Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Today at the trial:

The most significant new information at the Libby trial today was Matthew Cooper's testimony regarding his July 11, 2003 conversation, with Karl Rove, during which Rove disclosed that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA. Cooper's testimony of that conversation sharply diverged from his account in Time two years ago. In his testimony today, Cooper described Rove as being more pro-active in disclosing details about Plame than previously.

According to his testimony today, when Cooper told Rove during their July 11, 2003 telephone call that he was writing about the Niger controversy, Rove tod him: "A number of things were going to be coming out about Mr. Wilson that would cast him in a different light." That included, Rove supposedly said, who had actually been responsible for sending Wilson on his mission to Niger in the first place.

Cooper then asked "who?", and Rove responded "like, his wife." Rove then said that Wilson's wife worked at the "agency" and more specifically, her work regarded "weapons of mass destruction." Then Rove told Cooper: "I've already said too much. I've got to go."

That was a much fuller-- and different account-- than the one that Cooper wrote in Time magazine shortly after he testified before the grand jury two years ago.

Here is what he wrote back then:

"As for Wilson's wife, I told the grand jury I was certain that Rove never used her name and that, indeed, I did not learn her name until the following week, when I either saw it in Robert Novak's column or Googled her, I can't recall which.

"Rove did, however, clearly indicate that she worked at the "agency"--by that, I told the grand jury, I inferred that he obviously meant the CIA and not, say, the Environmental Protection Agency. Rove added that she worked on "WMD" (the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction) issues and that she was responsible for sending Wilson. This was the first time I had heard anything about Wilson's wife."

Why did Coooper leave out some of the most interesting details from his Time story? Only he knows, and I'll try and post anything he might have to say. One person who was at Time says it was a matter of just "bad reporting" and/or editing.

For the best account of what went on at the trial today, here is a video presentation by Marcy and Jeralyn-- with a far better and more complete account of today's proceedings that any "professional" reporter. No slight meant to anyone else covering the trial. One advantage they have over newspaper reporters or cable television folks is that they don't have to compress their stories into fourteen or nineteen or twenty-six inches. Second, they don't have to limit their video presenations to a minute or a minute and a half. But they also know the case better than most reporters who have covered the story (except for maybe one or two...)

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