I know everyone is waiting for the indictments- just wait a little bit longer. This NY Times story seems to claim Rove will not be indicted:
Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby, is expected to be indicted today for making false statements to the grand jury in the C.I.A. leak case, lawyers in the case said Thursday.
Karl Rove, President Bush’s senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, will not be charged today, but will remain under investigation, people briefed officially about the case said. As a result, they said, the special counsel in the case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, was likely to extend the term of the federal grand jury beyond its scheduled expiration today.
And in an unbelievable turn of events, Tom Maguire will be out of town and unable to comment on any indictments. In other news, Tom addresses the ‘undercover issue through Bob Woodward’s appearance on Larry King:
WOODWARD: … They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that Joe Wilson’s wife was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage. They did not have to pull anyone out undercover abroad. They didn’t have to resettle anyone. There was no physical danger to anyone and there was just some embarrassment.
So people have kind of compared — somebody was saying this was Aldridge James or Bob Hanson, big spies. This didn’t cause damage.
Hrmm. Still not a very wise practice to be ‘outing’ agents, though.
These indictments, or lack of indictments, could settle a lot of questions. Or maybe not.
Wow, Woodward sources a lot like Defense Guy, not at all.
Who are his sources on the damage assessment? Where did he get that information? An entire fake front company was dismantled.. Call me weary of his BS
Larry Johnson said the reverse. CIA agent with numerous contacts in Langley, Bob Woodward. Not having any intelligence contacts whatsoever I won’t handicap that fight, but it’s not as simple as you make it out to be.
John, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t imply that Plame’s outing was no big deal because it caused minimial damage and then say it is not a very wise practice to be outing agents.
I am betting you would respond that you never stated that outing an agent was ok, but I would then ask, “why do you mention the amount of damage Plame’s outing caused if it isn’t relevant?” Do you teach your students to include irrelevant opinions/facts in their communications?
Larry Johnson says the exact opposite on CNN on the same day. Can we at least call it a draw until we find out something substantial? Anything substantial? Other than Woodward says, or Johnson says.
And who cares? If it didn’t cause substantial damage, did the leaker know it wouldn’t? i hope not, that would mean he called the CIA, found out she was covert, but also found out that it wouldn’t cause that much damage and decided it was worth it. The other option is that they didn’t know she was covert, and didn’t bother to check her status.
What about the damage to Brewster Jennings? it can’t be that easy to set up a front company, and she wasn’t the only NOC using it as a cover was she?
The amount of damage in no way mitigates the fact that if an agent was outed, it was wrong and a bad thing.
The extent of the damage goes to how serious the outing was.
I am not sure why you think otherwise, but I would assert both are relevant. Certainly you and I agree that if I punch you, it would be considered assault. Do you think the courts would treat me differently if I just gave you a bloody lip, or if I put you into a coma with that punch?
Lines, I agree. I find it so hard to get my head around Woodward these days.
Maybe no US agents suffered, but what of the consequences to foriegn assets? Do we have numbers for them, and what fate they suffered?
And what of intel gathering in the future?
“Would you like to work for the CIA”
We know what the answer to that little scenario.
Wouldn’t the amount of damage determine whether you faced jail time or simply received a stiff fine?
The action and the effect of that scenario are known at practically the same time. The ramifications of the outing of a CIA agent can’t be known, period. The Chinese, Iranian, Syrian, and Bolivian intelligence services aren’t telling the CIA how much they learned from Plame’s outing. I think the only statement the CIA can honestly make is that they are currently not aware of any significant damage caused by the Plame outing.
P.S. You better knock me into a coma if you take a swing at me.
You are insane, I source stuff all the time.
I’m glad to hear minimal damage seems to have been done to the CIA, and I agree with John that regardless, the practice of outing covert American agents, or even former ones, just should not be done, ever.
Caveat your statement with the understanding that two knowledgable sources contradicted one another. One with a history of flacking for the administration going back years, the other with the opposite. Neither was an uninterested party, so we basically still know nothing.
You’re sensitive, DG. Are you sure you arn’t a closet whiny liberal?
But don’t fall into Darrell Mode. In that mode, your ass is considered a “source.”
I’m just saying. ;-)
I love the smell of vitriol in the morning. It smells like…crap. DefenseGuy and John have both been relatively reasonable and non-partisan about the Plame case (although DG has taken the opportunity to point out what he thinks was unrelated problems with the Dems); lay off ’em.
When did Johnson last work for the CIA? Sixteen years ago. When did he last work for the government? Twelve years ago. I’m not saying Johnson doesn’t know anything, but I think this points to his opinion being quite a lot less relevant and accurate than the opinions of people working in the CIA who actually know.
It definitely makes a difference how much damage was done, and Johnson and Woodward are saying completely opposite things about the confidential damage assessment, so we’ll see. Can anybody really defend the position that if someone got killed as a result of the Plame outing, that wouldn’t make the whole situation much worse? The corrolary is that if no collateral damage occurred, that makes the situation better. It doesn’t mean no crime was committed, but hey, no one died when Clinton lied, and all that.
One very interesting thing I saw yesterday, which I would link to if I could, was a timeline of Fitzgerald’s prosecution of Governor George Ryan in Illinois. The elapsed time from when he indicted the first couple flunkies, to when he finally nailed the governor, was a full TWO YEARS of “continuing investigations,” using indictments to convince people to flip against their superiors, and the like.
The man just does his job and he does it well. If he came out today and said he wasn’t indicting a single person, or if the indictments never go beyond Libby, I’d be disappointed politically, but I’d be 100% confident that it was a fair outcome.
Well so far, they people in the CIA who actually know haven’t said anything publicly, so what’s your point? They both have said they’ve talked to people in the CIA. Johnson is likely to know a lot of people still there. We’re still left with contradictory reports.
Yes, if it turns out to be wrong, I should clearly change my opinion, as well is introduce more rightous anger, which I will if it comes to that.
I’m a classic liberal, the whining is an optional feature.
I’ll try to save the ‘out my ass productions’ for games of Trivial Pursuit, where all answers are ‘Yassir Arafat’ or ‘Canada’, statistically speaking.
That’s what I call tough!
Yes, and don’t forget “Montpelier”.
(Capitol of Vermont)
My point is that in the relative dearth of dependable information, the solution is not to believe things that don’t have the requisite pedigree. If Johnson were working at the CIA three years ago, I’d say he’s probably got a strong point. As it is, not so much. You might as well ask Jimmy Carter to testify as to what’s going on in the White House right now.
Neither Woodward nor Johnson have the current credentials needed to really be the expert required to analyze the situation. Woodward’s quote, above, could have been pulled right out of Republican talking points and no one here would really know for sure. Johnson, on the other hand, is trying to back up his earlier assessments about the situation.
Lets see what the Sunday bobble heads have to say about it, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to hear the “very little damage” theme across the board with Fox news claiming that it was actually a good thing she was outted, she wasn’t very good.
Right, because Carter probably has as many friends in the Bush administration as Johnson does at CIA, because much like the CIA, the White House staff is made up of a lot of lifers. What a moronic analogy.
I suspect that Fitzgerald will address the gravity of the CIA report without going into specifics. So we’ll probably have our answer at 2.
*capital* of Vermont; sorry
When did Johnson last work for the CIA? Sixteen years ago
Doesn’t matter. Fox News still presents Dick the Toesucker as an expert on the Clintons all the time (saw him just last night). He …well, severed his relationship with Clinton in 1996, ten years ago.
Is there anybody sleazier than Dick the Toesucker? Just makes you want to take a shower after you listen to him. Gives me the willies.
If anyone, besides the Clintons, is an expert on the Clintons it’s Morris. In addition, he has Rove like capabilities when it comes to political understanding and gaging the ‘mind’ of the American people. He may give you the willies, but the man has mad skillz, boye.
Um…Dick who, again?
You can see that maybe I don’t regard this source with much favor, either.
Yes, it was moronic. Johnson’s not likely to know anything concrete about Plame’s status as NOC, because he no longer has need to know. He may be able to speak to the hazards of outing in-the-open agents, and to the hazards of outing NOC agents, but he most likely CANNOT testify to whether or not Plame was by any definition NOC at the time of her outing.
And Woodward’s stint at the CIA was when?
As for working for the governemnt, considering how “journalists” are shilling for the administration these days, Woodward may be a more recent government employee than Johnson, so I will concede that point.
I think there are at least two different considerations here: the degree of culpability and the amount of damage actually done. Those who knowingly or recklessly blew a spy’s cover are exactly as culpable whether the act caused a lot of damage, a little damage, or no damage. That it caused little damage (if that’s the case) is no thanks to the wrong doer. I could have, and the wrongdoers did what they did anyway.
Overall, however, for obvious reasons, it’s better for the United States generally if the actions didn’t cause any damage.
A parallel would be if a guy shoots a dead man he thinks is merely sleeping. The shooter doesn’t really cause much actual damage. But he’s just as culpable (and guilty) as if he’d been the cause of death.
How much does Woodward cost the American taxpayer? Now that would be some good journalism, for someone to find out the price a Woodward goes for.
Do you think they have auctions in the basement?
“And here we have a fine specimin of a man, former military, male prostitute, so you know he’s loyal to the money, Jeff Gannon! How much can we open the bidding on this travesty of American Journalmalism?”
“And our prize of the night, a man who’s black on the outside but ready to turn on his own for the right price, Armstrong Williams! Shall we open the bidding at $250,000?”
Good point, now can you tell me the last time Woodward worked for the CIA?
Woodward has been downplaying this whole Plame outing for a long long time. He has gotten very good access to the Bush administration. Guess one has to give something up to get that.
As far as what damage was done, there are eight redacted pages from the Appeals court opinion that many belive address this. If you read the opinion, it was clear that all three judges though the damage to our National interests were very serious and substantial. That is why they agreed to jail the reporters if necessary even though two of the judges were generally very supportive of reporters not having to reveal sources.
Oh… and to the person that asked,
Of course they would. If one caused “serious physical injury” as opposed to just “physial injury” the degree of assult would be higher as well as the penalties. But in this case, the damage done doesn’t matter technically but may have an impact on grand jurors on whether they decide to indict or not.
errrr…. NO. If one shoots a man that is already dead, no matter what his mental state, he would not be charged with assualt or murder or anything like that. Perhaps he would be charged with something regarding disrespect to a dead body, or discharging a weapon etc.
Oh please. The only thing Morris is good at is reading WH talking points.
Actually, he is better at making them.
There was no easy way of knowing how much damage outing Plame would do. There is no excuse for doing it. None.
Good point, now can you tell me how that’s relevant at all to my point on Johnson? You’ll notice (or maybe you will now that I’m pointing it out to you) that I didn’t say anything at all about Woodward.
And as far as outing Plame goes, the penalty for doing so rests on whether doing so was a violation of the Espionage Act, whether it was a more mundane exposure of classified information, or whether it was simply a perfectly legal (but unwise, unethical, and…did I say stupid?) pointing-out of the identity of a CIA agent. The penalty for outing Plame, then, depends on the crime.
Who did the crime, needs to do the time. If it was the last, there may be no criminal penalty, but whoever did it should be forbidden from serving in any GS post, ever again. And whatever else can be thrown at them.