Monday, February 19, 2007

emptywheel: fitz needs novak

* jane:
"Oh and one final teaser — Marcy believes that Fitzgerald would not have handled Robert Novak, who was really a bit of a disgusting hack on the stand, so gently if he did not need him for future aspects of his investigation.

* larisa at largely:
"Let's use Al Qaeda and the US as an example to illustrate how the MEK-US relationship might look to Iranians:

Imagine that this morning you woke up to find that 18 US national guardsmen were assassinated on US soil via a car bomb on their way to a work facility. Now imagine that it was determined that Al Qaeda was behind the attack and that Syrian government officials were behind the funding, training, and harboring of this Al Qaeda cell. How would you react? Would you not see this as a declaration of war against our country? How then would this look to Iranian citizens if it turns out MEK or any other organization being run by Israel and the US is behind this attack?

We can only hope that the US backed groups had nothing to do with this bombing, but I fear given what we already know, the case against us is looking very strong."

* larisa is still pushing the notion that Foggo, Goss, Dukestir etc were using male prostitutes.

* newsweek:
"A Pentagon office headed by a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney has rejected the findings of a new report that sharply criticized the handling of pre-war intelligence on Iraq.

In a blistering internal memo obtained by NEWSWEEK, Eric Edelman, under secretary of defense for policy, characterized portions of the inspector-general's report as “egregious.” Edelman—the Pentagon’s No. 3 official—also staunchly defended the actions of his predecessor, Douglas Feith, who has been criticized for his pre-war efforts to promote the idea that Saddam Hussein's regime had a relationship with Al Qaeda.

The protests of Edelman—and his success in getting acting Pentagon Inspector-General Thomas Gimble to drop recommended policy changes from his report—shows how current and former Cheney aides still wield their clout throughout the government.

During the run-up to the Iraq war, Edelman served as Cheney’s foreign-policy adviser, directly under the vice president’s then chief of staff and national-security aide I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby. After a two-year stint as ambassador to Turkey, Edelman was then nominated by President Bush in 2005 to replace Feith, a key ally of the vice president’s office in the often-contentious pre-war debates over Iraq intelligence.
Feith said today he was gratified that the inspector-general changed his report in response to Edelman’s criticisms. The IG’s proposed policy changes, he said, were “completely impractical.”"
* jeralyn:
"No one on this jury is going to buy Libby as victim, although they may conclude he was no more mistaken than any other witness. Once the jurors try to figure out motive, even though it's not a necessary element of the charged crimes, I call a draw. Fitz just didn't establish motive beyond a reasonable doubt.

Now, let's get to the real issue making many of you despondent: Karl Rove walked. The only solace I can offer is this: Richard Armitage got the same result on his own, without a lawyer. Hopefully, Rove will be in debt to Robert Luskin for years to come.

As to not calling Cheney as a witness, I don't read too much into it except this: Libby reportedly forked over $3 mil plus for his defense. That allowed enough money for focus groups. I wouldn't be surprised if the focus groups found Cheney to be such a polarizing figure that Team Libby concluded that any good Cheney would do for Libby on substance would be completely overtaken by the jury's loathing for him personally. If that's the case, while Libby may walk, the country has won."
* jeralyn:
"The directive to combat Joseph Wilson's July 6 op-ed came from Cheney himself. To get a sense of how Libby and others snapped to attention when he cried "fetch," consider the July 12th flight to Norfolk. It was on this flight, carrying Cheney, Libby and Cheney press aide Cathie Martin to the commemoration of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, that Cheney gave his directive as if he were Tony Soprano: Go after this guy Wilson. So seriously did Libby and Martin take the command that they started roto-dialing reporters from Andrews Air Force Base the moment the plane returned from Norfolk."
Just a bit of speculation. But something to think about. "

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