Reader looseheadprop catches a great bit in the Fitz filing that I wanted to highlight for everyone:
Page 24 of the Fitz filing. Only 3 people Pres, VP and Libby knew that Pres had authorized disclosure of NIE (which Addington gave an off the cuff opinion amounted to de-classification). [RH notes: Selective disclosure — it’s important to note here that they cherry-picked only the portions that made them look good in the NIE, while keeping the large portions that contradicted their public statements behind the classified wall. Pathetic, weak little cheaters who can’t make an argument for their actions based on the whole truth and the facts.]
Yet despite the fact that the Pres supposedly had already declassified it, and Libby had already revealed it to Miller, the WH was still pressing for it for it to be declassified???
How can the Pres request the declassification of something he has already declassified???
Sure brings the Fitzgerald statement about Libby throwing sand in his eyes with his obstruction and perjury and false statements in terms of getting to the truth in the investigation into a much, much sharper focus, now doesn’t it?
In this case, it’s a lot more serious than baseball. And the damage wasn’t to one person. It wasn’t just Valerie Wilson. It was done to all of us.
And as you sit back, you want to learn: Why was this information going out? Why were people taking this information about Valerie Wilson and giving it to reporters? Why did Mr. Libby say what he did? Why did he tell Judith Miller three times? Why did he tell the press secretary on Monday? Why did he tell Mr. Cooper? And was this something where he intended to cause whatever damage was caused?
FITZGERALD: Or did they intend to do something else and where are the shades of gray?
And what we have when someone charges obstruction of justice, the umpire gets sand thrown in his eyes. He’s trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked their view.
As you sit here now, if you’re asking me what his motives were, I can’t tell you; we haven’t charged it.
So what you were saying is the harm in an obstruction investigation is it prevents us from making the fine judgments we want to make.
I also want to take away from the notion that somehow we should take an obstruction charge less seriously than a leak charge.
This is a very serious matter and compromising national security information is a very serious matter. But the need to get to the bottom of what happened and whether national security was compromised by inadvertence, by recklessness, by maliciousness is extremely important. We need to know the truth. And anyone who would go into a grand jury and lie, obstruct and impede the investigation has committed a serious crime.
For whom is Scooter Libby covering? That question just got a whole lot more interesting as I’m reading through the Fitz motion response.
I’ll have more on the filing as I get through the entire document and do a bit of research, but for now, sit back and really think about what looseheadprop said: why would President Bush ask members of his Administration to declassify portions of a document that he, himself, had already declassified?
Is it because: (a) Bush didn’t actually know that he had declassified this — because he didn’t really, and Dick Cheney lied to Libby in order to get that information out to Judy Miller? Or Libby lied in that portion of his testimony as well? (And won’t that be an interesting free-for-all if the Rove/Bush end of things starts flinging that mud at Team Libby?) (b) Bush was grifting his own administration and not being forthcoming about having already declassified the information because he either wanted it declassified to cover his butt or because he didn’t want them to know he had previously declassified the information because…he knew what was done with it — including revealing Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity — was wrong? (And criminal, in the case of outing a CIA NOC?)
So many questions, so few real answers. So much more digging to do today…and I promise to get to a full read and analysis of everything as soon as I can. But isn’t that a little conundrum worth a whole lot of pondering?
Let alone, what was David Addington (then counsel to the Veep, now in the former Scooter Libby chair) told about all of this? What a cozy little arrangement this seems to have been…