Who Were the Other Two?

Chris Matthews partly confirms something I speculated last week–though he adds a bit too. Given his description of the three staffers "linked to Cheney" who tried to silence his reporting on OVP’s involvement in the Niger uranium claims that got us into war, it’s safe to assume Libby’s call relates to that effort (and I’d bet there’s a Adam Levine call, too).

Matthews says that there was a "concerted effort" — carried out bythree people linked to Cheney — to kill discussion of the roleCheney’s office played in trumpeting a supposed nuclear threat fromIraq.

"I thought on the 10th anniversary it would be good to celebrate theFirst Amendment, which gives us all our living," Matthews tells TVGuide. "We reviewed in brief the remarkable experience of covering theClinton [scandal] and the defense of the war with Iraq. And thedifference in these two cases was that although I was extremely toughon Clinton, there was never any attempt to silence me — whereas therewas a concerted effort by [Vice President Cheney’s office] to silenceme. It came in the form of three different people calling trying toquiet me."

Libby is clearly one of the three–after all, he is paying for his criminal ways (oh wait. no he’s not). He called Russert to insinuate Matthews was an anti-Semite for reporting this story. And his ties to Cheney are beyond question.

I say Levine was involved, too, bc we know Libby asked Levine what he should do about Matthews (Levine is a former Matthews staffer).

But who is the third?

The question is particularly pertinent, you see, because of the third call we know Matthews to have received from the White House around the leak: Karl Rove, the week of Novak’s column, telling Tweety Plame was "fair game." Normally, you wouldn’t label Rove "linked to Cheney." Unless, of course, he said he was calling Matthews at the bidding of Cheney.

In which case it would change the connotation of that "fair game" comment quite a bit, don’t you think?

  1. formerly undecided says:

    Why did it have to come from Rove? Who else in the White House dealt with the media frequently?

    Barlett, for one.

    The Director of Communications, for another.

  2. says:

    doesn’t cheney get david addington to do a lot of the heavy lifting for him? i don’t know if he would call matthews, but this addington character seems particularly devious for what we don’t know about him, more then what we know… he doesn’t like to have anything revealed about himself either..

  3. ferris says:

    No, Addington is too stupid. And too involved with The Heavy Machinery.

    Remember what he stupidly gave up in testimony in the Plame case. He thinks he’s smart.

  4. Shit Stain Remover says:

    Isn’t this just more rewarmed â€hash?â€
    Posted by: jodi | October 11, 2007 at 21:57

    For shit stain, the chronically incurious, it’s hash.

  5. radiofreewill says:

    Jmho, but I’ve thought that Wilkerson was the SAO on the 1×2×6 Article, which sketched a smear campaign orchestrated by a Boss through two Leakers who falsely disparaged Valerie’s role in Joe’s Niger Trip to at least 6 Reporters.

    And, I don’t have any doubt that Rove was parroting Shooter’s own slur for Valerie – â€fair game†– no different than Cheney reaching with his bloody hand into his Cabella’s Bird Bag to pull out a Downed Valerie and show her to Tweety as a reminder of what happens to the Disloyal…

    Tweety would have understood the implied threat as coming directly from Cheney through messenger Rove, hence the â€linked to Cheney†qualifier. Poor Matthews, he must have felt like he had been visited by the Puddy Tat Goon Squad and braced up against the wall with a ’warning’ to lay low on the Boss, or else, buster…

    …we’ll put a hurt on you, too, just like we put a hurting on Wilson’s wife, ya’ see?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Addington is very far from stupid. He may ply the dark side, but it would be a mistake to underestimate his intelligence. It would also be out of character for him to be making calls to anybody, much less Matthews or any other media. Matalin a good possibility if it isn’t the Rove call EW described. Cathy Martin? Ron Christie?

  7. emptywheel says:

    FWIW, I think Martin is a decent guess (she had been removed from these issues but she did draft a talking points doc rebutting Tweety) as is Matalin (who gave Libby advice on NBC when she talked to him on July 10). Addington doesn’t do press, even still, as COS–at least, it’s as rare as Libby doing press, which happened primarily when you wanted to launder info through Judy Miller.

  8. Jane S. says:

    I like the Matalin theory–Martin didn’t seem to have the confidence or competence to get the dirty work done. I have a hard time thinking of Rove â€acting on behalf†of Cheney. Rove ran (runs) his own smear shop and he seems to me to have just enough ego that he wouldn’t want to give Cheney any credit for his dirty work.

  9. windje says:

    Wasn’t it Matalin who was attributed in Libby testimony / documents as saying Timmeh hated Tweety?

    One other possibility.

    For Immediate Release
    Office of the Press Secretary
    November 28, 2001
    Vice President Names Millerwise Deputy Assistant for Communications and Press Secretary

    â€Jennifer Millerwise has served the President well in her roll (sic) as Assistant Press Secretary. She brings great energy and skill to her new post as my Press Secretary and spokesperson,†said Vice President Dick Cheney.

    Jennifer is experienced, dedicated, and creative. We have worked closely on many projects and we look forward to developing an even closer relationship with her, said Mary Matalin, Counselor to the Vice President and Assistant to the President.


  10. radiofreewill says:

    OT Immunity seems to be the brass ring for rank and file Bushies these days. They all want it without having to disclose the activities being Immunized.

    Now that word on the secret torture memos, 2.0 and 3.0, is out on the street, the rank and file Field Operatives of the CIA want Immunity for ’following orders’ – or, at least, assurances that their activities won’t be formally reported – only to be used against them in Court, should T2 and T3 be declared unlawful.

    The only reason you even have a T2 and a T3, imvho, is to provide a veneer of ’cover’ (internally only, since the memos were secret) in order to continue what you’ve been doing all along – another instantiation of ’stay the course’ – iow, once again, Bush refused to stop doing what he was doing.

    The CIA Field Force undoubtedly feels they are being ’left holding the bag’ on BushCo’s un-vetted (with Congress or the Public or the World) secret rationale for ’aggressive interrogation methods’ that depended Entirely on Bush’s ’private and personal’ definition of ’torture,’ as if his un-checked authority trumped US and International Standards.

    After the Dec 2004 ’Torture is abhorent’ declaration, I’m sure all those folks ’knew’ they were ’at risk’ by continuing some of the existing programs. With T2 and T3 being exposed as shaky justification, they must Really be feeling exposed.

    They are in a difficult position.

  11. mo2 says:

    This is what I picture:
    1. Cheney gets report of Plame’s CIA status worded in the way he desires to justify her not being â€covert†or whatever he needed to wiggle around the law.
    2. Cheney summarizes to Bush saying â€fair game.â€
    3. Bush tells Rove â€I want the word out that Plame is fair game.â€
    4. Rove calls Matthews and says â€The OVP’s Office has learned from intelligence sources that Plame …†so as not to implicate Bush.
    5. Cheney tells Libby that the boss wants the word out that Wilson was picked by his wife to go to Niger, yadda yadda yadda – in more detail than Cheney even told Bush. Libby knows what to do, no more conversation needed. Asses fully covered by â€the boss†means go.

    Dick Cheney only does what the boss says. But he puts words in the boss’ mouth.

  12. radiofreewill says:

    OT but nepotism related

    How about that Julie Myers/ICE Chief – niece of former Chairman of the JCS, Gen. Myers – recess appointed by Bush in a storm of controversy over her ’qualifications.’



    â€â€Senator Lieberman intends to follow up with ICE to ensure that detainees are not drugged unless there is a medical reason to do so.â€

    ACLU attorney Ahilan Arulanantham, who is representing Soeoth and Diouf, said, â€It would be torture to give a powerful anti-psychotic drug to somebody who isn’t even mentally ill. … But here, it’s happening on U.S. soil to an immigrant the government is trying to deport.â€

    Responding to Lieberman’s written questions, Myers said 1,073 immigration detainees had â€medical escorts†for deportation since 2003.

    From October last year to the end of April this year, she said 56 received psychotropic medications during the removal process. Of those, 33 detainees received medication â€because of combative behavior with the imminent risk of danger to others and/or self,†she said.

    â€First, I am aware of, and deeply concerned about reports that past practices may not have conformed to ICE detention standards,†Myers said.

    She added no detainee should be â€involuntarily medicated without court order,†except in emergency situations.â€