Fitzmas turned out to be less decisive than most hoped. I wonder what the next phase holds?
Tow straws in the wind are op-eds by Victoria Toensing and Zell Miller. Now that Fitzgerald came up dry in terms of an immense White House conspiracy to "punish" Wilson, maybe a few reporters will look into Wilson, his lies and the unanswered questions about his mission.
Macsmind and AJ Strata are still the two must read sites. Frankly, each speculates more than I would, but they are unearthing a lot of interesting information. To my eye, they have uncovered more dots and better connections than were found in the Phoenix memo or on Moussoui's laptop.
Clarice at American Thinker has some good questions that an enterprising reporter could ask. Some of those questions have been bothering me since 2004.
I doubt there will be many volunteers from the MSM for reasons set out here:
Clinton Taylor made a vital point here when he noted:
While the CIA may back Wilson's account to reporters, it has now twice contradicted him when the chips were down and the threat of perjury loomed.Whether Libby is guilty or innocent, the activities of some in CIA have been disturbing. Time after time anonymous CIA sources have fed lies to journalists. Such active disinformation operations in the US are supposed to be strictly off-limits to Langley. Nor are CIA personnel permitted to lie or stonewall Congressional investigators.
From Just One Minute:
Among other things, the Senator discussed the question of whether Valerie Plame was involved in the selection of Wilson for the trip. The Senate staff had asked her that very question in January; the Senator asked them to check the transcript, and he was astonished by her answer - "I honestly do not recall if I suggested it to my boss".
I do not fully share his surprise at her conveniently lapsed memory. Ms. Plame is a highly trained covert operator, schooled in techniques that will enable her to resist the most vigourous of interrogations by Russkies and other baddies (not that the Russkies are baddies now, but... oh, forget it). We did not know that the training technique included listening to old Steve Martin routines, but it is still impressive to see a top pro in action.
From The Weekly Standard:
"Some CPD [Counterproliferation Division] officials could not recall how the office decided to contact [Wilson]," its report says. "However, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip." There's more: "The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador's wife 'offered up his name,' and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from the former ambassador's wife, says, 'my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.'"
See also these two Powerline posts which discuss the disinformation spread about Curveball and the INC:
Under normal circumstances this would have the MSM in a frenzy over the actions of "rogue elephants" at CIA. Instead we get this odd piece on the Washington Post op-ed page:
It is not surprising that your White House distrusts and/or despises the media, the CIA, the State Department's career officers, the United Nations and a host of other institutions that you could not control, but that you could not accept that you could not control. Like most paranoia, yours is not totally unfounded: People in those institutions were out to defy and/or get you.
But you and yours helped them accomplish the mission. One lesson available in this story is that amateurs are no match for the CIA in disinformation campaigns. The spies are far better at operating in the shadows than you politicians will ever be. They have a license to dissemble.
The hidden management of the criminal justice process and the news media practiced by spooks in Wilson-Rove-Libbygate is nothing short of brilliant. So you were right to fear the agency. Where else do you think the one-page crime report that triggered the investigation and then the pressure-building leaks disclosing its existence came from?
Fear probably caused you to keep the Clinton-appointed leadership in place at the CIA long after some of its top operatives mounted a rebellion against the White House, in part to shift attention from their failures to yours. I know that George Tenet charmed you, and the rest of us. That's what spies and spymasters do, sir. You should have been taking that into account.
The raw cynicism takes your breath away. Apparently, it is OK for rogue elements of CIA to undermine an elected government if that government does not play the game the way reporters want it to play. Hoagland's piece also gives lie to the idea that shield laws protect our freedoms. All too often, the press and unelected insiders use anonymous leaks to undermine our elected officials.