Thursday, January 25, 2007

Liveblogged: U.S. vs. Libby -- A primer

As FireDogLake's liveblogging of Libby's trial continues, I note a number of abbreviations, acronyms, slang, shorthand popping up on the fly that most of us Plame-maniacs already know but newbies may not grasp. I'm going to try to document them here, a kind of not-so-secret decoder ring. If there's something you'd like to see added, leave me a comment and I'll cover it here. NOTE: in the event of a server crash at, check Windcatpond for announcements, as well as DailyKos for alternative live blogging posts.

Complete list of FireDogLake's Libby trial live blog and related posts here.

Acronyms and Abbreviations:


From notes introduced during testimony by David Addington; abbreviation referred to Addington himself.


? -- Believe to be “Asst. Deputy Director Operations”-CIA

(if you can confirm this one, leave me a comment, tks!)


Classified Information Protection Act (see Resources below)


Counter Proliferation Division (CIA)


Director, Central Intel


Deputy Director, Central Intel


Executive Office (Executive Branch, President's Office or White House)


Intelligence Identities Protection Act (definition at Wikipedia)


From notes introduced during testimony by David Addington, who maintained this indicated a "contract.” (This may be a typo in quasi-transcription and may actually represent “contact”.)


Morning Intel Briefing


Office of the Vice President


Non-Disclosure Agreement required of government employees and contractors if they handle classified materials.


Table of Contents, specifically in regards to brief prepared for OVP's office


Top Secret classification


Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information


Weapons Intelligence Nonproliferation and Arms Control Division (CIA)


Erroneous reference to a reference text, referred to as "Wigmore Rules of Evidence"; the actual title is Treatise on the Anglo-American System of Evidence in Trials at Common Law, written in 1904 by American jurist John Henry Wigmore.


Early theory outlining the genesis of smear campaign against Joe Wilson while outing Valerie Plame. “1x2x6” theory, so-named by blogger Swopa of, originated from a Washington Post article written by Mike Allen and Dana Priest, arising from this key graf:

Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife.”


Refers to Rule 302, Applicability of State Law in Civil Actions and Proceedings.


Refers to Rule 403, Exclusion of Relevant Evidence on Grounds of Prejudice, Confusion, or Waste of Time




Refers to Section 5K1.1 of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines; a prosecutor requesting a lesser sentence will write what is referred to as a "5K letter". A 5K letter is not expected in this trial, but has been the subject of speculation during the course of the trial.


Rule 801 of Federal Rules of Evidence


(NOTE: IANAL, please correct me if this interpretation or definition needs tweaking, thanks!)




From Wikipedia:Brady material consists of exculpatory or impeaching information that is material to the guilt or punishment of the defendant. The term comes from the U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland,[1] in which the Supreme Court ruled that suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to a defendant who has requested it violates due process.”


The government must disclose any material evidence favorable to the defendant; the government is obligated to comply even if the defendant doesn't ask for this evidence. Documents or evidence that fit this description are supposed to be supplied in advance of the trial, and are referred to as "Giglio filings". (See U.S. Supreme Court case GIGLIO v. UNITED STATES, 405 U.S. 150 (1972))


From Questia Online Library: "Discovery is also governed by the Jencks Act(57) and Rule 26.2 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.(58) Under the Jencks Act, statements or reports in the possession of the United States made by a potential government witness are not subject to discovery until after that witness has testified on direct examination.(59) After a witness has testified, at defendant's request, the government must turn over documents relevant to the witness' testimony.(60) If the government does not turn over requested documents the testimony of the witness will be stricken and the trial will continue, or the court will declare a mistrial if required by the interests of justice.(61) Rule 26.2 incorporates the substance of the Jencks Act, and further applies to defense witnesses other than the defendant.(62)" (See U.S. Supreme Court case JENCKS v. UNITED STATES, 353 U.S. 657 (1957))

Memory defense

Defense strategy to be deployed by Scooter Libby against charges of perjury, false statements and obstruction, by which defendant will claim he was so very, very busy with so many very, very important things that he just plain forgot that he was leaking classified information about a deepest cover operative. (Theory of this expected defense strategy outlined by blogger emptywheel at FireDogLake).


An offer of evidence in the course of a trial to support an argument. (See Proffer at Wikipedia.)

Witnesses [date of testimony in brackets]:



Date sworn in

Grossman, Marc

Former Under Secretary for Political Affairs


Grenier, Robert

Chief of the Iraq Issues Group in 2003, former CIA top counter-terrorism official


Schmall, Craig

CIA briefer


Martin, Cathie

Former Press Aid to the Vice President

[25-JAN-07, 29-JAN-07]

Fleischer, Ari

Former Press Secretary to the President


Addington, David

Chief of Staff to Vice President, Libby's successor in this role

[29-JAN-07, 30-JAN-07]

Miller, Judith

Former journalist for The New York Times

[30-JAN-07, 31-JAN-07]

Cooper, Matthew

Journalist, Times magazine


Bond, Debra

FBI Agent assigned to investigate leak case

[01-FEB-07, 02-FEB-07]

Mystery Witness


Est. [05-FEB-07]

Russert, Tim


Est. [05-FEB-07]

Defendant, Attorneys and other supporting characters:




Bonamici, Debra


Team Fitz/Prosecution

Bond, Debbie


Team Fitz/Prosecution

Brady, Harry


Team Fitz/Prosecution

Cline, John

Attorney (memory defense expert)

Team Libby/Defense

Comstock, Barbara

Unspecified (former lobbyist and strategist for RNC, former director of the Office of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice, current advisor to 2008 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney)

Team Libby/Defense

Fitzgerald, Patrick

Attorney, U.S. Special Counsel (lead for prosecution)

Team Fitz/Prosecution

Francisco, Gerard


Team Fitz/Prosecution

Hance, Katie


Team Fitz/Prosecution

Hansen, Bonnie


Team Fitz/Prosecution

Jeffress, William Jr.


Team Libby/Defense

Kedian, Kathleen


Team Fitz/Prosecution

Richards, Jared


Team Fitz/Prosecution

Wells, Ted

Attorney (lead for defense)

Team Libby/Defense

Zeidenberg, Peter


Team Fitz/Prosecution

Cast of key characters:



Wilson, Joseph

Former ambassador to Gabon, sent by CIA after inquiry by Vice President Cheney into possible sales of yellowcake uranium by Niger to Iraq. Last American official to speak directly to Saddam Hussein before beginning of Gulf War I. Married to the former Valerie Plame

Wilson, Valerie, nee Plame

Former non-official cover operative for CIA that worked in counterproliferation of WMD. “Outed” by person(s) within the Bush administration, ostensibly as a punishment or threat to her spouse, Joe Wilson for Wilson's outspoken op-ed, “What I didn't Find in Africa.

Libby, I. Lewis “Scooter”

Former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, indicted for five counts of perjury, false statements and obstruction in relation to the investigation of the outing of Valerie Plame.

Hamsher, Jane

Blogger who created popular progressive blog, FireDogLake. The blog has hosted salons for discussions between readers and guests, including former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Smith, Christy Hardin

A co-blogger at FireDogLake, Christy is a former assistant prosecutor and an attorney.


Pen name adopted by Marcy T. Wheeler, author of Anatomy of Deceit, and blogger at her own site, The Next Hurrah. Marcy “live blogged” the first weeks of testimony during the U.S. v. Libby trial from Prettyman District Courthouse, a first in blogging. She is also the undisputed expert on the Plame leak case.


Pen name adopted by creator of popular progressive blog, Swopa is one of the blogosphere's key experts in the Plame leak case as well as the progenitor of the “1x2x6” theory.

Merrit, Jeralyn

Blogger for popular progressive website; Jeralyn is a defense attorney providing analysis of court room proceedings on the U.S. v. Libby trial from Prettyman District Courthouse.


A co-blogger at FireDogLake, Pachacutec writes under this pen name. As a psychologist and consultant specializing in organizational management, Pachacutec provides analysis of key persons from his perspective from U.S. v. Libby trial from Prettyman District Courthouse


Co-contributor at FireDogLake writing pseudonymously, looseheadprop is an attorney providing fundamental primers in U.S. Law pertinent to the U.S. v. Libby trial from Prettyman District Courthouse.


A co-blogger at FireDogLake, TRex's pen name pays homage to his intrinsic therapodian nature. His live blogging from Prettyman District Courthouse will provide additional color on otherwise banal trial participants.

Other References and Resources:

Subject and link where applicable

Source / Author where applicable

U.S. vs. Libby

Filings, USDOJ-USOSC Patrick F. Fitzgerald (website of Special Counsel)

List of Potential Witnesses

Source: Next Hurrah

List of Documents Produced

Source: AP

WMDGate: Fixing Intelligence Around Policy

Source: eriposte at The Left Coaster - link to Introduction of a series of related posts

Anatomy of the WH's Smear Defense

Source: emptywheel at Next Hurrah - Plame primer #1

Anatomy of a White House Smear, Redux

Source: emptywheel at Next Hurrah - Plame primer #2

Plame Affair

Source: Dkosopedia

Plame Affair timeline

Source: Dkosopedia

Classified Information Protection Act (CIPA)

Copy of act at

Commonly used terms and slang:




By the way


Acronym for “Evil Parallel Universe”, name of a long-time, popular commenter at FireDogLake; acronym “EPU'd” used to describe condition in which a commenter posts at the end of a comment thread as a new thread begins, often without realizing the new thread has started. Evil Parallel Universe often EPU'd himself because his comments were thoughtful and dense in content; by the time he'd completed and submitted his comment in response to a comment mid-thread, he would wind up at the end of a thread with many users having moved on to the new thread.


I am not a lawyer – frequently used caveat qualifying a comment as an opinion from someone without a Juris Doctor.


If I recall correctly


Mainstream Media, referring to traditional, corporate-owned media outlets in both print and broadcast.


Oh my God. Variant OMFG also frequently used.


With regard to

Friday, January 19, 2007

Breaching the barrier: blogging in the face of traditional media

We are witnessing history in the prosecution of the U.S. v. Libby trial.

But not because this case presents the hologram in which the strategy to launch a unilateral war was prepared and promoted; it is because bloggers are covering this trial within a federal courthouse, side by side with traditional media journalists.

What this means to the futures of blogging and journalism is not clear. There is a wariness and a grudging respect, like that between professional and amateur athletes. They appreciate each others' skills and occasionally play on the same fields, but the money gets in the way by creating a line of demarcation between them.

In theory, traditional media shares the same objectives with most bloggers; to discover the truth and to write cogently about it. But something happened to traditional media; it lost its way, believing that its customers were advertisers and shareholders, forgetting that readers were the core of their business. Writing to sell product is a completely different matter from writing to disclose a researched truth. Many bloggers have taken up writing because they could no longer find the truth in traditional media; they had to self-publish in order to disclose the truth. Traditional media has struggled with understanding why this would become so popular, frequently dismissing blogging as nothing more than idle chit-chat or vulgarity from the unwashed masses. In doing so, they've missed that their own business model is terminal.

The blogging of the Libby trial represents a new phase in the relationship (or lack thereof) between bloggers and the traditional media. They are literally looking over each others' shoulders in the same space, writing about the very same topics in sync, at the same time. But the output is quite different, with traditional media being far more sanitized; blogger output is not only frank, immediate and authentic, but covering the media as well as the subject trial at the same time. Given these differences in their coverage during the jury selection process, what will the actual trial bring?

There are a couple of candid comments shared this evening about the media by FireDogLake's live blogger Pachacutec. In response to a question as to the difference between blogging from live video of the courtroom versus experiencing the courtroom itself, he shared:

...being around the other media folks helped be catch quotes better, since they are better quote catchers. The media room also makes for a group experience that at once clarifies errant impressions through live dialogue and also supports the creation of a consensus point of view of the proceedings, evening out the coverage because the creation of the understanding of the events develops as members of different news outlets influence each other, subtly.”

An observation like this is incredibly rare from traditional media journalists. Are the seeds of the groupthink we've seen in the media over the last dozen years right here in this perspective?

Equally telling, Pachacutec shares:

"...My colleagues in the press room are under the impression we have no edito[r]s in the blogoverse.

That may be true of people like Glen Reynolds, who don’t allow comments, but we have all of you. We bloggers with commenters have lots of editors.

What we don’t have, though, are people telling us what to write about, assigning us to stories."

Yet another indication of traditional media journalists' lack of understanding about blogging and collaborative communities. Readers are editors; blogging collapses the wall between authorship and readership, effectively removing the editor since readers are generally able to discern problems with a post without prior editorial sanitizing.

Pachacutec and I don't agree, though on his last observation. Bloggers most certainly do have a lot of people telling them what stories to write or cover. Traffic is a gauge or measure that can tell bloggers they are on the right track. Comments also reflect disconnects between bloggers and readers.

Day Three of jury selection in the Libby trial has now come and gone, with another day of selection expected. This is one day longer than initially allotted. But if you were reading the live blogging, you'd know exactly how this came about. What will Day Four bring?

[Cross-posted to RadioFreeBlogistan]

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Makes my blood boil: Concentration camps in America

I received the most disgusting email today from people who should know better. It was little more than a rant against brown-skinned AMERICANS -- the students who protested this past year in Whittier and Pioneer CA against what was then pending immigration reform legislation. This email showed the students raising the Mexican national flag and an upside-down American flag and was meant to inflame the reader.

It was right-wing hate speech and racist propaganda. I cried reading it, cried more thinking about the people who forwarded it to me and the persons they received it from and those to whom they forwarded it again. Simply breaks my heart to think that persons very close to me are such bigoted and ignorant humans. I felt compelled to respond; I don't know that I could have looked myself in the mirror if I hadn't.

Here's my response to the email they sent me with the subject line, "This should make your blood boil":

Concentration camps on American soil.

That makes my blood boil.

One camp holds 400 brown-skinned persons, 200 of which are children, denied access to attorneys to help them navigate a legal path out of the camp.

The children at this camp are only given 1 hour of education a day -- English instruction -- and only 1 hour of play time. Even children in jail uniforms and babies wearing name tags, like the adults.

There was at least one woman put in a camp who had been nursing an infant; the infant was kept from the mother outside the camp, the mother denied access.

Because habeas corpus was suspended for persons detained in this manner, under the terms of the Torture Bill signed into law in December under the last Congress, some of these people are legal immigrants, some are citizens, some have visas -- but none of them can access people who can help them because they can be detained on suspicion alone, and can be denied due process.

Go on, Google it up: you can see that (6) Swift-brand meat processing plants were raided recently, and that persons were detained and put into custody. What a nice euphemism for concentrating them in a camp. What a nice, neat way to intern all those nasty brown-skinned people you don't care much for, sweep them up and get them out of sight. It's just like those 500 people in Guantanamo Bay you don't ever have to think about.

I'll even make it easy on you and give you links at the end of this missive for you to read. Wouldn't want you to have to trouble yourselves too much to learn what's going on in your name, with your tax dollars, because of your elected officials for who you voted.

So ask yourself: Why were these AMERICAN high school children in California protesting as they did this summer?

Because they knew this was coming, that persons of brown-skin would be treated this way. They already KNEW about the 385 million dollar contract awarded to Halliburton to build these "detention centers" -- another nice euphemism for concentration camp. There are more contracts and more camps under way or already in use; "privatized jails" is another nice euphemism for some of these places.

We've already seen what is tantamount to ethnic cleansing in New Orleans -- structurally safe homes being razed to make way for lower density housing that the original residents can't afford, with hefty contracts awarded to all kinds of political cronies for this effort. If ethnic cleansing of New Orleans to remove African-Americans from the city could happen, why not indefinite detention for other persons of brown-skin? These AMERICAN high school students of brown-skin, Hispanic-heritage understood this and knew it. Amazing, yes? They figured it out by reading the news, armed with only a public education that so many people disparage. They did the next best thing to throwing tea in Boston Harbor; they showed their pride in their ancestral heritage to push back at underlying racism, while protesting that their country is in distress.

If you're in Florida, take a drive around Lake Okechobee and watch for the little camps -- the places where slaves have been and are still being kept in this country, and where illegals who escaped horrible conditions in their home countries now live, to work for next to nothing for that tomato you had on your salad or the orange juice on your table. These are the same kind of people that ended up in that concentration camp in Texas or Utah or Minnesota; their only real sin is that it takes nearly 7 years to process immigration papers in this country, and in their home country of Honduras or some other comparable place they could only find work making a $1 a day. Should they simply let their children die? Is this part of the Culture of Life that we hear so much about?

Stop the demand for cheap labor by severely punishing employers, and by boycotting those corporations that hire illegals. Stop the need for immigrants to flee home countries by encouraging real economic growth there -- spend less on war, profiteers and more on foreign aid for economic development (it's a LOT cheaper and actually provides real national security). Stop the creation of future terrorists by treating families better, white or non-white alike, citizen, guest or illegal.

Most of the persons receiving this email will not have heard of or have forgotten the White Rose Society. German students organized dissent against the Nazis in the early 1940's, signing their works as the White Rose Society. Their motto was, "We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!" These students knew what the leadership of their country would do, they had their wits about them, could think for themselves. And these students ultimately paid with their lives, executed by the Nazis, beheaded in some cases. The AMERICAN high school students of Whittier and Pioneer are doing nothing different with their protest. What do you think will happen next? There's more of you reading this kind of anti-brown skin propaganda against these AMERICAN high school students than there are students or parents in Whittier and Pioneer. What would you have done in Germany in the 1940's? Turned in those students in a fit of anger over their "disrespect" for the government or their annoying support for those Jews? Would you do the same to brown-skinned AMERICAN students with legitimate concerns?

Those of you who are reading this who are not WHITE Americans -- you know who you are, the ones with the dark hair and brown skin, no matter your ethnic background -- you are already at risk. When are you going to wake up? You're next in line, and we won't even be able to help you if you disappear into a camp "accidentally".

Those of you who are reading this who are friends of those non-white Americans -- is it going to be okay with you when your friends get picked up and taken away after a routine traffic stop (for Driving While Brown), or if a raid happens at a local restaurant while your friends are dining, or at the airport when they board their next flight, or wherever, whenever? When are you going to realize you are part of the problem, that you voted for this, that your blissful ignorance and willingness to swallow propaganda fed this?


When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists'
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

--- Pastor Martin Niemoller

I will not be silent. I am your bad conscience. I will not leave you in peace.


Hundreds support detained Swift workers -- WCCO Worthington MN, 08-JAN-07

Families try to find hope in community's generosity (Hyrum UT) -- Salt Lake Tribune, 25-DEC-06

Groups highlight plight of jailed immigrant families 15-DEC-06

Putting children behind bars in Taylor -- Op-Ed, Austin American Statesman, 19-DEC-06

Detention center set to begin taking immigrants (Willacy center, TX) 02-AUG-06

Jail stops housing immigration detainees (Ramsey County, MN) 20-DEC-06

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps (385 million dollars to Halliburton) 08-FEB-06

Euphemisms, journalist/author Dave Neiwert; discussion of concentration camps in relation to detention centers 03-JAN-07

Thousands of New Orleans Public Housing Units to be Destroyed; 200,000+ Low-Income Residents Remain Displaced 20-JUN-06

Internal memo raises concerns about DHS funds transfer; Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau may have violated federal funding regulations when it transferred employees and funds to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, its sister agency in the Homeland Security Department, for a detainee transportation program -- 18-DEC-06

Wikipedia: White Rose Society

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