Wednesday, January 31, 2007

BooMan: Did Ari Fleischer Commit Perjury Today?

Did Ari Fleischer Commit Perjury Today?

by BooMan Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 08:53:02 PM EST

I think I may have found evidence that Ari Fleischer committed perjury today. If Ari Fleischer did not commit perjury today, then former Time Magazine reporter John Dickerson is a big-time liar. First I will introduce the principals, then I will provide the setting and significance of this testimony, and, finally, I will set off the comments of Dickerson against the testimony of Fleischer (and I will do it in pretty color-coded boxes).

Most of you will remember Ari Fleischer as President's Bush's first press secretary. He served as press secretary from the inauguration in January 2001 until July 14th, 2003 (coincidentally, the same day that Robert Novak's column appeared). Fleischer testified today that he had lunch with Scooter Libby on July 7th, 2003 (the day after Joseph Wilson made his appearance on Meet the Press and his editorial appeared in the New York Times). During that lunch, Fleischer testified that Libby told him the name 'Valerie Plame' and that she was responsible for sending her husband to Niger. Later that same day Fleischer boarded Air Force One and headed to Africa with the President, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, and a host of other officials.

Fleischer testified that four days later (July 11th) while in Uganda, he told reporters David Gregory (NBC), Tamara Lippert (Newsweek) and John Dickerson (Time Magazine) that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was responsible for sending him on the trip.

John Dickerson no longer works for Time. Last I knew, he worked for Slate Magazine as their Chief Political Correspondent. On February 7, 2006 he wrote a column for Slate wherein he revealed that a 'senior administration official' had given him a tip: 'go ask the CIA who sent Wilson'. That senior administration official was Ari Fleischer and they had that conversation in Uganda on July 11th, 2003.

You may have aleady noticed a discrepency in the story Dickerson told and the story Fleischer testified to today. Dickerson said that Fleischer gave him a tip to go ask who sent Wilson. Fleischer said he straight-up told Dickerson (and Gregory and Lippert) that Wilson's wife was responsible.

This discrepency has enormous potential consquences. Fleischer claims that he did not understand the information Libby was giving him about Plame was classified even though Libby told him it that it was 'hush-hush and on the Q.T.' If he didn't think it was classified then he wouldn't be worried about off-handedly telling Dickerson about Plame. But, if he didn't give her name away as he claims, but rather, told the reporters to seek out the 'low-level person' in the CIA that was responsible for sending Wilson...then he knew the information was classified.

Fleischer has immunity for the leak of Plame's name, but he doesn't have immunity against perjuring himself in this trial. Therefore, he would be crazy to lie on the stand. And, yet, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that he did exactly that when he testified today. Unless, that is, John Dickerson is a big-fat liar...

No comments: