ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Latest in the Plame Fiasco

So Fitzmas was like getting clothes instead of toys for Christmas when you were a kid for those on the left. Since the dark master Karl Rove wasn't indicted they had to settle for Scooter. Then Woodward came out and let us all know that it turns out that the WH wasn't leaking information about Wilson (or his wife) first, but rather someone else. Igniting Libby's defense.

Of course the left immediately started questioning Woodwards motives. The darling of Watergate, the man who brought down Nixon, a leading reporter calling for Ken Starr's head in his investigation of Clinton, is now being accused of being in bed with the Bush administration.

So then yesterday, news comes out of Time magazine that Viveca Novak (no relation to Bob Novak, although several DUers tried to insinutate that at some point I'm sure) is being called to testify before the new GJ that Fitz has empaneled.

The left immediately jumped on this as perhaps Fitzmas was actually going to come this year! They immediately start cooking up elaborate theories as to how this will finally cook Karl's "goose." Firedoglake has an excellent example here (emphasis added):

After talking to a small multitude and reading all the competing theories and engaging in much "group think" over the significance of the Viveca Novak testimony, the most salient things I've read today come from the comments section. One from Wilson46201:
My feeling is that Luskin was trying to tamper with Cooper's testimony somehow. Maybe to complain how Rove's release was coerced (by somebody) and figured V. Novak would pass the info to her colleague. Rove knew Cooper's testimony would not be exculpatory so Luskin was trying something (anything!) to block it...

So lets see, Luskin is so deranged by the neocon cabal, that he commits a crime in order to potentially defend his client to try and stop information that ended up coming out anyway. Hmm... Let's keep moving.
Another comes from Sam:
Let's not forget in the beginning there was a meeting of the Cabal to plot strategy to discredit Wilson and get revenge via his wife, all to protect their lies for going to war. A conspiracy of intent. A second conspiracy to cover their tracks with reporters carrying the burden of revelations. A third conspiracy of the Cabal to spin the story to cover up the previous two conspiracies. THAT IS WHERE WE ARE AT NOW---POSSIBLE "targeted direct attempts at communication" BY LUSKIN AND ROVE.

Oh ok, so we have a "meeting" which proves a crime, and another conspiracy to cover up that first crime and now a 3rd conspiracy, and THAT's the one that Fitz is perusing over? It seems to me if there was a meeting to out Wilson's wife, the whole Libby indictment would have been moot. But the left just KNOWS in its heart the real story and any facts that are in the way are just proof that there is another conspiracy! If you can believe triple conspiracies, its not much further to leap to the final example.

Then there is always Adam's theory:
Back in May 2004, Luskin pulled the wrong "Novak" from his rolodex and left a message saying, "Hi Bob, just passing along a message from Karl. He wanted me to remind you that he can have you killed."

Wow, um Ok. If they can have Novak killed, couldn't they have Fitz killed too? I'm just saying.

In my book it all adds up to TURDY NO SLEEP GOOD TONIGHT.

Um, no it adds up to wishful thinking.

So the kicker to this whole sordid tale? Well the Washington Post has an article today that addresses why Viveca is testifying (emphasis added):

The reporter for Time magazine who recently agreed to testify in the CIA leak case is central to White House senior adviser Karl Rove's effort to fend off an indictment in the two-year-old investigation, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Central to Karl's effort to fend off an indictment? Why it doesn't sound like Rove is losing any sleep then.

It's not clear why Luskin believes Novak's deposition could help Rove, President Bush's deputy chief of staff, who remains under investigation into whether he provided false statements in the case. But a person familiar with the matter said Luskin cited his conversations with Novak in persuading Fitzgerald not to indict Rove in late October, when the prosecutor brought perjury and obstruction-of-justice charges against Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

"This is what caused [Fitzgerald] to hold off on charging" Rove, the source said. But another person familiar with the conversations said they did not appear to significantly alter the case.

It may not be clear to us why Luskin thinks it would help, but its obviously clear to him. And, if it didnt alter the case, then why didn't Fitz indict back then? It obviously did alter the case, at least enought that Fitz had to pursue a different lead, i.e. Viveca.

One additional little tidbit from the article that highlights Libby's upcoming defense:

The Libby legal team cheered Woodward's testimony, calling it "a bombshell" and contending that it undercut Fitzgerald's case that Libby was the first official known to have talked about Plame and her CIA status with a reporter.

Libby's legal team plans to rely on testimony from Woodward and other reporters to show that the former Cheney aide is not guilty of lying, providing misleading statements and obstructing justice in the course of the investigation, a person familiar with the legal strategy said.

Translation: We plan on seeing if the 1st amendment trumps the 6th amendment. We're going to call most of the Washington press corps to the stand.

Let's keep digging:

Fitzgerald has spent the past two years investigating whether any Bush administration officials disclosed Plame's name and employment at the CIA as part of an effort to discredit allegations by her husband, former diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV, that President Bush had twisted intelligence to justify the Iraq war. Fitzgerald has not charged anyone with the crime he originally set out to prove: the illegal disclosure of a covert CIA operative's identity. Instead, he has focused on alleged wrongdoing in the course of the investigation.

Fitzgerald recently disclosed that he plans to present new evidence to a second grand jury. People close to the case said the first area Fitzgerald wants to address is Woodward's testimony and his source, who has not been publicly identified.

Woodward's source could face legal troubles because the source testified earlier in the case and apparently did not mention a conversation with Woodward about Plame, according to lawyers in the case. If the source provided inaccurate or incomplete information, Fitzgerald could seek to bring charges, they said.

Even though Fitz couldn't find any real crime, he's got to find something, so he's going to keep digging. Maybe he can dig all the way to Wilson's conversations with Kristof and Pincus.

The revelation that Woodward's source testified earlier, almost undoubtedly means its Armitage. And one explanation as to why it wasn't mentioned in his earlier testimony is because Fitz never asked. I have a feeling that Fitz didn't ask many questions of reporter contacts with government officials outside the WH officials. It didnt' fit the narrative that the MSM and Fitz were pursuing (i.e. WH cabal punishing Wilson with the outing of his wife).

In short? Fitzmas may have to wait another two years.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian