Gordon Smith Sits on Fence, Feels Libby's Pain

Jon Perr

With his incomprehensible statement on President Bush's indefensible commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence, Gordon Smith once again proved there's no fence he can't sit on. Apparently, as Smith explained to KATU on Tuesday, he shares the pain of Libby and even the Wilsons. But when it comes to the rule of law and ongoing obstruction of justice by the Bush White House, not so much:

"It is a very serious thing to not tell the truth to a federal officer and why he would have gotten in that situation I don't know, because he was not guilty of the charge of the case. But the constitution gives the president the lawful right to commute or pardon, he's exercised that, every president before has done that. I would have preferred to see this run the full legal course but I know Scooter Libby and he's a very smart and as far as I know a decent guy and I just don't know what happened here. It's just sad...I feel bad for everyone, even the Plames who were affected by this case."

Like gray skies and rain, Smith's pusillanimous politics are a familiar fixture of the Oregon environment. In the span of three sentences, Smith parrots the tired GOP talking points about "no underlying crime" and Bush's commutation exercise as presidential business as usual, while asserting his own risk-free preference to see the Libby legal process play itself out.

But while Smith may be moved by the plight of a convicted felon, he evidently is more than willing to condone the White House smear campaign against Ambassador Joseph Wilson that led to the outing of his wife, a covert CIA operative. To tacitly endorse Libby's throwing "sand in the eyes" of prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and seemingly bless President Bush's ongoing obstruction of that investigation, "that is absurd. It may even be criminal."

Wait a minute. That was Gordon Smith speaking out against the war in Iraq, just weeks before he voted to continue to funding it.

UPDATE: Loaded Orygun has more on Smith, Scooter and the Commuter.  And reader MNeumann notes that while Senator Smith "feels bad" for the "Plames" now, back in 2004 he called Joe Wilson a liar.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Over at LO we felt like maybe gordon actually isn't playing stupid, and could really use a primer on why Scooter is a guilty sonofabitch. So we bought him Marcy Wheeler's (emptywheel at FDL) excellent book on the whole affair, and will send it on as soon as we get it.

    It would be great to set up a fund for the Education of Gordon. Maybe he needs to re-read Fiasco, too?

  • Jon (unverified)
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    Torridjoe,

    My apologies for not pointing to your much more detailed discussion over at Loaded Orygun. Thanks also for the heads up about the coverage over at DailyKos.

    Kudos also for your suggestion of a PlameGate primer for Smith.

  • MNeumann (unverified)
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    Gordon Smith, in fact, called Joe Wilson a liar:

    SEN. SMITH: No end of time and attention by the media has been given to those who impugn the integrity of the president of the United States on the issue of intelligence, the war in Iraq, and other matters of foreign concern. But it is time to appeal to the sense of fairness and decency within the media community to begin noticing the fact that Joe Wilson, for one, has been shown to have lied repeatedly about the charges that he has made with respect to intelligence in Africa. That has been found by a bipartisan Senate committee. Those charges are still on Senator Kerry's website. They need to be removed, and he needs to repudiate the lies that Joe Wilson has told that he now uses to political advantage. 2004-07-20 link sc_id=122792&keyword=obstruction&phrase=&contain=

    I wouldn't mind a bit if you added Smith's quote to the main body of your post!

    Smith is up in arms about his Wilson talking-point, yet he doesn't care that a jury found Libby guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice?

    (And did a jury find Libby "not guilty" of the actual leak - or was Libby not charged with that? How does Smith conclude that Libby was "not guilty" of the underlying crime?)

  • DJ (unverified)
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    MNeumann: Gordon Smith, in fact, called Joe Wilson a liar.

    On that Smith is absolutely correct. Wilson and Plame are in fact ultimately responsible for her outing and had the best, earliest opportunity to prevent it.

    Follow the trail: We know that Plame’s husband Joe Wilson believed that “Bush Lied” and he said as much in his July 6, 2003 Op/Ed piece in the NY Times. We know that the CIA – after failing miserably to prevent 9/11 – had a WMD program that was taking heat for perceived intelligence failures due to lack of WMD discoveries by inspectors in Iraq. We know that these CIA failures badly hurt morale among CIA staffers and that a faction within the CIA associated with the WMD program had begun to play politics with the administration so as to deflect the spotlight of blame. We know – because Bob Novak famously revealed it in his article published 8 days after Wilson’s – that Plame was “an agency operative on WMD.” We know that Plame – who worked among disgruntled CIA WMD operatives – played a role in recommending Wilson for a Feb 2002 Niger trip to research alleged Niger/Iraqi uranium talks. We know Wilson returned from his trip and concluded that no such meeting had occurred. We know – because Wilson himself said so – that Wilson then spent the next year plus trying to shop his ‘no Africa connection’ story to the press to discredit the Bush position that a connection existed. We know that he was so hell bent to get the story out that after not being able to sell his story – he decided to write it himself and implied in it that he was sent on the trip – not on his wife’s recommendation – but at the request of Cheney’s office. We know after Wilson’s story was published that the administration asked the CIA ‘why Wilson…and who sent him?’ and that CIA Director George Tenet informed the administration how they came to send him…namely on the recommendation of their very own Plame. THUS, THE PLAME NAME IS REVEALED TO THE ADMINISTRATION. Given their icy relationship with the CIA’s WMD operatives – it wasn’t a stretch at this point for the administration to conclude that Wilson had acted as Plame’s accomplice to hurt them politically. Further supporting such a scenario, we now know that much of what Wilson said (i.e.: ‘Valerie had nothing to do with the matter’) turned out to be untrue and we know that a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee concluded in July 2004 that Wilson’s own findings when he went to Niger – rather than debunking the alleged Niger/Iraqi uranium talks – actually bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts.

    Conclusion: The very two people who certainly knew the sensitivity of Plame's CIA status – were Plame and Wilson – the same two people who say the outing put the lives of countless people and the security of agents at risk – the same two people who are and will continue to make big money off of their book deals and on the lecture circuit – Plame and Wilson are the two people who without a doubt understood her status and the associated risk better than anyone, who put politics above all else, and who without a doubt could have prevented this entire ‘affair’ were it not for their very own hubris. Not a very smart spy if you ask me.

  • MNeumann (unverified)
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    DJ - I don't agree with you.

  • Mary (unverified)
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    I don't agree with DJ either. I much prefer to believe that Bush lied. It is easier that way. DJ (or Kari) please remove that post, and don't confuse me with the facts anymore.

  • MNeumann (unverified)
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    Yes, don't confuse DJ with the facts - as determined by the jury.

  • Desert Donkey (unverified)
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    Speaking of people who want to be reelected. I believe I heard Congressperson Greg Walden (R) on Ch 21 in Central Oregon call for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

    Is it possible to get the transcript/tape of his interview segment this week and verify his exact words?

    I wasnt transcribing the interview, or even watching intently, expecting it to be passing fluff; but it sounded to me like he was advocating finding a way out of Iraq; the sooner the better.

    Sounded like words for getting reelected, not intended to be heard, or repeated, inside the beltway.

  • Desert Donkey (unverified)
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    Following up on the preceding

    http://www.ktvz.com/

    Video clip titled "Walden talks meth, Iraq..." left side of page, below the Top Stories box. You have to scroll down the list below Top News Video Player.

  • pat malach (unverified)
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    First Gordo calls Wilson a liar, now he empathizes with him.

    It is Exactly those kinds of just-in-time-for-the-election flip flops by El Gordo that should make any thinking person realize his "change of heart" on the war is cut from the same cloth as his sympathy for Joe Wilson.

    Maybe someday the Oregonian newsroom and editorial board will pull their lips away from Smith's sphincter long enough to take a good look at the new and improved more moderate Gordo.

  • (Show?)

    DJ's problem is he's relying on outdated talking points--such as that the Iraq Senate report was "bipartisan." The report was, the conclusions were decidely NOT. And they were also erroneous.

    "We know that he was so hell bent to get the story out that after not being able to sell his story – he decided to write it himself and implied in it that he was sent on the trip – not on his wife’s recommendation – but at the request of Cheney’s office. We know after Wilson’s story was published that the administration asked the CIA ‘why Wilson…and who sent him?’ and that CIA Director George Tenet informed the administration how they came to send him…namely on the recommendation of their very own Plame. THUS, THE PLAME NAME IS REVEALED TO THE ADMINISTRATION."

    This is fctually incorrect. Wilson was not sent on Plame's recommendation; she had no authority to do so. She was approached with the idea of sending him, and agreed it would be a good idea. She neither initiated nor gave a recommendation to send her husband. The truth is in fact as stated by Wilson--the trip was initiated by the VP's office. If Tenet revealed to the administration that Plame was involved, how on earth is that Plame or Wilson's fault?

    The debunkings of the Senate report are readily available. Note as a start that the report claimed CIA never alerted the White House about the Niger report, when we know the truth is they alerted them not once but TWICE...and the first time, it got the words chopped out of a speech in Cincinnati.

    The Senate report was "bipartisan" the same way the NIE "included" the State Dept's differing views.

  • DJI (unverified)
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    DIdn't Richard Armitage admit to leaking the name? Why not go after him?

    The special prosecutor looked at this case for a year and a half and came back with nothing. Let it go, it's obvious no real crime was committed.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
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    Don't argue with DJ. You won't convince him. He has his own set of "facts" and his own "logic" that support his conclusions. He's not interested in the truth; he's interested in winning.

    Roughly 25% of Americans are unreachable. Don't waste your time. Everyone else knows what really happened. Even if they don't know all of the specifics, they understand the larger points: the administration outed a CIA agent and then engaged in a cover up.

    And it actually helps us (progressives and Democrats) that they (conservatives and Republicans) are so far outside the mainstream and so loud. When they go off like this, it makes the average Joe think "wow, they really are crazy. I can't beleieve I voted for Bush."

  • (Show?)

    Rep. Greg Walden held a townhall in Medford and Grants Pass on July 3rd. He stated the intelligence that led to the Iraq War was faulty, "If I knew then what I know now, I would not have voted to authorize the war. I'm not there yet on voting to end the war." In the standing room only crowd in Medford, several people called for the impeachment of Cheney, and war protesters made their points. Strict immigration was the big item for many folks. Walden's talking point, "The economy is doing well." was challenged by three different people who reminded him the middle-class economy is stagnating.

    David Shuster on Hardball 7/6 pushed back hard on the talking points DJ used in his incredibly incorrect comments. Read the transcript, Shuster was on fire!

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    DJ: In the Independence Day thread you demonstrated your modus operandum by locking yourself into making a point, using selective facts to that end and ignoring others that contradict you. In this thread, you have shown how gullible you can be and that you expect others to follow suit. It is hard to be more preposterous than say, "We know – because Bob Novak famously revealed it ..." Novak was a phony for many years, which is probably a primary reason he was selected to leak Valerie Plame's identity - a chore other hacks wouldn't stoop to when given the chance. Novak has been thoroughly discredited. He even had to walk off a CNN show because he couldn't defend himself. Now, DJ, you are in the same situation. It is time for you to get in your little Swift boat and go troll in some other area where you will be among kindred spirits - like Faux News.

    At the same time, I'm wondering if DJ works for Gordon Smith. Both have similar writing practices. Concoct fiction and say nothing of substance to fit their positions. Anyone who has received return correspondence from Smith's office will know what I'm talking about.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Typical Smith refusing to face the facts: "I know Scooter Libby and he's a very smart and as far as I know a decent guy and I just don't know what happened here."

    What happened, senator, is that your "very smart" friend lied to a federal grand jury to cover up for his boss and committed a crime that should have gotten him 30 months in prison.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
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    Now, now. We don't know why Scooter Libby lied to federal investigators. We just know that he lied. Strangely, most conservatives agree that he lied. They just think it's okay to lie to federal investigators if you don't want their investigation to discover the truth.

    Why do they think that? I think it's because they are the worst sort of moral relativists: to conservatives, whether an act is right or wrong has nothing to do with the act itself, or even the context. It has only to do with who committed it. If a liberal did it, then it was wrong. If a conservative did it, then it was right. Case closed.

  • Jon (unverified)
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    Following up on TorridJoe's comment, DJ's interesting flight of fantasy is dependent on the three-year old "Phase I Report" of the Senate Intelligence Committee led by GOP obstructionist and fabulist Pat Roberts (R-KS). Gordon Smith's July 20, 2004 smear of Joe Wilson followed the release of the Phase I report (and the article cited by DJ) by 10 days.

    Over the past three years, the Libby trial itself, Valerie Plame's own sworn-testimony, the subsequent May 2007 Senate Intel Committee report and other new documents have confirmed the following:

    1. Valerie Plame was in fact a covert CIA operative at the time she was outed.
    2. Joe Wilson's 2002 trip to Niger originated when the CIA responded to a question raised by Vice President Cheney about rumors that Iraq sought to purchase yellowcake uranium in Niger. Valerie Plame neither recommended her husband, nor did he offer himself up for the trip to Niger.
    3. Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Richard Armitage and Ari Fleischer all spoke with the media about Valerie Plame's status as a CIA agent in June and July of 2003.
    4. Joe Wilson was correct about all the central claims in his July 6, 2003 op-ed. His trip originated from an inquiry in Dick Cheney's office. It was clear that Iraq did not mount a serious effort to buy yellowcake in Niger. The Bush administration was aware of this at the time he uttered the 16 words in the January 2003 State of the Union, as evidenced by the fact that this was removed from his October 2002 speech in Cincinnati.

    Here's some more background on why Gordon Smith owes Joe Wilson an apology:

    1. As the CIA Director Michael Hayden himself confirmed, Valerie Plame was covert when she was outed by Robert Novak on July 14, 2007. Patrick Fitzgerald not only produced these documents during the Libby trial; the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    2. Valerie Plame neither recommended her husband, nor did he offer himself up for the trip to Niger. The trip originated when the CIA responded to a question raised by Vice President Cheney about rumors that Iraq sought to purchase yellowcake uranium in Niger. Plame herself testified under oath to this point on March 16, 2007:

    Rebutting an assertion by White House officials to reporters that she had sent her husband on the trip, Plame said a CIA colleague broached the idea after a call in early 2002 from Vice President Cheney's office seeking information about Iraqi activity in Niger…

    ...I did not suggest him," she said. "There was no nepotism involved. I didn't have the authority."

    Plame also corrected the record from the 2004 Senate Intel Committee's Phase I report that a colleague claimed she had "offered up" her husband for the trip to Niger. As David Corn reported:

    "She also said that a colleague was misquoted within the Senate intelligence committee report (saying she had proposed her husband for the trip) and that this colleague subsequently was prevented by a superior from sending the committee a memo correcting the record. In other words, her husband's detractors have overplayed this angle."

    1. Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Richard Armitage and Ari Fleischer all spoke with the media about Valerie Plame's status as a CIA agent. As the Washington Post noted, Libby was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for lying about his conversations with reporters about Plame. (Nine people from the administration and the media testified to this point in his case, destroying his "faulty memory" defense.) As the Post summarized just last month:

    Libby wasn't charged with the crime of knowingly leaking classified information about Plame; he was charged with lying to investigators. But the overwhelming weight of the evidence at the trial -- including reporters' notes of their interviews with Libby -- showed that Libby had indeed leaked classified information about Plame's identity, even though that wasn't what put him in the dock. The jury agreed that Libby lied when he said that he'd been telling reporters only what other reporters had told him about Plame's role at the CIA.

    What is unclear is whether Libby knew she was a covert CIA agent at the time he discussed her with reporters -- a key point in determining whether this was an illegal leak. But Walton said that Libby "had a unique and special obligation" to keep such secrets, well, secret.

    This is the very point of Patrick Fitzgerald's "sand in the eyes of the umpire" description of Libby on the day he issued the indictment. Because of Libby's lies and obstruction, we don't know who knew what about Plame's status, who was involved (and why) in the campaign to smear Joe Wilson over his decimation of President Bush's Iraq war rationale. And now with Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence, that obstruction continues.

    1. Joe Wilson's central claims have all been confirmed. He never said the Vice President sent him to Niger ("In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report."). That canard is merely a right-wing talking point.

    Wilson's op-ed claims about the purported Iraq-Niger uranium transaction and the documents supposedly backing them also have been confirmed. Wilson claimed that the size of the planned uranium purchase (500 tons) would have immediately drawn the attention of both Nigerian and international monitors. And the papers supposedly documenting the Iraq-Niger arrangement were conclusively shown to be forgeries. The relevant people in the State Department, the DIA and many in the CIA knew this in 2002.

  • (Show?)

    We should probably avoid feeding trolls. But to the post--it is remarkable and damning that Smith would make such a comment. Wow.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    Posted by: DJ | Jul 6, 2007 8:34:23 PM Smith is absolutely correct

    There is so much wrong with "DJ"s post, it's difficult to decide where to begin. Stylistically, it was a crappy read. Is hyperlinking an entire sentence the new ALL CAPS? She should learn about paragraph development too. The bulk of her (what i suspect is a cut and paste job) missive reads more like outdated GOP talking points and would have been better delivered in bullet point form. And now to shoot holes in the content...

    We know that Plame’s husband Joe Wilson believed that “Bush Lied” and he said as much

    Often when people claim so and so "said as much" it's because their own paraphrase says something different. Wilson could/should have said at the time that Bush was a liar (or an idiot, or both?) but he chose the more diplomatic phraseology, "some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Indeed, Joe Wilson is guilty... of understatement!

     <i>● We know that the CIA [...] was taking heat for perceived intelligence failures
     ● We know that these CIA failures badly hurt morale among CIA staffers
     ● [We know] that a faction within the CIA associated with the WMD program had begun to play politics with the administration</i>
    

    Otherwise known as "truth by assertion," i guess DJ can gloat in the knowledge that we only "know" half of what she does.

     <i>● We know that Plame played a role in recommending Wilson</i>
    

    Doesn't DJ watch anything other than Faux News? Plame has testified before Congress: "I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him."

     <i>● We know that Plame was “an agency operative on WMD.”</i>
    

    Were we supposed to know this? Given this corrupt administration, i'm not surprised that those involved in the outing of Valerie Plame (Novak, Libby, Cheney, Armitage, Rove, Bush, et. al.) have not yet been held accountable for an obvious act of treason. That Gordon Smith however can take such a sympathetic view with regard to Scooter's commutation makes him an accessory after the fact.

     <i>● We know [...] We know [...] We know [...] THUS</i>
    

    After her laundry list of inaccurate non sequiturs, DJ thinks she has convincingly proven her original assertion: "Wilson and Plame are in fact ultimately responsible for her outing." On this, i can be convinced of only one thing. DJ can be counted among a lower order of trolls, the kind so desperate for attention, they'll spend an inordinate amount of time spitting in the wind, hoping to be noticed. Such tend to be prolific posters, waning only when their half truths and outright lies no longer serve to excite the blogosphere.

    One could try to counter them on every point. I have a different plan. Over the next week, every time i have to glance past another of DJ's impertinent postings, i'm going to toss a buck in a jar and send the proceeds to www.stopgordonsmith.com. Oh, i have a preset limit in mind. Still, for the next few feeble attempts at provocation, we can all revel in the fact that DJ is helping to defeat Gordon Smith.

  • (Show?)

    I find it interesting that Gordon and all of the Republican defenders of the President's commutation of Libby's punishment never discuss his conviction on obstruction of justice. They all focus on the perjury charge and then say that he shouldn't be punished for lying when no crime was proven. This also provides the "Clinton did it" defense. Of course obstruction of justice is not as easily defended so it is just ignored. Just didn't happen.

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)
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    I attended Walden's Grants Pass town hall meeting, and he said nothing about supporting the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. He went for the "I'll wait til September" approach. What I found amazing was that Walden faced a series of tough questions, the likes of which he has never faced in Grants Pass before. He was asked about the North American Union, called on his vote for the MIlitary Commissions Act and dodged a question about the national Real ID act. I just hope he walked away from that meeting with a real sense that even the diehard Republicans in Grants Pass are fed up with what's been going on over the last few years... Otherwise, he wasn't paying attention to what the audience was telling him.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    I just hope he walked away from that meeting with a real sense that even the diehard Republicans in Grants Pass are fed up with what's been going on over the last few years...

    Unless Walden proves to be gay or a child molester, the diehard Republicans will still vote for him even though he does Bush's bidding to squander more billions on Iraq and raping justice.

  • JLI (unverified)
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    Again, the case was investigated for 1.5 years and the prosecutor found nothing. I assumed you liberals were all for law and order like you claim, but you already have your mind made up that someone is guilty. It's like a witch hunt.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Scott,

    Why don't you do a guest column on the Walden meeting? I think it would be valuable for us to know what was said - and valuable to Walden to know that we're watching to see if his comments to various groups are conflicting.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    When you lie to investigators and obstruct justice - no one has any business saying there was no underlying crime. Because the criminals lied and obstructed justice to thwart the investigation.

  • Troix (unverified)
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    it wasn’t a stretch at this point for the administration to conclude that Wilson had acted as Plame’s accomplice to hurt them politically.

    Mmmm...about as much a stretch as is required to follow your argument. Consider reading Marcy Wheeler's book before writing about this anywhere again. It'll keep you from sounding out of date and not so bright.

    the case was investigated for 1.5 years and the prosecutor found nothing.

    Actually, thanks to Libby's obstruction it wasn't investigated for 1.5 years. The prosecuter has found nothing because the executive office obstructed the investigation.

    Smith supporters need to be constantly reminded of his Bush ass kissing----- including this particular incident.

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)
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    Anon-

    My write-up of the Walden town hall meeting will be up on our website,www.illinoi-valley-news.com, by the end of Wednesday. His remarks are now a part of the public record.

  • DJ (unverified)
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    OK, back from the weekend, hope you all had a good one. True confessions time! The post I made Friday is actually a copy/paste from an email I sent to four friends (two conservative, two liberal). This was a hot topic for the five of us…my original email (which I based on Wikipedia references available at that time) is dated 11/10/05…about 2 weeks after Fitzgerald’s 10/28/05 indictment of Libby. Given the date I wrote it, I’m actually surprised that my only key questionable detail (based upon Judith Miller’s testimony) is the timing of the administration learning Plame’s name. I posted this fully expecting that item to be attacked…but what I was really after was your attack on my overriding theme and conclusion: Wilson and Plame knew her status better than anyone and are ultimately responsible for her name being revealed. If Gordon Smith called Wilson a liar, Gordon Smith is absolutely correct.

    Responses to some key challenges attempted on this thread:

    Jon: Valerie Plame was in fact a covert CIA operative at the time she was outed. As Jon himself later points out, this is irrelevant since it is unclear whether Libby and others knew this at the time of the alleged discussions.

    Jon (and similarly by Torrid and East Bank Thom): Valerie Plame neither recommended her husband, nor did he offer himself up for the trip to Niger. This is false. According to The May 2007 Senate Intel Committee Report (pages 210-211 of 226), Plame is on record with THREE different versions of her story: CIA Inspector General records show that she testified to the CIA IG that she "made the suggestion" that Wilson make the trip; she testified, "I honestly do not recall if I suggested it or my boss..." to the Senate Intel Committee; and she altogether denied suggesting Wilson for the trip in her March 16, 2007 testimony to Congress. Furthermore, by including a copy of Plame's Feb 12th, 2002 memo to her superior, the May 2007 Intel Report (page 207 of 226) makes it very clear that in her memo Plame recommended and endorsed Wilson for the trip by specifically citing his qualifications and indicating that he is willing to help. That is both recommendation and offer, and shows Plame's March 16th testimony to be false.

    Jon (and similarly by Torrid): Joe Wilson's 2002 trip to Niger originated when the CIA responded to a question raised by Vice President Cheney about rumors that Iraq sought to purchase yellowcake uranium in Niger. This is false. According to the May 2007 Senate Intel Committee Report (by the way, thanks for the link Jon...you ought to read pages 207-224 of 226) Plame's Feb 12th, 2002 memo does not cite Cheney as a motivation to look into the Iraq-Niger connection - but rather the IC (Intel Community) based on a CIA/DO report she received one week earlier describing a reported Iraq-Niger uranium agreement. The May 2007 Senate Report (page 208 of 226) goes on to explain that the 2/12/07 date of Plame's memo also combines with information revealed in the Libby trial to prove the VP was not briefed on the CIA/DO report until 2/13/2007, meaning the CIA was discussing ways to investigate Iraq-Niger and potential use of Joe Wilson - and Wilson had already volunteered with Plame at the very least - PRIOR to the VP's briefing.

    Jon: It was clear that Iraq did not mount a serious effort to buy yellowcake in Niger. The Bush administration was aware of this at the time he uttered the 16 words in the January 2003 State of the Union, as evidenced by the fact that this was removed from his October 2002 speech in Cincinnati. This, too, is false as clearly explained in the 2007 Senate Intel Report, pages 220-222 of 226. Misinterpretation by a CIA/NESA analyst of comments by a CIA/WINPAC analyst led to inconsistencies between CIA analysts to policymakers from fall 2002 to March 2003. This same NESA analyst was involved in influencing the content of the Cincinnati speech, thus the Iraq-Niger link was not included. Meanwhile, because they deemed it credible until March 2003, CIA/WINPAC analysts continued to use the Iraq-Niger link in at least 10 speeches and documents (including the State of the Union) prepared up to and after the State of the Union Speech.

    I repeat, not a very smart spy. And not a very smart spy’s husband for initiating the politics that ultimately outed her.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Yea Scott! The first step to holding these guys accountable is getting them on the record. May also make them think twice before serving up all that red meat. Our message to Walden, et al - your crazy-ass comments are going to end up being publicized, so you may want to tone it down just a tad!

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Bill Bodden: DJ: In the Independence Day thread you demonstrated your modus operandum by locking yourself into making a point, using selective facts to that end and ignoring others that contradict you.

    My Independence Day point was rather focused. In short, Independence Day is no day to collectively attack the soldiers who protect you. When someone suggested that I should save my reverence for Veteran's Day, I demonstrated that on Veteran's Day 2006, only 2 of 24 BlueOregon posters actually offered any praise for veterans.

    So while I'm happy to take a position and defend it, you on the other hand describe yourself this way (again, on the Independence Day blog)" "I'll try to remain fixed in the extreme center." That's another way of saying flip-flopper or fence-sitter.

    No better example do you provide of your fence sitting mentality than on the I-Day thread when you said: "South Korea can be claimed to some extent as a just war because it led eventually to the democracy that now exists there." I then said that the only way to reconcile your comments on South Korea with your position on Iraq is to concede that from your point of view, history will determine how just or unjust this illegal war in Iraq really is. And to that you replied: Just because the Korean War could be claimed to some extent as a just war on the basis that South Korea eventually became a democracy doesn't mean the same future will apply to Iraq. It may, but then again it may not.

    Do you hear that folks: in Bill's world, the end justifies the means! If Iraq is a democracy 30-40 years from now, Bill will classify the war "a just war" after all. Keep us posted on the view from the fence Bill.

  • East Bank Thom (unverified)
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    DJ (not a very smart troll) wrote: True confessions time! The post I made Friday is actually a copy/paste

    //cha ching// another couple bucks for Smith's challenger...

  • DJ (unverified)
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    Koch on Libby: 'The politics of hatred rules the day'

    Novak, in his column of July 5, 2007, wrote, "Even before he began his long investigation, Fitzgerald was aware that the leak to me that started the case was made by then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. No proponent of the Iraq intervention, Armitage did not neatly fit left-wing conspiracy theory about Iraq policy. Consequently, he disappeared from the Internet blather about the CIA leak constituting treason. Armitage was not indicted because the statute prohibiting the disclosure of an intelligence agent's identity was not violated. But Fitzgerald ploughed ahead with an inquiry that produced obstruction of justice and perjury charges against Libby though there was no underlying crime."

    My own belief is that when Libby answered the question by saying it was Russert who told him about Valerie Plame's CIA status, he was providing information that he believed to be true. Surely, he knew Russert would be asked if that occurred. If Libby's recollection failed, that would not be the basis for charging him with a crime. Only if he deliberately lied could he be accused of perjury.

    Would anyone, particularly someone in high government office with an exemplary record of public service and admittedly a high achiever under these circumstances, lie, deliberately misstate the facts where his testimony would be refuted by a popular television personality certain to be asked? It defies common sense. If he were deliberately lying, he would have said, "I can't recall," or "I think it was Tim Russert," leaving the opportunity to admit error, and in neither case could he, I believe, have been indicted and convicted.

    Why is there such an enormous furor, particularly in Democratic political circles, demanding that Libby go to prison? I believe it is the kind of mob rage that has regrettably dominated American politics. The anger that existed against FDR, Truman, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and currently, the team of Bush and Cheney. That mob hate of Bush and Cheney for a host of reasons — the Iraq war, the two elections that elected and reelected them, their tax policies, their attitudes and policies directed at Islamic terrorism and a dozen other issues. They know they can't directly strike at Bush and Cheney whose terms of office dwindle with each passing day. They are striking at Libby as their surrogate. If they could in their lust for blood and vengeance, they would perform an auto de fe and burn Libby at the stake.

    Some will respond, "A jury found him guilty, how can you question their collective judgment." Many of those people believe, as I do, that the jury that found O.J. Simpson not guilty was wrong and have no problem in questioning the verdict of that jury.

    <h2>Regrettably, the politics of hatred rules the day. In this atmosphere of hysteria and rage, we should remember that the demons of yesterday — FDR, Truman, Clinton and Reagan — are hailed by many of their former critics as political saints of today.</h2>

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