Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire
Fitzmas Eve????

To channel a little Ted Nugent, speculation's high and so am I, I got me a Bogger account, it's a free for all! Special counsel/prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with the grand jury, but the jury's out as to what's happening. Here's an up-to-the-minute update from Salon's War Room:
Salon's Michael Scherer has just checked in again from the federal courthouse in Washington. He says that the grand jurors in the Valerie Plame case began filing out a short while ago, but it's not clear whether they're going for the day or just for lunch. What does it all mean? What will they order? We've all heard the line about how a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Are there clues to be found in the trash at Au Bon Pain?

But Raw Story has this possible scoop:
Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has asked the grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson to indict Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, lawyers close to the investigation tell RAW STORY.

Fitzgerald has also asked the jury to indict Libby on a second charge: knowingly outing a covert operative, the lawyers said. They said the prosecutor believes that Libby violated a 1982 law that made it illegal to unmask an undercover CIA agent.

Looks like we might be on course for possible announcement tomorrow, according to CNN:
Many legal experts and lawyers not involved in the case had expected the grand jury to vote on an indictment Wednesday -- if the investigation is going to result in indictments -- and that the outcome would be announced publicly.

So this might be a nice time to revisit some chestnuts from the past as we twiddle our thumbs and toggle our broswers' refresh buttons.

Think Progress has this great nugget from President Bush from back in October of 2001 (it includes a video as well):
Let me say a few words about important values we must demonstrate while all of us serve in government. First, we must always maintain the highest ethical standards. We must always ask ourselves not only what is legal, but what is right. There is no goal of government worth accomplishing if it cannot be accomplished with integrity.

Second, I want us to set an example of humility. As you work for the federal government there is no excuse for arrogance, and there’s never a reason to show disrespect for others. A new tone in Washington must begin with decency and fairness. I want everyone who represents our government to be known for these values.

Then there's this from Vice President Dick "Big Time!" Cheney from the September 7, 2003 edition of Meet the Press with Tim Russert:
MR. RUSSERT: Now, Ambassador Joe Wilson, a year before that, was sent over by the CIA because you raised the question about uranium from Africa. He says he came back from Niger and said that, in fact, he could not find any documentation that, in fact, Niger had sent uranium to Iraq or engaged in that activity and reported it back to the proper channels. Were you briefed on his findings in February, March of 2002?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: No. I don’t know Joe Wilson. I’ve never met Joe Wilson. A question had arisen. I’d heard a report that the Iraqis had been trying to acquire uranium in Africa, Niger in particular. I get a daily brief on my own each day before I meet with the president to go through the intel. And I ask lots of question. One of the questions I asked at that particular time about this, I said, “What do we know about this?” They take the question. He came back within a day or two and said, “This is all we know. There’s a lot we don’t know,” end of statement. And Joe Wilson—I don’t who sent Joe Wilson. He never submitted a report that I ever saw when he came back.

Which doesn't necessarily square with this from Monday's NYTimes:
I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

The notes, taken by Mr. Libby during the conversation, for the first time place Mr. Cheney in the middle of an effort by the White House to learn about Ms. Wilson's husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was questioning the administration's handling of intelligence about Iraq's nuclear program to justify the war.

So, Dick and Joe never got together for tennis, but Dick sure knew who Joe was. Luckily, they've got their CYA in building up in full effect (via Bloomberg, from yesterday):
The disclosure doesn't indicate that the vice president did anything wrong, said a senior Republican with ties to Cheney. The person declined to make a similar statement about Libby.

The senior Republican, who spoke on condition of anonymity, sought to portray Cheney as uninvolved in any violation of a 1982 law forbidding the revelation of a covert intelligence agent's identity. The official noted that both Cheney and Libby had the security clearances necessary to discuss Plame's identity.

Then there's this from Scottie McC back in October of 2003:
Q Scott, you have said that you, personally, went to Scooter Libby, Karl Rove and Elliot Abrams to ask them if they were the leakers. Is that what happened? Why did you do that, and can you describe the conversations you had with them? What was the question you asked?
MR. McCLELLAN: [...] They’re good individuals, they’re important members of our White House team, and that’s why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt of that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it’s accurate before I report back to you, and that’s exactly what I did.

Q So you’re saying — you’re saying categorically those three individuals were not the leakers or did not authorize the leaks; is that what you’re saying?

MR. McCLELLAN: That’s correct. I’ve spoken with them.

Scottie's playing a different tune (both quote sources via Think Progress):
QUESTION: My question is: Can we be confident that when we hear statements from the White House in public that they are truthful?

MCCLELLAN: I think you can be, because you know that our relationship is built on trust. And I have earned that trust with you all.

As you pointed out, you pointed back to some past comments that I made, and I’ve talked to you about the assurances that I had received on that.
McClellan is emphasizing to the reporter that he was just relaying the assurances he received from Rove and Libby. In other words, they lied to me.

Alright, it's time to get down to work in my guise as a freelance writer, but I'll be checking the RSS feeds and updating when something juicy comes up.


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