****Check the updates at the bottom of this entry. Looks like something's gonna happen soon.
Let's start today's gossip with the change in the narrative. Obviously, reading the Plame news the last two days, there seems to be a growing number of "Blame it on Libby" stories. There's been the AP story which seems to have been sourced from Rove's defense group
. There was the NYTimes piece last night
, which includes Rove, but nails Libby. Then this AM, there is this LATimes piece which we'll classify as "unflattering" towards Libby.
WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff was so angry about the public statements of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, a Bush administration critic married to an undercover CIA officer, that he monitored all of Wilson's television appearances and urged the White House to mount an aggressive public campaign against him, former aides say.
Those efforts by the chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, began shortly after Wilson went public with his criticisms in 2003. But they continued into last year — well after the Justice Department began an investigation in September 2003, into whether administration officials had illegally disclosed the CIA operative's identity, say former White House aides.
It goes on into some pretty interesting examples, but the real question, to me, is who is sourcing these stories. Is it White House strategy to just pin all mistakes on Libby and throw him over the side in an attempt to contain the problem? (Much like they're doing to Michael Brown in relation to FEMA
) Or is it possible that the "leak-proof" Fitzgerald in putting this out to try to pressure Libby to plead or cooperate? I've read several arguments on both sides, and despite the tantalizing permutations of Libby turning state's evidence, my belief is that it's the former.
Here's two more "blame it on Libby" pieces, Pete Yost, AP byline. Or maybe I should say one. It's the same article
with two different titles
, both linked by Drudge, which adds to my speculation that this "blame Libby" meme is coming from the republican side.Update: Fitzgerald has put up a website
, suddenly, just today. Seems to me this would be one of the key steps before releasing the indictments.
Via Americablog who said, "OK, OK, we won't read anything in to this. Sure we won't. This is like when your parents put the really big present under the tree."
Americablog also has this: The Providence Journal reports that WH Chief of Staff Andy Card had to cancel a GOP fundraiser in RI this weekend:
"All we know is that the White House called and said he had to be with the president," Morgan said. "He needs to be at Camp David this weekend." Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Camp David this weekend. The possibilities of why Card needs to be there are endless. Who else will be there?
Back to local programming: This could be prepping a message for the press storm, figuring out a new team after a member or members are removed through indictments, just generally being around.... No telling, but the plates are shifting.
Update: The Left Coaster has a really interesting theory that the new Fitzgerald website is his counter to the republican spin. Also, a little gem from a WSJ article.
The range of questions that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has asked witnesses in the CIA leak case suggests he may be exploring whether to charge White House officials with leaking garden-variety classified information.
But lawyers and others close to the case say he may be piecing together a case that White House officials conspired to leak various types of classified material in conversations with reporters -- including Ms. Plame's identity but also other secrets related to national security. .....
In part, the weight of an indictment on leaking classified information could depend on whether the exposure of Ms. Plame caused damage. That isn't clear. Damage-assessment reports commonly are done when such leaks occur, but congressional staffers say they haven't seen any such document related to this investigation.
The CIA did produce an initial report to see if assets were in danger or needed to be moved, a government official said. But that didn't take the form of a formal report to Congress, as has occurred in bigger espionage matters.
Reuters has a piece up on the creation of the Fitzgerald web page, and it's pretty clear about why it suddenly appeared.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Prosecutors investigating the outing of a covert CIA operative opened a Web site on Friday to post possible indictments next week and were said by lawyers in the case to be focusing on whether top White House aides tried to conceal their actions from investigators.
Also, for the first time, someone in the media gives us a possible timeline.
The CIA leak grand jury, which expires on October 28, convened on Friday with two of the lead prosecutors present, but it was unclear what issues they were working on.
Fitzgerald is expected to meet with the grand jury for a possible vote on indictments as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.
Lawyers involved in the case said prosecutors have likely already started laying out their final case to jurors, either for bringing indictments or to explain why there was insufficient evidence to do so.
After the grand jury broke up, the two prosecutors, lugging giant legal briefcases, left the courthouse without comment.
In regards to the website's appearance, Fitzgerald's spokesman "dismissed all the speculation. "I caution you not to read into it," he said."
So, new information. I don't know too much about the internal workings of Grand Juries, but if you're the prosecutor, how long would it take to convince a Grand Jury not to indict?
Update: Two quick hits, neither essential to the Grand Jury story.
1) Here is the text of the "internal" email that the NYTimes' Keller wrote regarding the paper's mistakes in handling the Judith Miller situation. (I liked this link cause it was from the WaPo)
2) Long rumored, Wilson and Plame are going to sue the administration officials involved in the leak that destroyed her CIA career. The only interesting thing in it is that they would be able depose those same administration officials. (Sorry for the Moonie UPI source, but that's where I came across it.)