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.