Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Friday Hearing? The Plame outing? Is it being covered in today's papers?

Special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald has been reviewing over the past several months discrepancies and gaps in witness testimony in his investigation of the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to lawyers in the case and witness statements.
Fitzgerald has spent considerable time since the summer of 2004 looking at possible conflicts between what White House senior adviser Karl Rove and vice presidential staff chief I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby told a grand jury and investigators, and the accounts of reporters who talked with the two men, according to various sources in the case.

A story on the outing of Valerie Plame! In the New York Times!

Uh, not so fast. It's from the Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig and Jim VandeHei "Testimony By Rove And Libby Examined: Leak Prosecutor Seeks Discrepancies." Kara agreed to follow the Washington Post.

Kara: And take a look at this, Cheney's limboing even lower in public than usual. Josh White and R. Jeffrey Smith "White House Aims to Block Legislation On Detainees:"

The Bush administration in recent days has been lobbying to block legislation supported by Republican senators that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.
Vice President Cheney met Thursday evening with three senior Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee to press the administration's case that legislation on these matters would usurp the president's authority and -- in the words of a White House official -- interfere with his ability "to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack."

Maria agreed to follow the LA Times and notes Douglas Frantz, Sonni Efron and Richard B. Schmitt "CIA Probe Moves from Leak Source to Perjury, Obstruction:"

According to lawyers familiar with the case, investigators are comparing statements to federal authorities by two top White House aides, Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby, with testimony from reporters who have acknowledged talking to the officials.
The sources also said prosecutors are comparing the various statements to the FBI and the grand jury by Rove, who is a White House deputy chief of staff and President Bush's chief political strategist. Rove in his first interview with the FBI did not mention a conversation he had with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper, according to lawyers involved in the case. The White House aide has been interviewed twice by the FBI and made three appearances before the grand jury, they said.While no one has suggested that the investigation into who leaked Plame's name has been shelved, the intensity of the inquiry into possible perjury charges has increased, according to one lawyer familiar with events, who spoke on condition that he not be identified because he did not want to anger Fitzgerald.

Billie agreed to watch The Houston Chronicle online to see if anything went up. The only thing she's found is "Accounts differ on who told of agent's identity" Richard Keil (Bloomberg News):

These discrepancies may be important because Fitzgerald is investigating whether Libby, Rove or other administration officials made false statements during the course of the investigation. The Plame case has its genesis in whether anyone violated a 1982 law making it illegal to knowingly reveal the name of a covert intelligence agent.
The CIA requested the inquiry after Novak reported in a July 14, 2003, column that Plame recommended her husband for a 2002 mission to check into reports Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger.

Dallas watched The Dallas Morning News website (and says "only for the community!") where he found Wayne Slater and G. Robert Hillman's "think piece if think piece means a chat as you hang out the laundry" entitled "Rove puts Bush's loyalty to test:"

The firestorm over the CIA leak has been dampened, at least temporarily, by President Bush's appointment of a Supreme Court justice, and Mr. Rove is not granting interviews.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan, having initially assured reporters that Mr. Rove was not involved, now declines to comment. He cites the investigation by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald into leaks that led to columnist Robert Novak and then Time magazine identifying Ms. Plame, wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, as a CIA operative.
White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, who early in the administration said, "It's Karl's job to make sure that we understand the day after tomorrow," was more guarded this week, allowing only that Mr. Rove was doing his job.

Tony saw nothing online at The Des Moines Register.

Tony: Not surprising considering their editorial awhile back instructing "Public Shouldn't Prejudge Rove." They are a bunch of jerks. That might be too cruel, some are just idiots. If you live in an area with a better paper, which isn't hard, consider yourself lucky.

Rob asks if the NBC News employee suing for being molested by priests is in all the papers?
I don't know if it's in all the papers, but Billie mentioned it as did Dallas. Rob was watching the Boston Globe for us. Verdict? No news on Plame.

Rhonda reports that Rocky Mountain News is apparently too busy profiling the Focus on the Fool to even address the Plame issue today.

Despite having a special archive on the Plame outing, Trevor reports that the Baltimore Sun has no news of the hearing yesterday. He reports that they do carry the LA Times article.

Wally watched The Miami Herald and found that they at least carried the AP article on Friday's hearing, Donna De La Cruz's "Rove case bad for security, say ex-agents:"

In a hearing held by Senate and House Democrats examining the implications of exposing Valerie Plame's identity, the former intelligence officers said Bush's silence has hampered efforts to recruit informants to help the United States fight the war on terror. Federal law forbids government officials from revealing the identity of an undercover intelligence officer.
''I wouldn't be here this morning if President Bush had done the one thing required of him as commander in chief -- protect and defend the Constitution,'' said Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst. "The minute that Valerie Plame's identity was outed, he should have delivered a strict and strong message to his employees.''
Rove, Bush's deputy chief of staff, told Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper in a 2003 phone call that former ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA on weapons of mass destruction issues, according to an account by Cooper in the magazine. Rove has not disputed that he told Cooper that Wilson's wife worked for the agency, but has said through his lawyer that he did not mention her by name.

Brent couldn't find any articles at the Toledo Blade covering the latest developments in the Valerie Plame case.

Donna De La Cruz's AP article on Friday's hearing is carried by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

No, it's not every paper in the country. No, it's not even the print edition. But if you're wondering how much coverage the hearing Friday or even the issue of outing of Plame is getting, the answers appears to be "not real much."

And you might find other stories. (Feel free to e-mail if you do.) This is what people were able to find online as the paper's latest editions should have been available. The hearing Friday should have garnered more than an AP article. But if others weren't up to writing their own piece, they should have been offering the AP article at their sites. Instead?

Join Gwen and Condi in singing "It's Only a Summer Scandal:"

Say, it's only a summer scandal
Bully Boy will soon have the handle
He's the king of the make-believe
Do you believe in me?

Yes, it's only a scandal de sum
Reporters move on if we play mum
King George of the make believe
Do you believe in me?

. . .

It's a Bully and Cheney world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believed in me

(Again, the above is a bad rip-off of Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler's "It's Only a Paper Moon." And if you read The Daily Howler on Tuesday you know that Gwen Ifill referred to the outing of Plame as "a summer scandal.")

The e-mail address for this site is