?) conspiracy to smear critics of the adminstration?

    By Blogger awol, at 1:45 AM  

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