Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 31, 2005

WB: Body Double ++

Billmon:

III. Using Rosa

---

[H]aving sampled Scalito's intellectual wares in the Casey case, I think I can say unequivocally that this is a battle that has to be fought to the bitter end -- up to and including nuclear war. Little Scalia has to be attacked with any and every legal tool at the left's disposal, and for my money, Casey is a pretty good place to start.

And if that be Borking, let us make the most of it.

II. Casey as the Bat

---

I. Body Double

Posted by b on October 31, 2005 at 11:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (46)

WB: Shorter Victor Davis Hanson

Billmon:

Shorter Victor Davis Hanson

Posted by b on October 31, 2005 at 01:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (29)

October 30, 2005

WB: Crouching Prosecutor, Hidden Charges +

Billmon:

II. Restoration

---

Or, as Jane puts it, just because the investigation is almost finished doesn't mean the consquences -- read: indictments -- are.

I. Crouching Prosecutor, Hidden Charges

Posted by b on October 30, 2005 at 02:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (80)

October 29, 2005

WB: Jigsaw, Part 2

Billmon:

Jigsaw, Part 2

Posted by b on October 29, 2005 at 06:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)

WB: Why Did Fitzgerald ...

Billmon:

[T]he few loose ends he's still tying up may include squeezing Libby until he coughs up the whole hairball of the conspiracy, including the vice president's role in it. Right now, though, it doesn't look like justice has been well served, or even fully baked.

Why Did Fitzgerald Throw Judy in Prison?

Posted by b on October 29, 2005 at 04:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (20)

Other News - Weekend Thread

Anything but plamegate ...

Posted by b on October 29, 2005 at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (65)

WB: The Man Who Wasn't There

Billmon:

[S]omeone has tried very hard to keep Official A on ice, so to speak, while roasting Libby over an open Plame/Flame. Of course, that doesn't mean Fitzgerald will indict Rove, but it's the most tangible evidence that Rove remains in deep legal doo doo.

The Man Who Wasn't There

Posted by b on October 29, 2005 at 05:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)

WB: Hung Jury ++

Billmon:

If Fitzgerald is going after any bigger fish than the one he's already landed, or the others still wriggling on his hook, it almost certainly is Cheney. What other game is worth the candle? But I still think the odds are against it.

III. The Straight and Narrow

---

II. What If

---

I. Hung Jury

Posted by b on October 29, 2005 at 04:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

October 28, 2005

WB: Fitzgerald Pulls His Punch

Billmon:

Did one of those "other officials" include the vice president? And who is the "other person" in the veep's office (besides Libby) who had classified documents from the CIA faxed to their personal attention? And what else did Dick Cheney tell Scooter at their June 12 meeting?

It appears Patrick Fitzgerald still has a few cards tucked away in his underwear. The investigation, he says, is not over. Let's hope the revelations aren't over either.

Fitzgerald Pulls His Punch

Posted by b on October 28, 2005 at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (89)

WB: Cat and Mouse +

Billmon:

II. Ho Ho Ho

---

I. Cat and Mouse

Posted by b on October 28, 2005 at 11:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (39)

Blame France and Russia

All major U.S. papers have pieces on the UN Oil for Food report delivered yesterday by Paul Volcker. All find wrongdoing and cite from the report. It is all about Russian and French companies and on Siemens and Daimler being involved in kickbacks to Saddam's regime.

Iraq used its oil wealth to influence some countries' policies at the United Nations, rewarding Russia $19 billion in oil contracts and France $4.4 billion in deals, according to the report.

and

The report also cites evidence that a representative of Germany's DaimlerChrysler signed a secret agreement to pay Iraq $7,000 for an armored Mercedes van valued at about $70,000. The price paid into a U.N.-controlled bank account was inflated to cover the cost of the kickback, the report says.

How gross!

Non of the pieces mentions this passage from page 447 of the report (huge PDF):

Bulf, through its United States representative, Midway Oil of Reston, Virginia, secured two letter of credit issued by BNP New York by assigning its interests in the transaction with Texaco, without notice of the United Nations. Associated with this transaction, the Bulf representative made five separated surcharge payments amounting to nearly half a million dollars over the course of Phases IX and X of the Programme.
...
The Midway representative agreed that in doing so, Texaco would have full authority regarding any future transactions related to the financing of the letter of credit, as well as to the possession, movement, and disposition of the oil. Despite earlier referenced prohibitions in the SOMO contract, and despite similar limitations in the Banking Agreement between the United Nations and BNP, by this action the representative of Midway effectively reassigned Bulf's oil allocation to Texaco without the required approval of the 661 Committee.

The general trick of the financers was to use front companies in France, Russia, Lichtenstein and elsewhere to purchase Iraqi oil. These purchases, at least in the late phases of the program, always included some form of kickback for the Iraqi handlers.

According to Annex IV of the report, titled "Known Underlying Oil Financiers" Bayoil, incorporated in the Bahamas and in Texas, financed the purchase of some 400 million barrels of oil to a value of $7.35 billion through front companies. Chevron financed the purchase of some 83 million barrels for about $1.78 billion. There are others. Little, if any, of this oil was burned in Russia or Lichtenstein.

So are the major culprits the companies that were at the front of these transactions, or those companies who financed the schemes? Should the culpable countries be France and Russia, where most of the front companies were hosted, or the countries of the companies that financed the transactions?

Maybe some enterprising reporter could also ask the former head of Chevron's committee on public policy about her statement on this issue.

Posted by b on October 28, 2005 at 08:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Just Another OT

Open Thread ...

Posted by b on October 28, 2005 at 02:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)

WB: Final Countdown

Billmon:
It would be a crying shame if Fitzgerald closed the book before we get to the part where Hercule Poirot or Miss Jane Marple solves the crime.

Final Countdown

Posted by b on October 28, 2005 at 02:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (19)

October 27, 2005

WB: Rear View Miers

Billmon:

.. Gonzales appears to be what the Senate Dems claim they’re looking for: another, albeit gender-challenged, Sandra Day O’Connor. My advice would be to go for it, and hope the liberal-libertarian alliance on presidential war powers can defeat any Roberts-Thomas-Gonzales axis of authoritarianism.

Rear View Miers

Posted by b on October 27, 2005 at 02:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (34)

Waiting For Fitzmas

The waiting gets boring. So let's get a bit busy with some handicraft.

beq carved these beautiful Jailoween pumpkins.

All I Want For Fitzmas
by beq
(a really great desktop background:
1600x1200, 1280x1024, 1024x768)

fauxreal offers this haiku:

Neo-con worldview
Reality-free-based lies
Will burn their asses.

slothrop adds:

once there was watergate,
then monica, now miss plame.
too much justice fools

beq:

Lump of coal, you say?
endless sea of boiling oil
w in hell.

lonesomeG:

Neo-cons world view -
Freebased ideology -
Will burn their asses.

Rowan:

Lump of coal for us
for bush et al, the fittest
punishment to be

and also:

Cheney ham sandwich
surprisingly tasty - yum!
I give it B +

And of course there is Billmon's Fitzmas Carol.

C'mon, add yours below.

Posted by b on October 27, 2005 at 08:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (47)

WB: Clean Sweep

Billmon:

Maybe now they won't have to hang out in an Iowa cornfield for all eternity.

Clean Sweep

Posted by b on October 27, 2005 at 02:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)

WB: A Fitzmas Carol

Billmon:

Bush hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

A Fitzmas Carol

Posted by b on October 27, 2005 at 02:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (11)

October 26, 2005

WB: We're Boned +

Billmon:

II: Plain Speaking

---

I: We're Boned

Posted by b on October 26, 2005 at 04:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (37)

WB: Anticipation + Oh Shit

Billmon:

The GOP shill chorus has been wailing about the "criminalization of politics" -- by which they mean busting the criminals in politics. Well, they may be about to get the politics of criminalization, in spades.

II. Oh Shit

---

Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting . . .

I. Anticipation

Posted by b on October 26, 2005 at 01:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (32)

WB: 2000

Billmon:

2000

Posted by b on October 26, 2005 at 03:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (29)

WB: All Roads Lead to Rome

Billmon:

If the special prosecutor is looking at the Niger forgeries, or their origin, my guess is it’s because they are narrowly relevant to the charges he intends to bring – perhaps because they help establish a motive for the plot to get Wilson. But it’s hard to believe Fitzgerald’s team has managed to follow the much more tangled (and interconnected) roots of the various plots to take America to war in Iraq ...

All Roads Lead to Rome

Posted by b on October 26, 2005 at 03:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (54)

October 25, 2005

One Step Left To Take

So now at least 2000 US soldiers were killed in the war on Iraq. A negligible number in any major armed conflict. Probably 100,000 Iraqis died because of this war. That is a less negligible number. Today GW Bush will hold another "major speech", lauding this war and preparing the next one on Syria - let's wag the dog.

Meanwhile I find an interesting thought in what Bush 41 is up to. He knows his son screwed up big time in Iraq. He may well assume or know that his son had a say in outing Plame. What to do to save the family honor?

There comes the mouth of Bush 41, Brent Scowcroft, saying in a New Yorker interview "The real anomaly in the Administration is Cheney". Next comes the mouth of Powell,  Lawrence B. Wilkerson, writing about "The White House cabal", "led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld" and explaining how Collin Powell "cleaned all the dog poop off the carpet" the cabal dropped in the Oval Office. Why are these guys talking now?

Next we get the NYT piece Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer, Lawyers Report hanging the Plame case noose around Cheney's neck. Who leaked this and what is the interest behind the leak? Like usual the NYT does not answer the important questions.

All this piling up on Cheney does miss the responsibility of his boss. Bush 43 had trust in his people and they did trust him. There was not a word about conflict in the White House in 2002/2003. Are we really to believe that he did not know about the Niger documents? Was he calm and undisturbed when his "16 words" had to be retracted? It was his first loss after a long string of success, but it did not bother him a bit? He did not ask any questions about this screw up?

The Bush family reputation is on the line. There is the real possibility, that the Plame affair could get 43 into even deeper dog poop. Bush's father sends his personal cavalry and suddenly the buck stops at Cheney's desk? 

Let us hope that Fitzgerald sees through this and takes enough time to build the case for the next step. He already climbed the ladder from Hannah to Libby to Cheney - one step left to take.

Posted by b on October 25, 2005 at 11:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (47)

Open Thread 05-108

News and Views

Posted by b on October 25, 2005 at 07:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (69)

WB: World Shaker

Billmon:

Give our regards to Dr. King, Rosa.

World Shaker

Posted by b on October 25, 2005 at 02:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

WB: Chain of Fools

Billmon:

If someone scripted this, I'd tell them they were overdoing it on the dramatic tension.

Chain of Fools

Posted by b on October 25, 2005 at 02:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (15)

October 24, 2005

Helicopter Money

Bush today did selected Ben Bernanke to replace Alan Greenspan as Fed chairman. Bernanke is best known for his November 2002 speech Deflation: Making Sure "It" Doesn't Happen Here.

[D]eflation is generally the result of low and falling aggregate demand. The basic prescription for preventing deflation is therefore straightforward, at least in principle: Use monetary and fiscal policy as needed to support aggregate spending, in a manner as nearly consistent as possible with full utilization of economic resources and low and stable inflation. In other words, the best way to get out of trouble is not to get into it in the first place.
...
.. under a fiat (that is, paper) money system, a government (in practice, the central bank in cooperation with other agencies) should always be able to generate increased nominal spending and inflation, even when the short-term nominal interest rate is at zero.

Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation.

Bernanke says that in case of a recession -and the next one will come at some point in time for sure-, which could induce deflationary tendencies, he will support an all out effort by the fed, the banking system and the government to inflate the money supply early and in non trivial volumes.

Indeed one could argue that the fed has already taken some of the steps Bernanke did announce in that 2002 speech. In case of doubt, look at your bills and compare them to the bills you got at the time of the last Deflation Scare three years ago.

There is little experience on the effect of such intervention. The one that comes to mind is the Weimar Republic.

With Bernanke at the top of the fed, financial assets will not fall, but they will lose value. Prices will not fall either, but wages may well do so. But then, If You Don't Eat or Drive, Inflation's No Problem.

Posted by b on October 24, 2005 at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

WB: Fitzgerald's New Boss

Billmon:
For the Bushaviks, McNulty's appointment may be too little, too late. By the time he takes office, Fitzgerald will have either handed down indictments or gone home. On the other hand, if charges are brought, a long, drawn-out prosecution presumably will present plenty of opportunities for the Justice Department to make its influence felt.

Fitzgerald's New Boss

Posted by b on October 24, 2005 at 08:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (42)

WB: The Return of the King

Billmon:

Come back Ahmad, all is forgiven.

The Return of the King

Posted by b on October 24, 2005 at 02:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (20)

WB: The New Pravda's Lost Year

Billmon:

To me, the New Pravda's role in the Iraq debacle resembles the part played by William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal in the far more successful Spanish-American War.

The New Pravda's Lost Year

Posted by b on October 24, 2005 at 01:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (27)

October 23, 2005

WB: Hard News Lead

Billmon:

Hard News Lead

Posted by b on October 23, 2005 at 03:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)

WB: Plastic Surgery

Billmon:
Plastic Surgery

Posted by b on October 23, 2005 at 03:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (22)

October 22, 2005

WB: The New Economy

Billmon:

If this were 1999, I'd go public.

The New Economy

Posted by b on October 22, 2005 at 03:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (24)

daerhT nepO dnekeeW

... sweiV dna sweN

Posted by b on October 22, 2005 at 02:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (71)

WB: In the Name of the Father

Billmon:

So I wonder if Shrub will snort a few lines, knock over a few garbage cans, and then challenge Poppy to come outside and fight -- mano a mano.

In the Name of the Father

Posted by b on October 22, 2005 at 02:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

WB: Will the Grinch Steal Fitzmas?

Billmon:
If Fitzgerald reaffirms the post-Watergate principle that Big Brother can go to jail, it will do more to advance the cause of civil liberties than a baker's dozen of Washington pseudo-journalists. On the other hand, if he backs down now, it's easy to imagine future administrations finding other official secrets to use against their critics, all in the name of national security.

Will the Grinch Steal Fitzmas?

Posted by b on October 22, 2005 at 01:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (29)

October 21, 2005

WB: Imperial Candor

Billmon:

It does appear to have dawned on Wilkerson that the U.S. hegomony isn't viewed as quite such an execise in utilitarian benevolance by the rest of the world, but I'm not sure he understands exactly why this is. I think he puts far too much blame on the cabal's shenanigans -- although these admittedly have made things worse -- and not enough on the fact that empires, even the practical, no nonsense type favored by the realists, are anachronisms in the modern world.

Imperial Candor

Posted by b on October 21, 2005 at 03:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (57)

WB: The Judy Trap

Billmon:

The next time the Society of Professional Cocksuckers gets together, maybe they should present Judy with a Fifth Amendment award -- because the way things are going, she's may need it.

The Judy Trap

Posted by b on October 21, 2005 at 03:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)

October 20, 2005

WB: Justice DeLayed +

Billmon:

II:Waiter, There's a City In My Toxic Soup

---

I: Justice DeLayed

Posted by b on October 20, 2005 at 04:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Open Outrage Thread

Welcome back O. - News and views ...

Posted by b on October 20, 2005 at 02:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (91)

WB: Pop Quiz

Billmon:

Q: Is there anything else you think the members of the committee should know about you and your qualifications?

A: Just that I think you all are the most wonderful Senators in the entire history of the U.S. Senate ...

Pop Quiz

Posted by b on October 20, 2005 at 02:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

WB: Bonfire of the Stupidities

Billmon:

[W]e all know what chicken shits the Afghan mujadeen are. Just ask the Russians.

Bonfire of the Stupidities

Posted by b on October 20, 2005 at 03:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (15)

WB: Colin Blow +

Billmon:

If politics is show business for ugly people, then I guess corporate journalism is intelligence work for stupid people.

II. Buffoon Watch
---
Once Fitzgerald pops the clutch, it's going to be an absolute media feeding frenzy, even if Cheney isn't on the menu.

I. Colin Blow

Posted by b on October 20, 2005 at 03:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (26)

WB: The Merit System Revisited

Billmon:

The Merit System Revisited

Posted by b on October 20, 2005 at 03:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

October 19, 2005

WB: And This Little Piggy . . .

Billmon:

And if the rest of the little piggies want to avoid being made into canned ham, they'd better hurry on down, too.

And This Little Piggy . . .

Posted by b on October 19, 2005 at 05:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (32)

WB: Saddam's Little Helpers

Billmon:

Saddam's Little Helpers

Posted by b on October 19, 2005 at 01:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

WB: What Did He Know and When Did He Know It?

Billmon:

.. if Shrub lied to Fitzgerald as glibly as he lied in the above statements, then his ghost and Tricky Dick's ghost someday may have the chance the swap stories -- in hell -- about what it feels like to be an unindicted co-conspirator.

What Did He Know and When Did He Know It?

Posted by b on October 19, 2005 at 01:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

October 18, 2005

Judy the Source

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
-----------

There is a bit of discussion about Judith Miller's security clearance. In her Sunday piece she writes:

During the Iraq war, the Pentagon had given me clearance to see secret information as part of my assignment "embedded" with a special military unit hunting for unconventional weapons.

We know her article has been checked by her lawyer before it went public. It is not just like her notebook seems to indicate that she had a clearance, she had one.

The Pentagon issued a non-denial denial:

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he was unaware of Miller having a security clearance. He said security clearances are covered by privacy laws, so he couldn't talk about it.

Other reporters with embedded stints in Iraq did not need Secret clearances. They signed some confidential clauses and agreed to time-limited military censorship.

Secret clearances do not fall from the sky and they can not be ordered from above. Dozens of pages of forms have to be filled out by dedicated buerocrats, facts get checked and double-checked. As of May 2004 the U.S. had a total backlog of some 360,000 clearance requests. Companies did buy other companies just to get personal with clearances.

If Miller had a Secret clearance as I believe she had, someone high up must have pushed for it to be done in record time. Why would someone do this?

Reader Pat has this:

I believe she was brought in - or put in - as a source and as a conduit.

Let me explain why I think Pat is right, why Miller was a "source".

Before the war Iraqi exiles were motivated and induced to find information about WMDs. Some things were found, some things recycled and some things were made up. Chalabi and his gang came up with something.

They pushed something through various channels. Something reached Judy and she published it in the prestigious NYT. At the same time something went to the British MI-6 which shared it with the CIA. The CIA checked the British something and found a soft single sourced confirmation in the NYT. Rewritten and with some professional caveats something was reported to Douglas Feith's OSD and to Cheney's whigs where it was rewritten again and amplified.

Various "former hill staffers" leaked the modified something to one Judith Miller who wrote another Page 1 piece to explain that a high positioned second source had confirmed her original report about something. The Iraqi exiles picked up on this report and restarted the circle with a modified something or something else.

Whispering campaigns - not one, multiple of these - each launched in multiple places and traveling multiple paths. Each with different bits of information and each, at one point or another, confirmed and reconfirmed on the front page of the "paper of the record".

This was self fulfilling prophecy, group-think and a positive feedback cycle that always led to confirmed information. After a while, all involved in this process did believe to some degree that Iraq had WMDs.

But now it was March/April 2003. The war was over. Rumsfeld had promised WMDs North, South, East and West. He had to show something, but the reports from the ground were negative. More and more questions were raised, but the troops, these idiots, could not find some thing or another.

Rumsfeld, near panic, decided to send THE expert. Someone who had written a Pulitzer prized book, GERMS, about bioweapons. Someone who had published myriads of detailed, confirmed and double-sourced articles on WMD in Iraq in the world's leading newspaper paper. Someone who knew these weapons and where they could be found. Miller was asked to help.

Judith, her publisher and/or her editor made a deal with the DoD. In order for her to help the military as a source and as an expert, they would get the exclusive on anything that would be found. A lot of Pulitzers would be made, a lot of copies would sell and the stock quotes would roar.

But for Judy to be able to help, to apply her knowledge, she would need detailed information throughout the mission. She would not be embedded, but "embedded" as a coverup for her expert mission. On Rumsfeld's order a Secret clearance was rushed through. The NYT management agreed to very restricted reporting rules. Judy went to Iraq and applied her knowledge.

On the ground she wear military clothes. She was not only "embedded", she was part of MET Alpha and its mission and she would never give up. When the troops were sure something could not be found, Judy objected their withdrawal. She knew something was there.

A few weeks later Wilson published his j' accuse. Miller, like the other WMD believers, did respond and plamegate unfolded.

It was personal. The "attack" by Wilson was an attack on their already endangered believe system. They had to fight back. They were just stupid.

Unfortunately stupidity kills.

Posted by b on October 18, 2005 at 06:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (33)

WB: The Poisoned Memo

Billmon:

Unless, of course, they discovered the truth, but went with the mistake in order to give themselves semi-plausible deniability. Somehow, I think that's giving them way too much credit.

The Poisoned Memo

Posted by b on October 18, 2005 at 05:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (22)

Plame Thread V

After first reading today's Washington Post VandeHei/Pincus piece I saw nothing new in there. But firedoglade had better eyes and found these bits:

Senior administration officials said there was a document circulated at the State Department -- before Libby talked to Miller -- that mentioned Plame. It was drafted in June as an administrative letter and addressed to then-Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, who was acting secretary at the time since Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard L. Armitage were out of the country.

As a former State Department official involved in the process recalled it, Grossman wanted the letter as background for a meeting at the White House, where the discussion was focused on then growing criticism of Bush's inclusion in his January State of the Union speech of the allegation that Hussein had been seeking uranium from Niger.
...
Grossman has refused to answer questions about the letter, and it is not clear whether he talked about it at the White House meeting he was said to have attended, according to the former State official.

So far we only knew that this June 10 document was printed out and send to Powell on board of Air Force One on July 6. It was speculated that it was from there (through Ari Fleischer?) that the name Plame/Wilson moved to Novak, who then was the first to put it into the public.

We are now told, that this letter reached the White House much earlier through Grossman who requested it as background for a meeting at the White House. That meeting was about a counterstrategy to the Niger criticism. Who might have attended that meeting?

RawStory has something on that:

Two officials close to Fitzgerald told RAW STORY they have seen documents obtained from the White House Iraq Group which state that Cheney was present at several of the group's meetings. They say Cheney personally discussed with individuals in attendance at least two interviews in May and June of 2003 Wilson gave to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus, in which he claimed the administration 'twisted' prewar intelligence and what the response from the administration should be.

Was it one of these meetings and discussion with Cheney that Grossman did attend? With the Plame/Wilson information in his pocket? I hope Fitzgerald has answers to these questions.

Some other loose ends:

- AP reports that Plame was NOT part of the CIA WINPAC analyst group as Libby told Miller, but:

[Plame] worked on the CIA's secret side, the directorate of operations, according to three people familiar with her work for the spy agency.

  - It is often said that the NY Times OpEd's, first by Kristof and then by Wilson himself, triggered the White House response. But as Wilson says in his book, the first time he was used as an anonymous source disputing the Niger documents was earlier, on March 14 2003 in a CNN report. (Unfortunately the video is not online anymore.) Wilson also alleges that White House interest in him started just after that CNN report.

- As Laura Rozen points out Judy Miller had just written a book about biological weapons and Washington was her beat when someone killed five people by sending Anthrax around. Judy Miller never really explored the Anthrax story in an article. Her beat, her expertise - why no reporting?

- What are the connections to the deaths of State Department WMD expert John J. Kokal and David Kelly?

- And the ultimate question: Who gave the order to spread the Anthrax?

Posted by b on October 18, 2005 at 06:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (80)

WB: Trembler +

Billmon:

By the time I was fully awake, it was over, and I lay there in the darkness -- half stoned, half asleep, wondering what the hell was going on.

That's what it feels like now -- except this time I have a pretty clear idea what's coming.

II. Trembler

---

I. Dirty Thirties

Posted by b on October 18, 2005 at 01:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (27)