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Monday, October 17, 2005

Plame update

I've lost track of the Plame situation. A couple of days ago the NY Times published its account of reporter Judith Miller before the grand jury. Her testimony didn't reveal a smoking gun in terms of who first identified Valerie Plame by name. Rather she seems to have forgotten...

For more background I bow to Tom Maguire of Just One Minute. He rates the chances of a senior Whitehouse staff member indictment at 70% for Chief of Staff Scooter Libby (for obstructing justice by not revealing before the grand jury a relevant conversation with Judith Miller), and 50% for Karl Rove (for 'mishandling confidential information' by acting as a second source for other reporters trying to confirm Plame's identity).

What I find most interesting about this case is the desperation of lefties to justify their ongoing outrage by turning anything - anything at all - into a smoking gun. From my perspective the smoking gun is found before the outrage, ie the Doonegate documents, Te Wananga, etc.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 10/17/2005 09:00:00 AM


Blogger Ackers1 said...

As opposed to the cool calm dispassionate behaviour of the right during the Clinton years. Still I guess a blow job is always going to be seen as a greater moral outrage by the right than blowing the cover of an undercover agent and as Frank Rich points out in yesterdays column

"Now, as always, what matters most in this case is not whether Mr. Rove and Lewis Libby engaged in a petty conspiracy to seek revenge on a whistle-blower, Joseph Wilson, by unmasking his wife, Valerie, a covert C.I.A. officer. What makes Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation compelling, whatever its outcome, is its illumination of a conspiracy that was not at all petty: the one that took us on false premises into a reckless and wasteful war in Iraq. That conspiracy was instigated by Mr. Rove’s boss, George W. Bush, and Mr. Libby’s boss, Dick Cheney."

10/17/2005 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Metcalfe said...


It's not known whether Valerie was a covert operative at the time she was outed and most people that have looked at the case think she hadn't been for up to six years.

Secondly since Joe Wilson was given the job on his wife's initiative according to the bipartisan SSCI report, revealing the fact was not petty point-scoring but in the public interest.

Insofar as I can suss things out from Miller's testimony, Libby seems most likely to be in trouble over the use of classified documents in getting the facts out. But since Miller went out of her way to absolve Libby of such matters (a mixture of "he's very careful" and "I forget"), winning a prosecution on such matters is highly unlikely.

10/17/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

"Blowing the cover" - as my post pointed out Ackers, that has not been proven. A couple of those columnists who commented early on during the initial "Uranium in Niger" story have mentioned it was widely known in certain Washington circles that Plame was with Joe Wilson and worked for the CIA.

As for Clinton - he perjured himself about his Lewinsky affair during the Paula Jones case (he lied under oath, and encouraged Lewinksy to file a false affidavit), and a Republican-dominated Senate did not impeach him for it.

10/17/2005 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Berend de Boer said...

I'm pretty sure Tom got those odds from TradeSports :-)

And I'm also pretty sure those odds are way off :-))

I've found Tom Maguire posts on this sometimes enlightening, but more often confusing and convoluted.

John of PowerLineBlog has the best post on this: http://powerlineblog.com/archives/011961.php

10/17/2005 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

From what I've read, I think there's a case to be made against Libby. He shouldn't have been spouting off like that to Judith Miller, and Judith Miller shouldn't have been basing her stories solely on what she'd be talking about with Libby and whomever else.

If anything, thats what this Plame case is really about - big media publishing stories based entirely on unverified rumours spread by people who may not know exactly what they're on about.

And the CIA shouldn't have tried to change the public view of their pre-war stance on WMD once it was established there wasn't a secret nuke programme buried in some bunker in Iraq. Nasty little buggers.

10/17/2005 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that the left is STILL insinuating that Plame was undercover at the time is quite pathetic. She was not undercover and she had not been for many many years. Get over it.


10/17/2005 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

How odd that there should even be an investigation then Kimble and that the White House should be showing any sign of trepidation. Americans must be dumber than we thought.

10/17/2005 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So because there is an investigation into a security leak Plame must have been undercover? Whatever. The reason the left refuses to accept that Plame was not undercover is that it is the only justification for their own hysteria.


10/17/2005 01:59:00 PM  

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