Keith O and Scottie McC and Chairman John C

In a continuation of our "All Things Scottie" this week, here’s Scottie McC’s appearance last night with Keith Olbermann. The whole thing is worth watching, but I wanted to capture what he said about the Plame Affair (starting at about 1:45).

SMc The House Judiciary Committee reached out to me. They invited me to come testify, and as I said before, I’m glad to share my views and as I told them I’m glad to share what I know about the Valerie Plame leak episode so I will be going before the Committee a week from Friday on the 20th of this month.

KO Do you have any doubt that key people in the Administration were willing to sacrifice a CIA asset like Valerie Plame just to punish her husband and stifle critics and will you testify to that before the Congressional Committee?

SMc I’ll tell them what I know. I’m not going to get into things that I don’t know about. But I think Patrick Fitzgerald had it about right when she, he said during the trial of Scooter Libby that she became just another talking point in this effort to discredit Joe Wilson. That’s unfortunate. Whether or not there was any criminal activity involved, I don’t know. But it was wrong to do that and I will speak to the questions that they ask me and share exactly what I know.

Keith and Scottie McC go onto discuss the scope of the testimony and Scottie McC points to the language in Conyers’ letter asking for testimony about,

… reported attempts to cover up the involvement of White House officials in the leak of the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson and related matters…

Note the difference here. When Keith asks Scottie McC about whether he will testify to outing Plame, Scottie McC backs off that some–suggesting that he may not know whether people "we willing to sacrifice a CIA" operative. But he does seem to agree strongly with Fitzgerald that Plame was a talking point.

This is significant, in my opinion. Fitzgerald primarily offered evidence at trial that Cheney translated his question "Or did his wife send him on a junket?" into the talking point, "It’s not clear who authorized the travel."

Let’s go back. "Or did his wife send him on a junket?" A day or two after he writes this, after the Vice President is thinking, did his wife send him on a junket, he makes the number one talking point that Cathie Martin should put out there. "It’s not clear who authorized the travel." The question of who sent Wilson is important. It is a number one question on the Vice President’s mind when he tells Cathie Martin to get it out.

But of course, the primary evidence that Plame’s purported role in Wilson’s trip was a key OVP talking point–a document recording the talking points used with Judy Miller–was apparently not introduced at trial.

Libby gives a pretty specific description of [a talking point he used with Judy Miller]. So it ought to be easy to pick out from a stack of documents produced in response to a subpoena. And Libby suggests its was typed up, meaning it ought to be on someone’s hard drive.


But it seems to me that, if there were a document that showed nothing but NIE bullet points, the Defense would have introduced it. And if there were a more detailed document about Valerie Plam-ay’s WINPAC career, Fitzgerald would have produced it. But we’ve got nothing. In spite of the fact that we’ve seen a whole slew of OVP talking points generated during this period (and while you’re at that link, notice how I did a short version of the weedy analysis Fitzgerald did during his closing the other day).

Now, before you say Libby’s probably just mistaken–that this set of talking points never existed–consider what Judy had to say about that document.

Mr. Fitzgerald asked me to examine a series of documents. Though I could not identify them with certainty, I said that some seemed familiar, and that they might be excerpts from the National Intelligence Estimate of Iraq’s weapons. Mr. Fitzgerald asked whether Mr. Libby had shown any of the documents to me. I said no, I didn’t think so. I thought I remembered him at one point reading from a piece of paper he pulled from his pocket.

"Reading from a piece of paper he pulled from his pocket." Sure sounds like Libby "talked it through with her."

Libby and Judy agree about one thing. There was a document that contained the talking points Libby used that day. But neither one of them seems to have handed it over.

Fitzgerald’s admirable weedy analysis of Dick’s talking points notwithstanding, he really didn’t introduce all that much direct evidence that Plame was a talking point.

Which makes Scottie McC’s confirmation of Fitzgerald’s contention that she was a talking point all that more significant. If Scottie McC has more concrete evidence that the White House (presumably including Rove and others as well as Libby) used Plame’s role as a talking point, it could be very interesting testimony indeed.

97 replies
  1. rapt says:

    A little bit OT since it doesn’t involve Mr. McC.

    A crucial question that won’t be asked is: What was CIA up to that required total destruction of one of their field ops? Which certainly includes compromise, possible death for (some) undercover assets and instantly wiping out a complex long-term intelligence operation.

    IIRC Plame’s group was zeroing in on trading of nukes (with some “enemy”?)that was getting too close to his honor the deadeye himself. Getting back at Amb. Wilson just don’t cut it for me; it is a feeble limited-hangout-if-needed rationale. Lets ask Sybil about this one; I think she knows a lot.

    • LabDancer says:

      Where ARE all these Sybilseers popping up from? Perchance has Ms E Wheel become such a mighty cult figure she’s attracting conspiracy theorists now? Time to consider buying that sequined suit methinks.

    • BooRadley says:

      I don’t know anything that comes close to emptywheel’s compact, accessible explanation of Valerie and her work in the CIA’s counterproliferation division,Anatomy of Deceit.

    • FrankProbst says:

      A crucial question that won’t be asked is: What was CIA up to that required total destruction of one of their field ops? Which certainly includes compromise, possible death for (some) undercover assets and instantly wiping out a complex long-term intelligence operation.

      I’m curious about this, too, and I keep wondering if all of the recent CIA-bashing (i.e. they gave us bad intelligence that led us into war) is to insulate them against whatever revelation is coming. The CIA is getting blamed for the Iraq war and torture, and they don’t seem to saying what Bush/Cheney et al want to hear about Iran. I keep wondering if/when someone is going to say, “Look, we did our damn jobs. Cheney came stomping over to our headquarters to breathe down or necks because we weren’t telling him what he wanted to hear. Then he went to war anyway, even though we told him his ‘evidence’ was crap, because he was sure we’d find WMDs. And when we didn’t, and someone called him on it, he betrayed one of our people out of pure spite and blew one of our cover companies. None of this was our fault, and we’re tired of taking Dick Cheney’s shit for it.”

      • LabDancer says:

        I shouldn’t be writing without a link to pith to, but it’s bouncing around somewhere in my amygdala that Ms. Wilson made it plain in the remaining tatters of her memoir that her group was under intense pressure to find … something to link the Saddam Hussein regime to wmds or al Qaeda dreams & just could not, with the concomitant anxiety instilled by Rumsfeld on War Logic 101 & a half that absence of evidence no longer was permitted to be seen to cut in quite the direction suggested by Ockham’s razor.

        To that possibility I add the unliklihood that anyone in the know would think it necessary or adviseable to alert Dick II [aka the Bigger Dick] as to the very noticeable Ms. Wilson’s having covert status – assuming Bigger Dick would hear or care. Indeed I got the impression from the testimony of the then-publicly underestimatable Addington that Slibby was seeking the former’s input more on birding tips IE how one might approach distinguishing a Overseas Postable Covered CIAO from your garden variety Langley Lubber Commuter- than on the consequences of being caught Dick-handed having outed one – which moreover suggests Slibby adjudged Bigger Dick less than usefully available to him as to such details as tactics & consequences. I would think any Bigger Dick annotated edition of the “The Prince” would show far more in the way of underlining than summaries in the margins.

        Or put as if from the mouth of Dick: ‘I told you what I want to see as the result: as to the How, those details I leave entirely to you. Good hunting.’

        But would I totally discount the possibility of something far more labrythian from Bigger Dick? No way; there are graveyards full of such fools.

      • libbyliberal says:

        Punishing Val not only punished her hubby but the CIA, too. INTIMIDATION … anything fair game for shoot your face Cheney.

    • perris says:

      don’t forget, it wasn’t only valery who was exposed, “brewster jennings and associates” was also laid to bare

  2. klynn says:

    Fitzgerald’s admirable weedy analysis of Dick’s talking points notwithstanding, he really didn’t introduce all that much direct evidence that Plame was a talking point.

    Which makes Scottie McC’s confirmation of Fitzgerald’s contention that she was a talking point all that more significant. If Scottie McC has more concrete evidence that the White House (presumably including Rove and others as well as Libby) used Plame’s role as a talking point, it could be very interesting testimony indeed.

    How could he confirm the contention that she was a talking point without any evidence? He knows…

    Pass the popcorn…

  3. LabDancer says:

    So far Spottie’s a bit of puzzle, right? Far more at ease in his own skin than he was on the first go-round the fake fake news & candidly fake news circuit right after Bolten handed over his lead parachute, yet as you Ms EW have established to about the point where even Nobel prize winning geneticists would concede, there’s too much convenient artifice in his tome to be explicable by combination of chance & memory lapse. To buy otherwise you’d have to be capable of believing that Rube Goldberg was just poor at logistics.

    But in this: Doth he not resemble in all most queerly his own liege & true, eh wot?

    The pickled Cheerleader may have trouble mixing it up with that 3 or 4 hundred word limit to his acquired greasy spoon Texas monosyllabic vocabulary, not to mention the weight restricitions on his gravitas, but when his mahnd is set on showin’ off all genoowhine he can go quaht a whahl afore showin’ any cracks in his sincere bone.

    How can a fellah seem so at ease with the Olberdog one night & Bill Orally the next & then sit there & just take a lecture on consciousness from Stoner Stewart than trot back to Olberdog & just be all so blithe about a Congress subpoena, yet show a Steve Martinesque arrow through the frontal lobe on adding 2 & 2? I mean, that kind of confidence would require a public relations background & a hell of a lot of time spent reading works like HUBRIS & lefty bloggers like that library freak Murray Waas & that wierd hippy chick emptywheel – you know, the kind of work only people writing a book would ever put in.

  4. egregious says:

    Why Plame, multitasking. Rove just wanted to go after Amb. Wilson. Cheney’s team saw an opportunity to pile on and get rid of one of their headaches at the same time. Not everything that Halliburton ships is oil.

  5. dosido says:

    My humble observation is that Scottie always backs away from the invitations to speculate on “intent”. He seems to be focused on what he heard, said, knows for himself. It seems that this is a good strategy. Otherwise, things get very slippery. JMHO.

  6. perris says:

    I still want to point out that cheney created his excuse so exposing this asset was not a crime;

    he went on national teevee that he had a presidential order which gave him personally the right to “declassify on the fly”

    if this holds it is indeed inoculation, by the very virtue of cheney exposing valery would insta declassify

  7. BooRadley says:

    JMHO, I think a group of Republicans, who are not brain dead, figured out they need to tack away from Bush/Cheney and reconnect with Reagan’s “No Nationbuilding.” Since Snottie can’t find a job, he’s their pointman.

    • dosido says:

      Yes, not all repubs are koolaid drinkers, believe it or not. It’s about time they woke up and smell the sewage.

      I know Scottie is sly, but I watched him during his first KO interview and when KO said the word “torture” his usual polite smile flew away from his face. It seems genuine to me. I think a guy like Scottie would want to get as far away from the most dispicable acts of this administration. I don’t think he got what he signed up for. again, JMHO.

    • perris says:

      Since Snottie can’t find a job, he’s their pointman.

      if only that were true

      however they all piled on scott so I don’t think it’s true, however if they did want to jump ship they could use scotty’s testimony to say;;

      “why I would have never beleived this and if true bush should be impeached”

      this would definately be the way for them to do it

      and get a load of nancy giving kucinich all the time he needed and great deferance for his articles of impeachment


  8. DefendOurConstitution says:

    Why is Dana “Pig Missile” Perino so quiet on this? Are they really going to cry wolfexecutive privilege again?

    • perris says:

      I would like to see what happens if the administration tries to block scott’s testimony

      that I believe would do the trick, I believe if they block scotts testimony the wheel flies off the carriage big time

      it might actually be better for this country if the president invokes his priviledge for what happens from there

      • FrankProbst says:

        I would like to see what happens if the administration tries to block scott’s testimony

        In all of the hoopla surrounding Scottie agreeing to testify, I think it’s worth remembering that Scottie’s predecessor insisted on an immunity agreement before he was willing to testify. Ari’s come out and said that Scottie’s wrong about the press–they did a great job in the run-up to the war!–but notice that he’s been dead silent on the Plame affair. I still think that the first time he sat down with a lawyer about it, the lawyer said something to the effect of, “Dude, did you know that you can get the death penalty for treason?”

        If Ari is going bash Scottie on the pages of the WaPo, you’d think someone would at least ASK him about this.

        • perris says:

          hey everyone, you’re gonna love this, it’s from think progress right now;

          FBI General Counsel: Waterboarding Is ‘Clearly Not Permissible In The United States’
          During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked FBI General Counsel Valerie Caproni if “painful stress positions, threatening detainees with dogs, forced nudity, mock execution and waterboarding” were “abusive” and “illegal.” In asking his question, Durbin cited judge advocate generals who told him that the “techniques are illegal and violate Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.”

          Caproni first tried to deflect the question to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, saying that “the issue of legality or non-legality is not mine to reach.” But pushed further by Durbin, she stated unequivocally that “they are all abusive”:

          DURBIN: I asked you that question. Are they abusive, illegal or violate Geneva Conventions?

          CAPRONI: Oh, I’m sorry. I was running them all together, Senator. I would say they are all abusive.

          Durbin then asked her if she considered the techniques torture. Again, Caproni tried to dodge the question, saying “it’s not within my pay grade” to make that determination. Eventually, following more pressure from Durbin, Caproni relented, admitting that “these techniques are clearly not permissible in the United States”:
          DURBIN: Do you consider them torture?

          CAPRONI: Again, torture has a legal definition, and that’s what OLC has passed on. And it’s not — it’s not within my pay grade to overrule OLC.

          DURBIN: And how could it be within the pay grade of those below you to understand whether what they’re doing is torture or not?

          CAPRONI: Again, from — the FBI agents’ responsibilities was, one, not to participate. These techniques are clearly not permissible in the United States. We train our agents well. They would have known that none of those techniques were they permitted to participate in.

          I believe caproni might be very happy to answer these questions and just wants to at least look like she’s being ellusice

        • emptywheel says:

          Good point–after all, he can’t refuse to testify. It’d be nice to hear what he said about ROve. I suspect he actually said more about ROve than about Libby.

      • Minnesotachuck says:

        . . I believe if they block scotts testimony the wheel flies off the carriage big time

        Tying this into Perris’ comment at 13, perhaps Pelosi’s acquiescence to Kucinich’s introduction of his impeachment bill is a ploy to make them think twice (or 3 or 4 times) before blowing off Waxman et al, since they then risk triggering impeachment hearings where executive privilege holds no sway.

        • perris says:

          I wondered big time why pelosi allowed the articles with such deferance

          I am thinking she is thinking the table might be cleared, she also might be sending the warning shot, don’t even think about Iran

          • cbl2 says:

            Good Evening Emptywheel and firedogs

            I am thinking she is thinking the table might be cleared, she also might be sending the warning shot, don’t even think about Iran

            perris –
            wondered that as well. also wondered if reading it in to the Record increased the heat of the bluff – somehow expediting future moves through a parliamentary procedure thereby increasing the heat of her warning

          • greenbird4751 says:

            the will of the people has been aiming more true, but without ammo.
            when will the will of the people prevail? why, oh why, does a “warning shot” even merit consideration? i can only hear: “So?”

    • FrankProbst says:

      Why is Dana “Pig Missile” Perino so quiet on this?

      Because she doesn’t want HER memoir to sound exactly like Scottie’s.

  9. perris says:

    Yes, not all repubs are koolaid drinkers, believe it or not. It’s about time they woke up and smell the sewage.

    all those who don’t drink the koolaid are already democrats, those still republican drink the koolaid and it’s “us against them” mentality, they must be right and we must be wrong, they will have their cognitive disonance and they will continue to drink from their well

    • dosido says:

      well, you are certainly describing the 28 percenters. I think some will become independents…if they aren’t already. some will remain gop and find a way to distance themselves or rationalize their way away from the shame.

      IOW, I think we are on the same page. Low info voters, however, may still vote along party lines because it’s easy to do. They can feel they did their “duty”. The bonus is not taking responsibility for their laziness and bad decisions. They are just following orders. (oops, I think I am rambling.)

    • ACitizen says:

      And half of the ‘Democrats’ are Republicans.

      Honestly, since it’s been repeated incessantly Miss Nancy the Red Queen assertion that ‘…Impeachment is off the table…’ has to go down and the most, let me repeat, the most heinous statement by a Speaker of the House in our nation’s history.

      Think about it.

      The Leader in the lower house of Congress with those five words signaled that the rule of law in the United States was and is at an end. How many violent, illegal acts has the Bush administration committed since Miss Nancy uttered those words.

      The woman’s soul, if she has one, is as blackened with the deaths of hundreds of thousand just as sure as Bush and Cheney’s are. I say that as long as she is Speaker and has the support of her caucus of ‘Democrats’ in the House the very idea that anything moral or even legal will be done to hold the fascist war criminals who lead our nation today as they have for many long years no is a laughable concept….

      …..if it were not sickening at it’s root.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The “junket” meme was classic Cheney/Rove personal attack. Wilson’s not a man because he’s “retired” and his wifey had to get him some work –as opposed to the WingNut Welfare offered to the likes of the fired Paul Wolfowitz — to keep him busy, so that the ex-California lifeguard and multi-lingual US ambassador wouldn’t get fat, bored and bald. In Wyoming, I presume that translates into describing Wilson as a steer, not a bull. In DC, too, except that the truth isn’t as relevant as who’s putting out the story against you.

    The “not clear authorized travel” meme was intended to distance Cheney’s office from its request to the CIA to find out more. Cheney seems to have wanted to control intelligence gathering priorities, but not to be responsible for what they found if he didn’t like it.

    Both are attempts to hide from and slam Cheney’s critics. Notably, they fail to address the substance of Wilson’s claim, that the administration lied when it said it had strong, credible evidence that not Saddam Hussein had WMD’s (and could deliver them “within 45 minutes” to a neighborhood near you).

    I sensed a little panic as well as rage when Cheney came out with these attacks at the time, and remember Paul Krugman’s columns defending the Wilsons and the reprehensible misdirection inherent in Cheney’s response. He’s still at it, but a little zing seems to have left his step.

  11. masaccio says:

    I couldn’t help but notice the great make-up job Olbermann’s crew gave Scottie McC. He looked more than human.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Pffftt… how’d I miss that?

      Actually, now I’m getting as addicted to LabDancer as I am to EW and the rest of y’all:

      …mean, that kind of confidence would require a public relations background & a hell of a lot of time spent reading works like HUBRIS & lefty bloggers like that library freak Murray Waas & that wierd hippy chick emptywheel – you know, the kind of work only people writing a book would ever put in.

      Some lucky future researcher may one day write a good journal article along the lines of The Cognition of Writing: A Case Study in Neuron Generation.

      • LabDancer says:

        I’ve been remiss in not answering my fan club mail. Thanks for the overly generous remarks, but I spec no one comes here to see what an overgrown barely housebroken puppydog might do. This is the DFH show & we’re all here because she’s the D-ist F-ist H-ist there Ist & draws out truth with the speed of a giant French particle accelerator.

        The neuron thing…well, I expect I’m all over that about like Bushdaddy was with the “vision” thing.

        Still, always nice to attend a reunion of the fan club. Thankee most kindly.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    One of the great ironies of the “junket” and “not clear authorized travel” memes – absent issues about the unauthorized disclosure of classified information (which relates to whether Cheney had authority from Bush to declassify Plame’s identity or had authority to disclose it anyway) – is that disclosing financial abuse by government employees (eg, nepotism, unauthorized travel on the taxpayers’ dime) is a protected act. It’s whistleblowing.

    Cheney must have sneered himself silly at the thought that he — the Nemesis of all competent, public-spirited professionals who put their careers and families on the line by blowing the whistle on government fraud, waste and abuse — was hiding behind the very laws he’d done the most to dismantle.

    That issue’s never been addressed, since Cheney’s never had to defend his actions in court. And admittedly, it should be a minor issue whose relevance should be easily discarded, but it’s one more chit in his pocket.

    • perris says:

      a protected act. It’s whistleblowing.

      “whistleblower” should not be the terminolgy we use, it is a perjurative and is close in association to a “rat”

      we need to change the word to “watchdog protection” rather then “whistleblower protection”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Agreed. I don’t know the term’s origins, but it seems to convey an employer’s perspective of being caught out by a “disloyal” employee. The idea that one’s sole loyalty should be to power or money is only helpful to those who love such things above all else. That leaves out about 99% of us.

      • greenbird4751 says:

        you know how to blow that whistle, and why, so blow it. scares the living crap out of everybody and people pay attention real quick. in theory.

    • perris says:

      One of the great ironies of the “junket” and “not clear authorized travel” memes

      the real irony here is that it WAS authorized and it was in fact authorized by cheney whether or not he wants to admit it

      he clearly told the cia he wanted “more information on the yellowcake sale” and that is with no doubt authorizing whichever assets the cia uses to find out so long as the method is not illegal

      in addition, does anyone in their right mind think for one minute cheney would not take credit if wilson DID find the yellowcake sales?

  13. masaccio says:

    Totally OT

    I’m laying over on my vacation to China. On the way here, I read through the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Phase 2a discussion of the nuclear program. I am still fuming about the presentation of the entire report in the NYT and the stinking editorial in the WaPo, both of which are the result of very quick reads of the conclusory paragraphs, and both of which ignore the views of the Chair, and Senators Feinstein and Feingold. The editorial in the NYT got it mostly right. I put up a couple of long comments on the Working Thread, and a further comment here.

    It was reading the live-blogging on FDL of the torture report that set me off.


    • PetePierce says:

      Are you witnessing any of the arrests, incarceration and torture by Hu Jintao, the PRC and the NPC of so-called dissidents who put up websites the governmentis afraid of or members of the news media from American companies or Chinese companies they want to crush?

      How about the crushing of lawyers who try to defend the dissidents and are quickly arrested?

    • emptywheel says:

      Thanks masaccio, I’ll take a look.

      Where’re you going in China. Not sure you’ll be able to read while you’re there. They don’t yet block WP, I don’t think, but they do block Blogger and Typepad.

      • masaccio says:

        I made it to Guangzhou, and to the hotel. It is a bit after 1 am on Wednesday the 12th, and I am going to take a shower and try to get some sleep before Ms. masaccio gets me up at the crack of dawn to go do her work, which involves the school system here. After she finishes her work, we will be going to X’ian, the home of the terra cotta warriors, then the Guilen area, to see the Karst Formations, the emblematic mountains of Chinese Art, and then to Hong Kong before returning.

        The net seems to be working fine for me for downloading, let’s see if I can post.

  14. PetePierce says:

    Thanks for all these Scottie-Plamegate Scottie-witholdgate Scottie-Lie Gate still lying for his homies threads. I’m enjoying digesting them and the comments.

    I have a question. MSNBC is reporting (CNN the best political Blitzer repeater team on TV has no clue) that Fitzgerald has said he has no problem with the Plame investigation interviews being released but they are now the property of the White House.

    Why is this completely disigneuous?

    Well if Fitz is investigating Tony Rezko, or anyone he’s prosecuting in connection with Rezko, or if he is prosecuting Conrad Black, and the FBI does interviews in the investigation leading up to the prosecutions, ownership of transcripts and tapes of investigations of the Rezko players or the Connrad Black players does not go to Rezko in his prison cell or Conrad Black in his.

    So why the hell is Fitz or any one connected with the Special Counsel’s office that conducted the Plame investigation, trial before Walton, or the D.C. Circuit appeal then giving custody to people who were interviewed in this investigation. When Fitz prosecutes Joe C. Scmuckmoose or Suzabelle C. Schmuckmoose, the interviews of the Schmuckmooses and their alleged conspiring associates whether they are indicted or not does not revert to the Schmuckmooses.

    So what’s up with Fitz giving the Bush, Rove, Cheney interviews that were conducted–(why they passed by Addington, Gonzales, many in DOJ, CIA is another fair question) back to the Whitehouse, i.e why does Cheney have control of the frigging interviews of him instead of Fitz?

    • LabDancer says:

      With respect, having been in that sort of job, my take is that El Fitz was being in no way disingenuous, but rather deferring , correctly to the ‘owner’ of the prosecution endeavor, being from his perspective in the first instance the Attorney General or that officer’s designee in accordance with the constitutionally vetted route by which El Fitz was appointed to investigate & prosecute where adviseable, & ultimately the officer constitutionally responsible [in the technical sense of both words] for the appointment & conduct of the AG – in this instance being unfortunately that fellah up there doing a fake soft-shoe, the one with the Yalie-striped pom-poms & the Alfred E Newman goofball know-nothing smirk on this face.

      • PetePierce says:

        *g* I must say you have a way with words–I’m still trying to sort out amygdala, the hypocampal gyrus, that rubber duckie that every little freshman med student gets in neuroanatomy from time immemorial to the entering classes next September and their relationship to dicks big and little. Boy Grassly will have to investigate those and their influence on future Rxs for sure.

        Here’s what I’m trying to get at. I am not discrediting Fitz’s long hard work. LHP has made the point repeatedly that Fitz could be patiently gathering evidence in cases even as far flung as Rezko in the ND Illinois so that if and when he takes a shot it’s a kill shot.

        But what has confused me is that there has been a lot of talk swirling around that the public has a right to and needs to know what investigators heard when they interviewed (either FBI, Fitz, or one of the attorneys on his Special Counsel staff)Bush, Cheney, and Rove.

        Fitz has said repeatedly, and I think at one point to Conyers (I’d have to check where and someone could correct me) but he has said, and MSNBC is reporting today he has no problem with release of these interviews but the White House now controls these tapes. I’ve never heard of a target or an interviewee in an investigation having control of or posession of interviews by them, although their attorneys (White House Counsel) may have been provided a copy, or Lusky might have been provided a copy.

        But having a copy of the interview is a far cry from having the discretion to release it, and if Fitz is in fact an independent special counsel, why isn’t it his call and his call alone?

        You will remember that during the trial and in the briefs on appeal, there were a lot of attacks on the meaning of Special Counsel and Fitz’s authority to even have done things to investigate Mukasey and whether he had been required to go through hoops at Main Justice and get the AG’s approval to authorize his investigation.

        My memory reading the briefs on appeal and some of the trial transcript was there was a lot of challenging of Fitz’s authorization and authority to function within the bounds that define a Special Counsel from code section and case law on it.

        • LabDancer says:

          You know, after about one trial too long as a prosecutor, and another decade or so to let the grizzle settle in, I tried to take advantage of a ‘freebie’ moment in one of those megatrials to end all megatrials until the next biggest ever one comes along: an omnibus address on behalf of a virtual hole in the wall gang of lovable old defending lawyers & companionable colleagues each more than obliging to let me risk my own dignity in hopes of retaining their own for at least a spell longer to give ‘me half a chance at coming up with whatever in hell might be done ethically & honorably to defend their respective little angels. And since while my respect for the office of judging does not extend to granting any of its prisoners room to pomposity I ended up diving foot in mouth first with a lengthy analysis [& by lengthy I mean…well into the shank of the second day] of how the court ought to intervene to assure itsownself & the public who pays the freight & Mlle Justice [& the defendants, but of course entirely incidentally, since the sods are so rarely deserving of our waxy poetics] [oh, & us mouthpieces last, most of all because another notch on the belt never seems to hurt future fee negotiations] – the foundational idealism of which as I recall was made from the same brickworks as your post here.

          And you know something, ever since when I run into one of my esteemed colleagues present for that august moment, I am entertained by the sight of their collapsing in paroxysms of convulsive laughter, near the end of which she or he manages to choke out something like: “No – really – don’t take this personally – I LUVED what you tried to do – and I actually AGREED with you – but [through the tears of relief now] I never would have had the guts to say something so… ” Well the word that I’d like to recall being used is “iconoclastic” but somehow I don’t think anyone felt up to thumbing thru a thesaurus long enough to come up with it.

          PetePierce, Esquire: I APPLAUD you, & I AGREE with your sentiments ENTIRELY.

          ‘Scuse me a while, I got the hiccups.

      • PetePierce says:

        I didn’t mean to type Fitz investigating Mukasey. I meant the AG who would have been Ashcroft during the time of the brunt of his investigation but there is some discussion now that Mukasey has discretion to release those interviews. MSNBC says that Fitz has said they are in possession of the WH and discretion is the White House’s and that I don’t understand at all.

      • PetePierce says:

        Remember though there was considerable argument at trial and on appeal trying to disqualify Fitz arguing crudely he hadn’t procured the AG’s permission to do A, B, and C and Walton discounted this argument as did the D.C. Circuit.

        A special counsel has considerable independence from the AG and the Main Justice normal hoops to get approval for prosecutions and steps taken during them.

        • LabDancer says:

          Ah, procedural hokum & folderoo. Typically resorted to when the truth readily evident in a fair recital of the facts in evidence threatens to be somewhat inconvenient to the client’s best long term interests – also used by legal counsel who recognize the fellow up there on high trying his damnedest to look as if his name is Justice Learned Hand or the like is in actually the sport counsel stood to a couple of extra jars of Wild Turkey over ice at the last gathering of the local chapter of honorable mugwumps of the Federalist Society, in hopes of possibly gaining favor thru kinship [gawd I hate those bozos]. This sort of crap used to work in more innocent days when lawyers could be eloquent or technical but never both – now it only works when youre acting for a drug company or Big Oil or a tobacco importer or the son of a president in a recount case, & then only when the judge never listened to what was being said during the taking of the oath of office. Judge Reggie it seemed was one of the exceptions.

          • PetePierce says:

            You have a definite gift. I would have enjoyed seeing some of your appellate or appellee briefs and reply briefs and particularly when (not common) at oral argument you were directed to bfief a specific issue perhaps on a case of first impression.

            You write a book recounting your adventures–you should just for the style you would impose, and I’m buyin’. But you do remember there were serious arguments either at trial or on appeal by Fitz and his posey or homeboys and homegirls (or his baby boos) on the issue of the authorization the Special Counsel had in this case and whether Fitz had crossed “t’s,” and dotted “i’s” and sought proper AG (Ashcroft) authorization at stops along the way pretrial.

            • PetePierce says:

              posse–I must have had Parker Posey on the brain–it’s that ole amygdala kicking in.

      • PetePierce says:

        Well of course he is, Bob and was during the whole Plame trial, appeal, investigation in his dual role as USA ND Illinois and special counsel. But despite his employment as a USA during his real day job, and Fitz was reappointed to the advisory board of US Attorneys for Main Justice very soon after Mukasey took office (Rove and Cheney had him moved off during the Plame case investigation in fact).

        And I can dig it up, but during the live blogging by Marcy and Jane and during the appeal I began following the trial transcripts day to day and the briefs on appeal–from both sides, and there was a lot of oargument on appeal challenging Fitz’s role as Special Counsel to be independent of the AG, and Fitz’s brief writers argued vigorously that Fitz had every legal authorization under the Special counsel statute to do what he did. And the D.C. Circuit agreed in deciding to uphold Libby’s conviction. I’d have to pull the opinion to see how much language they allocated to the Special counsel authorizations argument Bob and I will pull it given a little time but they were arguing hot and heavy about it.

        • bobschacht says:

          I know whereof you speak because that stuff is all what brought me over to FDL in the first place. Comey’s original appointment language sounded quite expansive and independent, but were cut down to size thereafter in the pre-trial hearings with Judge Reggie. Commenter Mary back at that time (including a diary over at the Great Orange Satan), along with LHP, sketched very clearly the constraints under which Fitz was operating.

          The bottom line for me is that the Fitz had to tell DOJ in advance everything he was going to do, and they could have fired him at any moment. Worse yet, because Fitz had to tell DOJ about every move, the DOJ express forwarding service to the White House guaranteed that Rove could read whatever charges were going to be filed against him. Why do you think it was that Rove made FIVE appearances before Fitz’s grand jury?

          Bob in HI

          • PetePierce says:

            Yes, that is an important issue–the connection between whatever Main Justice and Ashcroft knew and might have been communicated as a result of mandated base touching by Fitz. Boy would I like to be able to hear Fitz Unplugged, Comey Unplugged, get hold of all discarded/hidden WH server traffic and emails, RNC server traffic and emails diverted by Rove and others.

    • FrankProbst says:

      I have a question. MSNBC is reporting (CNN the best political Blitzer repeater team on TV has no clue) that Fitzgerald has said he has no problem with the Plame investigation interviews being released but they are now the property of the White House.

      I don’t think this is quite right. I think what Fitz said is that the interviews belong to the DOJ, not to Fitz himself, and the DOJ can release them or not release them. Fitz himself can’t make that call. The fact that the DOJ is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the White House is what I think you’re alluding to, but my understanding is that, if we had an attorney general with integrity instead of a stonewalling hack, then we would have had the records already, regardless of what the White House wanted.

      Marcy, what’s your take on this?

      • PetePierce says:

        You may be quite right that MSNBC (David Schuster about 4:30 Eastern) reported incorrectly that Fitz is saying the WH controls because I seem to recall Fitz saying it’s up to Mukasey (but this contrasts dramatically with Fitz’s arguments that he didn’t have to ask the AG for permission to do much of anything during the Plame investigatin and trial (either made before Walton in briefs or in hearings before Reggie during the trial or on appeal). Most of the discussion on the release of those interviews (and I believe we’re talking about three here, Rove, Cheney, and Bush) have centered on the Mukasey’s refusal to relese them.

        I know Marcy probably has a computerlike memory of all things Fitz as to his statements on these, and am pulling up the D.C. Circuit opinion and trying to pull up some relevant arguments before Walton (I don’t have the book of the trial transcript so I’ll have to use the web here) because there were some over Fitz’s primacy vs. his subjugation to the AG in a number matters on this case.

      • PetePierce says:

        Frank I remember a blog by Christy at FDL with the headline close to “Mukasey release the interviews” done a little while ago. I’ll find it; and I’m also going to look for arguments by Fitz or the attorneys doing briefs for him on appeal on the Spec Counsel staff centering on the authority of the Spec counsel vs. the AG.

  15. pmorlan says:

    Off topic but I just had to post this. Boren is such a weenie.

    Democratic Rep. Boren Won’t Endorse Obama
    Posted by Scott Conroy| 5

    Calling him “the most liberal senator” in Congress, Democratic Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he won’t endorse the presumptive Democratic nominee.

    But Boren said that he will vote for Obama at the Democratic convention in August and also plans to vote for him on Election Day in November.…..0358.shtml

    • libbyliberal says:

      Got his quick 15 minutes, didn’t he.

      Fron singsing on Maddow blog:

      Who is Representative David Daniel ‘Dan’ Boren (D-OK)

      Political Experience:
      Representative, United States House of Representatives, 2004-present
      Representative, Oklahoma State House of Representatives, 2002-2004.

      Member, Grand National Quail Federation
      Board Member, KIPP Foundation
      Chairman, Last Frontier Council’s Boy Scout Campaign
      Member, National Wild Turkey Federation
      Member, Oklahoma National Rifle Association
      Member, Rotary International
      Board Member, Wewoka Chamber of Commerce
      Member, Wewoka Downtown Investment Group.

      Caucuses/Non-Legislative Committees:
      Member, Congressional Blue Dog Caucus.

      • cbl2 says:

        was just looking up his voting record –

        he voted for Telco immunity

        and voted against Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

  16. KayInMaine says:

    Check out the 2nd picture I posted in this post I did back in February of last year:


    Notice how in 2003 there is one highly classified CIA agent who was killed that year which is represented by a star instead of a name? Was this person part of Brewster Jennings? I think so. We’ll never know at this point because this person’s name will never be released because he/she was a highly classified CIA agent, hence, a star indicating his or her death.

    If one death came as a result of Plame and her employer’s identity being outed, then George Bush & Dick Cheney should be hanged for treason against our country because they outed a CIA agent and her classified front company (who was working in Iran) DURING A TIME OF WAR out of spite.

    • greenbird4751 says:

      that’s what i mean. warning shot? they don’t get no warning shot.
      fire when ready.

    • KayInMaine says:

      Probably not, but wouldn’t it be great to see a crying president on the stand being forced to answer questions that most likely will incriminate himself.

      Yes, I know…I’m dreaming. My dreams over the past eight years…by the way…have kept me sane.

    • SouthernDragon says:

      I agree. More a matter of logistics than anything else. The House won’t suspend their summer vacation nor give up the time they normally campaign. Bu’ush and his shysters would tie it up until next January before one witness was called regardless.

  17. newtonusr says:

    New GRITtv

    Oil Price too low? The Price of health care too high? And can soccer (aka football) offer a way out of homelessness? Today on GRITtv, Laura talks to a panel of interested observers about the state of our health care system: a doctor, a patient and a nurse.

  18. KayInMaine says:

    I’m loving the idea of Dennis Kucinich reading the impeachment articles yesterday, because it’s being talked about online his move WILL PREVENT PRESIDENTIAL PARDONS in the future. Oh glory day! Maybe “someone” has been talking with Scott McClellan and he HAS THE CAT IN THE BAG and will DROP THE BOMBSHELL live on tv where we can all witness it? Could be. Maybe they’re telling him he will be resolved of all wrongdoing if he fesses up EVERYTHING. Oh please, please, please! *crawling on my knees, arms raised to the sky*

  19. nahant says:


    On the Topic of Dennis looks like Congressman Robert Wexler has gotton on the TABLE with him…

    Our effort to hold the Bush/Cheney Administration accountable has taken another dramatic step forward. Last night, Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced the first Articles of Impeachment ever to be introduced against President Bush. It includes, in total, thirty-five Articles detailing this Administration’s blatant abuse of power. Today, I enthusiastically co-sponsored this vitally important bill.
    I am grateful for Dennis’ leadership on this issue and for the steadfast support that countless Americans have given to both of our efforts to redeem our government and expose the crimes of Bush and Cheney.
    I will now expand my efforts to secure impeachment hearings in the Judiciary Committee for these new Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush.
    Many of the charges against President Bush are well known – and would shock the conscience of everyday Americans if only the national media would be willing to report on these stark facts.
    The Articles present a stunning narrative of offenses that have go well beyond previous crimes committed by any US chief executive. In fact no President or Vice President in history has done more to undermine our constitution.
    These charges are broad, with 35 separate allegations including the deliberate lies regarding WMDs that led us to war and the approval of illegal wiretapping of American citizens. The Articles also include new allegations of high crimes – including the explicit approval for high Administration officials to violate treaties and US law banning the use of torture.
    The Democratic Party gained a majority in the House and Senate due in large part to our promises to end the corruption of the Republican majority and to hold the Administration accountable to the law. This courageous bill is a crucial step towards fulfilling this promise, but – like the Articles against Cheney – they require your support to convince Democrats and open-minded Republicans to support this bold but necessary action.
    Time is running out so we must work together to spread the message and apply pressure.
    First, please encourage your friends and family members to sign up at – as it will allow us to keep in touch with you and speak to a wider audience. If you haven’t yet put in your phone and address, please sign up again, as we will be doing telephone town halls in the near future.
    Second, call your representative and urge them to support Impeachment hearings.
    Finally, contact newspapers, news stations, and your favorite bloggers and urge them to report on this movement. We need to keep Impeachment a significant news story until the Democratic leadership sees the value in it.
    McClellan Agrees to Testify:
    I was pleased to inform you yesterday that Judiciary Committee Chairman Conyers met my call to have Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan testify under oath. I am thrilled to inform you that McClellan has agreed to testify on June 20th at 10AM. This will be the first step in what we hope will be ongoing and deepening examinations of the stark evidence and charges against both President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
    Thank you for your continued passion and advocacy. Your support means so much to me.
    Congressman Robert Wexler

  20. LS says:

    Obstruction of Justice anyone???:

    The Committee’s investigation was hindered in several ways that limit the scope of the Committee’s conclusions. First, six individuals, including three former White House officials, whom the Committee sought to depose or interview refused in whole or in part to answer the Committee’s questions on Fifth Amendment grounds. Second, the Committee did not take the depositions of several relevant lobbyists identified in the 2006 Committee staff report, including Mr. Abramoff himself, because the Department of Justice expressed concern that congressional depositions could undermine ongoing investigations. Third, the Justice Department asked to withhold documents from the Committee out of a similar concern. Fourth, several of the individuals deposed or interviewed by the Committee asserted that they were unable to recall the specifics of some of the matters under investigation, which occurred four to seven years ago.

    It is possible the investigation was also made more difficult by the fact that some White House officials may have used e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee to discuss Abramoff matters among themselves. The RNC informed the Committee that it has retained few or no e-mails for these officials for the relevant time period.

    Despite these limitations, the documents and testimony obtained by the Committee confirm that Mr. Abramoff and his associates had contacts with White House officials and influenced some Administration decisions.

    Mr. Abramoff’s Influence Inside the White House. The documents show that Mr. Abramoff and his associates influenced some White House actions. In one instance, the Abramoff team persuaded White House officials to intervene to remove from office a State Department official, Alan Stayman, who had advocated reforms in the Northern Mariana Islands that Mr. Abramoff opposed. In one exchange, Mr. Schlapp e-mailed Monica Kladakis, the deputy associate director of presidential personnel, to ask “how do we fix this?” Ms. Kladakis responded: “I think we can do something about it, but I’m trying to figure out what is the best way to go about it. I don’t want a firing scandal on our hands.” Both Karl Rove, the President’s top political advisor, and Stephen Hadley, the deputy National Security Advisor, were informed of Mr. Abramoff’s opposition to Mr. Stayman.”

  21. LS says:

    Dan Abrams — first words out of his mouth…the clerk is reading Articles of Impeachment right now…

    • greenbird4751 says:

      i went right to it last night. i got my 80-yr old mom, by email, to go to it. i emailed the good man, and waited.

  22. Leen says:

    Sottie “they did not deliberately mislead”

    Just what does Scottie call secret meeting in Rome not known to the C.I.A. and the creation cherry picking and dessimination of false intelligence. Just what is the public supposed to call these endless lies that have resulted in thoudands of dead people, thousands of injured, millions of Iraqi people displaced.

    Scottie you are still bullshitting and the majority of American people are tired of this horseshit. To many people’s families have been destroyed by the Bush administrations endless lies about Wmd’S. Enough of this horseshit.

    tell the whole truth to the world…the truth that we have known for quite some time. We are dealing with a group of psychopathic warmongers

  23. Dearie says:

    Back to Scottie-Boy. Someone implied that the Bushites ‘piled on.’ I don’t think so. I think they followed the cheerleader model. Like the Cool Chicks (and silly guy), they said, “Oh, this isn’t anyone we know. This person wasn’t in our loop.” The Bushites, with Dana (Phyllis-Schlafly-in-cute) Pee led the charge. The full we-don’t-recognize-this-person; he isn’t one of us. They gave him the fat kid treatment. Minimalized/dissed him.

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