Seeing the (Aspen) Trees that Make Up the Forest
I bypassed to the link to the Judy-Libby lawyer correspondance this early morning, thinking it’d be more boring lawyer letters. Silly me. Nothing has been boring in this Plame Affair. Thanks to pontificator for encouraging me to look further and providing the PDF link to the letters, which has been removed from the front page of the NYT (it’s now two layers down attached to this story).
Much has (rightly, IMO) been made of the cryptic last paragraph of Libby’s letter to Judy.
You went into jail in the summer. It is fall now. You will have stories to cover–Iraqi elections and suicide bombers, biological threats and the Iranian nuclear program. Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work–and life.
I think the best guess about the aspen reference is Quicksilver’s, which suggests this refers to the Forstmann Little Aspen Conference, which was starting just as Libby wrote his letter. Perhaps Libby was trying to encourage Judy to make an immediate deal so she could join Rove and Novak and (possibly?) Libby at an off the record gathering, where they could compare notes.
So yes, the aspen reference is pretty darn curious. But I think the rest of the letter is just as damning–and supports the notion that Libby was trying to send a message to Judy.