Sunday, February 18, 2007

edelman, turkey and plame.

* ew:

Eric Edelman
Perhaps the most curious absent witness, though, is Eric Edelman. Edelman, of course, was the guy who asked Libby if they could leak stuff to counter Wilson, at which Libby told Edelman to get to the closest secure line if he wanted to talk about it. Edelman is one of the biggest pieces of evidence that Libby knew Plame was covert and he shouldn't leak her name. Edelman is also the guy who did the early oppo work on Joe, before he went to Turkey to sell them cut-rate F-16s in exchange for political favors serve as Ambassador.

Now Edelman's non-appearance may be something as mundane as a credible dispute about what he wanted to leak. Maybe he just wanted to leak the report from Wilson's trip. (Though, that's unlikely since it now appears that everyone thought Wilson's report was fair game after he served as a source for Kristof and Pincus.) I still think that's somewhat damning, since it still constitutes leaking information Tenet didn't want leaked. But who knows, maybe it wasn't worth the effort.

But I think it's something more subtle. One of the more curious exchanges came when Wells was trying to suggest that it was Cathie Martin's incompetence (trust me, she comes off as highly competent on the stand) that forced Libby to put his neck in the meat grinder.

W June 6 Edelman left for Ambassador job?

M Don't know about date.

W He used to work with you?

M More hands on with Jennifer.

W Mr Edelman the senior non press person left so he was gone.

W Mr Libby's job was to focus on National Security Issues? He would spend time on issues like homeland security and terrorism and war on Iraq. It was not part of Libby's job to deal directly with press.

M fair comment.

M Edelman pointed out the Kristof article. He had pointed out to Jennifer. Eric, I assumed, was going to be the one who figured out something we could say, because he was a columnist, and attacked the administration fairly regularly, we were just waiting to see what Eric had to say and we didn't feel any urgency to get to Kristof.

W Kristof article. [reading from article]

This felt to me like an attempt to pre-empt something. And there was also an attempt to get some early documentation from Edelman's response to Wilson introduced into evidence (I've got to see if it happened or not, I forget). I don't get this.

Anyway, I don't know what to make of it (and I believe it was viget emailed trying to figure out the same thing), but it seems like Edelman was much more central to this smear than has been previously discussed. Which would make you think he'd show up on the stand, wouldn't it?

(yay, viget is famous.)

hmmm - edelman and plame... i wonder what sibel would say.


rimone said...

yay, you're back!

lukery said...

back, i am.

didja miss me?

oldschool said...

Hey - who's the new guy - yeah that one - the guy with the tan?

Libby trial summarized:

1. Fitz puts up several people who say that Libby lied like a sum-bitch.

2. Fitz plays several hours of tape of Libby's GJ testimony, in which he quite obviouslyt lies like a sum-bitch.

3. Defense puts up several people who say that Libby never *leaked* to them (defense still being unaware that this is not a leak case).

4. Johyn Hannah testifies, in a poor-man's memory defense, that Libby was such a busy man, he was practically running the entire U.S. Govt all by himself.

5. Fitz to Hannah: If Libby was that busy, to take a two-hour breakfast meeting (with JudyJudyJudy) must have been about something *very* important, right?

6. Defense - "Aw fuck it, the defense rests."

7. Closing arguments coming this Tuesday.

That's about it, I think.

starroute said...

There's some stuff on Edelman and the Plame affair here. One point it makes is that:

What is interesting here, aside from the cloak-and-dagger, almost Franklinesque flair of Libby, is that Edelman was no longer even supposed to be employed with him at the time: as the NYT reminds, "Mr. Edelman ceased work for Mr. Libby on June 6, 2003, to begin language training in preparation for a posting as ambassador to Turkey."

It also points out:

And go he did – straight back into the arms of Dick Cheney and the war party, which he had already served on two occasions, first during the reign of Bush I, and again between 2001-2003 as a special assistant to Cheney. In the first period, he worked under Paul Wolfowitz in the creation of a Defense Policy Guidance that "stipulated that the U.S. should wage preventive war to maintain unchallenged U.S. military supremacy." The second time around, in the run-up to the Iraq war, Edelman played a vital role, along with Lewis Libby, Doug Feith, and other prominent neocons, in crafting the bogus rationale for war in Iraq that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. In August 2005, President Bush "used a constitutional power to bypass the Senate" in confirming Edelman as the new undersecretary of defense for policy, replacing Douglas Feith.

Interesting that he was involved with the Defense Policy Guidance:

The 1992 draft Defense Planning Guidance (DPG), crafted by then-Defense Department staffers I. Lewis Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, and Zalmay Khalilzad, is widely regarded as an early formulation of the neoconservatives' post-Cold War agenda. . . .

When an initial draft of the DPG was leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post, it created an enormous uproar among Democrats and many administration figures, spurring the White House to immediately and publicly retract it. Among its more salient points, the draft DPG called for massive increases in defense spending, the assertion of lone superpower status, the prevention of the emergence of any regional competitors, the use of preventive—or preemptive—force, and the idea of forsaking multilateralism if it didn't suit U.S. interests. It called for intervening in disputes throughout the globe, even when the disputes were not directly related to U.S. interests, arguing that the United States should “retain the preeminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously disrupt international relations.”

Edelman may be a second-rank figure -- but he's a second-rank figure who's been very close to the heart of the Cheney-Libby cabal for many years. As such, any involvement on his part has to be taken as significant.

lukery said...

oldschool - thnx for that, and yep, i'm as brown as a berry.

starroute - thnx. sibel has actually pointed to edelman as well, and it appears that she puts him closer to the center of her case than has really been appreciated. i'm still very curious as to why they cycled him through turkey in 2003.