Saturday, March 11, 2006


Patrick Fitzgerald's original charge was to discover whether a crime had been committed in the disclosure by two Senior Administration Officials that Joe Wilson's tea drinking odyssey in Niger had been initiated by a suggestion from the well known (in some circles) CIA analyst Valerie Plame, who had the great good fortune to know Ambassador Wilson on a rather personal basis.

Mr. Fitzgerald, having lost his way very early in the investigation, has submitted an affidavit making the rather entertaining claim that one of Novak's sources (unnamed government official - UGO) might suffer in some way were his name to be disclosed. Mr. Fitzgerald very carefully redacted that name from the affidavit which has given rise to a great deal of speculation over at the Just One Minute blog (Plame Central for aficionados).

A very industrious commenter by the 'name' of MJW at JOM has spent a good deal of time and effort on his own investigation into the identity of UGO based upon a very careful analysis of the affidavit using some techniques reminiscent of those used in discovering the TANG memo fraud. The analysis is somewhat lengthy and can be followed here:



cf said...

Kudos to you for all this hard work.

Rick Ballard said...

I just hope that MJW isn't charged with practicing journalism without a license.

David Thomson said...

Correction: It is not Fitzgerald, but Fitzpatrick

“Mr. Fitzgerald, having lost his way very early in the investigation”

That’s the understatement of the century. Patrick Fitzpatrick’s investigation should not have even gone past the first few days. It was obvious that a crime had not been committed. The odds are that Fitzpatrick subconsciously wanted to prove he was “independent” of the White House and garner the adulation of the leftist media. This man is apparently not a radical leftist. Thus, no other theory makes any sense.

Scooter Libby’s case will likely be dropped. However, it some respects I hope I’m wrong. The revelations that would almost certainly come out during the trial would be mind blowing.

Rick Ballard said...

Thanks DT, fixed.

In addition to what you're saying, I find it very curious that UGO is unworthy of close attention by Fitzpatrick. Apparently Fitz feels there is a "right" type of disclosure and a "wrong" type of disclosure.

I'd like to see the statute from which he is working. It must be written in an extraordinarily clever fashion.

flenser said...

With all due respect to all the people at Just One Minute who spend so much time on this matter, what difference does it make who the UGO is?

The basic question here has been unanswered since 2003. It certainly appears that WH opponents in State, the CIA, and the press worked together to try to run a sting against the Bush administration.

Three years later we are no closer to finding out for sure if that is what happened. Sure looks like it though.

Fitzgerald appears to have made two determinations right at the outset. The first was that Joe Wilson was a "whistleblower". The second was that the WH attempted to retaliate against this whistleblower.

Accordingly, as Fitzgerald sees it, it is unimportant if a non-WH UGO blabbled Plames name. It does not even matter if her name was common knowledge. The WH guilt was in their intent, not in their actions. So goes Fitz' theory in any case, and he is free to prosocute anyone he pleases for whatever he wants.

If Armitage confessed today to being Novaks source I can't imagine it making the slightest difference to Fitzgerald. Presumably he already knows.

As I've said before, the "classified" information in this case is only classified from the American people. The WH really ought to declassify almost everything surrounding the Plame case.

Some people think they have not done so for security reasons. I'm afraid the real reason is probably that they don't call the shots. The executive branch agencies have been thumbing their noses at the WH for years, and continue to do so. For example, John Negroponte is refusing to release captured Iraqi intel, and Bush seems powerless to override him.

Any future Republican administration is going to have to be far more ruthless about weeding out its political opponents. Bill Clintons actions set a useful precedent here.

David Thomson said...

“Apparently Fitz feels there is a "right" type of disclosure and a "wrong" type of disclosure.”

“Feels” is likely what Fitzpatrick is doing. Rational thought has little to do with his decision making. In back of the prosecutor’s mind, the man is wondering what the New York Times will say about him on its editorial pages. Fitzpatrick is, after all, described as courageously independent when he filths on the Bush administration. He will also almost certainly be offered a major book deal.

Please note that I pretending to be something of a credentialled psychiatrist (why should guys like Jamie Irons have all the fun?). One is compelled to psychoanalyze individuals. Human beings are sometimes utterly unaware of their true motivations. There is no doubt in my mind but that Patrick Fitzpatrick would be upset with my analysis. Oh well, at least I don’t think he can throw me into jail for practicing medicine without a license.

flenser said...

I'd like to see the statute from which he is working.

What statute was Ronnie Earle working from? Prosecutors have almost unlimited discretion in what they do. "Special prosecutors" like Fitzgerald even more so. He is free to indict anyone he wishes on whatever grounds he can find.

cf said...

It is FitzGERALD BTW--please stop this..Lifson always makes the same mistake in editing and I often miss it..It's crazymaking.

loner said...

This case will be over if and when Patrick Fitzgerald is found by the Supreme Court not to have been appointed properly or if and when President Bush pardons Scooter Libby on his last day in office, whichever comes first.

I don't give a rat's ass either, but that's my prediction.

Rick Ballard said...

"It certainly appears that WH opponents in State, the CIA, and the press worked together to try to run a sting against the Bush administration."

That sting is also the foundation of the "Bush lied" meme. The meme can't really be eradicated but hammering away at Lyin' Joe and Val the 'fixer' doesn't hurt anything.

Btw, I disagree strongly about Bush descending to Clintonesque tactics - he won election twice without them and he has governed without them. We don't need to see the DoJ or IRS used as political instruments. It's very unhealthy and "well, they did it" is a pretty pathetic excuse.

In the end - what have the Clinton/Dems won with the 24/7 'War Room' tactics? All it has proven to be is stimulus for an ever diminishing base composed of losers.

Charlie Martin said...

Just for Clarice, I vote we start calling Patrick Fitzgerald "Gerald Fitzpatrick."

Syl said...

And Libby didn't even mention her name. He's Plameless.

Syl said...

BTW GREAT work on this!!

cf said...

Seneca, Do Not Go There...I have enough trouble getting names straight and all this Fitz stuff is making me insane..When I'm proofreading editorial changes at 3 a.m. or 6 a.m. having been writing all night, I miss this and it is sooo aggravating.

Peter UK said...

"Patrick Fitzgerald - Gerald Fitzpatrick."
Or are they just good friends?

flenser said...

In the end - what have the Clinton/Dems won with the 24/7 'War Room' tactics?

Thay have won a great deal. They have cemented in the public mind the notion that "Bush lied". Even many people sympathetic to Bush now believe that. Very few people read the blogs, and it is a mistake to think that something refuted on a blog is refuted in the real world.

Their War Room tactics have resulted in Bush being at his lowest point in the pools, and the GOP in general running scared. They have also given considerable aid and comfort to the enemy.

You stll have offered no justification for the WH failure to release information on Plame.

Rick Ballard said...

There is no justification of the release of Plame's status. It is not within the express or implied duties of the executive to right every wrong or rebut every liar.

If Bush isn't worried about his poll numbers, why are you?

cf said...

cf said...

WASH POST's Ben Bradlee Claims Plame Leaker Was Richard Armitage
Mon Mar 13 2006 10:48:34 ET

THE WASHINGTON POST's famous Watergate editor Ben Bradlee claims that it was former State Department Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage who was the individual who leaked the identity of CIA official Valerie Plame.

In the latest issue of VANITY FAIR: "Woodward was in a tricky position. People close to him believe that he had learned about Plame from his friend Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's former deputy, who has been known to be critical of the administration and who has a blunt way of speaking. 'That Armitage is the likely source is a fair assumption,' former WASHINGTON POST editor Ben Bradlee said."

'I had heard about an e-mail that was sent that had a lot of unprintable language in it.'"