No Easy Answers

Friday, April 14, 2006

Judge Threatens Gag Order in Libby Case

Here's an interesting development. Below taken from a Washington Post story, titled the same as this post, "Judge Threatens Gag Order in Libby Case." The piece is authored by R. Jeffery Smith. One paragraph of the article says:

In a reply brief filed late Wednesday, Libby's defense team said this disclosure set "off an avalanche of media interest." Acting in response to questions, one of Libby's lawyers had made a brief statement to the media that Libby's White House-authorized release of information about Iraq was disconnected from any release of the name of the CIA officer, Valerie Plame, contrary to what Fitzgerald said in court papers.

So, is one of Libby's lawyers saying that the prosecution (Fitzgerald) has said, in court papers, that the authorization of release of Iraq information, that is, selected contents of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), is "connected" to the release of Plame's name?

The casual reader will leap to the conclusion that Fitzgerald's court papers say that Libby was authorized to leak Plame's name - that is, the casual reader will apply the most natural meaning of the word "connected." But what is the connection between the NIE and Plame, according to Fitzgerald?

In short, says Fitz, the NIE naturally will come up in the trial, because Libby met with Miller to disclose parts of the NIE. That was his reason for meeting. Also during that meeting, alleges Fitz, Libby mentioned that Wilson's wife works at the CIA. That is the sum total "connection." If Fitz had his preference, the NIE wouldn't even be involved. Fitz's court papers go to some length to express separation of the NIE from the disclosure of Plame's employment, not connection.

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