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February 22, 2007

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Jane

There is no better evidence that the CIA was only covering its rear by requesting a Justice Department criminal investigation than the fact that it sent a boiler-plate referral regarding a classified leak and not one addressing the elements of a covert officer's disclosure.

First question: Why was Tenet so intent on pushing the referral?

Martin

"I assume that Toensing doesn't just mouth off without knowing basic facts."

A really poor assumption.

Jane

Feeling a little threatened Martin?

dorf

The original referral could be looked at as a sort of charging document. IMO Plame's status is a material fact that the jury should have been told. The Judge's handling of that issue is pathetic.

clarice

Jane, perhaps the dupers were duping him, too, and forcing him to cover for them. Why did he take so long to declassify the NIE? And why when he issued his July 11 statement did he refuse to put in his statement--what the WH wanted and what would have ended this--a statement that the agency, not th VP had sent Wilson to Africa?


If you read Rocco's post last night, he made a compelling argument that the only reason Wilson was sent was to cover for his first false report from his first mission to Niger where he failed to report that there had been an agreement signed in 2000 to provide uranium to Niger.

clarice

Here's Rocco's post--it remains the best explanation of the Wilson Mission I've yet seen:
"What I Didn’t Find In Africa…The Sequel

Like a sequel to a lousy movie, Wilson’s first trip to Niger didn’t get much attention. Little is known about his 1999 trip. But by piecing together what we do know, maybe we can connect some dots. For starters, the first trip, like the 2002 trip, was made at his wife’s recommendation. And like the first one, no report was written.

Page 39 of the SSCI - “The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on the CIA's behalf (Redacted). The former ambassador was selected for the 1999 trip after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region (Redacted). Because the former ambassador did not uncover any information about (Redacted) during this visit to Niger, CPD did not distribute an intelligence report on the visit.”

The SSCI doesn’t shed any light on why Wilson took that first trip, but Wilson tells Wolf Blitzer on July 14, 2005 that it was uranium-related.

“BLITZER: What would have been so bad if your wife would have recommended you to go to Niger for this investigation.”

”WILSON: Of course, from my perspective, it wouldn't have been bad at all. This was a legitimate request to answer a national security question. I was well qualified to do so. Indeed as the Senate Select Committee report says, I had made a trip in 1999 to Niger to look into other uranium-related matters, so I was well known to the CIA.”

What happened in Niger in 1999 that prompted the CIA to send Wilson? Well for one thing, the President of Niger, General Ibrahim Bare Mainassara was murdered in a coup d’etat in early April, 1999. This coup was carried out by the head of his own Elite Presidential Guard, Daouda Malan Wanke. Wanke’s military spokesman Ibrahim Assane Mayaki (where have we heard that name before) called this murder an “unfortunate accident.” Mayaki, who was the Prime Minister under Mainassara’s regime, was re-appointed to the same position by Wanke.

Who else traveled to Niger in 1999? Christopher Hitchens of Slate.

“In February 1999, Zahawie left his Vatican office for a few days and paid an official visit to Niger, a country known for absolutely nothing except its vast deposits of uranium ore. It was from Niger that Iraq had originally acquired uranium in 1981, as confirmed in the Duelfer Report. In order to take the Joseph Wilson view of this Baathist ambassadorial initiative, you have to be able to believe that Saddam Hussein's long-term main man on nuclear issues was in Niger to talk about something other than the obvious. Italian intelligence (which first noticed the Zahawie trip from Rome) found it difficult to take this view and alerted French intelligence (which has better contacts in West Africa and a stronger interest in nuclear questions). In due time, the French tipped off the British, who in their cousinly way conveyed the suggestive information to Washington. As everyone now knows, the disclosure appeared in watered-down and secondhand form in the president's State of the Union address in January 2003.”

And from The Times Of India, AQ Khan traveled to Niger in the same month of the same year that Zahawie did!

“We left Dubai for Khartoum on 21 February 1999. The education minister of Sudan received the group and we were lodged at the State Guest House. After making a short stopover in a Nigerian city we reached Timbuktu on 24 February 1999. After spending a couple of days we were on our way back and our first stop was Niamey, capital of Niger.”

Zahawie and AQ Khan both traveled to Niger in 1999, as did Joe Wilson on a uranium-related matter. Evidently Wilson’s mission was a failure…or was it? Let’s take a look at his second trip to Niger also on a uranium-related matter in February 2002.

Page 36 of the SSCI begins with a chapter called Niger, and states “Reporting on a possible uranium yellowcake sales agreement between Niger and Iraq first came to the attention of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) on October 15, 2001.” The report claimed that the uranium sales agreement had been in negotiation between the two countries since at least early 1999 and had been approved by the State Court of Niger in late 2000. At the time all IC analysts believed the report to be limited and lacking in detail. CIA, DIA, and DOE all thought the report possible with INR the only agency regarding the report as “highly dubious.” Only the CIA wrote a finished intelligence product on the report (Senior Executive
Intelligence Brief [SEIB], Iraq.• Nuclear-Related Procurement Efforts, October 18, 2001).”

It’s very possible that this initial report was in fact the real deal, tipping off the IC that their collective asses were about to be hung out to dry, so to speak. Here’s what I think.

Please refer to page 36 of the SSCI. It begins by claiming that “reporting on a possible uranium yellowcake sales agreement between Iraq and Niger first came to the Intelligence Community on October 15, 2001. The report stated that the agreement had been in negotiations since at least early 1999 and was approved by the state court of Niger in late 2000

Now read what the CIA wrote when they published their SEIB on October 18, 2001, concerning this Italian report.

According to a foreign government service, Niger as of early this year planned to send several tons of uranium to Iraq under an agreement concluded late last year.

Iraq and Niger had been negotiating the shipment since at least early 1999, but the
state court of Niger only this year approved it, according to the service.

Now either the foreign government service (SISMI) is so incompetent, they didn’t realize what year it was, or the CIA is lying when they claim they received that report on October 15, 2001. If the agreement was concluded in late 2000 and the state court of Niger “only this year approved it,” the CIA had to receive that report in 2000!

The IC didn’t receive another report until four months later, plenty of time to procure forged documents to conceal their malfeasance and/or complicity. Wilson was told by Mayaki that an Iraqi delegation wanted to discuss uranium sales. Wilson lied about in his op-ed. Think about that!"


Posted by: Rocco | February 21, 2007 at 03:53 PM

Tom Bowler

The relevant officials at CIA and DoJ knew that this public scenario, replete with images of Administration officials frog marching out of the White house, bore no relation to the reality of the situation--especially in light of what those officals had learned from Richard Armitage. So, the investigation was an open ended warrant to find a violation of any statute or, failing that, to induce a process violation in the course of the investigation.

I think you just nailed it, Clarice.

SWA

Azaghal is a cop!!!

Original five year law maker!!!!

Well, there's the five year intelligence ban law, the five year no committee for the Congressman who gets the subpeona law, etc.

So, is the McViegh thing under the five year law and is it a cover for the Plame Spain thing? Pretty nasty.

So, we're reminded of the bombing, the guy who the church passed on, plane engines, convenience stores, DOJ guys in grain silos and Potts, the Attorney General passing, and Louie Freeh set up. Louie was the only one who took care of the problems. Reno and Bill passed.

Plame got found in that law and there is probably a reason why.

Tennet. An idiot. He went for hiring more human intelligence.

Five year law maker!!!!!!!!!


So, who's the chlorine bomber? Maybe it's Dr.WMD who got freed by the Iraqi courts the day Plame looked all confused in TIME?

Tom Bowler

One question occurs, though. Did Fitzgerald get lucky drawing Walton for the trial, or could he have influenced that aspect as well?

clarice

Tom B--azaghal just nailed it. My contribution was to post it when we thought TM had gone AWOL.

Rosley

So why did Bush give Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

gambit2@yahoo.com

Looks like Rocco knows that there is legislation regarding the haiti coup and Joe looks just perfect for the job, but, hey, alot of those get blamed for coups.


Five year Law Maker!!!!!!!!!!!

clarice

Tom B, after it turned out there had been some hanky panky going on in the assignment of cases involving Clintonistas charged w/ crimes the court put into place a perfectly neutral rota system.

hit and run

Tom better have brought a note from his mom or a doctor.

Jane

Clarice,

Yeah, I read Rocco's post and agree with you. But as I understand it, Tenet personally pushed this referral several times. Was this another case of the best defense is a good offense?

MarkO

Interesting information. Like Martha's case---supposedly lying about a non-crime. What a waste of time and money. Clearly, there were other agendas.

clarice

Re Rocco's theory, I remind you that in his June 14, 2003 EPIC presentation, Wilson conceded we might find nuclear weapons in Iraq.

clarice

Jane, that's what it looks like to me. Imagine yourself at the top of a snake heap getting whatever info you can from the bottom and having to rely on it.

Jane

Okay I am out for the rest of the day. As much as you are all on pins and needles, please don't let this verdict happen without me!

Tom Bowler

Apologies to Azaghal for skipping skipping past the credits. Great analysis!

PMII

Most of the time this almost looks like a practical joke that got out of hand within the DC political circle. But it got so carried away it became impossible to stop for anyone.

So do you let Libby hang or do you do something to allow for this whole chapter to die. So, there's a plant on the jury to insure that Libby doesn't get convicted and all the players know this.....


clarice

Jane, I'll do my best. LOL

Wilson's a liar

I've never been convinced that George Tenet knew about the DOJ referral beforehand. He did not sign it. This was all pushed by CIA bureaucrats as a CYA for their bad WMD intel. And it worked - took all the media heat right off of them and put it on the White House. I don't see it as a big bad plot to bring down the President; just a small plot to cover their own butts and send the media hounds somewhere besides Langley.

You have to be able to think like a bureaucrat to understand most of this stuff. I spent 8 years in the bowels of the federal government and it is easy for me. Bureaucrats -- even CIA bureaucrats -- are never clever enough to pull off big bad plots, but they are plenty able to pull off small plots, especially when it comes to covering up their own incompetence.

jerry

Something for the mix, from today's WaPo discussions:

Pauling, N.Y.: Is it possible that Valerie Plame was covert but would not be covered by the IIPA? Why is it that no government official will comment about Ms. Wilson's employment and covered status?

Dana Priest: Because she was covert! No, she's covered. If she were not, you could not have this trial in the first place.

Gary Maxwell

Bravo Feldman bravo.

Wilson's a liar

PMII, it wasn't a practical joke, it was a simple CYA operation that got out of hand.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'Why was Tenet so intent on pushing the referral?'

One possibility is that he was angry at State.

Another is that he thought the Wilsons had a problem and he wanted that exposed.

TimS

The comment was made that Fitz got lucky on drawing Walton.

That may be true for the trial, but not necessarily for the appeal if such occurs.

Patrick

Azaghal:

I've seen your assertion about the Judge "not knowing her status" in various comments here at JOM. Although I do not think it affects your analysis, which I find compelling, I think you may be mistaken on what the judge meant. When he made the statement, he was doing so in the context of instructing the jury they were not to consider Plame's status within the CIA, because the status was not material to the case. (Yeah, right...). Anyway, I think it is possible that he was referring to the fact that he did not know Plame's status "based on the evidence introduced at trial." That is the way I understood the Judge's statement when I first read it.
I don't think it detracts from your larger point. I think it's clear that if Fitz had information that Plame was COVERT (as opposed to classified), he would have indicted Armitage, and maybe Rove, and tried to get them to roll on Cheney, as I think it's clear from his closing the Fitz wants Cheney.

clarice

Patrick FWIW, I think the judge made is clear that (even though he'd read the referral letter) even he did not know Plame's status.

royf

Dana Priest: Because she was covert! No, she's covered. If she were not, you could not have this trial in the first place.

Isn't amazing that jerry posts a quote from Dana Priest talking about a case concerning the leaking of CIA personnel names. Lets see didn't she win a pulitzer for leaking a alledged CIA rendition program? Which has led to the LA Times exposing 3 real "covert" CIA employees which happen to be pilots.

jerry what you posted says more about you than it does about this case and frankly I don't believe anything Dana Priest has to say.

cathyf

I'm still obsessed with the NIE disclosure -- specifically Fitzgerald's disclosure of secret grand jury testimony about the NIE disclosure which was not in any way shape or form relevant to any of the perjury or false statement charges he brought.

I thought that the whole purpose of grand jury secrecy rules was to protect people's non-criminal secrets? For example, an investigation collects alibi's, and one person's alibi is that he was at an AA meeting, while another person's alibi was that he was at the casino, another person's alibi was that she was in a restaurant giving a sympathetic ear to a friend's story of being abused as a child, while another person's alibi was that he was bailing his wife's nephew out of jail, even though everyone in his wife's family had agreed that the good-for-nothing nephew shouldn't be bailed out. I thought that the point was that the interests of justice were best served by people feeling free to tell investigators things that they want kept secret, because they know that the investigators will only disclose information in a way that is absolutely necessary for the investigation, and not make any other use of the information.

The NIE declassification was all about the very strained relationship between the elected politicians and the CIA, and was about the president and vice president doing what their (insubordinate) subordinates refused to do. In virtually every context that I can think of, politicians are supposed to deal with insubordination as a confidential personnel matter. But anyway, how much publicity Bush and Cheney wanted while they dealt with insubordinate underlings was a decision entirely up to them, and Fitzgerald's act of publicizing things that they had not themsleves chosen to publicize was clearly insubordination on his part.

Except, of course, that there is the little problem of just who Fitzgerald is subordinate to. It's logically impossible to be insubordinate if you don't have a supervisor...

Patrick

Clarice,
Did he make it clear other than in reference to instructing the jury not to consider her status? If so, when? And if he did so, I am wrong, but was unaware of that other than the statement to which I refer.

Thanks.

UglyinLA

I think that Tenet pushed the referral so the DoJ and FBI could rule that IIPA was not violated. In other words, Plame was not covert, so shut up Joe Wilson.

What Tenet didnt expect was a partisan Fitzgerald stringing everyone along for three years in regards to her status. Sooner or later Fitz is going to have to cough up an answer.

We know the answer. Fitz knows the answer. Its almost like he is under a death threat to keep his mouth shut.

clarice

cathyf, another good point and further evidence of the prosecutor's animus to the Administration, I think.

Patrick I do not recall the judge telling the jury specifically that his knowledge included what he's received from the govt (i.e. the referral letter). But he did state it broadly and did not limit it to knowledge that was in evidence in the case.

PeterUK

"Dana Priest: Because she was covert! No, she's covered. If she were not, you could not have this trial in the first place."

Back with Kafkaland again.

clarice

I remember reading early in this matter some report that the referral letter was in a pile of things and Tenet signed it w/o reading it. OTOH he made that phone call to DoJ to get them to act.
He was not a passive player in this. I do not know his motive and maybe never will. As I say , I think he may have been duped.

azaghal

Thanks for the positive comments. I'm preparing for a new computer, so I have limited time to contribute. Of course, what I wrote isn't gospel--woops, sorry for introducing religion into this!--but I did want to highlight some of the very serious issues that are at stake in this whole Plame Game. Speaking of which...

With regard to Tenet, that's one of the murkier areas. Back on 10/02/2003 when this was still relatively new Howard Fineman wrote an article called The Plame Game. Here's the link:

The Plame Game

I'll paste in part of it. Just remember, Fineman's views aren't gospel either--woops, there I go again!

Anyway, here's Howard, as excerpted by me:

Now a new legal firestorm is consuming the Beltway world. The plotline: unnamed White House insiders are being investigated by the Department of Justice for having leaked the name of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame, supposedly with the aim of discrediting or intimidating her husband, Joe Wilson. He’s the former American diplomat, who had the temerity to attack President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. There are the inevitable calls for a “special prosecutor” and lots of heavy breathing by the usual legal pundits who emerge from their law school carrels at such times. But what’s this new furor—the Plame Game—really about? Here is my sense:

THE WAR IN IRAQ

Behind the scenes or openly, at war or at peace, the United States has been debating what to do in, with and about Iraq for more than 20 years. We always have been of two minds. One faction, led by the CIA and State Department, favored using secular forces in Iraq—Saddam Hussein and his Baathists—as a counterweight to even more radical elements, from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to the Shiite ayatollahs in Iran to the Palestinian terrorists in the Levant. The other faction, including Dick Cheney and the “neo-cons,” has long held a different view: that, with their huge oil reserves and lust for power (and dreams of recreating Baghdad’s ancient role in the Arab world), the Baathists had to be permanently weakened and isolated, if not destroyed. This group cheered when, more than 20 years ago in a secret airstrike, the Israelis destroyed a nuclear reactor Saddam had been trying to build, a reactor that could have given him the ultimate WMD.

The “we-can-use Saddam” faction held the upper hand right up to the moment he invaded Kuwait a decade ago. Until then, the administration of Bush One (with its close CIA ties) had been hoping to talk sense with Saddam. Indeed, the last American to speak to Saddam before the war was none other than Joe Wilson, who was the State Department charge’ d’affaires in Baghdad. Fluent in French, with years of experience in Africa, he remained behind in Iraq after the United States withdrew its ambassador, and won high marks for bravery and steadfastness, supervising the protection of Americans there at the start of the first Gulf War. But, as a diplomat, he didn’t want the Americans to “march all the way to Baghdad.” Cheney, always a careful bureaucrat, publicly supported the decision. Wilson was for repelling a tyrant who grabbed land, but not for regime change by force.

CIA VS. VEEP’S OFFICE

That history is one reason why, in the eyes of the anti-Saddam crowd, Wilson was a bad choice to investigate the question of whether Iraq had been trying to buy uranium in Africa.

Here’s how that came about. We’re in the winter of ’01-’02. Attacked on Sept. 11, the administration of Bush Two has responded by destroying the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now it’s looking for its next target. Cheney and his allies in Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon know what Bush should do next: take out Saddam. Rumors are in the air (apparently from British intelligence) that he has been trying to acquire uranium “yellowcake”—raw fissile material suitable for bomb-making—from Niger. If this is true, it adds urgency to the argument that the United States needs to invade Iraq, because the United Nations is either too slow-moving or antagonistic to the idea altogether. Cheney, at a regular briefing from the CIA, is told of rumors about the uranium. He expresses interest in the topic. According to a Cheney aide, the CIA reports back to him a few days later with what seems like further, credible information. Cheney’s office says he did not specifically ask the CIA to send someone to investigate the matter further.

The CIA sends Wilson to check it out. On the surface, he would seem to be a logical choice: he’d spent years in Africa, knew French, knew the Saddam regime. But there were other things about him that Cheney’s office might not have liked. Wilson had close ties to the Democrats, having worked for them on the Hill and on Clinton’s national security staff; he was close to Democratic Sen. John Kerry and some other former NSC people who are now allies of the senator. Plus, he contributed to Al Gore’s campaign in 2000. Just as important, his wife was a CIA analyst who specialized in assessing WMD risks—and the CIA was not leading the charge to attack Iraq. In fact, the agency was doing just the opposite: In a report and testimony, CIA Director George Tenet argued that attacking Iraq would do more to create a generation of terrorists than eliminate one. What did Valerie Plame think of the seriousness of Saddam’s WMD capability? Sooner or later, we’ll find out—because it bears on what Wilson probably thought before he ever got to Niger to ask questions.

In any event, Wilson went, found nothing, and reported back to the CIA, which then reported as much to the administration—though who said what to whom is murky. Still, the yellowcake allegation got into the president’s now infamous State of the Union address, attributed only to the Brits. When the speech came under fire for accuracy (or lack thereof), the CIA at first ducked. Then White House aides let it be known that the agency had “signed off” on the entire contents of the speech, after which the CIA came forward to say yes, after much discussion and emendation, that they’d approved it. Tenet took the heat. But it was clear that he had been forced to do so.

TENET AND BUSHES

It was a fascinating moment if you know the history. The way I hear the story, Bush Two, when he was elected, had his doubts about Tenet, but was told he was a “good guy” by the ultimate arbiter of “good guys” in the Bush Family, Bush One. Tenet had curried favor with the family years earlier when he was still an intelligence bureaucrat on the Hill, serving as chief of staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Though he was working in a Democrat-controlled environment, Tenet helped out—or at least did not stand in the way—when Bush One wanted to appoint his friend, Robert Gates, to head the CIA. Word was that Tenet was a “team player”—a standup guy, not a relentless Democratic partisan by any means. An expert at the inside game from his years as a staffer on the Hill, Tenet knew how to fit into Bush Two’s world. He did so with ease from the start.

Bush presumably trusted Tenet and the CIA to get the goods on Saddam and his WMD. Cheney’s staff evidently did too. But why did Tenet send Wilson to Africa? Maybe he just thought he was sending the most qualified guy. But the neo-cons and their allies came to see it as a conspiracy to ignore the truth—especially after Wilson, last July, went public with the essence of his findings, which was that the yellowcake rumors were false.

The moment that piece hit the op-ed page of the New York Times, it was all-out war between the pro- and anti-war factions, and between the CIA and its critics. I am told by what I regard as a very reliable source inside the White House that aides there did, in fact, try to peddle the identity of Joe Wilson’s wife to several reporters. But the motive wasn’t revenge or intimidation so much as a desire to explain why, in their view, Wilson wasn’t a neutral investigator, but, a member of the CIA’s leave-Saddam-in-place team.

And on Tenet’s part, it was time for payback—whatever his past relationship with the Bush’s had been. First, he and his agency had been humiliated, caught by the White House trying to distance themselves from the president’s speech. Then the CIA was forced to admit that it had signed off on the speech. Now one of its own investigations was coming under attack, as was one of its own undercover staffers.

Are we to believe that it was a routine matter for the CIA to forward to the Department of Justice a complaint about the leak of Valerie Plame’s name and job? Are we to think that Tenet didn’t know that the complaint was being forwarded? Or that Tenet couldn’t have shortstopped it if he wanted to?

jerry

"jerry what you posted says more about you than it does about this case"

What's it saying? I can't hear it.

Appalled Moderate

It was a hot night. So hot, it melted the gum from my shoe. My name -- Al Moderate. My job -- figure out how Big Joe Wilson, all powerful ex-ambassador of Niger plotted to bring down the whole e pluribus unum between whiskey sodas.

Well, seeing as it was hot, I sweated. But not the gal. Val. Val Plame they called her. How she never sweated -- that was a secret. She didn't even tell Vanity Fair when showing them her moves with an AK 40.

"Hey Val", I said.

"You don't see me. You don't know me."

"But you're in front of me. As big as life!"

"That's what YOU think". And suddenly, she reached to her head, and took off a mask. A mass of very important hair stuck up over the ruins of a fake female figure.

"My wife didn't send me to Niger", said Joe Wilson, sipping a whiskey soda. "I sent myself."

I woke up in a hot sweat. Last time, I swore to myself I'd go to one of those bars liked by second tier diplomats.

royf

What's it saying? I can't hear it.

Believe me I never entertained the idea that you could.

JM Hanes

azghal & Clarice:

With apologies to those who have already seen it, I'm cross posting the following from the dead Times on Times thread (and the dying cboldt thread as well!) It's what I believe is a related comment Imade on this bit from the Rutenberg article (emphasis mine):

The release of the intelligence estimate was a sensitive issue. Others in the administration had considered doing so that spring when Mr. Wilson’s claim first surfaced, but faced resistance from the C.I.A. One investigator questioned in the trial testified that Mr. Libby’s notes indicated that George J. Tenet, then director of central intelligence, was personally opposed to doing so.

Mr. Libby said he found a way around that resistance by getting backdoor approval from the president. In a hush-hush meeting described in testimony, Mr. Libby asked the vice president’s chief counsel, David S. Addington, whether the president could declassify intelligence personally, effectively without C.I.A. knowledge or approval.

Rutenberg is practically the only one who has ever suggested that the idea of declassifying the NIE originated with Libby. Everyone else has Libby checking with Addington because he was worried the VP might be asking him to do something wrong.

This version makes so much more sense. The OVP was not happy with Tenet's proposed public statement (or Tenet's CIA). If Libby (whether on his own or with Cheney) comes up with the declassifying scheme in order to make an end run around Tenet altogether, it's entirely logical that Libby would not only start by checking out the legalities with Addington but also tell Addington to keep his voice down. They certainly wouldn't want to advertise the fact that they were going to try cutting Tenet off at the knees.

George Tenet cut back big time with the referral. The NIE, not Valerie Wilson, was always the undisclosed center of this investigation. Or as Fitz ever so aptly put it, Valerie Plame was not a person, she was an argument -- on the prosecution/CIA side.

azaghal

The money line, of course, is the last para:

Are we to believe that it was a routine matter for the CIA to forward to the Department of Justice a complaint about the leak of Valerie Plame’s name and job? Are we to think that Tenet didn’t know that the complaint was being forwarded? Or that Tenet couldn’t have shortstopped it if he wanted to?

Know that we know a lot more about the investigation we can quarrel with Fineman's spin on what he believes the facts to be, but his last para stands. Fineman thinks Tenet's motive was simple revenge. Stranger things have happened. When was Tenet forced out? Before or after the 2004 election?

clarice

By George, I think we've got it.

Bob

swa... Speaking of McVeigh and Oklahoma!

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_5271117>Affidavit: McVeigh had high-level help


Steve

Toensing has been guilty of the same fallacy since Day One of this topic - the argument that unless the IIPA was violated, there's no other law that possibly could have been violated.

When an agency - be it the CIA, or whoever - makes a referral to the Department of Justice, they're saying "here's what happened, we'd like you to investigate to see if there should be a prosecution." They don't say "here's what happened, we'd like you to determine whether there should be a prosecution under the IIPA, to the exclusion of all other statutes."

The definitions contained in the IIPA apply to that statute and only in that statute. Toensing's argument assumes that unless a CIA employee meets the IIPA definition of covert, he or she is no more undercover than is the Pope, and the CIA can't complain if his or her identity is revealed. Again, this simply assumes away the existence of the entire US Code other than the IIPA.

glenda waggoner

Tom B & Clarice.."Elementary, my dear Watsons"
Great job in dissecting true meaning of this farce!
Wilson was a puppet mastered by whom and for what?
To undermine the White House and it's appointees
who did not follow the long-term "company" plan.
Fitz is definite member of that plan, as I see it.

maryrose

Tenet I believe left before the 2004 election and along with Fleischer's exit makes me want to go Hmmm...

Great Banana

Steve,

The definitions contained in the IIPA apply to that statute and only in that statute. Toensing's argument assumes that unless a CIA employee meets the IIPA definition of covert, he or she is no more undercover than is the Pope, and the CIA can't complain if his or her identity is revealed. Again, this simply assumes away the existence of the entire US Code other than the IIPA.

Okay, I'll bite. Cite a statute that may have been violated other than the IIPA.

royf

Well gee steve thats a nice theory you have there, but they haven't charged or investigated the leaker Richard Armitage. Hey they haven't even questioned him.

cathyf

So, here's a thought to throw out there. Maybe the CIA referral letter says something about investigating whether classified information was divulged in the rebuttal against Joe Wilson, and it doesn't mention Valerie at all?

Then it would certainly make sense for Fitzgerald to spend all that time on the NIE -- if he was looking for evidence that somebody leaked the NIE when it was still classified. If the CIA referral letter just talked about "classified information" then the NIE would certainly be a subject for the investigation, right?

clarice

But, Fitz knew early on that Cheney declassified the NIE and had the power to do so.

Perhaps that explains part of his fury at Cheney--Kept him from making his hoked up case.

azaghal

JM Hanes, I think you can tell from my last post that I have no problem with your view--it fits well within the scenario I was describing and provides more specific facts to explain Tenet's motive. If I had been more familiar with the facts you set forth I certainly would have included them.

From what I've heard and wrote about elsewhere, Addington himself may have been a target.

BTW, are you at all interested in my response to your post about religion and politics? If you are I'll send you something. I've been holding back because 1) I've been really busy and 2) I didn't want to appear to be haranguing anyone.

topsecretk9

Ugly...

--I think that Tenet pushed the referral so the DoJ and FBI could rule that IIPA was not violated. In other words, Plame was not covert, so shut up Joe Wilson.

What Tenet didnt expect was a partisan Fitzgerald stringing everyone along for three years in regards to her status. Sooner or later Fitz is going to have to cough up an answer.--

That's actually a good theory.

-----

I thought Tenet left after the election, no?

JM Hanes

Patrick:

"I think it is possible that he was referring to the fact that he did not know Plame's status "based on the evidence introduced at trial."

I don't think so, for several reasons, foremost of which, of course, is that he said "on what has been presented to me in this case" and not "on evidence introduced at trial." The jury already knows it's not in the trial evidence -- that's why they keep asking about it. The judge is telling them that even he doesn't know, and he's obviously had access to everything.

By way of background, the referral letter has been a hot button issue from the outset of discovery. Walton ordered the prosecution to produce it for his examination before ruling on whether or not it would be provided to the defense. It clearly qualifies as something that has been presented to the judge in this case.

Gary Maxwell

Are several of you here forgetting that G Tenent was a Clinton appointee and a hold over by the Bush admin. He may or may not be a very political animal, but in that position I would think you have attended more than your share of cocktail parties full to the gills with national party grandees and some elected officials with their beauty queen waves and air kisses!

clarice

Dow Jones is trying to get it and the Ct ruled they cannot until after this trial is over. Of course everything but the date may be redacted when the FOIA response is given.

Rick Ballard

Steve,

Fitz has used IIPA as a bludgeon from day one. His false sworn affidavit to Tatel caused Miller's incarceration. It's true that he just played off of the traitor Corn's lies from the beginning but he had no business giving credence to a pseudojournalist/propagandist's assertion in the first place.

The basic defect that applies to IIPA applies to almost every element of the Espionage Act with regard to jeopardy because you have to knowingly disclose information. In the few instances where intent is not required the threshold is a form of carelessness comparable to negligent homicide.

cathyf
But, Fitz knew early on that Cheney declassified the NIE and had the power to do so.

Perhaps that explains part of his fury at Cheney--Kept him from making his hoked up case.

I keep coming back to that -- Fitzgerald's behavior has been extraordinarily consistent with someone who really sincerely and honestly believes that it is a crime for Cheney to carry out the duties of the vice president and a crime for Bush to carry out the duties of the president, but more importantly, sincerely and honestly believes that everybody else agrees with him. I keep telling myself that this is utterly impossible, Fitzgerald is an adult, with a responsible job, he can't possibly be that delusional, right?

clarice

cathyf, he apparently is. Undoubtedly he lives in the same kind of Manichaean universe the moon bats live in.

azaghal

Rick, excellent application of bait and switch to one of the more disgraceful episodes in this whole farrago of lies.

cathyf, have you considered raw ambition as Fitz's motive? If his "investigation" helped the Dems win the WH in 2004--regardless of whether he got a single indictment or conviction--what would that have been worth career-wise to Fitz and Comey? Plenty. Fitz's cat might be sharing some fancy digs befitting a high DoJ official in Washington, rather than languishing in the Windy City, waiting for Master to come home.

clarice

Worked for Giuliani and Spitzer, didn't it?

JM Hanes

Gary:

Tenet may be the ultimate a political animal, but his loyalties don't lie with one administration or another. George Tenet looks out for George Tenet, period. It must have killed him to have to sit up front with Colin Powell at the UN considering how many different ways he'd tried to have his cake and eat it too when testifying in Congressional hearings.

maryrose

Gary:
I have remembered that Tenet was a Clinton -boy and I had misgivings about a Democrat in such a high position. I'm sure the cocktail circuit left its mark on Tenet and after 9/11 he probably had divided loyalties.
cathyf:I believe from his recent actions that Fitz suffers from OCD and also has some bipolar tendencies. His presser and then his closing argument display manic behavior. If his faced was flushed or he had a strange look in his eyes it could have been a sign of ranting behavior. This personality type finds it very difficult to give up an established meme or idea and to harbor ill feeling {toward Cheney}who they mistakenly feel is trying to thwart them in any way.

Patrick

JMH,
You may well be right, but I'm thickheaded enough to think you may be reading the Judge's comments more closely than he intended. In that context, I find it easy to believe he was not drawing any distinction between "evidence introduced at trial" and "presented in this case." However, as it only marginally affects the theory, I'm willing to give it a rest.

At least until we have a verdict. heh he.

Tom Bowler

Spitzer and Giuliani were pikers next to Fitz. Fitz probably expected to go down in history as the steely eyed prosecutor who brought down the villainous administration who sent America to war for the sake of Haliburton profits.

clarice

OT: Some tome ago, on one of those polls here we were asked to vote on making the cervical cancer vaccine mandatory for young girls. I voted against it. Yesterday the papers reported Merck was w/drawing its drive to make this mandatory as studies showed the protection kicked in years before the girls should need it and didn't warrant the risks.
Today we get this bit of news.
"Cervical Cancer Vaccine Maker Had Been Pushing For Mandate (AP) AUSTIN, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's chief of staff met with key aides about a new vaccine to prevent cervical cancer on the same day its manufacturer donated money to his campaign, documents obtained by The Associated Press show. Texas became the first state to require the vaccine against human papillomavirus earlier this month when Perry issued an executive order requiring it for girls entering sixth grade. Lawmakers are considering overriding the measure. A calendar for chief of staff Deirdre Delisi obtained under Texas' open records laws shows she met with... "http://keyetv.com/topstories/topstories_story_053053516.html

Who to hate more, the press which pimped this, the Company which pushed for this or the crooks in government? So many choices.

Beware of people who say they are trying to help you.

hit and run

Clarice:
Undoubtedly he lives in the same kind of Manichaean universe the moon bats live in.
...
Fitz's cat might be sharing some fancy digs befitting a high DoJ official in Washington, rather than languishing in the Windy City, waiting for Master to come home.


Hmmmm, have you ever wondered what his cat looks like?



Whitehall

I've said this before and I'll say it again - all the fingers should point back to the government of France.

Niger doesn't mine uranium, AREVA does and AREVA is owned by the French gov't. Wilson had close workings with the French earlier in Niger and in Rwanda. John Kerry was famous for his French connections and Wilson worked for Kerry. Bet the French were involved in the Niger coup also.

I hate to sound paranoid but it seems like this is, at heart, a case of foreign interference in domestic politics.

clarice

jmh,azaghal, the editor is adding your Rutenberg/Addington comments to the AT article as an addendum.

rfrodo23

Judge W says "I don't know Val's status".

Libby said "I don't know if he has a wife"

Are these not analogous statements intended to say to the jury/reporters that the info is not to be telied upon?

cathyf

Nah, raw ambition doesn't cut it. Raw ambition would have dumped all this out before the 2004 election. Or, if he thought that wouldn't work, once the election was over, raw ambition would have caused him to write a report saying that the WH was engaged in a completely reasonable campaign to debunk Wilson's false charges, and broke no laws in order to do so.

Nah, Fitzgerald's behavior has been self-destructive in lots of ways. Some raw ambition would have kept him out of a lot of this trouble...

jerry

"That's what YOU think". And suddenly, she reached to her head, and took off a mask. A mass of very important hair stuck up over the ruins of a fake female figure.

"My wife didn't send me to Niger", said Joe Wilson, sipping a whiskey soda. "I sent myself."


-- I always figured this is what Matalin/Carville are all about.

Wilson's a liar

Tenet resigned June 3, 2004. Right before the SSCI report came out.

Rick Ballard

If you want to consider another avenue of insight concerning Fitz, a look at the wiki on Philip Agee might give some insight.

Agee stated that his Roman Catholic social conscience had made him increasingly uncomfortable with his work by the late 1960s leading to his disillusionment with the CIA and its support for authoritarian governments across Latin America. He and other dissidents took encouragement in their stand from the Church Committee (1975-6), which cast a critical light on the role of the CIA in assassinations, domestic espionage, and other illegal activities. They wrote about their outrage at the role of the CIA in the “destabilizing” and overthrow of democratically-elected governments, most notably in Chile (1973) and Jamaica 1974-9. In the book Agee was outraged at the massacre in Mexico City of protesting students and workers, which was the last straw for his employment at the Agency.

The traitor Agee was turned by the Commies a long time before he started trying to get agents killed (he lives in Havana now and has for decades). IIPA should really be called 'The Agee Act' because he was the reason it was passed. IIPA can only be used from inside the CIA - if they do not provide the 'trail' of personnel authorized to have information pertaining to covert agents then prosecution under the act is impossible.

Val's admission to Wilson while in the throes of adultery is not even punishable by the act because any "covert agent" who choses to disclose their status is specifically excluded from liability. So if Val blew her cover while doing the same for Wilson - it wasn't a crime.

bio mom

I still believe that Fitzgerald is simply a zealot. Not an ambitious politician. That is much more dangerous for someone with his power. My biggest dismay stems from the fact that he has swallowed hook, line, and sinker, Joe Wilson's story. Wilson appears to me to be a narcisssist and therefore someone who is likely so paranoid they cannot allow facts to cloud their self-image Think John Kerry). But that is not the danger. Fitz is the danger. Poor Scooter Libby. Where are the gods of justice in this? Does anyone really believe that Bush started a war to enrich Haliburton?? Really??? If you do and there are a lot of you, this country is truly doomed.

TexasIsHeaven

"Beware of people who say they are trying to help you."

So true! And Gov. Perry has no business telling anyone what to do on personal health issues. Every day the government intrudes in our personal lives in ways that are just mind boggling - but what can we do?

I don't see any way of stopping it or even slowing it down.

No matter how conservative they present themselves and how they claim to want to fight "big government", when they get into office all the big words and ideas are thrown overboard.

I hate politicians almost as much as I hate the press - they are all just a bunch of lying whores.

Yeah - I'm upset today. And I usually don't get so emotionally involved in the political goings-on but it just seems like everything is turned upside down.

Millions of dollars wasted and lives wrecked because Fitz sees a golden opportunity to get even. Oh yeah - he's a whore too.

JM Hanes

azahal:

"If I had been more familiar with the facts you set forth I certainly would have included them."

What, and deprive me the pleasure of offering my 2¢ worth? The additive nature of this process is a feature, not a bug....

I'd certainly be most interested in your reaction to my comment in the earlier thread. You won't persuade me to endorse a church based movement, however, so I wouldn't want to encourage you to spend any length of time on that particular aspect of the endeavor if you haven't already put pen to paper. From even earlier threads, btw, I do hope you realize that I have no problem with personal expressions of religious sentiment and thus aren't woopsing the gospel on my account. :)

Wilson's a liar

bio mom - if you read this whole thread, it gets even worse. The most logical explanation for this whole debacle is that this investigation was never about Valerie and Joe Wilson, it was about the NIE!

Talk about making a career - if Fitz had won an indictment of a senior White House official for leaking REAL national security secrets - now that is worth four years and millions of dollars to any prosecutor. Even better if he could get Libby/Rove to roll on Cheney/Bush for "ordering the leak." Poor Val was CHUMP CHANGE compared to what Fitz was really after.

And I'll bet that's where the 22 indictments junk came from too - somebody on Fitz' staff saw just enough to realize that IF the NIE disclosure was illegal there were gonna be a whole bunch of Bushies going to the slammer. They wanted Fitzmas to be true so badly.

gumshoe

clarice said:

"1. I assume that Toensing doesn't just mouth off without knowing basic facts. She asserts as a fact that the referral was for "a boiler-plate referral regarding a classified leak and not one addressing the elements of a covert officer's disclosure." I have to believe she has good information for that assertion, namely that the referral was general in nature and specifically did not address the elements of Plame's status that would allow a reader of the referral to come to preliminary opinion as to whether Plame was "covert" for purposes of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA)."

recognizing Toensing's role in developing the IIPA,by what office does Toensing *currently* have access to review the contents of the CIA referral to DoJ?

IOW,has she reviewed it directly??

it would seem both CIA and Fitz are
anxious to keep this info as murky as possible.

jwest

I don’t buy the NIE aspect of Fitz’s quest. It makes more sense (considering his actions and words in the trial) that he is 100% invested in the Joe Wilson – Whistleblower theory.

He gets his information from the NYT, WaPo and Hardball. What else could he possibly think?

Wilson's a liar

And now we also know why Judy Miller really went to jail. Fitz was trying to nail Libby for leaking the NIE to Miller on Cheney's orders. This also explains why the counts regarding Miller were dropped - the prosecutors spent so much time investigating her and putting her in jail that they felt they had to indict for something, but they knew there wasn't enough there to convict.

clarice

Yes, Wilson, that might well explain it..And the long time in the gj w/ Fitz questioning Libby on the NIE..

Charlie (Colorado)

Okay, I'll bite. Cite a statute that may have been violated other than the IIPA.

He's going to cite the Espionage Act. He's then going to claim that Plame's name was classified SECRET because it was (per the Washington Post) contained in a paragraph labeled (S). Then he's going to ignore all of the bunch of us who are, or have been, cleared who will explain again that her name wasn't treated as SECRET and that the WaPo's argument is mistaken.

royf

it was about the NIE!


Its certainly easy to see why the CIA didn't want the NIE released. When I read it I thought geez I could have written that and I've never even been to the middle east.

When you think of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the CIA, they were and rightfully should have been ashamed of their product.

Road Dog

Az - nice and well thought out.

hit and run

From yesterday:

Prediction: convict on 22 counts in the next 24 hours.

Posted by: hit and run | February 21, 2007 at 09:43 AM

----

I meant 24 court hours, of course.

Oh and the jury may come back with a verdict on only 5 counts. The rest will be sealed, according to my sources who are very very intimately familiar with the proceedings.

cathyf
And I'll bet that's where the 22 indictments junk came from too - somebody on Fitz' staff saw just enough to realize that IF the NIE disclosure was illegal there were gonna be a whole bunch of Bushies going to the slammer. They wanted Fitzmas to be true so badly.
But this is utterly delusional. It's like a rightie sufferer from Clinton derrangement finding evidence that Clinton had sex with his wife and thinking that they were going to be able to charge him with adultery.
Declassifying by a proper authority = leaking
makes about as logical sense as
Having sex with your spouse = adultery
hit and run

Charlie:
Then he's going to ignore all of the bunch of us who are, or have been, cleared


Dammit! Not me.

I'm still a target of the investigation.

jwest

Let’s not over analyze this. Fitz went after Judy to give up Scooter who was supposed to flip and serve up Cheney.

Fitz knew Libby and Rove were calling reporters all over town revealing a covert secret agent’s name in order to punish her whistleblowing husband. He knew it was true – he read it in Time magazine for Christ’s sake.

Wilson's a liar

I've had a Unified Theory for a long time about Joe Wilson. Now I have one about Patrick Fitzgerald. It totally explains the triviality of the charges actually brought. Fitz never meant to bring these charges, but he had to do something after all those years and millions spent.

Unintended consequences all around.

Wilson's a liar

Hey, I'm not saying it makes sense, but if you are a BDS-suffering prosecutor it might have been easy to put 2 and 2 together and get 5.

Tom Bowler

Glenda
Tom B & Clarice.."Elementary, my dear Watsons"
Great job in dissecting true meaning of this farce!

Thanks, but Azaghal & Clarice get the credit.

Ranger

I posted this in another thread too, but I'll post it here so JM can see it.

Mr. Libby said he found a way around that resistance by getting backdoor approval from the president.

This is the kind of statment from the press that shows just how lazy they are. If they would take 5 minutes to do a little research, they would discover that this is exactly how declassificaiton disputes between government offices are supposed to be resloved. If one office (OVP) wasn't something (the NIE) declassifed, they ask the source agency (the CIA) to declassify it. If the source agency refuses or dragges it feet, the Executive Order on classification specificly says that office requestion declassification can make a direct appeal to the President, who then makes the final decision.

It's been that way for some 30 or 40 years now, and that is exactly what happened here. OVP wanted the NIE declassified so they could show that the CIA and the rest of the intel community were telling them Iraq was a threat, not the other way around. CIA dragged it's feet because they didn't want to be embarrased about how bad their work was. OVP then went to POTUS to resolve the impass. And somehow, using the established and routine steps gets turned into something "questionable" because the press is lazy.

clarice

cathyf, to such a logical person as you of course it's delusional--

Wilson's a liar

jwest, you are right of course - but maybe not about what the ultimate goal was.

Fitz' close had that ring of "that's my story and I'm sticking to it."

Wilson's a liar

Ranger - not just the press is lazy, so apparently are prosecturs who assume the worst about the President and Vice President and their staffs.

Ranger

Ranger - not just the press is lazy, so apparently are prosecturs who assume the worst about the President and Vice President and their staffs.

Posted by: Wilson's a liar | February 22, 2007 at 01:18 PM

And that is what is really perverse about this. The administration did the NIE declassification by the book, and they got slammed for it none the less. Yet when people in DoJ illegally leak info about the NSA program the press and DoJ just look away as if nothing happened.

hit and run

Lieberman Says War Vote Could Prompt Party Switch.

Whoa


Go Ned Go!

cathyf
OVP then went to POTUS to resolve the impass. And somehow, using the established and routine steps gets turned into something "questionable" because the press is lazy.
Ok, I'm completely willing to believe that the press is some combination of stupid and lazy. But what is Fitzgerald's excuse? I mean, really, he can't have been thinking, "AHA!!!! I'VE CAUGHT THE EVIL CHENEY!!! HE DID SOMETHING ONLY THE VICE PRESIDENT IS ALLOWED TO DO!!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!" And if he did, it's time to get out that jacket with the unstylishly long sleeves...

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