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Preview: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Clarice Feldman

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Clarice Feldman

Last Build Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 11:30:03 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2007

An Outrage from Beginning to End

Wed, 07 Mar 2007 11:30:03 -0600

But at whose door do I stand to shout my curses? Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame who cooked up a series of lies to undermine the Administration in the middle of the war? The media, which megaphoned them and falsely suggested that someone had deliberately outed an undercover agent for political reasons, following the lead of The Nation's David Corn? Former CIA head Tenet, who insisted the Department of Justice investigate a routine referral for reasons which are still unclear but seem to be pique and revenge? Who refused to clarify the record about Wilson: who sent him, and what he found, and what happened to those findings? For dragging out the declassification of the National Intelligence Estimate which showed the Wilson report supported rather than contradicted the estimate? Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his Deputy Dick Armitage, who knew Armitage leaked and hid from the President and public that fact, letting Libby and the entire White House staff be put through the wringer? The FBI which poorly investigated the matter, jiggered the notes of the interrogations and somehow lost the key inculpatory notes? Former Attorney Ashcroft who allowed himself to be nose ringed by the mandarinate into recusing himself from looking into the matter? Ashcroft's Deputy, Comey, who promised Senator Schumer when he was being confirmed that he would appoint a special counsel to investigate the matter and who then, in direct contravention of the Statute, made the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald, an appointment at odds with the U.S. Constitution? Comey, who tap danced the nature of the appointment to make it appear that there was an actual crime being investigated and not-as it turns out-that he was handing an open season fishing license to a proven master angler? And who days later, after unlawfully handing Fitzgerald the powers of the Attorney General, authorized him to look into the process crimes-which in truth is all they ever were after. Fitzgerald, who set it upon himself to find any process violation he could find, and who tricked an unsuspecting Libby, who knew he'd not leaked Plame's name to anyone into repeated FBI and grand jury interrogations in the hope of finding any memory inconsistency, no matter how immaterial or insignificant on which to hang his hat? Shall I curse the right side of the aisle which never likes to get its skirts dusty in the forum, even if their enemies are armed to the teeth and eviscerating their allies right before their noses? You know who I mean. Charge a Clintonite with wrongdoing and the entire Department of Justice sits on the news until his friends have worked out an appropriate spin and a time to leak it when it will do him the least harm. Consider the merest possibility that someone in the Administration might have done something wrong and Andrea Mitchell has the news of the investigation on the air in an hour and his allies flee in fright that they might get their garments dirty by speaking in his defense. Shall I blame the judge who let the prosecution get away with introducing into evidence prejudicial news accounts of limited relevance or probative value while denying the defense an opportunity to fully make its case? Who allowed the prosecutor to make scandalous charges in his rebuttal -- the last thing the jury would hear -- with no evidence on the record for them? Shall I blame the jury which seems to have been unable to find the pony so it reconstructed it out of flip charts and post it notes? This entire process has been an outrage from beginning to end. How preposterous is it to watch Nancy Pelosi strutting about the forum today-her record filled with appointments like William Jefferson's to head Homeland Security and John Conyers to head the Judiciary? A Speaker who has the chutzpah to say, "Today's guilty verdicts are not solely about the acts of one individual. The testimony unmistakably revealed -- at the highest levels of the Bush Administration - a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information and a disposition to sme[...]

What You See (in the Media) is Not What You Get (in the Libby Trial)

Mon, 29 Jan 2007 15:30:40 -0600

In this rogue's gallery, David Shuster of NBC makes it into the JOM spotlight twice; And Neil Lewis of the New York Times got star billing, as did the National Journal's Murray Waas. Newsweek's "Spikey" Isikoff filed too late to see his name in JOM's lights yet but he, too, deserves mention for a preposterously fantastical article on the trial. The article begins, "White House anxiety is mounting over the prospect" that Rove and Bartlett may testify. Isikoff is on the White House speed dial? He knows this how? Only at the end of the article - the very last sentence -- is it clear this is all his fevered speculation that he's passed on at the beginning of the article as a factual assertion. In the second paragraph, he mischaracterizes defense counsel Wells' argument saying it was that Libby "had been made a scapegoat" to protect Rove. Actually, Wells said that during the investigation Libby feared he was being scapegoated, not that, in fact, he was. (I think it may well be that his fear was based in part of something not yet revealed -- that the FBI agents doing the investigation mischaracterized to Libby and others what various people had said, probably in the hope of getting them to turn on each other. I think, in sum, the investigators lied to Libby as I believe they did to others.) Another mischaracterization from Spikey: "Libby is charged about when and from whom he learned about Plame." Actually Libby's own admission to investigators from day one was that he learned this from Cheney in June, that it was not a significant fact to him at the time, and that he'd forgotten about this side matter until reporters called asking about it. Certainly, a reporter as intimately familiar with this case as Isikoff, who wrote a book about it, could do a better job on this basic fact. Next utterly false "fact": Spikey says Wilson said there was nothing to the reports that Iraq had been trying to purchase uranium in Niger. We all know that is a lie. For one thing, the bi-partisan Congressional Committee investigating this said it was. Despite the restrictions on whom he could talk to (ex-officials), and what he was permitted to ask and the short length and nature of his "investigation", Wilson was told and reported back that there had been an Iraqi trade delegation to Niger and that it was believed they had been seeking to purchase uranium. Surely there was enough room in the article to tell readers that. As to Rove's testimony, Spikey reports that Rove will testify that Libby told him on July 11 he learned of Plame and her role from Russert. That would, of course, seem to support Libby's contention that Russert told him. (Something in an odd formulation, hardly dispositive of the matter, Russert has publicly denied. That is, he says he didn't know her name and her job at the CIA. Of course, if Russert follows the pattern of the first four witnesses, I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that the prosecution's characterization of his testimony is as distorted as it has been of the first four prosecution witnesses.) Spikey notes that, "More than a half dozen officials have said they passed along the same information earlier than that." Yeah, we heard four of them (Grossman, Grenier, Schmall and Martin) last week at the trial, and not one had a firm handle on when and where they told him, nor mentioned a reference longer than about 30 seconds. Fitzgerald's theory is that these remarks were so consequential Libby could not have forgotten this information. But the trial testimony shows this is preposterous and the prosecution's own witnesses have been demonstrating that claim is preposterous. In the process they have revealed (a) they have substantial memory problems themselves; and (b) the indictment and Fitzgerald press conference when he announced the indictment substantially overstated what these four witnesses had told the investigators and grand jury; and (c) not a single witness believed the information about Plame was significant that early in time. More fic[...]

Novak Speaks: New Questions for Fitzgerald and Comey

Wed, 12 Jul 2006 14:23:00 -0600

Novak adds that he got Plame's name from Joseph A. Wilson IV's own biography in Who's Who, establishing yet again that Ambassador Munchausen was not exactly the sort of husband a cautious CIA would choose for an agent whose identity it meant to shield from public eyes. Today (Wednesday, July 12, 2006) Novak will appear on the Special Report with Brit Hume and Hannity & Colmes shows on Fox News Channel to be further interviewed about his disclosures, something now permitted since the Special Prosecutor has released him from his obligation to remain silent while the investigation proceeded. The Fitzgerald case falls apart I take it that the nod to Novak signals the long Fitzgerald circus is breaking up the tents and moving on, having succeeded only in tying up the time and money of the hapless White House staffers whom he enmeshed in this preposterous long-running carnival of misadventure and misdirection. His accomplishments consist of smearing the reputation of one of the key warriors against terror, the brilliant and hard-working Lewis Libby, and the added burden on an already pressed White House staff. That the circus was about to close was obvious during the discovery proceedings in May. During those hearings, Libby's counsel argued that he should be entitled to notes not yet provided to him (because not in the Prosecutor's possession). In argument, that counsel argued from what he did have that there was much more in Time's and the New York Time's possession that was exculpatory to his client to which Libby was entitled. For example: NOW, YOUR HONOR, MR. COOPER TOOK NOTES--HE SAT THERE AND TYPED ON HIS COMPUTER AS HE TALKED TO MR. LIBBY--OF EVERYTHING THEY TALKED ABOUT. WE HAVE THOSE. THERE IS NO REFERENCE TO THE WIFE WHATSOEVER.IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CALL WITH MR. LIBBY, MR. COOPER SENT TO HIS EDITOR AN E-MAIL DESCRIBING THE IMPORTANT THINGS THAT MR. LIBBY HAD SAID. THERE IS NO REFERENCE TO THE WIFE. NONE WHATSOEVER. THE COURT: YOU HAVE THAT E-MAIL, TOO, I ASSUME. MR. JEFFRESS: YES, WE DO. THAT'S WHAT THEY PRODUCED TO THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR AND WHAT THE GRAND JURY HAD. THERE IS ANOTHER E-MAIL. AGAIN, WE HAVE THIS ONE.THERE IS AN E-MAIL BY MR. COOPER, AGAIN TO HIS EDITOR, ON JULY 16, FOUR DAYS AFTER HIS CONVERSATION WITH MR. LIBBY AND FIVE DAYS AFTER HIS CONVERSATION WITH MR. ROVE, ABOUT THEARTICLE THEY ARE PLANNING TO WRITE IN WHICH THEY ARE GOING TO MENTION THE WIFE. AND THE E-MAIL SAYS--TALKS ABOUT HIM HAVING AN ADMINISTRATION SOURCE FOR THE INFORMATION ABOUT MS. WILSON. AND I SUBMIT TO YOUR HONOR THERE IS--AS YOU CANSEE, THE CREDIBILITY OF MR. COOPER WITH RESPECT TO HIS DESCRIPTION THAT MR. LIBBY CONFIRMED MR. PLAME'S EPLOYMENT BY THE C.I.A. IS GOING TO BE VERY MUCH AT ISSUE IN THIS CASE. AND THAT IS WHAT CASES ARE ALL ABOUT. AND WE SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO ANYTHING THAT MR. COOPER HAS SAID OR THAT OTHERS HAVE SAID OR DONE, SUCH AS MR. MASSIMO TALKING TO MR. WILSON ON THE BASIS OF WHAT COOPER SAID.AND THAT KIND OF INFORMATION IS DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO THE CROSS-EXAMINATION, AND WE SUBMIT THAT IT SHOULD BE ENFORCED. AND CERTAINLY WE HAVE ESTABLISHED SPECIFICITY WITH RESPECT TO THAT. THE OTHER THING I WOULD SAY IS THIS IS THE FIRST IHAVE HEARD THAT TIME HAS A DOCUMENT THAT REFERS TO MS. PLAME. NOW, PERHAPS, THAT'S MR. COOPER'S COMMUNICATION WITH MR. MASSIMO, OR PERHAPS IT IS MR. MASSIMO'S NOTES WITH MR. WILSON. I DON'T KNOW, BUT CERTAINLY IF THERE IS A DOCUMENT THAT DOES REFER TO MS. PLAME PRIOR TO JULY 14, WE SUBMIT THAT THAT'S RELEVANT AND SHOULD BE PRODUCED AS WELL. THAT'S ALL I HAVE ON TIME AND COOPER, YOUR HONOR. Judge Walton subsequently ordered Time to produce all of its documentation on the conversation with Libby to him. After reading these documents, he ruled that no matter how Cooper testified on the stand at trial this documentation would impeach his testimony and he ordered Time to turn it over to Libby. Thus, it was obvious from that point on that 2 of the 5 counts in the indictment, those based on Cooper's test[...]