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Woodward shoots down much of Plamegate case
WASHINGTON (AP) - [B]Bob Woodward's version of when and where he learned the identity of a CIA operative contradicts a special prosecutor's contention that Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide was the first to make the disclosure to reporters. [/B]
Attorneys for the aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, described Wednesday's statement by the Washington Post's assistant managing editor as helpful for their defense, although Libby is charged with lying to a grand jury and the FBI, not with disclosing the CIA official's name.
"Hopefully, as information is obtained from reporters like Bob Woodward, the real facts will come out," lawyer Ted Wells said Wednesday.
Woodward, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter, said he had not told his bosses until last month that he had learned about Valerie Plame's identity and her work at the CIA more than two years ago from a high-level Bush administration official.
When Woodward learned Plame's name, he told The Associated Press Wednesday, he was in the middle of finishing a book about the administration's decision to go to war in Iraq, and didn't want to be subpoenaed to testify.
"The grand jury was going and reporters were being jailed, and I hunkered down more than I usually do," Woodward said, explaining why he waited so long to tell Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. what he knew about the Plame matter.
Woodward made his name with his coverage of the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration. He kept secret for decades the identity of "Deep Throat," a key source in that reporting.
Woodward said he had apologized for not giving Downie much earlier notice of his reporting on Plame.
To critics who are taking shots at him, Woodward said, "Journalism is a contact sport. I was 29 when people who really knew how to shoot were around," referring to Watergate.
Because his source in the leak case has refused to be identified publicly, Woodward said his hands are tied. "We can't tell the whole story. I would like to. It's one that will be told some day," he said.
Columnist Robert Novak disclosed Plame's identity and her work at the CIA on July 14, 2003, eight days after her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador, had accused the White House of misrepresenting intelligence to justify the Iraq war.
Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, was indicted last month on charges that he lied to FBI agents and a grand jury about when he learned Plame's identity and how he subsequently disclosed it to reporters.
Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, in announcing the charges, portrayed Libby as the first high-level government official to reveal Plame's identity to reporters in summer 2003.
[B]Legal experts said Wednesday the disclosure that Woodward had a source - who was not Libby - could be used by Libby's lawyers to bolster their claim that Plame's identity was common knowledge among government officials and reporters. [/B]
"Much was made of the fact that Libby set all of this in motion, that he was the first government official to reveal this," said former Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., now a defense attorney in Washington.
"As a defense attorney, I'd try to make as much of this as I possibly could to call into question the completeness of the investigation and raise concerns about a rush to judgment." However, he said, "I'm not sure at the end of the day that it hurts the trial of this case."
Robert W. Ray, a former independent counsel, said the Woodward disclosure won't help Libby if his defense is that he wasn't the only official leaking Plame's identity. "The point was: Did you make false statements and perjure yourself?" Ray said.
The Washington Post said Wednesday that Woodward had given a sworn deposition to Fitzgerald on Monday. According to the Post, Woodward's source told Fitzgerald after Libby's indictment that the source had talked to Woodward in mid-June 2003. Woodward also talked to Libby and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card at about the same time in connection with his book. But Woodward said in a statement printed in the Post that he didn't recall talking about Plame with Card or Libby.
Card, Libby and the remaining source - still unidentified - released Woodward from promises of confidentiality so he could answer Fitzgerald's questions. But the remaining source - at least as of Wednesday - refused to allow Woodward or the Post to identify him or her publicly.
Fitzgerald's investigation was bogged down for months while he sought testimony from reporters who had gathered information about Plame, whose husband was sent to Africa by the CIA in early 2002 to check out allegations that Iraq had tried to buy uranium "yellowcake."
Judith Miller, a former New York Times reporter, spent 85 days in jail last summer after refusing to testify before a grand jury about her conversations with Libby in June and July of 2003.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Libby spent several hours at the federal courthouse in an area designated for lawyers to review classified or sensitive government evidence.
Accompanied by his legal team, Libby walked into the courthouse without the crutches that he'd been using during a court appearance two weeks ago when he pleaded not guilty.
Other top Bush administration officials, including Karl Rove, have testified before the grand jury.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove's legal team, said Rove was not the official who talked to Woodward. Rove was referred to, but not by name, in Libby's indictment as having discussed Plame's identity with reporters.
Woodward is now assistant managing editor of the Post. In October, he was dismissive of the Plame revelation, telling CNN's Larry King that the damage from her exposure was "quite minimal."
Meanwhile, The Associated Press on Wednesday joined other news organizations in asking U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to deny a court motion by Fitzgerald for a blanket protective order keeping all pretrial evidence in Libby's case out of public view.
besides not making it CRYSTAL clear that Woodward had this info long before Novak wrote his column the MSM leaves out one important fact....
[B]Text: Bob Woodward's Public Statement
Nov 16 11:26 AM US/Eastern[/B]
By The Associated Press
Text of Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward's statement regarding his testimony in the case of the leak of a CIA operative's name, as published by The Washington Post:
[B]On Monday, November 14, I testified under oath in a sworn deposition to Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for more than two hours about small portions of interviews I conducted with three current or former Bush administration officials that relate to the investigation of the public disclosure of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame. [/B]
The interviews were mostly confidential background interviews for my 2004 book "Plan of Attack" about the leadup to the Iraq war, ongoing reporting for The Washington Post and research for a book on Bush's second term to be published in 2006. The testimony was given under an agreement with Fitzgerald that he would only ask about specific matters directly relating to his investigation.
All three persons provided written statements waiving the previous agreements of confidentiality on the issues being investigated by Fitzgerald. Each confirmed those releases verbally this month, and requested that I testify.
Plame is the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who had been sent by the CIA in February 2002 to Niger to determine if there was any substance to intelligence reports that Niger had made a deal to sell "yellowcake" or raw uranium to Iraq. Wilson later emerged as an outspoken critic of the Bush administration.
I was first contacted by Fitzgerald's office on Nov. 3 after one of these officials went to Fitzgerald to discuss an interview with me in mid-June 2003 during which the person told me Wilson's wife worked for the CIA on weapons of mass destruction as a WMD analyst.
I have not been released to disclose the source's name publicly.
[SIZE=4][B]Fitzgerald asked for my impression about the context in which Mrs. Wilson was mentioned. I testified that the reference seemed to me to be casual and offhand, and that it did not appear to me to be either classified or sensitive. I testified that according to my understanding an analyst in the CIA is not normally an undercover position. [/B] [/SIZE]
I testified that after the mid-June 2003 interview, I told Walter Pincus, a reporter at The Post, without naming my source, that I understood Wilson's wife worked at the CIA as a WMD analyst. Pincus does not recall that I passed this information on. [/B]
[B]Fitzgerald asked if I had discussed Wilson's wife with any other government officials before Robert Novak's column on July 14, 2003. I testified that I had no recollection of doing so. [/B]
He asked if I had possibly planned to ask questions about what I had learned about Wilson's wife with any other government official.
I testified that on June 20, 2003, I interviewed a second administration official for my book "Plan of Attack" and that one of the lists of questions I believe I brought to the interview included on a single line the phrase "Joe Wilson's wife." I testified that I have no recollection of asking about her, and that the tape-recorded interview contains no indication that the subject arose.
I also testified that I had a conversation with a third person on June 23, 2003. The person was I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and we talked on the phone. I told him I was sending to him an 18-page list of questions I wanted to ask Vice President Cheney. On page 5 of that list there was a question about "yellowcake" and the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq's weapons programs. I testified that I believed I had both the 18-page question list and the question list from the June 20 interview with the phrase "Joe Wilson's wife" on my desk during this discussion. I testified that I have no recollection that Wilson or his wife was discussed, and I have no notes of the conversation.
Though neither Wilson nor Wilson's wife's name had surfaced publicly at this point, Pincus had published a story the day before, Sunday, June 22, about the Iraq intelligence before the war. I testified that I had read the story, which referred to the CIA mission by "a former senior American diplomat to visit Niger." Although his name was not used in the story, I knew that referred to Wilson.
I testified that on June 27, 2003, I met with Libby at 5:10 p.m. in his office adjacent to the White House. I took the 18-page list of questions with the Page-5 reference to "yellowcake" to this interview and I believe I also had the other question list from June 20, which had the "Joe Wilson's wife" reference.
I have four pages of typed notes from this interview, and I testified that there is no reference in them to Wilson or his wife. A portion of the typed notes shows that Libby discussed the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, mentioned "yellowcake" and said there was an "effort by the Iraqis to get it from Africa. It goes back to February '02." This was the time of Wilson's trip to Niger.
When asked by Fitzgerald if it was possible I told Libby I knew Wilson's wife worked for the CIA and was involved in his assignment, I testified that it was possible I asked a question about Wilson or his wife, but that I had no recollection of doing so. My notes do not include all the questions I asked, but I testified that if Libby had said anything on the subject, I would have recorded it in my notes.
My testimony was given in a sworn deposition at the law office of Howard Shapiro of the firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr instead of appearing under subpoena before a grand jury.
I testified after consulting with the Post's executive and managing editors, the publisher, and our lawyers. We determined that I could testify based on the specific releases obtained from these three people. I answered all of Fitzgerald's questions during my testimony without breaking promises to sources or infringing on conversations I had on unrelated matters for books or news reporting _ past, present or future.
It was the first time in 35 years as a reporter that I have been asked to provide information to a grand jury.
So...Woodward talked to three "current or former WH officials"...two being Card and Libby....obviously the third is no longer in the administration...
Oh well rats....your furher heil howard dean and the likes of chuck shciester have led you down another dead end road.....one more reason for you all to be miserable...silly rats- tricks are for kids...
Last edited by Come Back to NY; 11-17-2005 at 01:17 AM.
[QUOTE=Come Back to NY]the amazing thing is all the MSM that is suppose the "report" the news and not sensationlize it (right- ain't that a pipe dream) have burried the story.[/QUOTE]
This story was on the front of cnn.com all day yesterday. Not sure what you are talking about. That, IMHO is not burrying the story. And where or where does he exonerate Chaney and Rove. Please show me where he said that his source was not either of those people. He didn't. He said that HE did not talk to Libby...but Libby is still guilty of talking to the other reporter..(name slips my mind) it is in the above article. This does not exonerate anyone. Dude talk about sensationalizing news, you are practically at home trying to find something to wack off to in this article at 1am. You saw this and it got you off immediately instead of you actually reading it. That is sensationalism.
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[QUOTE=Sack Exchange]This story was on the front of cnn.com all day yesterday. Not sure what you are talking about. That, IMHO is not burrying the story. And where or where does he exonerate Chaney and Rove. Please show me where he said that his source was not either of those people. He didn't. He said that HE did not talk to Libby...but Libby is still guilty of talking to the other reporter..(name slips my mind) it is in the above article. This does not exonerate anyone. Dude talk about sensationalizing news, you are practically at home trying to find something to wack off to in this article at 1am. You saw this and it got you off immediately instead of you actually reading it. That is sensationalism.[/QUOTE]
everything you've stated, Woodward did not talk to Libby, Libby guilty of talking to another reporter is 1000% wrong and both are completely disproven in the stories posted
[QUOTE]Attorneys for the aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, described Wednesday's statement by the Washington Post's assistant managing editor as helpful for their defense, although Libby is charged with lying to a grand jury and the FBI, not with disclosing the CIA official's name.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]I also testified that I had a conversation with a third person on June 23, 2003. The person was I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and we talked on the phone. I told him I was sending to him an 18-page list of questions I wanted to ask Vice President Cheney. [/QUOTE]
I know facts get in the way of liberals but Woodward states he spoke with two administration officials in mid-June...then spoke to Libby about 18 pages of questions he wanted to ask VP Cheney, which was handed to Libby on 6/27...obviously that could've been done in mid-June were were Woodward to speak to Cheney...
...maybe you should read the story first before accusing other of the same...ya think??
then again I understand the dissapointment from a lib point of view...two years after an investigation and the best a SP can do is charge someone for tripping up their story then...oops, oh- he forgot to look into this part....
The best part of the story is that Libby is a MORON for lying. Libby tried to hide something he didn't have to, he could of went into the grand jury and either took the fifth or say he was not sure of exact dates and please allow me to try to find out what the correct dates were. Libby went back and lied again. He is the moron here.
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[QUOTE=cr726]The best part of the story is that Libby is a MORON for lying. Libby tried to hide something he didn't have to, he could of went into the grand jury and either took the fifth or say he was not sure of exact dates and please allow me to try to find out what the correct dates were. Libby went back and lied again. He is the moron here.[/QUOTE]
can't disagree with that yet SP Fitzgerald is also looking rather incompetent at this time....
Russert credits lesson from nun for being aboveboard in CIA case
Sister Lucille emphasized importance of telling truth
By DOUGLAS TURNER
News Washington Bureau Chief
Tim Russert's testimony could be a key element in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., ex-chief of staff for Vice President Cheney.
WASHINGTON - Tim Russert credits a maxim he learned from a Mercy nun in a West Seneca parish school for helping to guide him through the reefs surrounding the CIA leak investigation now engulfing the capital.
"If you tell the truth," Russert said in an interview, "you only have to tell it once."
"I was told that early in life by Sister Lucille," he said, referring to Mercy Sister Lucille Socciarelli, one of his teachers at St. Bonaventure School.
Sister Lucille, now a Catholic hospital chaplain in Fall River, Mass., also recalls that lesson.
"Yes, that's what I taught him," she said when reached there.
"His integrity is without question," she added. "What Tim was in 1963 he is now, but only older and wiser."
Russert, chief of NBC's Washington Bureau and host of NBC's "Meet the Press" appears to be a key witness in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., who resigned as Vice President Cheney's chief of staff after being charged with lying to a federal grand jury investigating the leak of the name of CIA operative Valerie E. Plame.
Libby faces criminal charges based on his grand jury testimony that Russert, in July 2003, gave him the name and identity of Plame as a covert operative for the CIA.
Russert testified that he told Libby no such thing. According to the indictment, the Buffalo native's challenge to Libby's testimony is at the core of the government's case against Libby on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., noted the distinction between Russert's behavior and that of two other journalists involved in the Libby case - Judith Miller, who recently resigned under pressure as a reporter for the New York Times, and author Bob Woodward, an assistant managing editor for the Washington Post.
Miller, who served 85 days in jail before agreeing to testify about her source, apparently withheld material conversations with Libby from her editors for months. Woodward withheld his knowledge from his editor for at least two years.
"Tim immediately talked with his editor, and he did not give up his sources," Schumer said. "Tim Russert is a model for other reporters in the way he behaved in this situation."
Russert also made the special counsel subpoena him. NBC News resisted the subpoena in federal court on First Amendment grounds - maintaining that confidential sources are a key to news-gathering. The court rejected NBC's pleading and on July 20 ordered Russert to undergo questioning under oath.
Russert gave the statement under oath to special federal prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was appointed after the CIA formally complained to then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft that a federal crime might have been committed when Plame's identity was revealed.
The fact that Russert did not give up any confidential sources was easy because Russert maintains that "there weren't any in this instance."
Russert testified he first learned of Plame's identity and job when he read a Robert D. Novak's July 2003 syndicated column outing Plame.
Critics of the Novak column said the article was a White House attempt to punish Plame's husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. Wilson wrote an op-ed article in the Times earlier that month contending that President Bush misspoke in his 2003 State of the Union message when he said Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was trying to buy weapons-grade nuclear material in Niger.
Russert avoided many of the pitfalls dogging Novak, Woodward and others by promptly working through his management, being transparent and making the government go to court to make him talk, said Lee Coppola, dean of the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communications at St. Bonaventure University.
"I tend to think that reporters ought to cooperate in the investigation of serious crimes, especially when national security gets involved," said Coppola, who previously was a Buffalo News investigative reporter, an attorney and a federal prosecutor.
"But they ought to never testify other than under subpoena, and they shouldn't [testify about confidential sources] unless they are dragged in kicking and screaming." By that, Coppola said, "the government must be made to prove its need for the testimony in court and make a record that will guide other journalists and prosecutors in the future."
The Post belatedly revealed that Woodward was also tipped off in June 2003 about Plame's identity by a government official whom he would not identify. But the Post newsroom is in a turmoil because Woodward gave testimony last week without any subpoena and under circumstances that contrast with the transparency employed by NBC and Russert. Post management has not explained why it waited weeks to tell the public that Woodward had been told about Plame.
Woodward has apologized for waiting so long before telling Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. about his involvement.
Now it is likely that Fitzgerald will subpoena reporters' notes, raising another First Amendment issue.
Russert said he is not worried about that. "I don't have any notes, because nobody told me anything," he said.
Andy Alexander, chairman of the Freedom of Information Committee, American Society of Newspaper Editors, credits Russert and his attorneys (Russert also is a lawyer) for crafting "a fairly narrow field" in which to question Russert.
Newsrooms may want to review their procedures for offering confidentiality to sources and notifying employers when lawyers and prosecutors begin to stalk reporters, Alexander said.
Alexander, who is Washington Bureau chief for Cox Newspapers, said the bureau has elaborate guidelines on subpoenas, sources and confidentiality.
The Buffalo News employee manual requires that subpoenas, threats of subpoenas and credible threats of lawsuits be reported to editors immediately