The Plame Affair

2007 07 02

Well, Bush has finally gone and commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence. I’m not really disappointed, really. Libby deserved prison, of course, but the fact that Bush commuted his sentence shows especially clearly where Bush stands on the issue. Still, fuck him, and fuck them all.

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2007 03 06


That’s fucking hilarious. Oh boy oh boy would I ever love to hear the discussions currently going on about this in the upper circles of power, and especially between Cheney and the President. One thing is certain: Bush is going to come under enormous pressure to pardon Libby. If he does, he looks very, very bad, and probably prolongs the political agony. If he doesn’t, then a) he pisses Cheney off to no end; and b) he sends a signal to all his underlings that he won’t cover for them when they lie to cover for him and his monumentally inept administration.

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2005 11 13
Interestinger and Interestinger

Here’s an interesting theory — one that ascribes to Bush the same expectation Libby had: Reporters are going to protect them:

Second, on October 7, 2003, Bush answered a journalist’s question about the leak by stating, “how many sources have you had that’s leaked information that you’ve exposed or have been exposed? Probably none.” A week later, on October 14, 2003, Libby met with FBI investigators and told them a false story about how he first learned of Plame’s identity from reporters. In a case which would later hinge upon the accounts of reporters who as Fitzgerald described were “eyewitness[es] to the crime” it is interesting that Bush would suggest the journalists’ historical disinclination for revealing sources. To drive home his point, Bush said to the journalists, “you do a very good job of protecting the leakers.” Was he not-so-subtly suggesting that they continue doing a “very good job”?

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2005 11 07
Well, I didn’t tell Libby Plame’s name on the floor of the senate…

…I told him at a prayer meeting.

That strategy would work, if Russert et. all weren’t already perfectly willing to jump into bed with the Bush administration at so many turns….

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2005 11 05
I’m not funny

Josh Marhsall:

WaPo: “President Bush has ordered White House staff to attend mandatory briefings beginning next week on ethical behavior and the handling of classified material after the indictment last week of a senior administration official in the CIA leak probe.”

Add your own joke, stir, etc.

Bush added, “Some suggest that we follow the past. In other words, after Clinton’s probe, the only consequence was a ruined cigar. I reject that.”

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2005 11 02
Oh, pardon me!

Even the terminally dopey and obnoxious Mickey Kaus understands that a future pardon is probably the key to Libby’s recent and current thinking:

Who would take such an idiotic risk before a much-feared special prosecutor? One answer: Someone who knows he’ll be protected in the end. Someone who knows, for example, that he’ll be pardoned. Maybe even someone who had represented a client who’d been pardoned in similarly controversial circumstances. It’s easier to be a highwire daredevil when you know you have a safety net.

Indeed. And unreserved Clinton-lovers oughtta take a look at the link in the quote.

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2005 11 01
A “no pardon” pledge

Oooohhhhh, this is gooooooood. Bob Casey suggests that Dems ought to try to force Bush to issue a no-pardons pledge over the Plame case. I’ve argued repeatedly that the fact that Bush will inevitably pardon Libby come what may completely screws up the dynamics of the investigation. A no-pardon pledge would completely alter those dynamics.

Two points: First, of course Bush won’t bite. But he can still be forced to pay a political price for it. Second, doncha kinda wish that the Dems were in a better position to be getting red in the face about inappropriate pardons? Thanks, Bill, for those final integrity-filled weeks!

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2005 10 31
Pardon watch, Part I

The New York Sun wants Bush to pardon Libby.

I assume this will be an ongoing series.

Via my favourite wingnuts.

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2005 10 28

Well, I told you so. Or at least, I’ve got the most important part right so far. My guess was always “Libby with an assist from Rove.” But here’s the problem: As I’ve argued before, Libby has absolutely no reason to make a deal. That’s because Libby is surely confident that George W. Bush will pardon him on any convictions. He will. He just will. And everyone knows it. So if Fitzgerald needs Libby to bring down Rove, he’s not going to be able to do it. Hell, I practically wet myself if a traffic cop looks at me sideways and I wouldn’t be nervous in Libby’s shoes.

Still hoping for more Fitzmas presents though. Perhaps the case against Rove won’t depend on getting anything out of Libby. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

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2005 10 25
Libby/Cheney speculation

Swopa, who knows far, far more about the minutiae of the Plame case than I ever will, guesses that Libby handed over the notes incriminating Cheney as part of some sort of plea bargain. I agree that it does appear as if the notes were just handed over, and that it’s difficult to see any other motivation for it. Still, if I were Libby I would never go for it. Think: Bush is very likely to pardon anyone convicted in this mess. If you stay loyal to the team, keep your trap shut, and be a good boy, everything will work out for you. Hell, just look at what happened to the Iran-Contra goons. On the other hand, if you break and make a deal, you lose everything: social network, business network, everything.

Why would Libby break down and sell out Cheney now, when he has so many reasons to stay loyal to the team? There has to be a better explanation.

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2005 10 24
Chips down

In anticipation of Fitzmas, I’d like to post a quick reminder that I laid my bets a long time ago. One night, a long time ago, Hope had a quick, drunken fling with Intuition. The result of that fleeting union was a bastard named Hunch, who told me: It was Scooter Libby, with a candlestick, in the den, with a bit of help from Karl Rove. OK, OK, I just made up the bit about the candlestick. But the rest is true. Witness:
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2005 10 22

Finally, a special investigator gets to the bottom of it all.

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2005 07 22
Was Valery Plame covered by USC Title 50 Section 421?

Jim Henley reviews the evidence for and against thinking she was.

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2005 07 19
Pity the partisan hacks who will have to defend this

It won’t be easy: Bush Raises Threshold for Firing Aides In Leak Probe:

President Bush said yesterday that he will fire anyone in the administration found to have committed a crime in the leaking of a CIA operative’s name, creating a higher threshold than he did one year ago for holding aides accountable in the unmasking of Valerie Plame.

After originally saying anyone involved in leaking the name of the covert CIA operative would be fired, Bush told reporters: “If somebody committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration.”

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2005 07 17
From the mailbag


not that i really read the blog at all, but how is it that you held back from blogging about the latest on rove/plame? your enthusiasm when it first happened was pretty extreme; i still remember your thinking that this was going to be a huge unraveling of the entire administration, i.e. if anything was. (and even though we’re past a second-term election, where it would ostensibly have made a world of difference, it still could mean a huge unraveling/discrediting. and why am i not hearing more about the fact that this is only coming to the fore again b/c some reporters are being threatened w/ or are serving jail time, and all b/c of a “senior administration official” or two?? and how the hell is robert novak evading all this heat?)

please help a concerned non-reader to understand.

*Sigh* The sad thing is that the email comes from one of the naughty, naughty co-conspirators listed on the sidebar. Not that he actually reads the blog. Sheesh.
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