The Note: "Yada, Yada, Yada -- and So We Go"

Buried in today's New York Times story is this seeming advancement on what the paper reported yesterday: "The notes (sic) do not show that Mr. Cheney had learned the name of Mr. Wilson's wife or her covert status, lawyers involved in the case said. But they do show that Mr. Cheney knew and told Mr. Libby that Mr. Wilson's wife was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency and may have helped arrange her husband's trip, they said."

That would make the September 2003 "Meet the Press" language more of the "meaning of is is" ilk and less of the plausible deniability ilk.

Here is what the paper reported yesterday without a mention about what the Vice President discussed with Scooter Libby with regards to the arranging of the Niger trip.

"Lawyers involved in the case, who described the notes (sic) to The New York Times, said they showed that Mr. Cheney knew that Ms. Wilson worked at the C.I.A. more than a month before her identity was made public and her undercover status was disclosed in a syndicated column by Robert D. Novak on July 14, 2003."

"Mr. Libby's notes (sic) indicate that Mr. Cheney had gotten his information about Ms. Wilson from George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, in response to questions from the vice president about Mr. Wilson. But they contain no suggestion that either Mr. Cheney or Mr. Libby knew at the time of Ms. Wilson's undercover status or that her identity was classified."

The New York Daily News says Scott McClellan's comments yesterday may have sought to put some distance between the White House and Rove and Libby, while sources speculated on the impact of Vice President Cheney's newly revealed ties to the case. LINK

"'Cheney can't like this story,' a former Bush White House staffer said. 'Even if he has no legal exposure, this is more political exposure for him.'

"A former Cheney aide was more blunt: 'For the first time, this puts him right in the middle of it.'" Ron Fournier of the Associated Press looks at Vice President Cheney's "sticky political, if not legal, situation. . ." LINK

"The latest disclosure also raises fresh questions about the vice president's credibility, long-ago frayed by inaccurate or questionable statements on Iraq," writes Fournier.

For the truly obsessed (which, we assume, is the Note's entire reading public), the New York Observer offers a look inside the New York Times' newsroom these days, full of insider insight on the apparent push to get Miller out of those hallowed hallways, Sulzberger's vanishing act, and whose hands were on the wheel. LINK

The New York Times' Doug Jehl looks at the rare success Fitzgerald has had delving "deeply into conversations that government officials and reporters had every reason to believe would remain confidential." LINK

Former President George Bush (41) offered some timely words on what it's like to be a political player in a scandal engulfed Washington, DC. The AP has the story from Wyoming: LINK

"Asked by Simpson what was his toughest time in public service, Bush said it was chairing the Republican National Committee during the Watergate era."

"It was terrible," Bush said. "I remember one shoe would drop, and then in the press another shoe would drop."

Bush recalled that the Democratic chairman at the time, Robert Strauss, who was a friend of both Bush and Simpson, called and said the GOP job was like "love with a gorilla."

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