Friday, September 29, 2006

David Fiderer on Armitage/Plame

David Fiderer on Armitage/Plame:
So if you add up:
1. The suspicious timing of the leaks that coincided with Wilson's published allegations,
2. The implausibility that Armitage would forget that the info was classified three days after reading the memo with 17 warnings,
3. The dishonest claims that "not every sentence is classified ' or that
4. "he'd never seen a covert agent's name in a memo",
5. The implausibility of Armitage not realizing that he was Novak's source in a column published six days after the leak,
6. The signal to Armitage that Wilson's wife may know far more information undermining the case for war,
7. The implausibility that Armitage would relay information from a classified memo to Bob Woodward without an agenda beyond gossipy chit-chat, and
8. The standard negotiating ploy of doing a mea culpa on one leak but forgetting the first, far more incriminating, leak,

then it looks like:

a. Armitage was engaged in precisely the same activity as Libby, in terms of conducting a stealth smear campaign on both Joseph and Valerie Wilson; and/or
b. Armitage conscientiously devised an "I'm-innocent-but-I-remembered-this-and-forgot-that" scenario as a means of providing cover for anyone else, like Libby.


emptywheel said...

That's a load of shiite.

One can make the argument that Armitage leaked and covered it up with a stupid story. I certainly agree that it's implausible Armitage didn't know he was the leaker. But there are several aspects of this that are just BS.

The timing: Wow!!! The day after Pincus wrote a hard-hitting article, Woodward asked Armitage about it!!! Wow!!! And during a week when everyone in DC was talking about Joe Wilson, Armitage was too!! Wow, I'd say that's a smoking gun. Not. The timing is not at all suspicious.

The memo: It is almost certainly true that the paragraph in question was marked S/NF because of Wilson's trip, not Plame's identity. Because those involved didn't know Plame's identity (and if they did, it'd have been marked something else). So in fact, all of Armitage's statements about the memo are right. Yes, it was illegal to leak it. Yes, Armitage was a bonehead for being so lax about someone clearly tied to WMD. But there is no way anyone reading that memo would conclude Plame was covert.

And finally, Fiderer doesn't use the most basic logic to think through the proposed Armitage as fallguy for Libby story. It just doesn't make sense, not at all. Because if Armitage was the KNOWN fallguy for Libby, then Libby would not have perjured himself. Rove would not have perjured himself. Every action Rove and Libby took is inconsistent with Armitage being part of the plot. Did they use his role? Yup. But he wasn't part of it.

lukery said...

lol - i really need to have a rating system/scale on my posts so that everyone can differentiate between whether it's something that i endorse, or something that is nonsense, or something that is interesting etc.

as it is, i don't usually distinguish between say, a billmon post and a peggy noonan post.

your points are well taken, ew.

Larisa Alexandrovna said...

I am with EW. The most obvious, however, is not mentioned by anyone. Armitage was away when the memo was delivered and then Grossman's little talk with Libby. By June 12, Cheney was already talking about Plame, while on June 13 Armitage was only getting back and only taking a moment to look at the INR memo and the attachment of Rhone's note, which hardly gave any type of information other than who Joe Wilson was. So where did Cheney get his information and why did Libby already know many of the most classified points of this whole mess, namely, who she was and where she worked, before Novak's fat ass dragged itself over to State to visit Armitage, who said all of what? Novak was the last reporter and Armitage was the last source, even if you account for the meeting with Woody on June 13, Armitage still only had what was in the INR memo. Cheney, Libby, et al had by June 12 already discussed who she was in particular. So EW is right, this is total shiite.

Somehow, however, since Armitage had to request the memo he was originally copied on to begin with at a later date would also suggest that the beefcake did not actually read the memo or at least the Rhone note.

lukery said...

thnx LA - both fp'd

btw - neil silver is 'clean' as far as we know, right?