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Errr…What?

Or, are you kidding me? Kevin Drum puts forward a perposterous argument for why I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is really guilty of outing Valerie Plame. The explanation can be summed up as:

Fitzgeral had the goods, but he just decided not to go after Libby on the actual reason he his current job.

Kevin then rightly realizes that this is just simply nonsense. But here is the kicker, it isn’t nonsense because it sounds so blazingly stupid, but because Libby wasn’t Novak’s source. Further, this doesn’t sit well with Kevin’s early comments that Libby did blow the cover of a CIA agent. Talk about flip-flops.

The rest of the post is Kevin’s attempt to try and infer what Fitzgerald is really thinking. It is really pretty amazing to watch such a…blinded thought process. Kevin’s reasoning is that obviously Fitzgerald know’s who leaked Plame’s name. Further, that it is unlikely that Fitzgerald would let the leaker off the hook, so therefore the only reasonable conclusion is that Fitzgerald didn’t think he could win a case against the leaker. Nothing about disclosing Plame’s name actually not being a crime, or that Fitzgerald doesn’t know who did the leak.

The Democrats sure look like the Republicans back when Clinton was having his problems. I tell ya it if it wasn’t so pathetic it’d be funny.

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About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research.

Comments

  1. Kevin Drum says:

    I’m just curious, Steve. Do you actually read my posts before you comment on them?

    Honest, try reading it again. I think you’ve wildly misunderstood my point. None of what you say makes sense, and neither does your “summing up.”

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  2. Boyd says:

    I have to agree with Kevin, Steve (and Lord knows I’m not a Drum apologist). Your analysis doesn’t match well with what it appeared to me that Kevin was saying.

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  3. Wilson: There Have Been Threats

    In his first interview since the indictment of I. Lewis Libby, Joe Wilson tells Ed Bradley that ther

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  4. jpe says:

    Further, this doesn’t sit well with Kevin’s early comments that Libby did blow the cover of a CIA agent. Talk about flip-flops.

    Kevin said that Libby was involved in the outing, not that he was the one that initially outed Plame.

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  5. Steve Verdon says:

    Sorry Kevin, but I see this part of your post,

    So why not bring charges against Mr. X? It’s pretty clear that he leaked Plame’s name, and if Fitzgerald thought the leak itself was criminal then Mr. X sure ought to be guilty of something. And since no other charges were filed against Mr. X, you can’t say that Fitzgerald just decided to go for the easy case and let the other stuff slide.

    That leaves only one conclusion: Fitzgerald didn’t think he could win conviction for any charges related to the actual leak of Plame’s name. And if he didn’t think he could win a case against Mr. X, he probably didn’t think he could win a case against Libby either.

    as saying, that the only explanation is that outing Plame was illegal, but that Fitzgerald didn’t think he could win the case. It seems to me that there is another possibility:

    That “outing” Plame was not illegal and hence going after X is not viable, but Libby still committed perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements.

    Based on James’ post further down this seems at least a possibility, but you somehow have inferred precisely what is in Fitzgerald’s head and concluded this can’t possibly be the case.

    Sorry Kevin, but I see this part of your post,

    So why not bring charges against Mr. X? It’s pretty clear that he leaked Plame’s name, and if Fitzgerald thought the leak itself was criminal then Mr. X sure ought to be guilty of something. And since no other charges were filed against Mr. X, you can’t say that Fitzgerald just decided to go for the easy case and let the other stuff slide.

    That leaves only one conclusion: Fitzgerald didn’t think he could win conviction for any charges related to the actual leak of Plame’s name. And if he didn’t think he could win a case against Mr. X, he probably didn’t think he could win a case against Libby either.

    as saying, that the only explanation is that outing Plame was illegal, that Fitzgerals knows who it is, but that Fitzgerald didn’t think he could win the case. It seems to me that there is another possibility:

    That “outing” Plame was not illegal and hence going after X is not viable, but Libby still committed perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements.

    Based on James’ post further down (as well as other sources) this seems at least a possibility, but you somehow have inferred precisely what is in Fitzgerald’s head and concluded this can’t possibly be the case.

    Of course, these posts of yours are a bit better than your economics posts. You do you best work with the digital camera and the cats, IMO.

    Oh, and this post of yours seems to pretty much support what I’ve written. That Plame was not covert, hence no way to “bring charges against Mr. X”.

    Of course, these posts of yours are at least a bit better than your economics posts. You do you best work with the digital camera and the cats, IMO.

    And one last thing, I think you’ve misread. My summing up comment was not about the entirety of your post, but about your first statement about why Fitzgerald didn’t go after Libby for outing Plame.

    Boyd,

    See the above.

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  6. Steve Verdon says:

    jpe,

    I see that as a distinction without a difference. If Libby was involved in the outing of Plame and it was illegal, then he should have been charged with that. Now we have Kevin’s latest post that notes Plame was not “covert” in the sense of the law in question, and so charges on that point wouldn’t have gone very far at all. Kevin’s initial posts on the indictment were over-reaching and he was blinded by his partisanship.

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  7. ken says:

    Steve, Not covert? How would you know? Isn’t that the whole point of being covert – that no one really knows that you are and that people like Stever Verdon think you are not covert?

    Her real job, whatever it really was, is still classified and anyone else who really knows isn’t going to tell you Steve.

    What evidence do you have, beyond your feverish imagination, that she never engaged in covert activities and so that it was not illegal to out her?

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  8. Barry says:

    James Joyner:

    “The Democrats sure look like the Republicans back when Clinton was having his problems. I tell ya it if it wasn’t so pathetic it’d be funny.”

    Let’s compare and contrast – a skill which I believe has gone out of style in our depts of poli. sci.

    Let’s take this case, and see what we’d have to change, to make it comparable to Starr:

    1) The charge would have to be about something which Bush allegedly did *before* he became president.

    2) Brought by a guy who was in legal trouble, and so had reason to say anything which would earn him fewer years in prison.

    3) Because there was no independent counsel law, any investigator would be taking orders from (in the end) Ashcroft. Ashcroft would have solved this dilemma by going to the Dem Senate leadership, and asking them for a list of candidates to select for the position, and appointing one off of that.

    4) After that guy cleared the administration, the Democratic political and propaganda leadership would have had to howl that the guy was appointed by Ashcroft, and that he was therefore biased. The fact that the Senate Democratic leadership considered him to be trustworthy would not be mentioned.

    5) The Democratic effort would cause a ‘do-over’, restarting the investigation with a man picked by Democratic judges.

    6) This second investigator would have kept open an already-completed investigation for five years or so.

    7) Leaking incriminating tidbits quite illegally, to those reporters who cooperated (I wonder how much of some reporters’ anger is that they were denied these leaks?).

    8) Meanwhile, a bunch of Democratic operatives would be paid by left-wing ‘think tanks’ to appear on TV, denouncing the administration. Examples: the Olsens, Toensig (sp?).

    9) While numerous hate radio propagandist lied repeatedly about the administration.

    10) After several years of continuing the investigation, a charge of perjury would have be made against Bush – for testimony in a totally unrelated civil suit, brought with the help of Democratic operatives, with a Democratic mole in the White House.

    11) The investigator would not clear Bush of the various allegations originally made, nor would try to bring charges. Instead, he’d make a bunch of public accusations, and plead inability to prove them. Unlike with Fitzgerald, where he was careful not to make charges that he wasn’t actually bringing.

    12) At the end of the whole matter, Bush’s successor would have to commit crimes which were far, far worse, in the estimation of any honest man. Something on the ratio of: ‘start a war to gain power’:’perjure oneself about an affair’.
    Democrats would have to fanatically defend Bush’s successor, endorsing theories which they knew well to be false, and falling back one step at a time only when they absolutely had to, as ‘facts’ became ‘no longer operative’.

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  9. Steve Verdon says:

    Ken,

    Read the post by Kevin I linked too. After his initial posts even Kevin’s position is she wasn’t covert in regards to the laws in question. Was her association with the CIA classified? Sure, but that is different in regards to the laws regarding outing covert agents.

    Basically classified does not equal covert.

    Barry,

    You are misunderstanding the analogy. It isn’t about the charges, but about the behavior of the two political parties in regards to “scandals” involving the Clinton and Bush administrations.

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  10. ken says:

    Steve, is Kevin Drum your authoritative source regarding the covert or not-covert status of classified CIA agents? How would he know any more about it than you do?

    I do not think either of you have a source willing to divuldge any further information about Valerie Plame other than the one and only fact we know about her which is that her job is classified.

    You are not authorized for any more information Steve. Sorry.

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  11. Steve Verdon says:

    Steve, is Kevin Drum your authoritative source regarding the covert or not-covert status of classified CIA agents?

    No.

    How would he know any more about it than you do?

    I think it is safe to say Kevin doesn’t know more. At least not as of Friday when he was doing quite a bit of Plame-Libby blogging.

    I do not think either of you have a source willing to divuldge any further information about Valerie Plame other than the one and only fact we know about her which is that her job is classified.

    Okay, back here on Earth most of us realize that classified does not mean covert.

    You are not authorized for any more information Steve. Sorry.

    God I hope this means you wont be posting anymore comments.

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  12. Barry says:

    Steve Verdon: “Barry,

    You are misunderstanding the analogy. It isn’t about the charges, but about the behavior of the two political parties in regards to “scandals” involving the Clinton and Bush administrations.”

    Steve, perhaps you should re-read what I posted. My analogy included both the crimes and the reactions of the political parties. There were several mentions of this.

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