Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Stick a fork in it

I think we're done with Plamegate. Strike least us rational folks are done with Plamegate.

Robert Novak spilled at least a portion of the beans in today's column "My Role in the Valerie Plame Leak Story." He waits until the very end of the very-matter-of-fact telling of the tale to lay out the bottom line:

Following my interview with the primary source, I sought out the second administration official and the CIA spokesman for confirmation. I learned Valerie Plame's name from Joe Wilson's entry in "Who's Who in America."

I considered his wife's role in initiating Wilson's mission, later confirmed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, to be a previously undisclosed part of an important news story. I reported it on that basis.

Along the way, Novak drops details that coincide nicely with what we already know and many have inferred about who did what and how it all happened. Unfortunately, not everybody sees so clearly.

Over at Tom Maguire's house, commenter Jerry renders some of the most simultaneously baffling and hilarious commentary on the subject I've seen. First off, from Maguire: Novak discussed three sources with Fitzgerald and the Grand Jury - Karl Rove, CIA Press flack Bill Harlow, and an as-yet-unnamed government official who has not been identified in this story (let's just say, Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State)...

And broadly - if Fitzgerald has freed Novak to speak, doesn't that strongly support the notion (as noted in Times and Wapo coverage) that this investigation is over, over, over? No Fitzmas, no mas.

Now, on to Jerry:

Novak's and Rove's public statements have indicated that the investigation isn't over, there was even some indication of particular targets in sight in Karl's Aspen comments.

As to WH motive's there's still that creepy quote that Wilson's wife "is fair game." Real phony-baloney tough guys in this Administration - sort of like their recent phony preening regarding the economy.

Minus any sort of reference. Onward and upward!:

Outing Plame was unnecessary and cheap, I think we'll find it was all quite deliberate and planned at high levels (Novak was peripheral) and that Plame was a NOC and the WH knew it.

I'm still interested in the declassification authority given to Cheney in 2003, it seems there might be a lot of material to retroactively cover with that.


I can't review the whole train of events, but as Rove and Libby admit talking to reporters about Plame there is the outline of a conspiracy, and Cheney and Bush have been reported to have authorized a response to Wilson "getting it all out."

Rove is apparently cooperating but Libby (the VPs Chief of Staff!) has not, has been accused of lying to the FBI and grand jury by Fitz. The prosecutor himself has said that the investigation cannot move forward when he's being obstructed (by Libby's behavior and perhaps by the self-defensive behavior of others as well).

The advantage you have is that only exonerating decisions and "secondary charges" have become public so far.

My position is that this whole investigation exists because some serious harm has already occurred - despite the protests of those involved, the accused, and their defenders.

Read on in the thread to see how Jerry's musing go over. Simply put, there is no evidence anywhere that holds the conspiracy theories up at this point. Try as they might, the Reality Based Community can't step back.

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