Plame Gossip Tuesday
A couple more points. In this storyline, George Tenet once again takes the fall for the Bush WhiteHouse. I say again, because, if you'll remember, he took the blame for the bad WMD intelligence back when he was in charge. He also took the blame for "ghost detainees" at Abu Ghraib, a black letter violation of the Geneva Conventions, when Rumsfeld claimed that the DoD was holding those prisoners off the books at the behest of the CIA. I'm sure there're more examples, but I guess that's the cost of a presidential medal of freedom, that you accept blame for "outing" one of your own agents, making you the worst CIA chief in history. A retired Tenent takes the blame for outing Plame? We'll see.
Second, Michael at Thumping the Tub in comments points me toward this video from Bill Maher at Crooks and Liars. It is a mini montage of Republican mouthpieces on Fox News (yes, I include the Fox News hosts in that) pushing the spin line that this whole investigation is the "criminalization of politics." (I've been watching MSNBC Hardball and Countdown where this "criminalization" argument has been shot down by both hosts and guests) This leak would support that claim to the faithful when coupled with Kay Bailey Hutchinson's very poor attempt at claiming perjury isn't important. In this line, the leak is intended to free everybody involved from any blame from outing a covert agent, so that they're just guilty of "little" crimes.
If this is true, then this leak, coordinated with talking points seen only on Fox News, may be the most cynical political move I've seen, aimed at immunizing the Fox News watching base from any of this. It would explain why Libby would have produced the notes.(Newsguy's question)
I assume that's where you were leading me, Michael, now I need a shower.
(I get two commenters who regularly point out that FoxNews is not affiliated with your local Fox affiliate, so you can enjoy the Simpsons, House, Prison Braeak or whatever without guilt.)
And quick note. Alot of the Left sided blogs are making the point that if this is narrative is 100% true, which I'm not completely sold on, that means that Cheney has lied lots of times in public forums when asked about these events. The big question is did he lie to the grand jury?
And second question brought up reading the left side is that this means that either Cheney lied to Bush for years, or Bush knew and lied to the country.
Also, just checked Drudge and this story is the second to last, buried as much as he can on his site.
And, bottom line, do I believe this story 100%, released so close to the indictments, seemingly by the indictee with the most legal jeopardy, I'm not sure? Compared to everything else, how serious is lying to the NYTimes again, after all the Judy Miller mess. "Yeah, I got some notes right here(scribble, scribble) to support my point. And they're in my own handwriting, too." Don't know, but this is a blockbuster shift in the narrative.
And the LeftCoaster has an interesting theory that this was Judy Miller's leak. And one of the comments mentions the possibility that Rove's last 4 1/2 hour testimony was him turning on Libby which would could have prompted this piece.
Another speculation over at the Agonist, did Fitzgerald already have these notes? If not, could they have come public through a Libby plea deal.
One other interesting, maybe related, fact I saw mentioned on Hardball last night, that whatever case Fitzgerald is chasing, whatever indictees, etc, has been deemed important enough for several judges to unanimously agree to the jailing of Miller and threatened jailing of Cooper.
UPDATE: You're doing a heck of a job Cheney. The kiss of death.
McClellan said Cheney — who participated in a morning video conference on the Florida hurricane from Wyoming, where he is speaking at a University of Wyoming dinner tonight — is doing a "great job" as vice president.