Monday, 24 October 2005

Where there's smoke, there's, er, more smoke

I’ll leave the interpretation to someone who actually cares about Plamegate, like Tom Maguire, but offhand this New York Times report sounds like a big deal:

I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby’s testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

The notes, taken by Mr. Libby during the conversation, for the first time place Mr. Cheney in the middle of an effort by the White House to learn about Ms. Wilson’s husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who was questioning the administration’s handling of intelligence about Iraq’s nuclear program to justify the war.

Meanwhile, the GOP appears to be gearing up for a Ken Starr-reminiscent smear operation against special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, which isn’t making TigerHawk or Andy McCarthy very happy.

Monday, 18 July 2005

The Deion Effect

Steven Taylor on Plamegate and politics as a spectator sport:

We too often treat politics like a spectator sport–everything is seen in terms of whether it helps our side move the ball forward or not. If our side says it, it is good; if the other side says it, it’s bad. Such thinking diverts us from genuine, efficacious public dialogue. We altogether seem too interested in making sure our side scores (or, at least, that the other side doesn’t) than we are in actually having a worthwhile discussion about what our national priorities should be, and what solutions are needed to address them.

Because the current story involves Karl Rove–a man greatly disliked by many in the press and in the Democratic Party and a man loved by many Republicans because he works for a Republican President–the story becomes a way to score points.

Think Dick Morris: he was hated by Republicans when he was helping Clinton formulate triangulation strategies, but beloved by many of the same folks once he started criticizing Clinton in newspaper columns and writing anti-Hillary books.

Meanwhile, Nick Troester thinks Democrats may have hitched onto a losing cause:

I think it’s a very, very good thing for the Republican party if Democrats and Democratic activists continue to harp on this issue: no one will really care unless the end result uncovers something massively criminal (and they may not care even then, e.g. Iran-Contra), but mostly it makes Democrats look like crazy loons who will tilt at whatever windmills they can find to out Bush’s (or Bush’s associates’) ‘criminal’ behavior. Did these people learn nothing from Monicagate?

I believe this is the first corrollary to Jane’s Law, simply stated as follows: “The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.”

Friday, 15 July 2005

Your infrequent Plame saga update

Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy takes note of an AP article (gasp) leaking grand jury testimony from Karl Rove (also leaked to the ”New York Times, apparently) that indicates that Rove found out the name of covert agent/DC housewife/socialite Valerie Plame from syphilocon columnist Robert Novak—more or less the same way that Lewis “Scooter” Libby found out her identity.

Meanwhile, Steven Taylor works up just enough effort to care about the case, which I have to say is probably more effort than I could work up. But, you know, as the token Americanist blogger in the blogosphere, I guess I should at least pretend to care…

Update: This would tend to reinforce Jon Podhoretz’s theory of events (☣), although I don’t necessarily believe Judith Miller is the target of the investigation.

Sunday, 10 July 2005

Frogmarch hopes being dashed

The latest revelations in the interminable Valerie Plame saga don’t seem to be making things any clearer, although Joe Gandelman tries to read the tea leaves and forsees political problems for the White House, even though the odds of Rove having committed a crime (at least by revealing Plame’s name) seem to be getting slim.

Meanwhile, it’s still All Plame, all the time over at JustOneMinute, if you can’t get enough of this excitement.