The Non-Witness Witness Statements

With civil war breaking out in Iraq and Bush selling our ports to the highest bidder, I realize that dwelling on Cheney shooting an old man in the face might be indiscreet. But I wanted to make some observations about the witness reports The Smoking Gun has posted on its site.

Likkered Up

Several people have commented on the non-denial denials of how drunk the party was that afternoon. Katharine who continues her practice of completely unreliable reporting by stating the date of the accident as February 12th, not the 11th. The woman who first said there was no likker then said there might have been now says,

to the best of my knowledge there was no alcohol involved.

Katharine’s sister Sarita at first didn’t say anything about likker. Then she thinks better of it and provides a supplement to her first statement:

To my knowledge, none of the members of my shooting group the afternoon of Feburary 11, 2006, at Armstrong Ranch consumed any alcoholic beverage ….To the best of my knowledge, alcohol was not a factor in the accidental shooting of Mr. Whittington.

Lots of "to the best of my knowledge" statements coming from the owners of the ranch. (Though I gotta say, Sarita’s and Katharine’s statements look like the could have compared notes. Which is I guess what you might do while sitting in a car 100 yards away from an event you claim to be an eyewitness to.)

Pamela Willeford says no one was drinking in the field.

There was no alcohol consumed during the afternoon of thehunt in the field. I did consume a glass of wine at lunch, 4 to 4 1/2hours earlier.

Willeford doesn’t say, though, whether anyone was drinking in the jeep, oron the road, or anywhere else. They send these Ambassadors to diplomatic-speak school,you know.

Adjunct Vice Presidential Press Secretary Gets Testy

I’m working on a much more comprehensive post about the grande dame of Republican scandal, Anne Armstrong. But in the meantime, I see that most of the people who do play by play on this kind of thing are fighting the cruel Blogger gods. And I didn’t want the testiness of said grande dame and her daughter, grande-dame-in-training Katharine Armstrong, to escape notice.

You see, it appears the Adjunct Vice Presidential Press Secretary doesn’t realize that press secretaries are supposed to, well, you know, talk to the press. When the Houston Chronicle’s James Pinkerton tried to get Katharine Armstrong to comment for a Friday 8:46 PM article, she didn’t return his calls.

Katharine Armstrong did not return repeated calls.

Which is really a problem, given that the grande dame of Republican scandal referred Pinkerton to her daughter, the grande-dame-in-training … maintaining all the while that there was no cover-up going on.

Anne Armstrong, widow of longtime ranch owner Tobin Armstrong, saidranch employees who guided Cheney’s hunting party will not make anycomments.

"I promise you there is no cover-up," said Anne Armstrong, who referred questions to her daughter in Austin.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

What They Do with Your Money

Orderly Leakage

Libby's Ocean of Motions, Part Two

The Gray Lady Sinks Deeper in the Mire

The Townsend Campaign

Summary: In this post, I argue that Murray Waas’ latest argument is not, as some suspect, a rehashed Rove leak. Rather, it comes very close to asserting that Libby had leaked a different smear story to Bob Novak at about the time of the Wilson leak. This suggests, I argue, that it is very likely that Novak’s first leak came from OVP, if not from Libby himself.

Well, Typepad’s long downtime today has prevented me from commenting on the new Waas piece in a timely manner. But it means I get to comment on it with the benefit of reading others’ opinions on the piece. I’ve got to say though, I disagree with the opinion of many that this is a story floated by the Rove camp to try to exonerate him. Rather than pointing toward a Rove excuse, I think Waas almost–but not quite–has a story sewn up that points very clearly at OVP. The degree to which this exonerates Rove is just secondary. Indeed, I think Waas’ aricle clearly suggests that the remaining mysteries all point to Cheney’s office.

Waas spends a good deal of time explaining that Novak called Rove on July 9 to talk about Frances Fragos Townsend, not to talk about Plame.

Instead, the voluminous material on Rove’s desk — including talkingpoints, related briefing materials, and information culled fromconfidential government personnel files — involved a different woman: Frances Fragos Townsend, a former senior attorney in the Clinton administration’s Justice Department whom President Bush had recently named to be his deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism.

Bush had personally assigned Rove to help counter what the presidentbelieved to be a "rearguard" effort within his own administration, bypersons unknown, to discredit Townsend and derail her appointment,according to White House documents and accounts given by former andcurrent officials.

Michael Ledeen's "Wilderness of Mirrors"

My Take on the Armitage Speculation