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April 13, 2006

Libby, Fitzgerald, Etc.

Libby denies any higher official order to leak Plame's name in his filings:

Mr. Libby does not contend that he was instructed to make any disclosures concerning Ms. Wilson by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, or anyone else.

His filings also demand a raft of documents from the CIA, State, etc., the government won't want to give up. This could be one of those cases where the prosecution loses a case because the government refuses to comply with a defendant's legal right to have sensitive and classified information to his defense. For crying out loud, if we let actual spies off the hook for that reason, there shouldn't be any reason Libby can't get himself off by the same route.

Except, of course, the entire media and most of the judiciary considers Libby a greater threat than Aldrich Aames.

He also intends to determine conclusively what Fitzgerald is often vague about -- whether or not Plame really was covert and whether or her "outing" actually hurt national security. He intends to call her as a witness-- sweet.

Meanwhile, Fitzgerald claimed in his own filings that Libby had leaked a "key judgment" of the National Intelligence Estimate that stated that Iraq was "vigorously" attempting to procure uranium. This was seized upon by the MSM as evidence that Libby was leaking false evidence overstating the NIE's take on Iraq, as that was not a "key judgment" of the NIE, but rather only mentioned in the NIE. But Fitzgerald changed his filing to say that Libby had been authorized to leak "key judgments" from the NIE and the NIE also mentioned that Iraq was "vigorously" pursuing uranium.

In other words, the MSM seized upon Fitzgerald's findings as proof that Bush Lied, People Died. But then Fitzgerald realized his wording had been sloppy, and ammended his filing to clarify this implication away.

The New York Times was informed of this by Fitzgerald's office. But they did not correct immediately as most other news organizations did. Their excuse for letting a false story stand for one full day longer than it should have?

Yesterday, Mr. Fitzgerald filed a letter with the court correcting his original filing to say Mr. Libby had been authorized to disclose "some of the key judgments of the N.I.E., and that the N.I.E. stated that Iraq was vigorously trying to procure uranium." This revised account of his filing undercut a basis of the Times article — that Mr. Libby testified that he had been told to overstate the significance of the intelligence about uranium.

Although Mr. Fitzgerald formally filed his corrective yesterday, accounts of it were provided to some news organizations on Tuesday night, and were the basis for news articles yesterday. The Times did not publish one, as other organizations did, because a telephone message and an e-mail message about the court filing went unnoticed at the newspaper.

You can bet your sweet ass that if Fitzgerald's phone calls and e-mails to the NYT had the effect of making the story worse for Bush, they would not have gone "unnoticed at the newspaper."


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posted by Ace at 11:09 AM

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