October 28, 2005


Sam Smith over at Progressive Review is a man of reliably silly Leftwing politics but never less than honest. His take on the way the Yellowcake matter petered out is the best you'll find on that side of the aisle, PLAME AFFAIR FLAMES (Sam Smith, 10/2805, Progressive Review):

[A barely visible White House official is indicted for lying and obstruction in a case involving the exposure of a barely invisible CIA official. Not quite the 22 indictments predicted by one TV analyst nor the political boon predicted by Democrats. Do we now get a grand jury investigation into who leaked all the leaks about the leak?]

DAVID STOUT, NY TIMES - I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick
Cheney's chief of staff and one of the most powerful figures in the
Bush administration, was formally accused today of lying and
obstruction of justice during an inquiry into the unmasking of a
covert C.I.A. officer. A federal grand jury indicted Mr. Libby on one
count of obstruction, two counts of perjury and two of making false
statements in the course of an investigation that raised questions
about the administration's rationale for going to war against Iraq,
how it treats critics and political opponents and whether high White
House officials shaded the truth. The charges are felonies.
Obstruction of justice carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in
prison, while perjury and making false statements 5 years. Each of the
five counts can also be punished with a $250,000 fine. Perjury is
lying under oath, to a jury or other investigative body, while making
false statements consists of lying to investigators while not under oath.


[Worse, that false statements business rings a bell . . . . Oh yes, here it is]

CNN OCT 18 2000 - Independent Counsel Robert Ray's final report on the
White House travel office case found first lady Hillary Rodham
Clinton's testimony in the matter was "factually false," but concluded
there were no grounds to prosecute her. The special prosecutor
determined the first lady did play a role in the 1993 dismissal of the
travel office's staff, contrary to her testimony in the matter. But
Ray said he would not prosecute Clinton for those false statements
because "the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable
doubt" that she knew her statements were false or understood that they
may have prompted the firings. . . The final report concludes that
"despite that falsity, no prosecution of Mrs. Clinton is warranted."


Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2005 9:40 PM

I admit I'm still confused. The investigation was to determine if a cover agent was deliberately outed. For the past 2 years bloggers/others have argued she wasn't covert so no crime. Today he seemed to indicate she was covert but not crime had occured. Fitz indicts Libby over discrepancies in his testimonies but nothing else. Conflicting reports as to this is over or Fitz is seeking another grand jury to keep on going.

Posted by: AWW at October 28, 2005 11:24 PM

AWW and others, the beginning is being confused with the end game. Recall that Gov. George Ryan was the SIXTY-SIXTH person indicted in Fitzgerald's investigation of the Illinois statehouse.

Might I add that in the beginning Fitzgerald referred to the governor as "Official A." Which is the designation for Karl Rove in the Libby indictment.

Watch this space. And read the indictment and watch the press conference. He basically says he can't indict on the crime because the White House gang was so gifted at the coverup (the "sand in the face" metaphor).

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at October 29, 2005 12:05 AM

Rick is being optimistic, but what else does the left have? I think that it's basically over, bar the shouting.

As for Plame, her employment with CIA was classified, which is what the indictment says. It was not, however, "covert" as defined by the statute because, among other things, she had not been assigned overseas within the five years prior to the leak. In 1994, CIA discovered that Aldrich Ames had disclosed her name to the Russians. At that point, she was brought back to D.C. and put to work in Langley.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 29, 2005 1:15 AM

It's nice to know that occasionally the Bush White House rises to competency - "[Fitzgerald] can't indict on the crime because the White House gang was so gifted at the coverup".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2005 2:41 AM

Big Whoop. I still want to know how Hillary made all that money off of cattle futures.

Posted by: AllenS [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2005 6:15 AM


He pretty much acknowledged she wasn't covert during the press conference. And by not indicting Libby for naming her he implicitly acknowledges it as a legal matter.

Recall that it wasn't until Jeffrey Toobin wrote his memoir that it was acknowledged that the Iran-Contra team knew they couldn't prosecute violations of the Bolland Amendment because it was anticonstitutional.

Posted by: oj at October 29, 2005 7:30 AM


A tip from Noam Chomsky.

Posted by: oj at October 29, 2005 7:32 AM


Have you ever heard an intelligence professional who doesn't say that to consider her covert after sending her husband on the trip would be ridiculous?

Posted by: oj at October 29, 2005 7:40 AM

I would think Wilson's decision to stick his wife's name into his bio for the 1999 and beyond editions of "Who's Who" would have settled the leaking question once and for all.

Posted by: John at October 29, 2005 9:15 AM

AllenS: Assuming your question isn't rhetorical, she did it with a corrupt broker. He simply made a bunch of futures trades for several clients, then assigned all the gains to the favored client (HRC) and the losses to everybody else. He was later convicted of doing that sort of thing with other clients (though not in HRC's case).

Posted by: PapayaSF at October 29, 2005 1:33 PM

It was kinda sorta rhetorical. When I invested my money, I chose a man with the last name of "Counter". Not Sam Subtraction, David Division, Mike Minus. I retired at 52. My guy's pretty sharp. I never made more than $40,000 in my best years of working. If Hillary made the big money with a corrupt broker, how'd she find this guy? Sounds like he was only corrupt in one direction only. I used to raise cattle on the side, there wasn't much money in it.

Posted by: AllenS [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2005 2:02 PM
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