Friday, October 28, 2005

Quick takeaways from the indictment and presser

1. Given Scooter's bald-faced and readily falsifiable tissue of lies, it is clear that these morons really must have thought that the Department of Justice would never go after -- much less secure -- testimony from reporters. Two potential explanations (not mutually exclusive) present themselves: (a) early in the investigation, when Scooter & Co. first confected the I-just-heard-this-as-gossip-from-reporters web of whoppers, the malefactors thought the fix was in because Ashcroft was running the show (and bear in mind that no Justice official had begun utilizing a grand jury); (b) there is a certain folklore around DC that prosecutors just won't go after testimony from reporters (whether out of principle or the feeling that it's not worth the fight and bother). Let's remember, shall we, Bush's little Freudian slip of October 7, 2003: "I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." Very, very foolish gamble, dipshits.

2. "Official A" is, of course, Rove. We'll be hearing more about him before too long. My first instinct on the unnamed "Undersecretary of State" is Marc Grossman. But outside odds make it John Bolton. That would be delicious. "Goo-goo-goo-fucking-joob" indeed. But let's not get too greedy too soon.

3. Fitz is not done. He's probably not even done with Scooter. Scooter's love-letter to Judy deserves its very own count in a superseding indictment.

4. Any efforts to crank up the noise machine to go after Fitz will backfire, horribly. He's very, very good. And he's just doing his job. Very well.

Libby Indicted

Read it Here

Our first present

And the winner is . . . Irving Lewis Libby!

Five counts -- perjury, false statements to federal agents, obstruction of justice.

And there was much rejoicing!

Fitzmas Festivities in DC

For all those within shouting distance of the 2005 zip code, the landlord at the Post Pub on L Street (just east of Vemont) has kindly agreed to tune into the 2 pm Fitzcast, with ample sound. Please join the Ginger Man and his really quite small circle of acquaintance. I shall down a shot of Jameson's for each reprobate indicted today and hope to be unable to type so much as a word by the time it's through.

The First Day of Fitzmas

Is upon us at 2 pm.

I think we will get something short of ten lords a-leaping, eleven pipers piping, and twelve drummers drumming -- but we should get at least a Libby in pear tree. I'm still holding out hope for turdle doves Rove and Hadley.

Don't put too much stock in the "no Rove indictment today" line, as it is clearly coming from Rove's lawyer "Goldbar" Luskin. That decision is obviously going down to the wire because Luskin and Fitz are in deep negotiations. The decision might be deferred as the talks continue, and it might not. All depends on a lot of things we don't know (and that Luskin ain't gonna tell us).

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Colin Powell, Ninja Warrior

If anyone has any doubts that Colin has donned his black suit and is shooting poisoned blow-gun darts from behind the bushes at everyone who made him play the fool, consider this, from Murray Waas at the National Journal:

Cheney, Libby Blocked Papers To Senate Intelligence Panel

Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, overruling advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers, decided to withhold crucial documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004 when the panel was investigating the use of pre-war intelligence that erroneously concluded Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, according to Bush administration and congressional sources.

Among the White House materials withheld from the committee were Libby-authored passages in drafts of a speech that then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell delivered to the United Nations in February 2003 to argue the Bush administration's case for war with Iraq, according to congressional and administration sources. The withheld documents also included intelligence data that Cheney's office -- and Libby in particular -- pushed to be included in Powell's speech, the sources said.

The new information that Cheney and Libby blocked information to the Senate Intelligence Committee further underscores the central role played by the vice president's office in trying to blunt criticism that the Bush administration exaggerated intelligence data to make the case to go to war.

My only complaint: Why, Colin, did you wait so long? Did Poppy Bush keep the leash on Snowcroft through the last election?

A little stocking stuffer while we wait for Fitzmas

Tom Noe indicted on three counts of laundering money into the Bush-Cheney '04 Campaign Committee. Now, all the Feds gotta do is get around to prosecuting him for embezzling or otherwise converting $13 million he stole from the Ohio Workers Compensation Fund.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

And now, the point spread

Grand jury met for three hours and then went home. Guess it was a pretty quick vote.

Since there is not enough time to show my work, I'll skip ahead to the predictions/speculations -- as hinted at below.

Two, possibly three indictments approved by the grand jury today: Just about certain that Libby and Rove will be the first two. Libby for a classified-information-related charge (whether IIPA, Espionage Act, or something else) as well as for perjury and obstruction. Rove for perjury and obstruction alone (Fitz likely offered to deal down to a plea of lying to federal agents, and Rove said, no I'm going for all the marbles). Rove skates by any mishandling-of-classified-information charge because his (final) story that he got the info from Libby and had no idea it was classified checks out (and, frankly, that makes some sense).

As for the possible third, my money's always been on Hadley. As the Croupier says, always go with your first count, odds are you're right.

Indictments remain sealed for some time. Plea bargain offers from Fitz remain on the table.

A new grand jury is empanelled to finish up the job, which shouldn't take too long now.

Long-Overdue Headline of the Year

First Runner-Up: New York Times Reporter Miller Is in Talks Over Her Job Status: Move Follows Public Break With the Newspaper; Severance Package Discussed

I propose the following severance package: If you (Judy) walk away, we (The Times) will not hold you personally responsible for the millions of dollars in lawyers' fees that your mendacious ass cost the newspaper (not to mention the incalculable damage you have done to what is left of our credibility).

Long Overdue Headline of the Year, First Prize, should appear tomorrow or Friday. My guess: "Rove, Libby Indicted: Indictments Remain Sealed; Special Prosecuotor Empanels New Grand Jury; Questions About Cheney's Involvement Seen as Focus"

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Frog-March Update

While attempting edit/draft a more comprehensive post on Plamegate/Fitmas/the Impending Frog March, events are, as always, overtaking me.

Well, Steve Clemons -- who generally has pretty damn good sources -- reports that Fitz will hand down 1-5 indictments tomorrow, that the indictments will be sealed and that a press conference will follow on Thursday. Josh Marshall seems to vouch for Clemons's source.

Wonkette reports rumors that Fitz will recall some witnesses, which she believes contradicts this other rumor.

And Thinkprogress sez CBS Evening News will say that Fitz will announce indictments tomorrow.

One tantalizing tidbit is the notion of "sealed indictments." Indictments are usually seaaled until the defendant is apprehended or turns him/herself in, but they can remain sealed for cause. One cause could be: the need to impanel a new grand jury to complete the investigation. (Fitz's current grand jury has served its maximum 18 months and cannot be extended further.) This could well be what will happen -- and it is a hypothesis that accounts both for Clemons's info and Wonkette's rumors: Fitz will perhaps bank a number of sure-fire indictments now and continue the investigation. Which would mean we can't peek at Father Fitzmas's presents yet. But we will surely find out who's indicted before long.

This scenario would make sense. While I certainly credit Fitz with being many chess moves ahead of the Gang That Couldn't Lie Straight, an awful lot of new information and document have surfaced only recently. The apparently recent appearance of Scooter's notes of a June 12 meeting with Cheney would likely be reason enough to impanel another grand jury to tie everything up. (Fitz's investigation of Governor Ryan's little mob, I believe, took two grand juries, and resulted in a second superseding indictment that included all of the dirt dug up by each.)

By the way, it's fun to remember that obstruction of justice, bribery, and witness tampering are all RICO predicate crimes.

Boy can dream, can't he?

UPDATE: I am reminded that David Corn mused about the possibility of sealed indictments a few days ago.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Radio Silence

Well, the blog has been silent for a while, but not for want of material. Jeebus, leave the country for a little while and all hell breaks loose. I split and oh so many of the pots I’d been obsessively watching for months for the slightest hint of rising bubbles suddenly start boiling over, making a mess of the stovetop upon my return. DeLay indicted (twice!). Judy Miller decides to talk (sort of) and then, what ho, says “oops, I think I may have forgotten something,” “finds” some “lost” notes and troops on back to Third and Constitution for another chat. (No triumphal parade out of the courthouse that time, though!) Rove's memory gets somehow jogged as well, and he visits the grand jury for the fourth (!) time. First under investigation by the SEC! The White House farm team (currently running the show while the varsity squad tries to get the fifth iteration of their story straight)lets George appoint his bestest friend (or, pace Abu Gonzalez, his second bestest friend) to the Supremes, generating a two-front civil war on the right – a prayer-book revolt by the snake-handlers for Jesus coupled with a collective wail from the Bowtie Brigade who were hoping for a winger with a brain. Keeeriistalmighteee, it’s Christmas in October. For one who is a bit of slow writer (at least by the standards of blogdom), this presents something of a challenge, but I will endeavor to post at least a little on each.