The Email Question

There’s not much different between the FBI Agent notes and the interview report itself. But here’s one detail worth noting.

On page 19, the FBI Agent records the following answer:

doesn’t work on e-mail in office or home

It’s not surprising that Fitz asked this question, per se. After all, he asked Libby and Judy Miller the same question.

But I am mighty interested in when Fitz appears to have asked it: between the discussion about the “meat-grinder” note and his discussion about whether Cheney knew of the July 7 meeting Libby had with Judy Miller that Cheney ordered him to have (Cheney claims to know nothing about it).

The meat grinder note was written on approximately October 4, when Cheney and Libby were together in Jackson Hole, making up a cover story to explain away–among other things–Libby’s note recording Cheney’s order to leak to Judy (they were, presumably, communicating with staffers in DC remotely). The meat-grinder note was written during the period for which OVP emails were later disappeared from the server, almost certainly deliberately (ask William Ockham for an explanation, but it’s pretty clear it was deliberate).

Meaning Fitz’ thought pattern went:

  • Meat grinder note (including Cheney’s inability to explain the “Tenet, Wilson memo” note he made)–which was written on October 4
  • Emails dated in early October which were later miraculously disappeared
  • Judy Miller

It’s probably a coinkydink. But it’s an interesting thought progression Fitz was making.

21 replies
  1. obsessed says:

    Help me out here:

    1) Cheney told Libby to out Plame
    2) Cheney told the FBI he had no idea who outed Plame
    3) Fitzgerald failed to indict Cheney

    Is #1 or #2 not true? Is that where I’m going wrong?

    • emptywheel says:

      Where’s your evidence. We have a cloud, but no proof. Unless Libby flips.

      Libby got a commutation. Ergo no flip. Ergo no proof.

      That’s why Emmet Flood was hired into the WH stat, of course, bc it was a HUGE risk, so you and I had to pay for a govt employee whose job description was keeping Cheney out of the pokey.

      • JThomason says:

        Numerous indicia of Cheney’s knowledge of Plame’s position despite his denials, proximity in time of the July 7, 2003 meeting and Libby’s disclosure to Ari and deceit around the importance of the Plame connection to the trip occurring before the Novak article ( July 6 “junket” and “pro-bono scribblings”) all go to proof. And there is much more but these seem to be the highlights tonight. Might not get one over the finish line but does get one down the road.

      • LabDancer says:

        Precisely, learned NAL.

        Those exclaiming at the horror of this smokin’ 302 and suggesting castigation of Fitz for not having indicted Cheney are suffering from a lot of neuron cramps at a lot of stations, including:

        [1] Today is almost November 2009–5 years after the interview, a year before the Libby indictment, more than 30 months after the end of the Trial of Libby, around 18 months before Fitz was through with Rove, two years before publication of the earlier of the two books which focus on the pleak, two years before Armitage fessed up, etc etc etc.
        Just about anyone can credibly claim to be blessed with the see-all gift of hindsight; foresight, though–that’s a far more painstaking phenomenon, and at that limited to the very few, like yourowngoodself.

        [2] I would have a hard time accepting that Fitz envisioned whatever autonomy he might have as extending to seeking indictment of an elected official, leave aside one that high up the food chain.

        [3] A sound constitutional argument could be made that, assuming there was evidence strong enough to indict, the appropriate order would have been a. impeachment b. trial on impeachment c. indictment maybe.

        [4] To paraphrase our hostess, how precisely would you propose to advance a credible prosecution against a veep who has clearly been flopping about the questions like an aphasic giraffe on roller skates, dropping at least as many “can’t recalls” as self-serving mis-statements, only consistent in passing the buck to others, like “poor” Scootzie, when the best you can possibly hope for is Cheney’s Cheney to have a sudden Come to Truth Jesus and still be credible as a reformed neoconspiratorial lying treason monkey?

        [5] Who’s to say Fitz didn’t determine to go after Cheney with the only weapons he had: whatever he could make of the available evidence and procedure. For some of us, the Trial of Libby was really the Trial of Cheney By Proxy.

          • MadDog says:

            And LD’s comment brings up the thought that perhaps Fitzgerald made a case about indicting Cheney to his superiors over at DOJ (i.e. Comey), and got shot down.

            There’s no evidence of that, but who really knows what Fitz did behind closed doors.

        • JThomason says:

          You know prosecuting the narrative may be procedurally unsound but how long did it take for the Dreyfus thingy to turn?

          I guess I really should call it an “affair.”

  2. Peterr says:

    My WAG: Marcy’s not going to go to sleep tonight, and maybe not tomorrow night either.

    Fortunately, we’ve got the time change on Sat night/Sunday morning, so Marcy will have another hour to sleep (or not) . . .

  3. Leen says:

    EW/Lawyer folk. What happens after congress etc reads Cheney’s interview and lies. Is another Special Prosecutor appointed?

    • Leen says:

      Fitz “But what we need to also show the world is that we can also apply the same safeguards to all our citizens, including high officials. Much as they must be bound by the law, they must follow the same rules.”

      The peasants in the states and around the world want to believe

  4. WTFOver says:

    22 Things Dick Cheney Can’t Recall About the Plame Case

    Notes from former Vice President Dick Cheney’s interview with the FBI about the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s covert CIA identity were finally released on Friday afternoon after a lengthy legal battle. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued the Justice Department last year to obtain the interview notes; a judge finally ordered their release on October 1. In the interview, Cheney demonstrated a behavior common among Bush administration officials under investigation: he couldn’t remember much of anything. Here’s a non-comprehensive list of 22 things Dick Cheney claimed he couldn’t recall about the Plame case, in the order they appear in the FBI’s notes.

  5. SensiStar says:

    There was a late night ACLU document dump.

    ACLU Obtains More Documents Related to Bush Administration Torture Program (10/30/2009)

    CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; [email protected]

    NEW YORK – The government today handed over to the American Civil Liberties Union numerous documents in response to two ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits for information related to the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody overseas. Thousands of pages of documents detailing the interrogation of prisoners by the FBI, Department of Defense (DOD) and CIA have previously been made public as a result of the lawsuits.

    “The documents released today add to our knowledge about the origins, scope and consequences of the Bush administration’s torture program,” said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project. “The documents are also a reminder, however, of gross human rights abuses that have yet to be investigated seriously by Congress or the Justice Department (DOJ). The last administration’s decision to endorse torture undermined the United States’ moral authority and compromised its security, but the failure of the country’s current leadership to fully confront the abuses of the last administration is only compounding these harms.”

    Here are the docs.

  6. JThomason says:

    Then you have the inference of Cheney’s lawyer lying to Murray Waas about what Cheney said in the interview and Bush hiring Cheney’s criminal defense lawyer three days after Libby’s commutation. RICO stirs.

  7. MadDog says:

    …The meat-grinder note was written during the period for which OVP emails were later disappeared from the server, almost certainly deliberately (ask William Ockham for an explanation, but it’s pretty clear it was deliberate)…

    And coincidentally, last week in CREW’s “Missing White House Emails” document dump (and I scanned through them all), I found this funnily-related document (1 page PDF):

    From: [redacted]
    Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2005 9:16 AM
    To: [redacted]
    Cc: [redacted]
    Subject: Please run SCANPST.EXE against 113 (soon 114) [redacted] files


    Please run SCANPST.EXE against 113 WHO/OVP/WILSON-NOVAK-PLAME files in…

  8. Leen says:

    Bet you lawyer folks would like to be in the room as Scooter Libby and Tenet read Cheney’s interview and other documents.

    think he might get pissed enough to flip?

    You folks and your commitment to justice give me hope. Later

  9. alinaustex says:

    There have been impeachments of other former officials . You know if we had majorities in both the Senate , the House and the Whitehouse -should not our collective committment to defend our Constitution prevail and former Vice President Cheney would be subject to an ongoing Congressional impeachment proceedings for High Crimes -such as treason for destroying the NOC Brewster Jennings intelligence network by illegally declassifying its exsistence – (OH wAIT , we have majorities and the Whitehouse ). As everyday passes we have our Constitution under direct threat from the legacy of the ongoing criminal conspiracy known as gwb 43 .
    HELL BELL’s have an impeachment for Cheney and let the chips and the political fallout be damned -We need to save our Constitution- Elected officials what happened to Defending Our Constitution from all enemies both foriegn and domestic – it appears that Big Dick could have outed Plame ( committing treason ) and then had Libby cover it up ( obstructing justice ) -lets get the facts out -lets impeach Cheney
    Maybe if Speaker of the House Pelosi can’t grow a pair and go after these traitors – Secretary of State ( to parphrase Tina Fey ) Clinton can ‘gladly loan her her’s “

    • Leen says:

      As John Dean has pointed out. The impeachment of lower level officials Feith, Hannah, Addington…Cheney means they can never serve in any future administrations.

      Refocusing the Impeachment Movement on Administration Officials Below the President and Vice-President:
      Why Not Have A Realistic Debate, with Charges that Could Actually Result in Convictions?

  10. Leen says:

    “when the best you can possibly hope for is Cheney’s Cheney to have a sudden Come to Truth Jesus and still be credible as a reformed neoconspiratorial lying treason monkey?”

    All I fucking want to know is where would a peasants ass be if they had lied to a grand jury and obstructed justice. In prison and everyone knows it. The peasants to to prison and more often than not the big murderous rich thugs fill our air waves with more of their bloody fucking lies.

    “no one is above the law” just a bowl of hooey

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