The Conspiracy to Out Joe Wilson

Indicting Dick

Via Josh Marshall and Barton Gellman, we can now say with confidence that Dick Cheney participated in Libby’s July 12 conversation strategizing what to do about Wilson. The indictment reads:

LIBBY flew with the Vice President and others to and from Norfolk, Virginia, on Air Force Two. On his return trip, LIBBY discussed iwth other officials aboard the plane what LIBBY should say in response to certain pending media inquiries, including questions from Time reporter Matt Cooper. (Paragraph 22)

Josh’s reader points us to this passage in an October 1 NYT article:

Mr. Libby said he told Mr. Cheney that reporters had been pressingthe vice president’s office for more details about who sent Mr. Wilsonto Africa. The two men spoke when Mr. Cheney was on a trip to Norfolk,Va., for the commissioning of the carrier Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Libby said Mr. Cheney directed him to refer reporters toMr. Tenet’s statement, which said that the C.I.A. had been behind Mr.Wilson’s selection for the trip.

And Gellman points out:

Defending the war became the animating priority aboard Air Force Twothat day. According to his indictment on Friday, Libby "discussed withother officials aboard the plane" how he should respond to "pendingmedia inquiries" about the critic, former ambassador Joseph C. WilsonIV. Apart from Libby, only press aide Catherine Martin is known to haveaccompanied Cheney on that flight.

Tricky Fitzgerald!! He’s been hiding Dick right in the middle of his Libby indictment.

That made me wonder where else he might have hidden Dick in this indictment, and what those hidden tidbits might tell us about an indictment against our upstanding "Go Fuck Yourself" Vice President, if Fitzgerald chose to pursue that route.

Is Alan Foley the Senior CIA Officer? And Why the Answer Matters to the Niger Forgery Case

There’s still one identity in Libby’s indictment that is totally obscure–the Senior CIA Officer mentioned in Paragraph 7 (PDF; see, I’m very slowly working my way through this thing today, paragraph by paragraph).

7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson’s trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.

I think guesses that this is Fred Fleitz are totally wrong. With all due respect to Steve Clemons’ much greater knowledge of Washington bureaucracy than me, it’d be a stretch to consider Fleitz a senior CIA officer. Consider, for example, that Alan Foley (PDF), the Director of WINPAC, didn’t even know what Fleitz did at WINPAC when Bolton came asking for him.

Mr. Foley: I think he [Fleitz] worked in WINPAC. But, you remember,WINPAC was put together early in the Administration, and I think Fredwas with the Nonproliferation Center, one of the — John Lauder’s oldorganization — and we were all, sort of, reorganized into one groupthen. That’s what I remember. But I couldn’t tell you where Fredexactly worked at the time. (7)

So he couldn’t be all that senior.

There are some other possibilities: Tenet, McLaughlin, James Pavitt (head of the DO). Tenet, McLaughlin definitely testified; I believe Pavitt did so as well. But I doubt any would say precisely what this person said to Libby, that "Plame was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson." Indeed, Pavitt almost certainly wouldn’t have said that, since DO seems to be sure Plame wasn’t responsible for sending Wilson.

I’m going to make a suggestion I’ve not seen mentioned elsewhere. I think Alan Foley is this senior CIA officer mentioned in this passage. And I think it’s relevant to the larger question of the Niger forgeries.

Paragraphs 4 and 5

Whither Whig?

We Still Don't Know a Damn Thing

They Don't Get It

Plame Affair: Some Notes on Notes

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