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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Who's Laughing Now, Button Boy?

It's Sunday morning, Mr. ReddHedd graciously agreed to let today be my sleep in day, so I'm getting a late start. But there is plenty of coffee, some leftover baguette toasting in the broiler, Sunday morning talk shows on the telly...except, well, this morning we Tivo-ed the early stuff because a small, sad voice said, "Momma, no news. Want Bugs." So I'm reading Isikoff and the papers, and we watched A Bug's Life (this week's new obsessive movie du jour) and I'm hoping the coffee kicks in soon. Thought I would do a Sunday morning round-up as I read. Kind of like you are reading with me in your jammies, except you aren't. (And thank goodness for that, because I have horrible bed head this morning.)

(Update: Am now on to the last part of the Blitzer Late Edition. No great shakes there, other than the fact that Thornburg wasn't spinning much on Rove's behalf, which may say more about how much the establishment is willing to sacrifice Turdblossom at this point than anything else. That, and Ben Veniste is playing down any charges that may come of this investigation, but he looked very, very happy as he was talking about Fitz being a tough as nails prosecutor.)

First, some comments on the Isikoff article from my perspective:

No prosecutor is ever going to say flat out that he's going to indict your client if, indeed, there is more information to be gathered. If I were working a case, and had a witness who I was seriously contemplating indicting but had even a modicum of doubt about it, I would never call and say "I'm going to indict your client's ass almost certainly, but what about bringing him back in front of the grand jury under oath so I can grill him one more time so I can be sure?" Of course Fitz is saying he hasn't made any firm decisions. Any lawyer worth anything knows that there are always surprises around the corner, even potentially beneficial ones for Rove much as it pains me to type it, and that no prosecutor reveals his hand before the foreperson of the grand jury has inked the indictments. And it is insulting for Luskin to keep dragging out this canard as if it means anything other than the fact that so far as he knows, no indictments have been issued. Well, duh.

Additionally, why is it that all these notes and e-mails are being found by third parties and not by the particular witnesses themsleves? According to Isikoff, the Rove e-mail to Hadley was found by Luskin according to his statement. What the hell was Luskin doing rooting through the White House e-mail? Does HE have appropriate clearance to just have some staff person dig through all of that? (Does the staff person?) And what does it say about a White House that can't find an e-mail between Rove and Hadley where Wilson's name is clearly mentioned -- boy, I'm feeling loads safer about our intelligence gathering and analysis now.

Plus, the little devastating throwaway at the end regarding Judy Miller and the notebook. Sounds like La Diva Judy hasn't been playing nice with her tribe, and they are going out of their way to return the favor, doesn't it? My read is that someone at the Times Washington bureau found some log of source information coming in to the paper that included the meeting with Scooter, and took it to the editorial staff wanting to follow-up with Judy for some actual journalism. The paper, not wanting to be slapped by Fitz and have this turn into Jayson Blair II, copied both Fitz and Bennett on it -- and now Judy is holding the hot potato and meeting with Fitz on Tuesday.

Should be a good weekend for deal making for the Fitz crew, because failure to comply fully with subpoenas and testimony is called obstruction -- and a whole group of people doing it starts to look a whole lot like a conspiracy after a while. They sure have some 'splaining to do. (If anyone has any info. on how the NYTimes logs reporters and sources in and out or keeps tabs on story materials if a freelancer has been contracted to work on something, please dish!) Kudos to emptywheel for such amazing work on all of this -- another insightful posting on Next Hurrah on this very issue.

Then, there is this lovely lovely tidbit caught by Digby (hat tip to bkny for bringing this to my attention -- NO idea how I missed it, but it is GOOD!). Seems our friend, George Tenet, is none too pleased about the attempt to scapegoat him and his staff after the fact for all the Iraq intelligence failures. (Memo to Cheney: you may have overplayed your hand.) Here's a word of advice to BushCo, and something the Preznit could have learned from Poppy if he had actually been paying attention: Never screw with the Company. Is it me, or do I smell a much better book deal than Judy will ever be able to get? Tenet, anyone? (mwee hee)

Finally, just in case anyone from Fitz' inner circle or staff has time to read my humble little musings, let me just say this: all the pizza and Chinese food delivery, the exhaustion, the failure to feed your cats, the ink-stained fingers and practically bleeding eyeballs from all the case law fine print and testimony summaries you've been reading, just thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for fighting the good fight. Having spent a little time in the trenches, I remember the adreneline moments, the occasional despair, and the panic at not being able to find the exact page of notes you need in the sea of paper on your desk. And I am so very grateful to you for putting yourselves on the line. So, thank you -- attorneys, staff, FBI, investigators, everyone. Thank you muchly. (Just wanted to say that prior to announcements on all this, just in case I need to hit the Scotch if you issue a no indictment report.)

UPDATE: Meant to mention that Swopa has some great insights on the Isikoff article as well, and they can be found here. My personal favorite bit of analysis:

"A scenario that fits the facts more believeably is that Fitzgerald had evidence of a conversation between Rove and Cooper, and therefore asked Luskin/Rove to take another look for related documents -- or even that the email was turned over without Rove realizing it until Fitzgerald surprised him with questions about it."

Brilliant. And snarky. Who could ask for anything more? Kudos to Swopa on that one.

UPDATE #2: Some very good questions being asked this morning by Greg Mitchell in his column in E&P. Certainly worth a read -- follows up on a lot of what we've been asking here and what many others have been asking across the blogosphere. Oh please, answers and indictments soon, before all our brains explode. (Hat tip to aReader for bringing this gem to my attention.)

Also, I'm going to mention the good press from Mark Kleiman about Jane's "Indiana Jones of dust bunnies" Judy post. You can find it here on Huffington Post. Thanks to Mark, and major props to Jane (who rocked on the radio this morning. Mwahaha...White House man whore...)

UPDATE #3: Billmon has a fantastic take on the Judy mess, and a link to a great Village Voice article. It's a must read. Major props.