Here is the latest rumor I have read:
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.
Two other officials, who are not employees in the White House, are also expected to face indictments, the lawyers said.
The grand jury had not yet decided on whether to make indictments at the time this article was published. It appears more likely that the jury would hand down indictments of perjury and obstruction than a charge that Plame was outed illegally.
Those close to the investigation said Rove was offered a deal Tuesday to plead guilty to perjury for a reduced charge. Rove’s lawyer was told that Fitzgerald would drop an obstruction of justice charge if his client agreed not to contest allegations of perjury, they said.
Another rumor I have heard via personal correspondence who was relaying third party rumors from inside the Beltway (and again- this is just speculation from inside the DC rumor mill) is that Plame actually was a NOC, despite working openly for the CIA as an analyst, and she officially worked for a named incorporated entity complete with business cards. According to this rumor, she worked for a front company serving as an undercover intelligence agent charged with espionage activities to ensure Russian compliance with arms control treaties.
Along with that rumor was the statement that Rove was not being charged with the Intelligence Act bit because he did not know Plame was undercover, but Libby did.
Another rumor has it that the FBI agents turned up a number of neighbors who knew what Valerie Plame did, thus making moot any charge.
Meanwhile, Drudge is reporting the Grand Jury met today and is done:
The federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer’s identity met for three hours Wednesday with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald and adjourned for the day without announcing any action.
Fitzgerald is known to be putting the finishing touches on a two-year criminal probe that has ensnared two senior White House aides.
After the grand jury left for the day, federal prosecutors conferred for about an hour in the grand jury area of the federal courthouse.
So there you go- everything I ‘know.’ Any way you slice it or dice it, it is going to be a wild 48 hours. I find it interesting how in just the past 36 hours the rumors have swung from ‘just perjury’ to now rumors that the 1982 Intelligence Act was violated. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out, and we should, collaboratively, go back through and chart the course of the rumors as they appeared once indictments (if any) have been released.
*** Update ***
Jeralynn says the indictments will be handed down today.
*** Update ***
Now Jeralynn says no announcement today.
Frog-march! Frog-march! Frog-march!
That’s what I’m most interested in doing: seeing which speculation was on the money, which was off. So far, I’ve been turning mainly to talkleft.com for information, largely because the writers there are lawyers. I guess I just assume that speculation from people at work in the legal field is more informed than speculation from elsewhere.
Wait a minute…..I knew that Valerie Plame was a NOC from the very beginning….now I don’t know where I read it, but it was the whole reason there is this investigation. the fact that she had a day job at Langley is irrelevant as this was her cover.
This is why everytime I hear some nitwit on the right argue that she was only an analyst, I would get upset and yell at the TV…she’s a NOC!!
I thought everyone knew….geez
I was right
If Plame was not out of the country in an undercover capacity in the five years before she was unmasked, how does the 1982 law apply?
Yeah. A Larry Johnson post at Talking Points Memo has me convinced! I bet if you looked, you could find an Armando post claiming the same thing at DKos to back it up!
So you’re trying to say that a NOC would have cover by working at CIA? This is one of the most ridiculous things I have read in a while.
Lets start a pool — how soon after indictments will there be a terrorist threat? I wager two days.
QUICK! Everybody start calling each other names and speculate wildly even though nothing has changed in four weeks and it will all be resolved in a matter of days!
Darrell, you first…
You need to get a handle on this obsession with reptiles, son. It’s upsetting your parents.
Come on man! We are talking about the federal government — ridiculous is their bread and butter.
This will go into the chapter of my future book called “Why they don’t let blogs do real investigations.”
Agreed with DG. I don’t think that makes much sense either.
Your thirdhand rumor (obvious caveats apply) agrees with my comment that these last-minute neighbor interviews can’t be a good thing for the prosecution. The Lefkowitz paradox is particularly strange.
Let me add to the rumors. And this is a juicy one from a good source. Here are some snippets but you have to read the whole thing:
Wow. I told you that this was going to open a whole can of worms.
Sorry, all charges have to be run by the blogosphere’s cadre of legal ignoramuses and know-nothings before they can be filed. Specifically, they have to be acceptable to both Rush Limbaugh and three guys in a pickup truck in western Georgia, who are currently buying beer and snacks at a convenience store to be named later.
Will that do?
One thing I must say, I don’t think I’d want Fitzgerald on my ass.
The neighbors were already interviewed before. If any of them explicitely knew who she was it would have come out then, and charging Libby under the IIPA would be off the table. More than likely, the interviews turned up some people who knew she had connections to the intelligence community, and were suspicious and gossipy based on that. Now they went back to pinpoint exactly what people thought she did, what the rumors were, how believable they were, and if anything was ever said by her that could be construed as giving away her own identity.
Legally, I’m not sure what it means if somebody who has somewhat of a reputation as a spook with a few people is publically outed in a column, with the source the White House, in a column obtainable worldwide. The IIPA was not created to deal with a case anything like this. But from the few leaks we had previous to this last month, damage apparently was done when her name went out in a syndicated column.
IF the rumors are to be believed, the man is thorough if nothing else.
I, for one, would love to see a Civil Rights conviction that makes the use of government assests for political character assassination illegal. I have no idea how that works in the law, but I like it purely from a spectator’s viewpoint.
It’s obvious why they did this now. It’s their last chance to get at the interviewees before hordes of media descend upon the neighborhood and muddy the water there beyond repair.
All hell is about to break loose. That’s the only plausible explanation. But of course, this is the blogosphere, and plausible explanations are not going to gin up the PAGE VIEWS, are they?
It’s not a bad idea to keep in mind that the CIA requested this investigation. If Valerie Plame was not a covert agent, why would they bother? I mean, except for their librul agenda and all that.
Of course, I’d hate to impugn the knowledge of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in any way. They both pretty much know everything and they say she wasn’t a covert agent.
Okay, I have one more prediction: tomorrow’s headlines will be printed in a really big font.
That, and inebriation on my part. Beyond that I’m as clueless as anybody who is not a grand juror.
and what is John talking about all these “rumors” that Wilson was actually a NOC? Rumors? Isn’t this what this whole thing was about? Rumours that she worked for a front company? Its been reported months ago John, Brewster and Jennings I think the name of the company was. The fact that she worked at Langly was meaningless as I said quite some time ago. We had no idea how many times she travelled overseas to meet her agents that were spying for the USA through the network that she had built up over 20 years of working in the CIA. Her spending more time in the States didn’t mean she gave up running that network.
This whole “she worked as an analyst at Langley” lie is nonsense, John, and you know it.
All that matters is the color of Valerie Plame’s passport. If it was black (or even red), then there’s no violation of the Espionage Act. If it was blue, then there’s a violation. It doesn’t matter what building she walked into in the mornings; if she carried a blue passport, then she didn’t have immunity, period, end of sentence.
Here is reporting on the CIA front company from October of last year:
HOW DID THEY GET OUT OF THE PIT I LEFT THEM IN???
Anyway, do you think Rove’ll smile for his mugshot?
So Larry Johnson shouldn’t be believed but John eats with a spoon everythign that Victoria Toensing [sp] says? lol
He has a crush on her
The Disenfranchised Voter
I don’t like the update that you added, John. It has just set my hopes pretty high.
Oh how I hope with all my being that Richard Sale on the money. I would love to see a full investigation of the lead-up to the war with Iraq.
It’s very hard to keep track of all the rumors, or assess their reliability.
Raw Story, Steve Clemons and Richard Sale all report that there will be indictments today, and announcements tomorrow. Some people have interpreted the announcement that there would be no announcements today as meaning there aren’t any indictments today, either.
I just heard on NPR news a report that the GJ has left the building, and so has Fitzgerald. No word on whether it was for a lunchbreak or if it was an adjournment for the day. The reporter said he was in the elevator with Fitzgerald and a staff attorney, and they both seemed to be in “good spirits.” Whatever that means :)
The claim that Plame was “only a desk jockey” comes exclusively from RW blogs and commentators. Their knowledge and veracity on the issue I imagine to be less than that of the CIA and the DOJ. The claim that the FBI found neighbors who knew she was a CIA agent is countered by reports that Fitzgerald’s investigators interviewed her neighbors and found just the opposite. Reports are that they thought she was an oil executive or consultant – which, I think, refers to her cover job with Brewster-Jennings.
Look, Larry Johnson is a former CIA analyst, State Department counterterrorism expert, and a former classmate of Valerie Plame. What sort of insight could he possibly have here?
I prefer the blind speculation and ignorant bloviating of Sean Hannity.
No. Really, it isn’t hard at all.
(1) Use a headline streamer.
(2) Check once a day for the time being.
(3) None of the rumors is even a little bit reliable.
Why would anyone want to do this anyway? The rumors are of no consequence the moment Fitzpatrick steps to the microphone. None, zero.
The Disenfranchised Voter
ARGGGG the anticipation is KILLING ME!
I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight…
Ppgaz, I’m sort of having fun reading all the rumors and speculation. I’m just waiting to find which ones are right, whose speculation was on the money, and who was way off.
a guy called larry
Correction: year before last.
Some are slower on the uptake than others. About the time appeals are being lined up, some people in Right Blogistan will start coming around to crimes having been commited. Of course, once the pardons are handed out, all are innocent, and they’re all heroes, just like Ollie North.
Now THAT’S entertainment! The world as we know it, crumbling around us into ruins, and we’re wondering which blahmeisters will have guessed right about this stuff?
If I could think like that, just think of all the money I could save on cable tv! Netflix! Car magazines! Custom parts for my Mustang!!
From the Irish Times: October 6, 2003
“Mr Wilson’s wife, Ms Valerie Plame, used an obscure energy company called Brewster-Jennings & Associates as her CIA cover. She listed it as her employer on an electoral contributions form in 1999 when she donated $ 1,000 to Mr Al Gore’s presidential primary campaign. Administration officials confirmed the firm was a CIA front which she used when working undercover as a specialist in weapons of mass destruction.
A search of LexisNexis and Google did not turn up any reference to the company but it is listed by Dun & Bradstreet, a consultancy that compiles a data base on millions of companies.
The disclosure means that other CIA secrets could be uncovered and Ms Plame’s sources compromised.
Ms Plame was “outed” in a July 14th newspaper column by commentator Robert Novak, who cited two senior administration officials as his source.
Ms Plame was an “NOC”, meaning she worked overseas under non-official cover and not out of an embassy, Time Magazine reported yesterday. Many in her family did not know she worked for the agency.
“Her career as an undercover operative is over,” former CIA officer Jim Marcinkowski, told Time. “
“Yeah. A Larry Johnson post at Talking Points Memo has me convinced! I bet if you looked, you could find an Armando post claiming the same thing at DKos to back it up!”
Really! Why listen to a guy who actually worked with Plame at CIA? He couldn’t possibly know as much as my unnamed DC gossip hounds.
Ppgaz, so I find it ENTERTAINING to read some of the speculation floating around the web right now. It’s okay to have a little fun even if the world is “crumbling” around us, right?
I know, just messin with ya.
Say, this CIA stuff is going to really mess with the blogosphere’s “Who’s Who” defense strategy, right?
Was that ever a real defense strategy?
Man, we need Darrell in here claiming again and again and again that “Plame outed herself when she listed CIA as her employer when she donated to Gore!!!!!”
Man, he was just going off on that like no other one day until he finally had to be bitchslapped.
Of course, he’s a serial liar, though, so it fits him.
Well, to really understand the “noise machine” approach to GOP politics, you gotta read this:
Getting Ahead in the GOP
Facts, reality …. don’t matter. What matters is distraction, deflection, and then outcomes. It’s all about the outcomes.
Look! A jackalope!
What if Joe Wilson is indicted for perjury?
The Disenfranchised Voter
I dunno, what if Jenna Bush has a black baby?
Ppgaz, I’d pay to see that.
See the theme was “entertainment.”
A disreputable source emails me that his (or her) wife’s sister heard on the subway that Fitgerald plans to elope with Katie Holmes and will announce nothing until they finish their bicycle tour of Europe. Take that as you will.
Well, yeah, for the rest of us.
The Russian arms control rumor fits in with the Rich/Oligarch/Ledeen tale. That is to say, Libby had ties to a group that was imperiled by Plame’s task force.
It is way too early to buy into this, but it IS worth a look.
Anyone heard the new one on Tom Delay?
He’s not smiling in that picture. Maybe he ought to just get those frown muscles botoxed.
I think it’s a little pointless to ask Plame’s neighbor’s if they knew she was a CIA agent. How many people really talk to their neighbors nowadays? More relevant is to ask her casual friends and family if they knew.
The neighborhood was close knit. Many of those neighbors say they were good friends with the Wilsons and played cards, had dinners, etc. on a very regular basis. They were their “casual friends.”
Keeping in touch with your neighbors is a great way to reduce crime in a neighborhood. Car thieves and burglars, or the pros anyway, keep track of which neighborhoods keep an eye on each other’s stuff and avoid them. You don’t have to be a calndestine agent for the CIA to know that sort of stuff, but if you are you probably do.
You know its always a moving target with these right wingnuts. Knock down one of their lies and they move on to another. Why are they checking her neighbors? Well, its perhaps because of lies like this:
So let me get this straight. This guy that left the CIA 15 fucking years ago claims to know that Plame was not undercover and that MOST OF HER NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS KNEW THAT SHE WAS A CIA EMPLOYEE?
And, exactly the opposite of the reports we have been getting this week about the recent canvass of the Wilsons’ neighborhood.
The endless and relentless GOP noise machine never stops. Never.
Slide, it’s amazing to me how often the most generic statement I make on here is met with the most hysteria. I was merely making an observation about neighbors, that I bet 95% of you on here can relate to, especially the younger people who may move around more. I challenge you to name more than 3 neighbors in your street or apartment building by first and last name and tell then me what job they do. I know I couldn’t even name one that way and I know all my friends are the same way.
listen scs, this guy that retired from the CIA fifteen years ago, who doesn’t know Wilson’s neighbors from a hole in the wall, decided to lie through his teeth saying that Wilson wasn’t undercover. Of course the Washington Times was more than happy to repeat his lies without doing any investigative journalism at all. Did they check her neighbors to see if what he was saying was true? Of course not. I have not seen ONE PERSON that has said that he or she knew Wilson worked for the CIA. Not one. And yet these right wing professional liars such as Peter King, Cliff May,and Steven Hayes keep making the same bull shit arguments that all of Washington knew she worked for the CIA.
The credibility of the right is nearing zero.
Fine Slide – but why attack me for my generic statement on neighbors?
Some more lies:
Well, today I heard Larry Johnson on CNN offer $5,000 to anyone that can produce someone that knew Wilson worked for the CIA prior to the Novak column. Any takers? Lying scumbags.
Andrew J. Lazarus
Too bad for you, scs. We know the entire block (and most of the one on the cross street) by name and occupation and cell number for emergencies.
The exception: there’s a house rented by grad students and we know none of them.
well scs I just got done watching Peter King (my congressman btw) on Joe Scarborouh’s show and the man must have had a dozen lies in his ten minutes. I ‘m sick of it. Sick of the right having no regard for the truth whatsoever. King made it as if Ms. Wilson “deserved” to be outed because she was “involved” with her husband to attack Bush. Attack Bush? Oh, right, they were seeking the truth which is the same as attacking Bush. Any one that dares to stand up to these thugs in the White House is painted as liars, unpatriotic or traitors. It gets a little tiresome and I feel no compunction to turn the other cheek any more. Liberals have been doing that for way too long.
Gosh, where do you live? Mayberry? Maybe you all have lived there for a long time.
And the left is comprised of saints? You have to calm down there.
It’s the right that thinks it’s chosen by God. Not the left.
For those of you waiting up with batied breath because of the rumors, here’s a stroll down memory lane, courtesy of the “up is down” department:
Joe Wilson was in Seattle tonight for a speaking engagement and, lucky me, I went to see him.
He is one impressive fellow. Among the many points he made was the responsibility for citizens to be active and involved in public affairs, because that’s the only way to keep politicians in line. He talked about his experiences as a diplomat, emphasizing how much respect he had and has for Bush I and Brent Scowcraft.
He talked about the work the Embassy did in Iraq during the first Gulf War. I’d known he went toe to toe with Saddam to free the 157 American hostages who were being used as human shields; I hadn’t known there were also 2500 Americans who had to go underground and get smuggled out, and that the whole Embassy pulled that one off, too.
He talked about how it came about that he went to Niger. He went as someone with many years’ experience in and knowledge of Africa. He was ambassador to Niger; he’d been point man in the negotiations that got the foreign fighters out of Angola when the civil war finally ended; and he served on Clinton’s National Security Council as senior director for African affairs.
And he had done a LOT of work as Ambassador to Niger. After the leader of a military coup (who’d taken power after shooting the President) lost an election, Wilson not only persuaded him to accept the results but also to leave the country altogether so the new President wouldn’t fear being gunned down in turn. So it seems the government and people of Niger knew and trusted Wilson; and to say the only reason he was sent was because “his wife suggested him” is a crock.
Oh, and for those of you still cherishing hothouse fantasies that Fitzgerald will indict Joe Wilson: no sale, kids. He sure didn’t look, sound or act like someone who’s in any danger of being indicted…like, for example, the way Rove and Libby have been acting lately :D
CaseyL: Very interesting but he was never ambassador to Niger.
I thought of something last night.
Did Joe Wilson testify to the grand jury?
We already know he’s a serial liar, what if he’s the one who is going to be indicted?
Now that would be fricking funny as hell.
Veeshir calling Joe Wilson a serial liar? That’s funny! *psst* I heard he was gay, and had a black baby too!
Sorry, doesn’t matter Veeshir. Even if Joe Wilson is the antichrist, you can’t out his wife to get political retribution. But keep having your “indict Joe Wilson” fantasies as long as you can delude yourself into believeing them.
Walt – You’re right, but that’s my mistake, not something Wilson said. I was looking up his past work in Niger and just misread the article.
scs – you’re right about the neighbour thing, though. A lot of people nowawdays just don’t know their neighbours. I used to live in a high-rise, and briefly knew my next-door neighbours (a great couple, with a never-ending stash), but then they moved. In the 6 years that I lived there, I only knew them. But now I live in the country, and while I don’t really know my next-door neighbour all that well (tried, but he’s a rather unpleasant man), I do know quite a few others in the community. So maybe it’s just a small-town thing.
I guess I must live in Mayberry also. I know most of my neighbors, attend their parties, know where they work, and hang out on their porches in the summer.
You see, I can back up my charge. (I used the instapundit link because the full Financial Times article is subscription only now).
Also Butler Report: It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999. The British Government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports, the intelligence was credible.
So yes, serial liar. And those aren’t differences of opinion, they’re lies.