Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wilson Lawsuite (#2) Wilson Lawsuite (#2)

The following is a copy of a post I made ealier today at justoneminute as to causation in the Wilsons' case against Cheney, et al. (The complaint is here). It is partially in response to an interview of Wilson last night by Keith Olbermann (as reported by A J Strata) where Wilson apparently discounted the possibility of including Armitage and/or Novak as defendants.

Keep in mind my previous point - lack of causation. If you read the complaint, always keep your eye on the ball.

Starting in the history part of Facts, #13 tells of Novak's 7/14/03 column, where he "outs" Plame based on "leaks from the administration", that was the alleged cause of the Wilsons' claimed damages.

Then, #14-17 talks about the investigation and that criminal charges were brought against Libby (w/o of course telling us what they were).

Then, #18 purports to lay out the facts leading up to July 2003. It starts with the SOTU, but then quickly moves at (c) into a long discussion of what Libby was alleged to have done. Almost all of the remainder of #18, (d-x) was devoted to listing in gory detail everything that Libby had done, whom he had talked to, etc. Mention was made of the VP marking up the Wilson article, but not much more.

Sections #19-21 again talk about Libby's indictment. #22 discusses a Pincus article that mentions that the Administration had talked to a lot of reporters.

And then, based on that, #23 alleges a conspiracy between the defendants to discredit the Wilsons.

#24-33 concern Rove and include such tidbits as McClellan telling the press that Rove hadn't talked to the them about the Wilsons. It also includes some more Fitz stuff, including in #33 that he believed there to have been White House efforts to punish the Wilsons. And then, #34 further alleges a plot by the defendants.

But note what is missing. There is nothing tying the defendants to Novak, and it was his article that they tacitly admit in that paragraph was the proximate cause of their alleged injuries. The closest that I can see is in #13, which said:
13. On July 14, 2003, newspaper columnist Robert Novak wrote a column that was published in [list of papers] that contained the following sentence: "[Joseph] Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger" to investigate a report that Iraq was seeking nuclear materials from Niger. That publication, based on leaks from the administration, was the first time that Mrs. Wilson's previously secret and classified CIA identity became public. The disclosure destroyed her cover as a classified CIA employee.
Notice though that they never tell us who leaked to Novak, except that it was "Two senior administration officials" and that the piece was "based on leaks from the administration". We are left to assume from the rest of the pleadings that it must have been the defendants. But of course, we know better, which is why this slight of hand doesn't fly. And, of course, Wilson knows better too.

It is this slight of hand that leads me to believe that Wilson was involved in the pleadings. Right in the middle of a long string of horribles about Libby and Rove, you have this statement about how two senior administration figures leaked to Novak, and you are naturally going to assume that it was they.

But that is where my comments from last night on Wilson's interview come in. In order to tie it all together, they would have to bring in at least Novak's primary source (presumably Armitage), and maybe even Novak. But Wilson threw cold water on that idea.

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