October 29, 2005

The Fitz & Libby Show

The Libby indictment:

On or about June 11 or 12, 2003, the Under Secretary of State orally advised LIBBY in the White House that, in sum and substance, Wilsonís wife worked at the CIA and that State Department personnel were saying that Wilsonís wife was involved in the planning of his trip.

7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilsonís trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilsonís wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.

8. Prior to June 12, 2003, Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus contacted the Office of the Vice President in connection with a story he was writing about Wilsonís trip. LIBBY participated in discussions in the Office of the Vice President concerning how to respond to Pincus.

9. On or about June 12, 2003, LIBBY was advised by the Vice President of the United States that Wilsonís wife worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in the Counterproliferation Division. LIBBY understood that the Vice President had learned this information from the CIA. [emphasis added]

Lots of 'on or about June 11/12ths', no? Who first told Scooter Libby that Plame worked at the CIA? The Veep? An Undersecretary at State? A senior officer at Langley? While not necessarily material, it would nevertheless not be of insignificant interest to so ascertain.

Meantime, don't miss this part of the indictment:

On or about July 12, 2003, LIBBY flew with the Vice President and others to and from Norfolk, Virginia, on Air Force Two. On his return trip, LIBBY discussed with other officials aboard the plane what LIBBY should say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including questions from Time reporter Matthew Cooper. [emphasis added]

I know Air Force Two isn't an eensy-weensy Netjet shuttling lumpenproletariat middle management from the serried ranks of corporate America about--that it's doubtless quite a roomy ride indeed--so that Cheney may have been hanging up front and missed some of the key Plame strategizing. But all this verbiage about "others" and "other officials" seems a bit strained, no? Doesn't it seem a tad odd (or convenient?) that Cheney wasn't an active participant in such a critical discussion--on his own plane? Intuitively, one might guess that Cheney would very well have been part of such a conversation, and so perhaps had given Libby the all clear to contact Cooper/Miller and discuss Plame's CIA job. Yeah, this is all highly speculative, but why else but to protect colleagues and higher ups is a smart lawyer like Libby ensnaring himself in perjury and obstruction charges? At least, this is an item of interest one is left to ponder at the end of this sad day...

Comment below, again keeping in mind we are all engaging in rank speculation at this stage. More commentary on what the Libby indictment means for the Administration soon. It's not cataclysmic (at least at this juncture), but it's certainly not a bed of roses either. As animal analogies seem to have been making the rounds, and I've just returned from a safari in Africa, I'd say this story is more than a mouse or large rabbit. Maybe a baby elephant? They're pretty big right out of the gates, and are known to expand in size quite considerably with the passage of time...

Posted by Gregory at October 29, 2005 01:41 AM | TrackBack (2)
Comments

Greg

How can you say this:

Yeah, this is all highly speculative, but why else but to protect colleagues and higher ups is a smart lawyer like Libby ensnaring himself in perjury and obstruction charges?

...and then not give some idea of what you think he was protecting those colleagues and higher ups from? If you are going to speculate, why stop at the threshhold of the big one, or of whether there is a big one? Fitzgerald has already declined to charge anyone with outing a covert agent. So what do you think it could be?

Posted by: Frank at October 29, 2005 06:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

That's what I've been thinking, Greg. But why cover it up when it's seems pretty clear that Plame was no deep-cover agent? Shouldn't Tenet have told Cheney when he called him on it?

I'd also like to know what the buzz was in DC between May 6th, Kristoff's column, and June 11th. Why did it take Cheney's office 5 weeks to find out what idiot sent the leaker, Wilson, to Niger?

I'd really like to know who the payor was on Plame's paychecks. Even money says it wasn't the Boston consulting firm.

Posted by: RiverRat at October 29, 2005 07:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Large rabbit indeed... from that same Instapundit post...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_of_Caerbannog

"He's got huge, sharp... er... He can leap about. Look at the bones!"

Posted by: Mitsu at October 30, 2005 12:33 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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