Libby's head fake?

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Today's New York Times breathlesssly reports that notes from Libby indicate he may have learned about Wilson's wife's role in his Mission from Cheney who heard it from Tenet. The Times notes,

"It would not be illegal for either Mr. Cheney or Mr. Libby, both of whom are presumably cleared to know the government's deepest secrets, to discuss a C.I.A. officer or her link to a critic of the administration."

But it suggests that Libby lied to the grand jury because he said he learned about this, not from the vice president, but from the media.

Looking at all we know, about the case, Tom Maguire, who has been covering the matter closely implies that Libby and his lawyers have always been truthful about this to the special prosecutor and have pulled a great head fake on the press. 

Why do we think Libby testified to a "Blame the media" strategy?  Do we think that is based on leaks from Fitzgerald?  No. As many have noted, most of these leaks are coming from lawyers whose clients work for the Administration (a few reporter's attorneys have been swept up as well, of course).

So, suppose Libby's attorneys have been whiling away the summer months, and on into autumn, feeding the press a partially true cover story that Libby was blaming the Plame leaks on Tim Russert, and encouraging speculation about Judy Miller.  Clinton's team made the mistake of attacking the prosecutor and drawing return fire; this time, the White House was crafty enough to attack the press.(snip)

In this theory, Fitzgerald (if he reads the papers) is laughing out loud — Libby testified to Cheney's role almost two years ago, and Fitzgerald doesn't care about Cheney.

As to Libby's "Blame the media" pose — his actual testimony may only be a bit different from the staged leaks.  For example, perhaps Libby testified that he only talked with reporters about Wilson's wife after hearing about it from other reporters, and in leaks to the press that conveniently morphed into "Libby only knew about it after talking with reporters".

And why did Fitzgerald pursue the media so intently?  Because he still needs to know who leaked, and Libby's "blame the media" strategy" is relevant to that line of inquiry even if Cheney's role has been fully disclosed.

Clarice Feldman   10 25 05

Today's New York Times breathlesssly reports that notes from Libby indicate he may have learned about Wilson's wife's role in his Mission from Cheney who heard it from Tenet. The Times notes,

"It would not be illegal for either Mr. Cheney or Mr. Libby, both of whom are presumably cleared to know the government's deepest secrets, to discuss a C.I.A. officer or her link to a critic of the administration."

But it suggests that Libby lied to the grand jury because he said he learned about this, not from the vice president, but from the media.

Looking at all we know, about the case, Tom Maguire, who has been covering the matter closely implies that Libby and his lawyers have always been truthful about this to the special prosecutor and have pulled a great head fake on the press. 

Why do we think Libby testified to a "Blame the media" strategy?  Do we think that is based on leaks from Fitzgerald?  No. As many have noted, most of these leaks are coming from lawyers whose clients work for the Administration (a few reporter's attorneys have been swept up as well, of course).

So, suppose Libby's attorneys have been whiling away the summer months, and on into autumn, feeding the press a partially true cover story that Libby was blaming the Plame leaks on Tim Russert, and encouraging speculation about Judy Miller.  Clinton's team made the mistake of attacking the prosecutor and drawing return fire; this time, the White House was crafty enough to attack the press.(snip)

In this theory, Fitzgerald (if he reads the papers) is laughing out loud — Libby testified to Cheney's role almost two years ago, and Fitzgerald doesn't care about Cheney.

As to Libby's "Blame the media" pose — his actual testimony may only be a bit different from the staged leaks.  For example, perhaps Libby testified that he only talked with reporters about Wilson's wife after hearing about it from other reporters, and in leaks to the press that conveniently morphed into "Libby only knew about it after talking with reporters".

And why did Fitzgerald pursue the media so intently?  Because he still needs to know who leaked, and Libby's "blame the media" strategy" is relevant to that line of inquiry even if Cheney's role has been fully disclosed.

Clarice Feldman   10 25 05