Saturday, February 25, 2006

Super Duper Secret Sources

Anonymous Liberal has her/his panties in a wad because Jason Leopold repeatedly reports "explosive claim[s] about the Valerie Plame investigation," which are never reported by "reputable news outlets."

Thus, Leopold has either "the best, most exclusive sources in Washington, or he's just making this stuff up," Anonymous concludes. Or "he's got very bad sources and is just incredibly gullible."

As a person who enjoys reading progressive blogs 24/7, Howling Latina can report bloggers link to newspaper stories, media, press releases, political Web sites, and so on; and when news break, it's usually a behind-the-scene campaign tidbit or a Democratic Party official squabbling and disclosing.

Bloggers can and do break news with painstaking and scrupulous research, such as when they broke the James Duckert/Jeff Gannon fake White House journalist story, or when they wrote about cell phone identity breaches.

Yet too often when there is breaking news, for all intent and purposes, it's not really a hot news flash but simply a reframed mainstream story with perhaps a few added morsels.

In the latest tale, Leopold reports in Truthout, via Anonymous:

The White House turned over last week 250 pages of emails from Vice President Dick Cheney's office. Senior aides had sent the emails in the spring of 2003 related to the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald revealed during a federal court hearing Friday.

The emails are said to be explosive, and may prove that Cheney played an active role in the effort to discredit Plame Wilson's husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a vocal critic of the Bush administration's prewar Iraq intelligence, sources close to the investigation said.

Sources close to the probe said the White House "discovered" the emails two weeks ago and turned them over to Fitzgerald last week. The sources added that the emails could prove that Cheney lied to FBI investigators when he was interviewed about the leak in early 2004. Cheney said that he was unaware of any effort to discredit Wilson or unmask his wife's undercover status to reporters.

Anonymous seems to think Leopold's breaking news is nothing more than self-promoting hogwash. But an eagle-eyed reader points out that an Associated Press story essentially confirms the underlying accuracy of Leopold's report. Yes, the White House did find 250 pages from the vice president's office.
The defense was told that the White House had recently located and turned over about 250 pages of e-mails from the vice president's office. Fitzgerald, in a letter last month to the defense, had cautioned Libby's lawyers that some e-mails might be missing because the White House's archiving system had failed.
In support of a sneaky suspicion of mine, a walk down memory lane revealed that Leopold often reported stories only a day or so ahead of mainstream media.

In fact, I seem to recall that last fall many times Raw Story broke news on the Libby/Rove/Plame story thread, Daily News would essentially report the same item the very next day or so.

Leopold's stories often would add little details left out by mainstream news; and similar to when Woodward gave Salon a heads-up on the Bush-wired-during-debate scoop, reporters may be feeding Leopold additional information their editors refuse to print.

And folks, that's my story via LexisNexis and google as my super-duper secret sources.

Valerie Plane testified against the administration about being “outed” by them.

The ground rules were set so that no one could ask her any of the really meaningful questions. And it didn’t help that she was obviously less than honest. “My covert status was not widely known on the Georgetown cocktail circuit.”

Not “widely known”? So, how many people did know. There may have been one person who DIDN’T know she was in the CIA and that was probably a doped up bum in some ally. Heck, she went to work every day in the CIA HQ building in DC, openly.

In her testimony, she never proved that she was a ‘covert’ agent (which she wasn’t). If she was, the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald would have tried the Libby case on that basis, rather than telling a fib.
"Not widely known..."

Of course some folks in the cocktail circuit knew thanks to Rove, Fleicher, Armitage and Libby.
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