Sweet Judy Blew Lies

By now you’ve all heard that Judy discovered some forgotten notes from June 2003. It seems she and Fitzgerald are going to have a lot to talk about the next time they get together.

It’s looking increasingly likely that the outtamyarse speculations I made in July and expounded on in my explain-it-all Plame narrative are at least in the close proximity of the money. So I’d like to take this moment to expand on the thoughts I had in July about what I think happened and what I think it means.

I’ll start with a fictional reenactment of what might have happened to get us to this spot. All of this assumes that my outtamyarse speculation that Judy was going to write an article identifying Wilson, but that David Shipley found out, and that the NYT decided instead to have Wilson tell his own story rather than let Libby Bolton Cheney Judy do it for him. So here’s my little fictional reenactment:

Fitz knew all along that somebody had tried to write a story identifying Joe Wilson in late June 2003. Where did he find that out? Wilson probably told him about it. Or, Fitz, like me, read Wilson’s book. In any case, well before Judy’s testimony, Fitz probably asked Wilson who he got the tip from in June that someone was writing a story on him. Wilson said, “Kristof” or “Shipley.” And Fitz, being the thorough guy he is just made a quick call to get some details. Like who was going to write that story. And how the NYT convinced that person not to write it.

Then, in Judy’s interview last Thursday (which was sworn testimony, so Judy couldn’t change her mind overnight, so Fitz would know what he was getting before he let her go, and just in case Abramoff’s friends got to her overnight), he asked some open-ended questions to which she should have responded with details about her earlier attempt to write a Wilson story. But she didn’t. She probably, at that time, mentioned one detail that made Fitz take notice, but did not change the basic fact that she had just committed perjury.

Fitz called Wilson just to clarify the little detail. Which Wilson did easily, apparently over the phone. Fitz did it just so he made sure he had that detail straightened out before Judy’s grand jury tesimony (so he was sure precisely what the outlines of her perjury were going to be).

Or, as the LA Times describes:

However, there was an additional sign that Fitzgerald continued to investigate aggressively. He phoned Wilson on Sept. 29, the same day Miller, the New York Times reporter jailed for refusing to divulge her confidential source, was released from jail after agreeing to testify in the case.

The next day, just as Fitz expected, Judy committed perjury by burying details of her earlier reporting. Fitz likely asked her a question specifically tailored around Wilson’s answer the previous night. Like, “Did you have any conversations with Nicholas Kristof that might have told you about Joe Wilson?” “Nicholas Kristof,” Judy said, “Isn’t he that screaming liberal who pisses off Safire so much?”

Just long enough after Judy finished, after she had gone home, made a martini, gloated with Sulzberger about how many concessions she had gotten, hugged her dog, Fitz contacted Judy and said, “Um, there’s one little detail you seem to have forgotten. Well, let’s make that one gigantic detail. Oh, and is Art there? Can I talk to him? Because that little–I mean gigantic–detail affects the testimony he gave us as well. What’s that? You’d like to add some to your testimony. Well, do you have anything concrete to give me? Such as your notes from June. Yeah, that’s right, your notes detailing ALL of your sources. Yeah, I understand we agreed you could limit your testimony to your conversations with Libby about Plame. But you promised you would tell the truth, remember? And … well … you didn’t do that.”

“Hey!!!” Judy says. “Wouldn’t you know it, I just remembered about some notes I’ve got shoved into an old suitcase upstairs!!”

So Judy is now going to share notes from the reporting she did on Wilson in June 2003. I suspect those notes already reflect information gleaned from the INR memo. And I suspect Judy will be forced to identify a tidy network of sources on Wilson, including Libby and Bolton, but maybe Hadley and others.

What does this mean for our hopes that Karl will soon lead a frogmarch parade in the near future?

Well, as Reuters says, this makes it a lot more likely Fitz will be able to sew up his neat little conspiracy case.

One source involved in the investigation said Miller’s notes could help Fitzgerald show a long-running and orchestrated campaign to discredit Wilson, which could help form the basis for a conspiracy charge.

Poor little Judy was so proud that she had gotten concessions from Fitzgerald. Concessions from the guy who was about to present her with the evidence she had committed perjury. Poor little Judy, who will now have to expose a whole network of sources in a pathetic attempt to get in Fitz’ good graces. I think the book deal and the martyrdom will have to wait for a while.

But my favorite indication of what this means is the chorus of silence depicted in this Observer article.

Robert Bennett, a lawyer for Miller, declined to comment. Joseph Tate, the lawyer representing Libby, did not return calls seeking comment. Times lawyer George Freeman would not comment.

The presence of the undisclosed set of notes comes as the Times is seeking to quell internal and external criticism over a lack of transparency in the Miller case. In today’s Times, executive editor Bill Keller said Miller’s potential return trip to meet with Fitzgerald could further delay the Times‘ plans to publish an account of the Miller saga. Deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman, who has been tapped to edit the report, declined to discuss the state of the paper’s Miller reporting.

“I’m not going to talk about it,” he said.

Slightly tempered for the family audience (don’t know why I believe comments are appropriate for cursing but not posts…?), here’s what I think is going on:

Robert Bennett, a lawyer for Miller, declined to comment.

Bennett probably convinced his client that she was going to avoid jail time with her testimony last week. Now he realizes she’s got perjury hanging over her head. “Declined to comment.”

Joseph Tate, the lawyer representing Libby, did not return calls seeking comment.

Tate probably has already realized Libby wasn’t getting off scot-free. But he was probably figuring on a little conspiracy. Just Libby and Rove and, well, not the whole rest of the Administration. Besides, he’s been worried all week that Libby’s little love letter to Judy would get him an osbtruction charge tacked on. But this–this opens a whole can of worms. Worms he’s going to have to think about. “Did not return calls seeking comment.”

Times lawyer George Freeman would not comment.

George is wondering whether Art’s big steak dinner he bought Judy last Thursday was really worth the investment. Because, well, the NYT’s hopes to avoid losing all credibility–or worse? They seem to be disappearing rapidly.”Would not comment.”

In today’s Times, executive editor Bill Keller said Miller’s potential return trip to meet with Fitzgerald could further delay the Times’ plans to publish an account of the Miller saga. Deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman, who has been tapped to edit the report, declined to discuss the state of the paper’s Miller reporting.

“I’m not going to talk about it,” he said.

And meanwhile, every day the NYT goes without telling some version of the story they take a further hit to their claim to have been protecting the principles of journalism. How can you claim to be protecting journalism if you’re actively and demonstrably trying to bury a story? How can you claim to have been protecting the right to expose the full truth when you’re cowering from that truth now? Unfortunately, the NYT can’t tell the story to the public until they figure out precisely what their story to Fitz is going to be, finally. And it would help if Saint Judy would finally figure out her story. But that may take a bit of time yet. “Not going to talk about it.”

And this chorus of silence? I suspect it’s being echoed by many Bush Administration lawyers right now.

About the only one with anything left to say is Rove’s lawyer Luskin. Who, at this point, seems to little left to lose.

Update: Laura Rozen asks a very good question.

Who’s leaking Miller’s discovery of more notes? Probably not Miller’s attorneys. Libby’s? That doesn’t seem right either. Fitzgerald’s office?

I’ve got two theories. The first (one I don’t like that much) is that the NYT, whose lawyers should henceforth be distinguished from Judy’s lawyers, leaked this because they’re finally realizing they need to come clean.

My more interesting theory? I’ve suspected for a while that Bennett may be defending “Judy” in the sense that “Judy” is really a little girl with her finger in the hole of the dike. Now, if Bennett were representing all of the nice Neocons standing behind that girl with her finger in the dike, he’d do whatever he could to telegraph to them that the dike had just broken.

In short, the easiest, obstruction of justice-free way he could tell Libby and Rove and Hadley and Cheney and Bolton and Bush and so on and so on that they should get to high ground is to leak the news that Judy had submitted a second set of notes.

Update 2: Yeah, I’m betting it was Bennett. Check out the way Reuters describes the note release:

A New York Times reporter has given investigators notes from a conversation she had with a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney weeks earlier than was previously known, suggesting White House involvement started well before the outing of a CIA operative, legal sources said.

Times reporter Judith Miller discovered the notes — about a June 2003 conversation she had with Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby — after her testimony before the grand jury last week, the sources said on Friday. She turned the notes over to federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and is expected to meet him again next Tuesday, the sources said.

Miller’s notes could help Fitzgerald establish that Libby had started talking to reporters about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, weeks before Wilson publicly criticized the administration’s Iraq policy in a Times opinion piece, the sources said. [emphasis mine]

This passage tells the Neocon thugs precisely what is in those notes. This not only tells them to run like hell for higher ground. But it gives them survival advice in case they make it to higher ground.

ReddHedd? When do lawyers get to be charged with obstruction of justice?

  1. Anonymous says:

    If the cover story is in free fall, as it seems to be, who will not flip?

    Who will provide the structural information to bridge from the outing of plame to confirming that Bush KNEW AT THE TIME that the Niger docs are forgeries?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Would Judy’s notes have something about the niger forgeries? Doesn’t seem out of the question.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Niger forgeries.

    Hmm. Frankly, I think there’s a better chance that the July 8 meeting with Libby includes notes about Niger forgeries (or other uranium forgeries). There’s a reason Judy met with Libby in person. It was either so she could look at the NSA talking points document about Plame in person. Or it was so they could figure out how to bury the forgery she had planted in Iraq so it wouldn’t cause still more trouble.

    It’s worth noting that the Duelfer report says that was found in mid-May by the ISG. That’s impossible on two counts (ISG wasn’t up and running yet, really, and we know Judy’s XFT â€found itâ€). So who convinced Charles Duelfer (who, I might add, visited Judy in jail) to change the story?

    Otherwise, we’re not there yet. I don’t think we’ll get there yet, not until someone does a Larry Franklin and agrees to a plea bargain in exchange for further testimony. And frankly, I think that person’d have to be Bolton. Judy doesn’t know enough about the Niger forgeries (as opposed to the one I think she planted in Iraq). The one other person who could break open the whole Niger forgery story who might have anything to do with the Plame affair would be Harold Rhode. Or I guess Libby himself.

    But honestly, I think we’re likely to hit the Niger forgeries through the Larry Franklin investigation quicker than we will here.

  4. Anonymous says:

    One caveat though.

    Fitz is apparently going after SOTU information. He will likely prove they did try to sneak Niger into SOTU and the reference in there was really about Niger.

  5. Anonymous says:


    Your little drama fits what we know about the personalities involved so well, it’s hard to maintain a temtative frame of mind while reading it. I’m convinced the drama played out in a way very similar to what you describe. It all comes back to neocon hubris, doesn’t it? Even as recently a few days ago, they really believed they were going to outwit Fitzgerald.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure there are some good theories in this post, but I couldn’t focus on them cause I kept getting stuck on the totally awesome title. I wish you could put up a tip jar just for that.

  7. Anonymous says:


    Just came home from long days work and…right away…went here and firedoglake.

    Thank you both for covering this story so well.

    The overall impression you leave…that there is just some….goshdangit…unbelievable stuff going on in Washington right now is utterly convincing. â€Oops, I found some notesâ€â€¦whoa.

    (The NYT is in some deep, deep doo doo.)


  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s amazing how you’ve stitched this together – with each new revelation the almost surreal saga of â€What Judy Did†and its preceding chapters inches closer to its grand denouement.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If your fictionalized reenactment is close to the truth, I would argue that it’s the best thing that could happen to our beleaguered heroine.

    As I’ve always seen it, her credibility as an investigative journalist and her career with the Times have been shot to hell for a long time, the only question being whether she would be a laughing stock in a designer dress or a laughing stock in an orange jumpsuit.

    As I see it, the only out she ever had was to turn on the neocons, make a fortune selling books, and re-invent herself as a controversial commentator/personality like G. Gordon Liddy or Oliver North or like Kato Kaelin and Monica Lewinsky could have if they’d had any talent. To be an investigative journalist, you need credibility and integrity, but to be a filthy rich, household name personality, you only need fame, fame and more fame — or infamy — it doesn’t matter which, but the more of it the better.

    Thus, I thought Judy was a fool to take the 1.2 million and the limited testimony agreement which left her, to the public at large, looking like an inscrutable minor player in an inscrutable minor (so far) political brújaja. But if she ratted out the whole mob — right down to the gory details of the fabrication of the evidence for the war — and the general public perceived her as having brought down Bush & Cheney, she’d be so insanely famous and that her book deal would jump to 8 figures – maybe the high 8 figures and her ratings potential on the cable news stations would go through the roof.

    Of course, as you say, maybe she doesn’t have the goods on the Niger forgeries, but I bet her first-person uncensored version of â€What Judy Did†would yield a hellacious enough cluster of bombshells to put BushCo out of its misery before she even got to Part 5.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think so, obsessed.

    Let’s compare Judy to, say, Ollie North. Ollie North is still a hero today (well, to a bunch of dumbshits who hate their country) because he maintained his stance. He never admitted the crimes he committed were wrong.

    But not Judy. Once this comes out, it will be crystal clear that all of her posturing was just that–posturing.

    However, I think she believed it. I think she really believed she was serving US interests. (Dumb as Ollie, she is, and probably a lot worse at organizing things logistically.)

    And she doesn’t have a big enough potential consituency elsewhere. Your average Maury watcher doesn’t care about journalism. And, sadly, your average American still believes the President is owed some deference.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and Steve, thanks. My only regret is that I didn’t adapt the whole what is it, a 20-minute song, to telling the sad saga of Sweet Judy Blew Lies. I will say I was humming away while I fell asleep. (Da Da da da dadeda)

  12. Anonymous says:

    One more thing that Meteor Blades just made me think of.

    Does Judy get to redact this new set of notes? I doubt it. She doesn’t have much wiggle room now that she’s been caught in perjury and possibly obstruction.

    But an even more delicious question (all due respect to MB).

    Does Fitz now get an unredacted set of the first set of notes??? Call me crazy. But I’m betting good money that Judy liberally redacted any evidence of their earlier meeting.

  13. Anonymous says:

    emptywheel, allow me to tell you what is about to happen.

    They are all going down and they will all do so based upon these notes that Judy has just handed over.

    I think you are correct in everything you said in this post. Fitz caught Judy in a perjury trap and Judy is going to wiggle out of it by turning over these notes and then feigning a bad memory. She’ll say she can’t recall the substance of the conversations, but here’s the newly discovered notes. Here you go….

    This way she’ll try and keep her job and sell Libby and the rest down the river. I don’t think we can underestimate how big it is that she is turning over these notes at the eleventh hour.

    I think it is more likely than ever they are all going down. Oh, how I hope and pray for a few unindicted co-conspirator lines….

  14. Anonymous says:

    Does Judy get to redact this new set of notes? I doubt it.

    Unfortunately, I think you are mistaken. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that she was, once again, allowed to redact them herself before handing them over. That would infuriate me, except that now she must be intensely concerned about getting caught lying again, so she has a strong motivation to play it straight.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Oh, shit. While looking around for that bit that said she had redacted the new notes, I came across this (from CNN today):

    Miller’s meeting with prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will occur Tuesday in Washington, Abrams said, but it will not be conducted in front of the grand jury looking into the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA operative.

    However, Abrams said, Fitzgerald could decide after the interview to have Miller make another grand jury appearance.

  16. Anonymous says:

    dj moonbat

    Does that mean she’s trying for a plea agreement? She needs to meet, with Bennett at her side, to see if she can arrange a deal with Fitz. Then, if he is happy with the deal she’s willing to give, she will be paraded before the GJ again to sing, this time in a much higher pitch.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and that CNN report–I’m still standing by my â€Bennett leaked the Judy notes†storyâ€

    Abrams would not comment on a Reuters report that Miller has given notes from a conversation she had with Libby weeks earlier than was previously known.

    Well, hell, it could be Abrams. No lawyer would want to go on the record about those notes. Since leaking details of the notes could get him into hot water. But Bennett? He’s just that sleazy.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I hope Judy sees more prison time. I’m wondering if she is the one giving cover to the others. My understanding is that many of these neocons said they got their information about Wilson and Plame through a reporter, not someone in the Bush administration spreading classified information. It’s not illegal if they are only repeating what a reporter told them. And the reporter can always use the excuse that she can’t reveal her sources. So everyone is covered. Judy wasn’t protecting her sources since she is a source and smack dab in the middle of the conspiracy. She was protecting herself.

    If the NY Times is smart they will cut her loose and come clean, get some reporters on her bullshit reporting leading up to the Iraq war and her involvement in the Plame outting. I doubt they will do it though, they have been covering their asses along with Judy.

  19. Anonymous says:


    I think Fitz would charge old Judy with obstruction of justice then. This theory of the immaculate leak where a reporter was the one who told the government about a CIA officers covert status does not hold water. And if it were true, then the national security concern would be so huge that I think Fitz would _have_ to throw her ass in jail until she told who in government told _her_.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Does that mean she’s trying for a plea agreement? She needs to meet, with Bennett at her side, to see if she can arrange a deal with Fitz.

    Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s what that means. But it would have been nice to have him lean on her in front of the grand jury first, and let the prospect of the gallows concentrate her mind. She hasn’t exactly impressed me thus far with her sense of the gravity of the situation.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Oh, dj, I’m certain that whatever it is that he told her he knows has demonstrated the gravity of the moment.

    Consider some implications of this though (and where’s ReddHedd when we need her??). First, this means he definitely is talking about charges for Judy, presumably perjury. Second, it means that her notes aren’t going to be forged, as some people worry they might, because Fitz isn’t going to deal with her unless he gets something worthwhile. Third, I think it definitely means everything is on the table, including an un-redacted copy of her first notes as well as no redactions on this.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I think it definitely means everything is on the table, including an un-redacted copy of her first notes as well as no redactions on this.

    I have to disagree. I think that Judy can make a pretty compelling case that she should be allowed redaction of any sections unrelated to her Plame source(s). I think her case for making the redactions herself is much less compelling. She should, if allowed to redact, be forced to do so under some kind of court scrutiny. She has demonstrated that she can’t be trusted, after all.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Well, maybe.

    But Fitz does hold the cards right now. After all, he knew enough about those notes already to embarrass Judy, badly. Judy’s testimony to the earlier conspiracy would be nice, but Fitz obviously has a lot of that already. What he’s looking for is 1) Hadley’s head, 2) Cheney’s head, 3) Bush’s head, and 4) the much much larger conspiracy.

  24. Anonymous says:

    It does occur to me that, just like his deal to confine himself to conversations with Libby, the deal allowing Judy to do her own redactions (not a normal deal) may have been made specifically to tempt her to do something dumb.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Fitz is a lot of fun to watch–and we’re not even getting to see the half of it.

    Or maybe he’s just set up to look good because the guys he’s out to bust are dumb and predictable. Arrogant, yes. But dumb and predictable. He probably waxes predictable for the good old days when they made criminals the like of Al Capone.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I say the 1.2 mil will be for Judy’s prison diet book — How to lose 20 lbs. in 85 days on cigarettes and pruno.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I say the 1.2 mil will be for Judy’s prison diet book — How to lose 20 lbs. in 85 days on cigarettes and pruno.

    Yum! That sounds like a real winner!

    Or, it could be How I Brought Down the Neoconservative Movement, Without Even Trying!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Shit dj. I thought I had had enough coffee this morning. Thanks for the correction.

    One of the delectable thoughts about Judy going to prison is we get to see more of Steve Gilliard’s Judy in prison diaries.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Part of what’s so interesting to me, if your scenario plays out, is how this becomes not just a story about BushCo and GOP perfidy at the highest levels, but also a story about the way Big Media has been co-opted and suborned by Big Republican Power.

    I don’t see any way to come out of it, if it pans out, without a genuine reexamination of the role between political power and the way the media have been largely turned into a mouthpiece for the same. They WON’T be able to say, â€But we brought the story out, so the system works! It fixes itself!†Because it’s going to be the justice system working in SPITE of the Times. Suddenly the whole context of embedded reporters, FOX, fake news stories, pundits on the payroll–all of that gets implicated.

    This could be SO much more telling about the real state of journalism in this country than the kerfuffle over Dan Rather and the AWOL story. Will we see a new deep-seated suspicion of Gov’t efforts to control the media? I can think of few things healthier for our republic in this dark historical moment.

    Goddess please, that enough of this should come out to expose what we are becoming before it’s too late.

  30. Anonymous says:

    DrBB, I hope you’re right. The issue of media collaboration with the power-abusing cabal is really much more important than the story of the evils of a particular administration, because it outlasts it.

    emptywheel, I don’t know what I’d do without you. I hope you’re lining up a book deal.

  31. Anonymous says:

    ew – I agree that she couldn’t achieve the kind of bogus credibility and hero status that North has, but I still think her book deal would be multiplied by a factor of at least 10 if she were seen as playing a John Dean-like role in the downfall of the POTUS, and I still think she would then be able to get a gig on cable news — whereas, with her limited testimony thus far, she hasn’t made such a splash that her notoriety is a more valuable asset than her perceived incompetence and duplicity a liability.

    But if what you’re saying AFTER that post is right — that Fitz has got her dead to rights and can now hold major indictments over her head at the private meeting until she gives him everything — it sounds like my theory has a good chance of being proven or disproven!

    You and Reddhedd seem confident that the â€new notes†revelation indicates that Fitz has brought Judy to her knees. God, I hope that’s right!

    I also agree that â€Sweet Judy Blew Lies†is the best pun to come out of this mess so far and that the lyrics really do sound like a suite of love letters between Scooty & Judy:

    Judy: You are free – and I am crying

    Scooter: Remember what we’ve said, and done, and felt about each other – oh babe, have mercy

    Judy: Will you come see me, Thursdays and Saturdays? What have you got to lose?

    Scooter: Can I tell it like it is? Listen to me baby – It’s my heart that’s a sufferin’, it’s a dyin’- that’s what I’ve got to lose

    Judy: Something inside is telling me that I’ve got your secret – are you still listening?

    Scooter: Chestnut brown canary, Ruby throated sparrow, sing a song don’t be long…

    >I say the 1.2 mil will be for
    >Judy’s prison diet book How to lose
    >20 lbs. in 85 days on cigarettes and pruno.

    Thanks Jane – you just made me blow my morning cereal out my nose and all over the keyboard and monitor.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I think Scooter Libby’s letter to Judith Miller contains a coded message: about the â€Aspens turning.â€

    What could that mean? Something about the Aspen Institute? Isn’t Bolton have some connection there?

    Or the annual meeting in Aspen of the top executives and media moguls?

    Or the late Les Aspin, Secretary of Defense under Clinton who was Miller’s lover, according to New York magazine?

    Any ideas? Is someone turning/flipping?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Manyoso you said:
    I think Fitz would _have_ to throw her ass in jail until she told who in government told _her_.

    You are assuming that someone in government told her, I’d agree it’s a safe assumption, but Fitz couldn’t go on our safe assumption, he’d need proof of that. For all anyone would know, it could be a friend of a friend’s brother-in-law of Joe Wilson who told Judy; or a foreign spy agency (out of US jurisdiction) etc. In other words, unless the person is covered by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, no crime has been committed.

    This is why it makes sense that Judy would rather go to jail than reveal her source, and why she is lying about not receiving the right waiver. No waiver would be good enough if you are implicated in the conspiracy, but know that the prosecutor doesn’t have the goods on you unless you name your source. I think Judy underestimated Fitzgerald, thought she could wrap herself in the first amendment, spend 30 days in jail, and waltz out a celebrated martyr to journalism.

    It also makes no sense why Fitzgerald would pick on Judy since she never wrote a story on Plame, unless she is central to the investigation. If she’s simply in the same boat as Cooper, Novak, etc, Fitzgerald doesn’t really need her testimony except as corroboration. But if all fingers were pointing to Rove, Libby, Bolton, etc, who then were pointing to Judy…

  34. Anonymous says:

    Nice stuff ! All hangs together quite well. Perhaps Judy simply asking for the limitation of Fitzgerald’s questions signaled to him that she feared he had more than was the case. He then let her have a fantasy exit, trapping her in a larger stakes crime and no deal. Further rolling may now introduce the Niger document forgeries as the grand scheme of the conspiracy.

    Just waiting for the 16-ton weight to fall on those responsible for the 16 words of infamy.
    (obscure Monty Python reference)

  35. Anonymous says:

    Slightly OT.
    I posted this question on firedoglake too.
    The new filipino spy looks gay to me. I am reminded since Gannon is in the news as well, that he had easy entry to the White House, possibly because of a â€contact†there.
    What do we know about the personal life of this spy?
    Is he single or married.. any hints in articles that he is gay?

  36. Anonymous says:


    I’m actually pretty confident we’re going to get to the 16 words. Condi pretty much admitted some things about the early versions while in Africa, only to have Ari cover it up for her. So there’s evidence on the 16 words all through this.


    I’m not sure about the filipino’s sexuality, and I’m not sure it’s important. Rather, I suspect his â€espionage†may be Cheney hanging out a guy who was working back-channel sabotage on Arroyo’s government, with Cheney’s approval.

  37. Anonymous says:

    An AP story by Pete Yost in my local paper today pretty much echoed Murray Waas’ tale of Rove â€not telling†Bush. Plausible Deniability arrangements are nostagically reappearing. The tricky writing includes this assertion,

    â€[Matt] Cooper’s contact with Rove did not come up in Rove’s first interview or grand jury appearance, but he volunteered the information and provided the e-mail during a second grand jury appearance.â€

    Seems the AP is more than willing to let the reader conclude that nobody but Rove found anything that jogged his memory.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Interesting detail, baked potato. We know (at least I think we know) Rove’s third GJ appearance was in October 2004. His first one would likely have been in February 2004. So he may have gotten forthcoming after a Fitz made a second request for correspondance with reporters named by name.

    That is, the first request only covered Novak and Royce and Phelps and otherwise said, â€anything relating to Plame.†THe second one IIRC named Cooper.

    So Rove didn’t turn it over the first time.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I hardly ever watch TV, so I usually only â€see†people in the news in static photos. Now that I know about crooksandliars, I see clips. I saw one of Judy just after she was released from jail; at that time she was presumably still under the impression that she’d gotten away with it. She was outdoors answering questions, and my impression was that she was nervous. She kept tucking her hair (which looked like she’d had access to a good hairdresser in jail) behind her ears. Not having ever seen her before, I don’t know whether this nervous mannerism is characteristic of her. She also had an odd way of talking, sounding more like a debutante than a serious reporter and authority on WMD.

  40. Anonymous says:

    emptywheel surmises, â€â€¦tells them to run like hell for higher ground.â€

    How could they get to higher ground unless they all cop a plea bargain? Is this part of the plan now to protect Shrub through the leaks that Rove did not inform him? Will Fitz accept that story if Rove agrees to a plea bargain? Or does he have enough to show that Darth Vader and Shrub were part of the scheme?

    Fitz has Judy in a vice if she has perjured herself by not being completely forthcoming. If she flips, the question becomes how much goods does she have, to implicate the others? What threats would she be under from the â€aspen turning†cabal? How would she get to decide the lesser of two evils?

    I am enjoying this LeCarre style story unfold with all its twists and turns. And hoping that there are real consequences for this crowd.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I think, if it comes to it, Rove will protect Bush–Rove has spent too long building his machine to let it go, even if the alternative is a year or so in stir. Bush can always pardon him at the last minute, once tempers have cooled.

  42. Anonymous says:

    dj moonbat, The problem with your thinking is that Rove could be looking at 10 years in prison or worse. I really think Karl has a very high sense of self-preservation, and the possibility of going to prison for more than 1 year will active it.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I learned a lot from this piece, but wonder if we can really be sure that the notes about the June conversation with Libby will include anything especially juicy. As much as I want to believe he was disseminating anti-Wilson information at that time, there are really dozens of topic that Miller might have been talking to Libby about, with perhaps only tangential references to the SOTU.

    The other thing I have trouble believing is that nobody from the Times is leaking information on the paper’s complicity or on Miller’s m.o. Since when can executive editors control newsroom information? Perhaps I’m being naive, but while I can see management sustaining a stonewall, don’t we assume there are still some people working there who might see revealing news as a moral duty?

  44. Anonymous says:

    It would seem completely out of character for Bush not to pardon any and all indictees immediately. The question is whether the echo machine would succeed at spinning it away. Given the nonsense they’ve gotten away with so far, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s hard to overestimate the gullibility of today’s ditto-head majority. Over 30% still think Hussein planned and executed 9/11 and even on the more intelligent conservative blogs the majority believe that Wilson & Plame will be indicted. The only thing they DON’T believe Bush about is the no-brainer that Miers will vote as he instructs her on each case.

    But enough lamenting — I just want to see this Plame thing through, relish the indictments, and revel in the denouement.

  45. Anonymous says:

    marky and dj

    We don’t need Karl to turn on Bush. We need Karl to turn on Libby. And Libby to turn on Karl. When they do that, fully and brutally, they’ll take Cheney and Bush down with them.


    Let me be clear, I don’t think Libby and Miller discussed the SOTU. But I know Fitz has subpoenaed the things I know of that show BushCO lied about SOTU the week of July 2003. And I imagine he’s got some people willing to talk about it. Or at least, in a week or so, I imagine he’ll have Hadley begging to talk about it.

    The Libby and Judy June notes have to do with Wilson. How do I know, besides that’s what all the papers say? Because someone in the neighborhood of David Shipley was aiming to write an article on Wilson in late June 2003. Given how quickly Judy crumbled under Fitz’ perjury threat, I am increasingly convinced she was the journalist who was going to write that article. And frankly, I don’t think she met ONLY with Libby. Which is why it’s so fun. The martyr for the first amendment will be dealing multiple sources WILLINGLY come Tuesday.


    Just remember, this is big enough they’re at least as interested in preventing this news from coming out as they are in preventing jail time. And pardons, this time, aren’t going to prevent the truth from coming out.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Thanks, emptywheel. If we all donate an Alexander Hamilton, perhaps we can hire her some protection in the interim?

  47. Anonymous says:

    Does Isikoff’s story in Newsweek add a new detail regarding Fitzgerald’s calling Miller back for questioning? â€A notebook was discovered in the paper’s Washington bureau, reflecting a late June 2003 conversation with Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis (Scooter) Libby, about Wilson and his trip to Africa, says one of the lawyers.†Is the notebook the â€notes†that Judy turned over to Fitz? Note that Isikoff doesn’t say the notebook was turned over by Judy. If the notebook is not Judy’s â€notes,†this might explain how Fitz knew that Judy had met with Libby in June, how he knew Judy was lying.

  48. Anonymous says:

    The warning to head for higher ground bought everyone concerned three precious days this weekend to shred files, burn photgraphs, hide little bits of incriminating dirt on each other, make a threatening phone call or two, and run the Hummer back and forth over degaussed hard drives several times until they’re shattered into little bits of magnetic confetti.

    I’ll bet it’s been a very busy weekend at the White House. The bill for the Jack Daniels alone is probably enough to buy body armor for everyone currenly in Iraq.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Dunno if this thread is still active enough to get a response, but the whole theory hangs on the idea that the existence of notes from June, pre-Wilson-OpEd, opened Judy to a perjury or obstruction charge. But TalkLeft has pointed out that Judy’s subpoena specifically refered to items dating in July or later. So these notes wouldn’t have been covered.

    I don’t think she testified falsely. I doubt she had even reviewed her June conversations with Libby. She would have been focused on the week in July specified by the subpoena.

    Can anyone address this?

  50. Anonymous says:

    If Judy testified that the July meeting was the first time she talked to Libby about Wilson and/or Niger (a not unlikely question), the question would be covered by the subpoena.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Excellent essay of what you believe may have happened. Thank you.
    You explained it better than anyone else Ive heard speak on this.

    And I believe you have it nailed…good job.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Or to add to what blythedm said, the question, â€so you had never heard about Wilson before July 8 then†is strictly within the terms of the subpoena. But if Judy answered no, then it’d still be perjury.

  53. Anonymous says:

    if she ratted out the whole mob — right down to the gory details of the fabrication of the evidence for the war –

    That would be such an Annakin Skywalker/Return of the Jedi moment for her-she could make up for the warmongering stories by saving the republic!

  54. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, there was a secret government memo prepared in 2002 which mistakenly said that Plame had recommended her husband go on the fact finding trip to Niger. That was floating around and perhaps shown to Miller in June. They may have already been trying to discredit Wilson even before his NY Times article and maybe any others who knew that the Niger uranium words in the sotu address were bull. It might have been something like, â€Just in case he squawks we better be prepared to neutralize him.†Or perhaps either Wilson or Plame tipped their hand before he had his article published in the NY Times. I know Clarke’s book had to be vetted by the White House before it could be published, did Wilson’s article also have to be vetted?

  55. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful post, e.

    The question still remains:

    Why would Judy do all this? Chalabi, WMD, Wilson/Plame…

    Somewhere there’s MONEY, and I don’t mean her â€book dealâ€.

    emptywheel, got a scenario that includes some Swiss or off-shore accounts? How much does she get from the Times? Does anyone believe she sees herself as a patriot and became a mouthpiece for the Bushies out of her love for the country?

    Or is she another William Laurence? http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/05…..html?.v=20

    And how does Harriet Miers tie in with all this? Why does Bush want his personal attorney on the Supreme Court? I don’t believe, as John Stewart said, he’s planning on a gay marriage.

    Somehow they’re trying to cover their asses. Nothing like having the SCOTUS in your pocket.

  56. Anonymous says:


    Just to clarify, there were notes from an INR analyst who attended the meeting at which Wilson was interviewed about going to Niger. Those probably didn’t circulate themselves until they were attached to the INR memo the week of July 6. In addition, there was an INR memo that dealth–among other things–with Wilson’s trip. That was written in June 2003. It may have circulated before July, but only for a month. This is the famous memo that showed up in all the coverage.

    There was a CIA report relating to Wilson’s trip, but it did not mention him by name.

  57. Anonymous says:

    How does â€Harriet Miers†ties into all of this? Well, if it’s plain and simple to someone like me, it’s got to be obvious to those in the know: Miers is, as Donna states in her post, there to cove the SCOTUS’s butt(s). She’s been *’s attorney since his days in TX. Poppa looks out for his son and the family affairs.

    The sad part from all of this is that the American people are the loosers, not Corp *&* America. I hope Plame, Wilson and all the good guys & gals really protecting our best interests continue to do so. And if you are and you’re reading this, thank you.

  58. Anonymous says:


    It is easy to highlight the negative and may service a purpose in framing a discussion and not keeping a secret….

    HOWEVER one notion in modern sales tactics is the notion of pain points… and linking these to values is very potent… ANYWAY– my point is that no one BUYS solutions…benifits… they buy percieved fixes to their pain points… . .. .. THAT is the job of the left to link the value points in society in a way that fixes the pain points … THIS MAY mean linking the various â€right wing†values that the left shares …