Is Fred Fielding Reading emptywheel?

Because either he or David Addington sure seems to be seeing the same things I’m seeing. Via TP, Michael Duffy reports that "White House lawyers" are worried that the Plame Affair may be back.

Duffy: White House lawyers are concerned, very concerned, now that Scott McClellan’s book has led Henry Waxman and John Conyers to take another look at the Valerie Plame business. There may be hearings. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may be called. Just another way in which a Democratic Congress might make a difference during the fall.

Tweety: Can they impeach the Vice President over this?

Duffy: There’s no time to impeach…

Tweety: But that’s who they’re targeting isn’t it?

Duffy: Well they’re gonna just make things rough for everyone who was affiliated with the Plame Affair.

Tweety: Will this get big enough to help Obama?

Duffy: It will boil through the summer.

Hi Fred. Would you mind clicking through some of the ads over on the sidebar? And do me a favor and make sure you do that from your White House IP, would ya?


57 replies
  1. Petrocelli says:

    I liked Duffy’s feeble attempt at deflection, “There’s no time to impeach …”

    Yeah, right Mike!

    • perris says:

      there is plenty of time to impeach, the process is everything not the result and impeachment can happen after they leave office, it serves to rebuke their actions

      Hi Fred. Would you mind clicking through some of the ads over on the sidebar? And do me a favor and make sure you do that from your White House IP, would ya?

      do you have whitehouse ip’s logged marcy?

      • peterboy says:

        agreed. impeachment can chastise the act and formally record that it was a high crime. it would pith the frog of gooper rewrites of history and establish that activity as illegal and fahklempt.
        More important is to establish warrantless wiretaps under “inherent presidential powers” as a high crime, for the same reason.

    • sailmaker says:

      There are 225 days left until Jan. 20, 2009. It took 181 to impeach Clinton. Could be done with time to spare – but it is not ‘on the table’. We could kick it around on the floor maybe??

      • perris says:

        There are 225 days left until Jan. 20, 2009. It took 181 to impeach Clinton.


        can we email that to our congress criters puhleeze

      • Quzi says:

        There are 225 days left until Jan. 20, 2009. It took 181 to impeach Clinton.

        I believe this deserves repeating, repeating and did I say repeating?

        Go Marcy!!! I’m ready for another EW “play-by-play” with Fitz. Bring on the hearings…shine the light. Thank you Conyers and Waxman…

    • bigbrother says:

      When they lie to coverup their illegal actions by denial, “I forgot or I don’t know” they will perjure themselves. That is an impeachable offense. You have family values. That does not include lying. I was lucky I got the bar of Ivory inserted in mouth when I was percieved as lying. Shame on you Mr. President and Vicw President…you cannot lie and blame it on its a security secret. You guys are busted.

      • Minnesotachuck says:

        When a witness says “I don’t recall”, I’ve often wondered why the interrogator doesn’t respond by asking “Which is it: you can’t recall or you do not choose to recall?”

        • Pat2 says:

          You’re exactly right — the favored phrase has been “I don’t recall,” not “I cannot recall.”

          One speaks to present condition; the other to ability.

          All of it speaks to Karl Rove’s prompting. This is why he won’t testify under oath: there’s that pesky “whole truth” phrase he has thus far managed to avoid.

          How the others — Alberto Gonzales, for example — got away with truth-snippets remains a testament to shortcomings in questioning.

          Take Rove’s comment on Scott McClellan’s book, which pointed out the uniqueness of a one-on-one meeting between Rove and Scooter Libby. Rove said he and Libby attended meetings together all the time. He never said “private” or “one-on-one.” Fox, of course, offered no follow-up on that one. Nor did any other network.

          Time for change. Time for truth to matter. Time for further investigation into the Plame issue.

  2. Petrocelli says:

    I’m sure they read you frequently Marcy, as do the Dems … they all must use that filter software which hides their IP address …

  3. greenbird4751 says:

    yeah, like moyers’ good wolf and bad wolf, it’s the
    good whitehouse and the bad white house.
    which one gets fed?

  4. Loo Hoo. says:

    US interrogators of “war on terror” detainees were instructed to destroy handwritten notes that might have exposed harsh or even illegal questioning methods at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a lawyer for one of the prisoners said Sunday.

    TP again.

    • bigbrother says:

      Obstruction and crimnal collusion to commit a felony to coverup a crime. Any lawyers out there or here.

  5. ezdidit says:

    McCain should get impeached for his felonious sequestration of the Abramoff investigation evidence…who does that? The guilty?

    How about a special prosecutor to investigate McCain??

    • Loo Hoo. says:

      Is there an adult in the senate who can tell him to turn over the Abramoff goods? Why does a republican get the goods and turns over only what he chooses?

  6. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    This post prompted me to recall one of The Hill Staffers little literary bouquets to Judy-Judy. So here is my little nosegay to the WH:

    Dear Fred and David:

    Scotty started to write his book last summer, and some of us are reading it. We cam hardly wait till fall (and the elections). The MSM, the blogs, Glenn Greenwald, FDL, and EW all have stories to cover — American elections, biological threats from climate change, and (as ever) the belligerant hysteria of Bush and Cheney about Iranian nukes.

    Out West, where no one can afford to vacation this year because the price of gas is so goddamn fucking high, the aspens may not yet be turning, but public opinion is… and not in your favor. If Scott McClellan has found that leaving the BushCheney administration behind him has called him back to life, you might be wise to take a Taoist view of things. At the atomic level of the atom, all things are connected; be happy for McClellan if he’s finally turning toward the light.


    P.S.: Here’s hoping Pixie Dust doesn’t look like white powder. Wouldn’t want the Preznit to mistake it for cocaine and try to snort a line.

  7. marymccurnin says:

    Maybe someone could ask McCain at the town hall meetings with Obama about the fact that he will not hand over the info on Abramoff. At every one of the planned meetings.

  8. LabDancer says:

    big brother @ 8: Did some one call for a lawyer? Let’s have a little look at the patient…hmmm…hmmm…well sir, it’s nice to feel needed but actually Dylan was right: You don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows.

    On the last thread, one of we simiams [mighta been george] noted that he couldn’t recall Bill Clinton running a never-ending campaign. That was my memory, too, but if there was ever a period during his terms when it looked like he was, then it was during impeachment [though even then I felt things looked a lot more like when Nixon & his gang went to the mattresses].

    Just to review the bidding: Congressman Wexler has the coconuts to re-crank the engine [or leave it to Kucinich who could really use the boost] & the votes are there in the HJC, and frankly I think now also in the House, so long as Pelosi gets firm enough to fend off any internal games between her rival successors Hoyer & Emmanuel: which gets rid of all the forms of privilege.

    From that point Fielding can do lots of things with their cronies in the DOJ & the court system to run out the clock on THIS Congress – but then the next one can reset the clock & pick up the ball & just keep slugging away & we’ll get there & any pardons Waterboy purports to grant will have the permanency of those fake tatoos of vegetable dye in bubblegum wrappers.

    I’m with Richard Clarke when he said on The Daily Show last week: Somebody gotta pay for this.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      I’m with Richard Clarke when he said on The Daily Show last week: Somebody gotta pay for this.


  9. LabDancer says:

    Slightly OT: You know, I like the postings & the folks in charge of think progress & all; but it looks to me as if just about every one of its Plame related threads gets hi-Jackied by some Jason Leopold-promoting emptywheel trashing LEFT wing conspiracy theorist [thankfully a species about as prominent as the ivory billed woodpecker], which makes my stay briefer than the content of the posts would seem to justify [& makes me feel a bit guilty & sad for the proprietors]. Plus they have some Mrs Miniver type who – as far as I can tell – gathers up the consensus to ‘ban’ commenters for, oh, a day plus or minus. Makes one really appreciate home cooking. Would it be worthwhile do some visiting comments in an effort to save their souls?

    • bobschacht says:

      I don’t think so. I think they have minions who read FDL for them, forwarding anything that meets their filtering criteria. When it gets to the point where they have to open their own mail, they’ve fallen pretty far down the feeding chain.

      Bob in HI

  10. BayStateLibrul says:

    Blink… it was Bush’s incessant blinking, when asked about the Plame Affaire, that was the give-away…
    I think I counted 30 odd times.
    Blinks equal lies.
    We are about to hit, blinking pay dirt.

  11. BayStateLibrul says:

    “One regret I have is that I did not learn more about what was happening very early, so that I could have tried to stop people from engaging in illegal activities.”
    Fred F. Fielding on Watergate.

    Fuck you Fred, now you are entangled in a cover-up…

  12. MarieRoget says:

    “It will boil through the summer.” Gee, I like the sound of that. You know, if you keep adding bits & pieces of grub to that pot & a little more stew water for it to cook in, there might be a boil over & scald a few people worth scalding…

  13. klynn says:


    Anyone NOT reading you is missing out on reality…In honor of your efforts (even this past weekend), I’m going to go a little O/T and share from Bill Moyer’s Journal:

    There’s nothing new in Scott McClellan’s book about the propaganda campaign or the role of the press in selling the war, so why is it such big news? Journalists Jonathan Landay and John Walcott of McClatchy newspapers and Greg Mitchell of EDITOR & PUBLISHER analyze the reaction of the administration and the media to McClellan’s book.

    Go and enjoy the video or transcript here:…..atch2.html

  14. malcontent says:

    Just as this stew begins to boil over, Cheney will resign resulting in a do-over with justice tactics. Then Deadeye and Addington will whisk away to a secure location and leave Uncle Freddie to continue the obfuscation alone in DC.

    Both sides will treat this as an opportunity to influence voter trends in November. Let us hope justice will find its way to the surface rather than become collateral damage when we finally put this to bed.

  15. yonodeler says:

    Yeah, Mr. Duffy, there’s not enough time for impeachment—if a few months must be reserved for fighting Republican attacks on Obama and on Democrats generally during the reminder of this campaign season, and if a serious move toward requiring accountability might bump the Democratic Party out of its defensiveness groove.

  16. yonodeler says:

    In the next Congress there will be a school of thought holding that change has come, that Congress has a relatively clean slate, that it’s time to move on without exhuming all that the Bush administration did. Passing up impeachment proceedings this year is throwing away an opportunity the effective equivalent of which there will never be.

  17. yonodeler says:

    A referer-blocking add-on is useful when it appears likely that a commenter such as alank seeks gratification or profit by drawing readers to his linked site. (Not clicking the link is even better.) Spammers and trolls who do that kind of seeding usually do it at a number of sites, so why give them the satisfaction of knowing where they got lucky?

  18. WilliamOckham says:

    I think it would be giving Fielding, et. al., too much credit to think they are reading this blog. Fielding has to be worried because he knows his clients (Bush and Cheney) haven’t been honest with him about the case. He also knows that his allies in Congress are no match for Fitzgerald. Fielding must be having nightmares about Fitzgerald testifying…

    OT: Waxman and Davis release proposed report on Abramoff’s WH contacts.

  19. wavpeac says:

    People in denial avoid references to the truth and consequences. It’s too painful to confront. Instead they discredit and attack opposing views. Now, they might have someone hired, less invested, to read these things for info, but the principles are probably avoiding any messages that might create a deep, gut wrenching moment of shame. The better they are at avoiding (and a long laundry list of criminal behavior is a good indicator of the ability to subvert healthy shame) the more likely they are to be avoiding people and places like this.

  20. Glorfindel says:

    I’m confused, please help! I understand that McCain, when formerly Chair of his committee, suppressed the overwhelming bulk of testimony and evidence relating to Abramoff, and it has still not been released.

    Why, if he no longer chairs his committee, does he still retain power over the release and use of this material? Why doesn’t the current chair make use of it or release it? I feel like I’m missing some vital understanding of how the committees work.

    • bobschacht says:

      McCain retains veto power over the gigantic trove of documents because of a gentleman’s agreement among Senators. It was explained here on EW or FDL a month or two ago, and I’m sorry but I don’t have a link. I think the agreement was made after the 2006 elections when the Democrats took control of Congress and therefore became chairs of all the committees.

      That “agreement” needs badly to be revisited.

      Bob in HI

  21. wavpeac says:

    Accountability is the only cure. The bottom line is that the whole human race breaks down when we do not hold ourselves accountable to a higher purpose.

    People seem to confuse accountability with cruelty and power and control. You don’t have to be mean to teach a lesson, but you must tell the truth. Truth is essential. The tale cannot be silenced because the criminal waves us off with fear.

    There are parents who believe that you raise good kids if you are mean to them when they make mistakes or misbehave.(punishment is primary) Then there are parents who diligently seek accountability. (consequences are primary) Those parents are not trying to control the behavior but to teach a more effective way.

    It isn’t punishing bushco that is is important. It is that the nation learn what the consequences of his/their behaviors have been for the country.

    Effective parents put teaching first and controlling the child second. They do this by way of mild consequences, rewards and consistency with learning as the primary goal. Ineffective parents use pain, fear and humiliation to control the child’s behavior. Control is the end goal as opposed to learning or seeking truth that might be different from parental ideas.

    These are polars and their are exceptions in both extremes. Effective parents do not interfere with the natural pain that goes with natural consequences.(hence some behaviors are punished) And similiarly, parents who use power and control still end up teaching lessons to their children.(consequences teach).

    We don’t need to control bushco. (although thoughts of waterboarding are tempting), we have a higher purpose here which is to educate the country about what the consequences of this gov’t have been. It is the process that is sacred, not the end result. This so that Americans can move forward with truth as we solve problems and make decisions about our future. Truth is power.

    We must fearlessly impeach this President.

    • JThomason says:

      Although, the analogy to parenting in the context of punishment and consequences is instructive, as are the psychological characterizations of the acts of lying the nation to war, authorizing illegal torturing and destroying evidence, in the end the analogy and the characterizations will not hold up politically. Bush cannot be impeached because he has acted like a delinquent child. Theories of punishment are unsettled. The bottom line with respect to what is required, as has been asserted here frequently, is the political will to judge the President’s (or for that matter the Vice President’s)acts to be criminal. There is much analogy in settled law that they are in fact just that, criminal, but the rhetoric will have to rise above the comparison to child rearing if a move to impeach will have any traction whatsoever. The question really is about the question of the scope of arbitrary action(action lacking a premises in fact and which is contemptuous of fact), the President will be permitted in the Constitutional context. The President’s defense will continue to be based on extraordinary war time powers but this becomes more difficult for him to maintain if it is essentially shown that these were fraudulently obtained. Such a showing invites difficulties in the context of partisan will. The continued conflation of the post 9/11 environment with the causa belli with regard to Iraq, is what he and his minions are depending on as an ultimate defense. In the context of questions concerning the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act no doubt we are at a crossroad.

      The mythic and familial dimensions of psychological boundaries are instructive to the public sphere but in the end an effective argument must embrace Constitutional, Legal and Political reason and if they exist reasonable standards for the executive’s role in making a case for war, including fidelity to the established processes of establishing intelligence and adherence to established codes of human decency, asserted.
      And I do agree that the lack of accountability and consequences undermines any genuine appeal to the sanctity of such standards; otherwise, as you say humanity breaks down, “mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” And this is not intended as solely a mental exercise, much is at stake. Sober, dispassionate, reflection and action are needed. Fitzgerald reflects these qualities well, McClellan wrestles with his conscience, Whitehouse trudges ahead in clarity, one can hope that the recognition of the indispensability of high law to check high crimes and misdemeanors rises.

      • LabDancer says:

        Thanks; I feel this is put almost perfectly.

        [Though…I’m increasingly finding myself hedging on McClellan despite the pathos in TV appearances, because I don’t see how any of the “information” in those appearances leave aside his weak ass book proves that his heart no longer belongs to baddies.

        By way of contrast, I remember how it felt when John Dean came out:

        [I still think to favor Hendrik Hertzberg best caught the buzz in his New Yorker article “Dean’s First Day: I don’t have a post but it’s at p. 443 in his compendium “Politics”]

        not at all like Comey, with his mysteriously coded deeper messages against a dramatic backdrop that provides room for rabid scum like Ashcroft to reclaim dignity & pick up millions in blood money;

        not impaired by any history of unrepetent public self-mutilation of the ego in the service of the lord that necessarily deflates the value of Spotties future testimony much as it did for Ari Fleischer;

        not having followed a course of pre-hearing strategic slashing at his own wrists & the carotids of others like with [heading outward from the centermost ring of Journalist Hell] Judy Judy Judy & Novak & Woodward & Russert in effort to dilutes any efficacy out of their testimony;

        not speaking thru the protective flaps of the orifice of another or others like that pestilential Kockrove did with his own Luskin & his friendly plant in DOJ Corallo & his media conduit NEWSWEEKS on “Johnny Nitro” Isikoff;

        not while simultaneously flogging his tell “all” book like some Popeil Pocket Pedantry Poopinator;

        but instead:

        in the correct public context of responding with civic duty to a summons to appear before the Congress engaged in its oversight duties;

        on TV in front of his former friends & future foes & We the People;

        holding back nothing material;

        unsparing as to his own complicity;

        totally bereft of histrionics which might deflect from the hard metal of the facts;

        his confession fully organized to maximize comprehension;

        annotated for confirmation;

        footnoted for further exploitation in the service of the rule of law & historical analysis;

        & has continued to follow the Great Horned American conservative beast right up it generic breakwaters in hunting down & recording the full taxonomy & DNA of the authoritarian right from its primal ooze;

        & paid the price immediately & hard; & has paid since; & still pays.

        Granting Dean is likely somewhat bigger brained & more disciplined, I actually think Spottie the Bush Dog has so much more in the way of direct experience with the essence of this Cheerleader Presidency than Dean did in doing for Nixon the job his former protege Fielding is now doing Cheney & Bush, if Spottie were to have chosen to head down Dean’s path we might actually get some of those ‘important things’ he wants to see happen done. There’s still time for Spottie, but it runs out in about a week, & I’m not holding my breath.]

  22. MrWhy says:

    OT – from the Globe and Mail

    Interrogators at Guantanamo Bay – including those assigned to Canadian Omar Khadr – were encouraged to destroy handwritten notes from interview sessions to protect them from future legal action, according to newly released documents.

    • skdadl says:

      U.S. military lawyer Lt-Cmdr William Kuebler is a great lawyer, simply a great lawyer. I can’t get over how hard he has worked for Omar Khadr. His description of sitting and taking notes on that manual when he wasn’t allowed to remove it reminded me so much of Sen. Whitehouse taking his notes on classified documents about “the program” so that he could report back to the people.

      drational has a diary up at dkos on the GTMO interrogators’ manual btw. I swear, in that passage Kuebler quotes, I can hear the voice of Donald Rumsfeld.

  23. rosalind says:

    p. 31 of the Abramoff report:

    In some of the communications provided to the Committee, Ms. Farley refers to tickets as “fruit.” On December 12, 2002, Ms. Farley asks Mr. Ring, “Do you have any kind of fruit tonight?” Mr. Ring responds, “No games tonight.”183 In another e-mail exchange about an issue of interest to one of Mr. Ring’s clients, Ms. Farley stated, “Let me know about the fruit in the middle of the basket.” Mr. Ring responded, “The fruit is going to happen. Just trying to make sure it is picked on the right day.”

    gosh, wonder how long it took the committee to crack their devious code. and mr. ring seems to have taken lessons from the scooter libby school of correspondence.

  24. HmblDog says:

    Was it ever determined how Richard Armitage knew of Valerie Plame’s work for the CIA?
    Out of curiosity I looked up Elizabeth Cheney on wikipedia and found that she was hired by Richard Armitage in 1993. They were both with the State Dept in 2002 and 2003.

    • maryo2 says:

      Armitage read it in a classified State Department memo. Read the wiki page on the Plame leak. I knew Armitage learned from a classified memo. What I didn’t know was:

      1. Armitage sought an appointment with Novak in early June 2003 for the first time in over two years. Timing there is brow-raising.
      2. Armitage says that in 28 years of government work, he has never seen a CIA agent’s name in a memo, so he assumed she was not a covert agent, but just an analyst at a desk.

      Those two points makes it seem that Armitage was part of the OVP messaging team; like he was sent to do this and given cherry-picked information.

      • HmblDog says:

        Thanks maryo2!
        I really believe that Armitage was used and that he’s clever enough to know how and by whom after the fact.
        It’s unfortunate that he isn’t willing to explain publicly how he was maniplulated.

      • emptywheel says:


        The meeting was set up in late June.

        That’s important bc it happened after Libby had some meetings with Armitage and after Woodward spoke to Libby twice in June. IMO, Libby set Woodward up to ask Armi information Libby knew Armi knew. That explanation explains the actual content of the Woodward Armi conversation, which we have a copy of.

        • LabDancer says:

          Sorry, Im still doing my evilparalleluniverse thing here on this thread, because I’m too old a head to catch up to blogging but this McClellan thing is worth exploiting if we can stop Cheerleader in Chief from using his constitutional pixie dust power of pardon to cover the escape of the beast back into its lair only to return bigger & more virulent. b

          And I’m sure you left this out in the interests of brevity- – because people like hmblDog should get off the fat backsides of their brains & go back & read all your hundreds of posts still available here & at thenexthurrah & go buy your book [Still a wizard of a work, I must say- – but we know Armitage & Libby go waaaahaaay back in time, to Iran-contra when Libby acted as his enabling legal counsel when Armitage was trying finesse the Senate into leaving that fetid mess alone in considering his nomination for some position, & likely back before that when both Libby & Armitage were worming their way into guts of the American authoritarian beast, Libby through his having tied his fate to its head trainer, Wyoming Congressmen Cheney, & Armitage through his having shed his regular commissions & oaths & all his integrity to secure a commission in the Army of the Beast.

          The Beast is no different than its chronicler, Novak: It will never die unless its fully exposed to sunlight. We must impeach now or suffer the inevitable consequences.

  25. Hugh says:

    Michael Duffy is such an Establishment Beltway tool. His first and only language is the Conventional Wisdom. He’s sort of in the David Brooks’ mold of the pleasant, affable blatherer.

  26. JimWhite says:

    Time’s a’wastin’. Start the hearings today. Both the impeachment hearings and a hearing with the more recent Plame info. Fitz should be unleashed again in his full fury.

    Message to Fred and Karl: Bite me.

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