July 19, 2007

Adios, Muchacha

Hatched by Dafydd

Today, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates (George W. Bush, 2001) dismissed Val's deceitful federal lawsuit accusing Vice President Dick Cheney, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, former Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs Lewis Libby, and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage of "conspiring to leak her identity in 2003," which she claims "violated her privacy rights and was illegal retribution for her husband's criticism of the administration," as AP puts it.

Naturally. Armitage, a virulent opponent of the Iraq invasion and protege of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell (another outspoken opponent), was seeking "retribution" against Lyin' Joe Wilson for defaming the Bush administration -- over the Iraq invasion that Armitage despised!

We all know there is one and only one reason that Armitage was added to the lawsuit: because he is the only person known actually to have leaked her name to the press; and it would look pretty stupid -- even for a Democrat -- to file a lawsuit against three people who Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald did not claim leaked her name, but not against the one person who Fitzgerald did say leaked her name.

The judge dismissed the lawsuit on jurisdictional grounds, but he seems to have also leaned towards the administration's argument on constitutionality:

While Bates did not address the constitutional questions, he seemed to side with administration officials who said they were acting within their job duties. Plame had argued that what they did was illegal and outside the scope of their government jobs.

"The alleged means by which defendants chose to rebut Mr. Wilson's comments and attack his credibility may have been highly unsavory, " Bates wrote. "But there can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism, such as that levied by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration's handling of prewar foreign intelligence, by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants' duties as high-level Executive Branch officials."

What I find particularly amusing in the AP story is the second paragraph below:

Plame's identity was revealed in a syndicated newspaper column in 2003, shortly after Wilson began criticizing the administration's march to war in Iraq. Plame believes the leak was retribution and that it violated their constitutional rights.

Armitage and Rove were the sources for that article, which touched off a lengthy leak investigation. Nobody was charged with leaking but Libby was convicted of lying and obstruction the investigation. Bush commuted Libby's 2 1/2-year prison term before the former aide served any time.

This, of course, is carefully written to make it appear as if Karl Rove were one of the original leakers, perhaps working in concert with Armitage -- which should provoke derisive laughter in anyone who knows anything about the chilly relationship between the opposing camps of the Bush administration.

But in fact, what Novak testified is that Rove was only a "source" in the sense that he said something that Novak interpreted as corroboration that "Wilson's wife" was employed by the CIA... after Novak had already been told by Armitage. In fact, Novak brought up the question to Rove, mentioning the exact department where Plame worked; Rove answered somewhat ambiguously, I think, and perhaps in unintentional surprise that Novak knew:

Novak said Plame's status was confirmed later in a conversation with Rove.

Novak said he asked Rove several questions about Wilson's mission to Niger, and near the end of the conversation, "I commented that I heard she was a -- I had been told she was an employee of the counterproliferation division of the CIA. He said, " 'Oh, you know about that, too.' I took that as a clear affirmation."

Well, evidently Special Counsel Fitzgerald didn't take it as enough of a "clear affirmation" to charge Rove with anything... not even with perjury, a la Libby, which many predicted would happen when Rove belatedly remembered the exchange and testified two subsequent times to the grand jury. And even if clear, was it even intentional? Or was Rove simply surprised that Novak knew everything, perhaps blurting out "you know about that too?"

That level of disconnect from the leak does not suit the elite media's purposes, however; so Rove becomes one of the primary leakers, arm in arm with Armitage.

Somehow, the Democrats and their aiders and abettors in the media convinced themselves -- sometime back in 1999, I believe -- that the Bush administration is the most corrupt presidency in American history. For nine years now, these "Truthers" have searched desperately, and at times hysterically, for the "smoking gun" that will retroactively prove true all their paranoid conspiracy fancies.

No matter how many times the football is yanked away, I suspect the crusade will continue long past 2009; and Valerie Plame will remain its golden calf.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 19, 2007, at the time of 2:31 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Seaberry

Cover gets blown once:

Secrets of the Scandal

Then a second time:

Valerie Plame

"...in a second compromise...a more recent inadvertent disclosure resulted in references to Mrs. Plame in confidential documents sent by the CIA to the U.S. Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Havana."

Embassies in Cuba hire Cubans for cleaning, cooking, secretarial duties, etc. Perhaps the CIA forgot about that doozy or wanted to forget.

The above hissed in response by: Seaberry [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 19, 2007 4:28 PM

The following hissed in response by: eliXelx

Are all CIA honey-traps considered to be working "under cover"?

The above hissed in response by: eliXelx [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2007 3:42 AM

The following hissed in response by: Seaberry

CIA "honey-traps"...now that's a great word, since I've often wondered what her actual 'NOC' duties were.

The above hissed in response by: Seaberry [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 21, 2007 5:12 AM

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