WaPay2PlayPo’s Jeffrey Smith is usually a much better reporter than this. In his report on DOJ’s latest attempt to keep the materials from Cheney’s Fitzgerald interview secret–published right under a link to all the evidence released in the trial–Smith "reports,"
A document filed in federal court this week by the Justice Department offers new evidence that former vice president Richard B. Cheney helped steer the Bush administration’s public response to the disclosure of Valerie Plame Wilson’s employment by the CIA and that he was at the center of many related administration deliberations.
Which, if you take "new evidence" to mean "a new list summarizing many of the events described in evidence introduced two years ago at the Libby trial," would be factually correct.
But this isn’t.
Barron also listed as exempt from disclosure Cheney’s account of his requests for information from the CIA about the purported purchase; Cheney’s discussions with top officials about the controversy over Bush’s mention of the uranium allegations in his 2003 State of the Union speech; and Cheney’s discussions with deputy I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, press spokesman Ari Fleischer, and Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. "regarding the appropriate response to media inquiries about the source of the disclosure" of Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity. [my emphasis]
Smith gets that last bit from this language in the filing.
Vice President’s recollection of discussions with Lewis Libby, the White House Communications Director, and the White House Chief of Staff regarding the appropriate response to media inquiries about the source of the disclosure of Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity as a CIA employee.
Now, the language used there–"the source of the disclosure of Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity"–ought to be a pretty big clue to Smith that this conversation happened after Plame’s identity was actually made public. That is, after July 14, 2003, which happened to be Ari Fleischer’s last day, meaning it’s pretty clear that Ari Fleischer (who was White House Spokesperson, not Communications Director) isn’t the guy referenced here. But you don’t really need clues like that to figure out that Smith is wrong here. Had Smith only clicked that link above his article and actually looked at the evidence released at trial, he would have seen the famous "meat grinder note," a note Cheney used as a talking point document for conversations with Andy Card (correctly identified by Smith as Chief of Staff) and Dan Bartlett (in his role as "White House Communications Director," the position listed in the filing) in early October 2003 to get them to force Scottie McClellan to exonerate Scooter Libby publicly.
Has to happen today.
Call out to key press saying same thing about Scooter as Karl.
Not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy
the Presthat was asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others.