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March 16, 2007

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» A sign of things to come in the Plame hearing (PM UPDATE III) from Sister Toldjah
Todays the day that Valerie Plame is testifying before a House committee on her outing. John Podhoretz is watching the hearing and noted this: Henry Waxman, who is chairing the hearing into the revelation of Valerie Plame Wilson&#... [Read More]

» Poor Widdle Valerie Plame from Flopping Aces
Ok, now this is hilarious. The CIA desk jockey was asked to testify to Congress about a four year old story in which the Special Prosecutor found no crime, other then perjury unrelated to the crime he was investigating. What... [Read More]

» An Eternal Plame from Little Miss Attila
Tom Maguire is having too much fun: Finally, John Podhoretz provides a funny bit of testimony telling us that, although she did not recommend her hubby for the 2002 Niger trip, Ms. Wilson went to her boss accompanied by the... [Read More]

» Plame Silliness from The Strata-Sphere
I have to admit the Plame Game is getting a bit boring. And the duplicity of the attack on Libby and the administration over forgotten details verses the out and out lying by the Wilsons and Fitzgerald is just mind boggling. What would be inte... [Read More]

» Snapshots from Valerie Plame's testimony from Kesher Talk
[ UPDATE: They're liveblogging over at the Powerline Forum. Snippets at the end of this post. Also "Wilson/Plame Central" blogger Tom Maguire. ] I don't have a TV and our Wilson/Plame watcher Alcibiades is busy, so I'm posting snippets of... [Read More]

» Plame Sheds Little Light in Leak Case from Outside The Beltway | OTB
Valerie Plame Wilson testified before Congress today, claiming that she was a covert operative at the time Richard Armitage leaked information to Robert Novak and that the content of that leakthat she had been behind sending her husband, Joe Wil... [Read More]

» Wasting Taxpayer Money from HILLARYNEEDSAVACATION
* Thanks to the corrupt Democrat Party for bringing this tired liar, back to the House for some useless political manipulation. [Read More]

» A good old-fashioned thrashing from hubs and spokes
Tom Maguire destroys Plame and her defenders in the media. Sorry, that should be "her defenders, the media." Carnage everywhere!... [Read More]

» Just One Minute from The Right Nation
E' ormai qualche mese che vi consigliamo di leggere le analisi di Tom Maguire su Just One Minute se volete capire qualcosa del Plamegate (o Nigergate, o Libbygate, o comunque vogliate chiamarlo). Ve lo ripetiamo anche oggi. Se poi volete continuare a... [Read More]

» Wizbang Podcast #58 from Wizbang Podcast
Here's what I thought you'd like to hear about today: Is the Surge working? - Someone on the front line explainsWhat is the Enemy like in Iraq? - Pam Hess... [Read More]

» If ... you must 03/21/2007 from Soccer Dad
If you haven't read Blog Awards Controversy at It's Almost Supernatural ; you must. Guess what? It doesn't just happen with Jewish Blog Awards! If you haven't read Hamas Embarrassed? at Media Backspin; you must. Embarrassed - and defiant. If you haven'... [Read More]

Comments

arcanorum

FRITZ!

Jeff

Turns out OVP contacted CPD on February 12, 2002 with an inquiry about the Niger story. One of Plame's subordinates reported it to her, and one of her superiors, hearing what was going on, suggested her husband for a mission to Niger.

Point is, CPD learned about OVP's interest in the previous intel report on Niger-Iraq on February 12, not - as evidence at the trial appeared to show - on February 13. There was a formal tasking to CIA that day. But OVP expressed its interest in the Niger story to CPD the day before, and that triggered CPD to come up with the idea of sending Joe Wilson.

That's the way it looks to me anyway at the moment.

clarice feldman

So, Jeff, the only way the OVP could have avoided being tagged w/ "behesting" Munchausen was to never look at or question the crap the CYA was sending up there?

The only evidence we have is that one day later (Frb 13)he got the doc he was asking about, looked at it and asked if the Agency had anything more.
Unless you believe in time traveling premature esp.

Jim E.

John Pod also wrote: "Valerie Plame Wilson is a very effective witness."

Appalled Moderate

From now dead thread:

Jeff:

I accept the timeline, but not Val's "somebody made me write the memo" explanation. Be nice if she had said "who". Then we could subpeona the guy to find out. Because, on the believability scale, this sounds a lot like Libby's Russert tale.

If someone made her write the memo, she would likely have phrased it very differently. Like, " I have been asked about my husband's qualifications..."etc. Then she could have been as glowing as she wanted, and insulated herself against a nepotism charge. (Which, given the way the memo was phrased, was an internal charge she exposed herself to.)


Jeff

I'm not talking about behesting, clarice. Cecil and I and many others have had a long-running debate about the order of events in February 2002. At trial, it looked like evidence was introduced that meant that CPD came up with the idea of sending Wilson before hearing of OVP's interest in the Niger story. The testimony that Plame gave under oath today makes it look like that's not the case, that in fact CPD heard about OVP's inquiry about the Niger story and that prompted them to come up with the idea of sending WIlson on a mission to look into it.

I think you may just not be up on what was testified to today.

Lew Clark

From unreliable sources close to the "case", (actually it's only half a case now, H&R drank two six packs before breakfast), Plame is right. The CIA is having a horrible time recruiting for similar positions to Plame's, due to fear of disclosure. The parking lot is filthy, food remains unserved in the cafeteria, and I won't even go into how the bathrooms smell!

clarice feldman

Jeff, if JPod's synopsis doesn't make clear how preposterous her latest version is, nothing I am afraid will get thru to you on that point.(Was Ray McGovern walking the halls that day?)

Jim E.

clarice,
Instead of reading J Pod, why not see what she said herself?

bgates

AM - Be nice if she had said "who". Then we could subpoena the guy to find out.
But that guy works at the CIA, and should therefore (per Ms Plame's testimony) be presumed to be a covert operative. Anyone seeking to learn his name should be targeted by a Special Prosecutor, likewise anyone mentioning the names 'Grenier' or 'Tenet' or anyone else connected with the CIA, all of whom should be presumed to be working deep undercover.

ordi

No No No Clarice you don't understand! Everything our pal Val says is the gospel according to Joe!


Sarc off

Jeff

Grenier of the CIA

Tom, apart from the fact that you seem to be stepping on your own prior talking point with regard to Grenier's testimony, Plame's testimony today was not that she was not involved in Wilson's mission at all - indeed, she testified that she went to Wilson to ask him to come in to the CIA, and she introduced him at the February 19, 2002 meeting before leaving - but that she neither recommended her husband nor suggested him for the mission. Someone else came up with the idea of Wilson for a mission - suggesting him, in other words - and then her superior asked her to write up a memo or email memorializing the matter. Does reciting his qualifications in response to a request from others mean she recommended him for the mission?

And of course Grenier didn't say that Wilson's wife recommended him for his mission, contra Apuzzo - nor does 7. of the indictment say Grenier said that.

Ranger

John Pod also wrote: "Valerie Plame Wilson is a very effective witness."

Posted by: Jim E. | March 16, 2007 at 10:36 AM

Yes, well the WaPo's take from former CIA types was she was an minimally competant operative that "presented herself well." Sounds like the description still fits.

Rick Ballard

Toensing is doing quite well.

Jeff

clarice

First, did you actually see the testimony instead of relying on the snarky report of JPod? Furthermore, nothing in what JPod says calls into question the point I made. JPod was belittling, not calling into question the veracity of, the account Plame gave in her testimony.

The point, again, is that Plame testified under oath that CPD heard initially from OVP that it had inquiries about the Niger story on February 12, not February 13.

Ross

What a bimbo! I'm pretty sure she used to work the drive-up window at my local Dairy Queen.

Southside

Go Toensing Go

windansea

An officer serving under her was upset to have received an inquiry from the vice president's office about yellowcake from Niger

Supervisor: Well, when you go home this evening, would you ask your husband to come in.

Then her supervisor asked her to write an e-mail about the idea. She did so. That e-mail, she said, was the basis for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence claim that she had been responsible for sending her husband to Niger for the CIA.

this looks like perjury to me, since her email was sent the day before Cheney asked CIA to check out the NIger info

sbw

Your assignment tonight, Jim, should you ridiculously care to accept it, is to see how much Plame appears in the major press compared to how little Toensing. ... This tape will self-destruct in 10 seconds.

Jeff

Toensing also just stated something that is inaccurate. She claimed that the IIPA requires the CIA to report annually to congress on the measures it is taking to protect covert agent's identities. In fact, it is the President, after receiving information from the DCI, who is obligated to provide an annual report to the congressional intelligence committees. Thus, the responsibility falls to the President; and the failure to do so is the President's failure.

Ranger

Jeff,

Many, many laws require the president to report to congress on agency activities. In fact, this ammounts to the preseident signining a cover leter to the agencies report. For all pratical purposes, it is the agency that reports, thought the president, to congress. Talk about picking nits.

hit and run

Lew Clark:
From unreliable sources close to the "case", (actually it's only half a case now, H&R drank two six packs before breakfast),

I made a representation in the previous thread that I was leaving....maybe to come back after a couple of beers.

Although I have to break my word to do this - as I have not yet had any beers - I fear I must as a fair warning to everyone.

Mrs hit and run just called and asked me to pick up a two bottles of tequila on my way home.

I am apologizing in advance if I should show up here later. hit and run and tequila can either be a really beautiful thing - or it can get really ugly. And as a man of great immoderation, I fear for the worst.

I may send an email to Tom asking him to go ahead and ban my IP now. I would not blame anyone else for doing the same.

May God have mercy on our souls.

sylvia

"Maybe they call her the wind. (But they call the wind Maria...)"

That was genius. That's Friday humor.

theo

Here is from an NYT story up now about the Plame testimony:

"Her husband, a former diplomat with considerable experience in Africa, traveled to the continent in 2002 to investigate rumors that Saddam Hussein was trying to acquire uranium from Niger to build Iraq’s nuclear arsenal. In July 2003, an Op Ed essay by Mr. Wilson in The New York Times expressed deep skepticism about Iraq’s arsenal, and by implication skepticism about President Bush’s justification for the war that toppled the Iraqi dictator.
Soon afterward, Ms. Wilson was unmasked by Mr. Novak. That incident led to an investigation to find who had leaked her name, possibly in violation of the law. While no one was prosecuted for the leak itself, Mr. Libby was found guilty of lying to grand jurors and F.B.I. agents during the investigation. Administration critics have long asserted that Ms. Wilson’s name was leaked to intimidate others who differed with the White House."

Hmmm---- Ms. Wilson was "unmasked by Novak." Well that is not really true. Novak is a reporter and only knows what people tell him. This explains why there was "an investigation to find out how leaked her name." But someone reading this article would have to assume that the investigation did not reveal who in fact did the leaking. Or perhaps that this information was "not fit to print."

And notice the new allegation that Plame was outed to intimidate OTHERS who might differ with the White House. The old story was that it was to get revenge on Saint Joe.
So I guess that this outing would intimidate anyone who had gone on a mission for the CIA whose spouse worked there. Just how big a universe is that?? And it does not appear that there has been noticeable silence since July 2003 of those "who differed with the White House."

The New York Times -- "All The News That Fits Our Predetermined Narrative And None That Does Not."

Gabriel

So if Mrs. Plame perjures herself under oath today, will we get another Independent Counsel?

ajacksonian

VPWs status: known CIA Employee married to high flying Ambassador and full exposure to any and all gossip columnists that are at any of the typical events such a couple would go to.

That was known in 1998 when she married the Ambassador. One cannot be covert and do that, nor within the 5 year waiting period after one is taken out of that status. Therefore, VPW was either no longer a covert agent or she should be up on a whole slew of charges for all of the security regulations she violated.

Say, did Amb. Wilson get his NYT Editorial cleaned up by the CIA first, as is required with any disclosure of bought and paid for government information that is classified? Because, even if not in the contract for such work, it *is* part of the contract. And even if he voluntarily went over on his own funds, such a report, once it is classified, is then under all the laws of same for disclosure.

I look forward to that trial...

clarice feldman

Did they mention her meeting w/ Kristof?

TMF

SHe's more of a shrewd misleader than a flat out liar from what I can tell...

In other words your typical Democrat

TMF

I wonder when she first had political aspirations

This niger thing was like hitting the jackpot for this nitwit

arcanorum

So if Mrs. Plame perjures herself under oath today, will we get another Independent Counsel?

Fitz's investigation while dormant could be reactivated should his services be required. But I'm not sure if Plame's false testimony might not be the good kind, the kind that brings down the bad guys, better ask Fitz.

clarice feldman

(OT) FNC reporting thugs tried to kidnap a UN official in Gaza and the UN is threatening to remove all its people from there.Oh dear, there goes the Gazans major funding source.

sbw

The chairman is badgering the witness.

sylvia

Yes Judy Miller and Libby should join forces and sue for false arrest. That is something that is not done enough in this country I think. The IIPA statue was clearly listed as the reason for investigation on Libby's indictment when clearly no infraction of that was committed.

I would think there is some rule against doing that. You can't have some prosector say "yeah I'm starting a murder investigation for Sinbad because he was reported dead in Wiki", and then put a bunch of people under oath and ask them personal questions, knowing all the while that Sinbad is hale and healthy. (did you all catch that story today?) There has to be probable cause. So Libby and Miller should demand - Is she or isn't she? And if she isn't, do the American thing and sue, sue, sue.

Tom Maguire

Turns out OVP contacted CPD on February 12, 2002 with an inquiry about the Niger story.

I don't know why that could not have happened - all we know is the DIA report came out on Feb 12 and questions about the CIA view came back to them from (at least) State and Defense that day.

Why couldn't Libby (say) have seen the DIA report, made a note for the boss to ask about it, and then called the CIA himself?

That said, Ms. Wilson is hardly disinterested or objective here (what with the civil suit and all), and it would have been nice if the CIA had hit upon that story, rather than Cheney's briefer, a few years ago.

Oh, well - if the CIA can't produce "some guy" to vouch for Ms. Plame's latest story, their operational skills belong in the wastebasket.

obsessed

from Think Progress:

Gen. Michael Hayden recently told Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) that there was no doubt Victoria Plame Wilson was covert. Cummings — relaying what Waxman had told him — said that Gen. Hayden expressed clearly and directly, “Ms. Wilson was covert.”

Cummings asked, “During the past five years, Ms. Plame, from today, did you conduct secret missions overseas?” She answered, “Yes I did, congressman.”

arcanorum

I wonder when she first had political aspirations

she was probably just along for the ride, then she saw the dollar signs, and decided to cash in her chips.

our next US congresswoman from New Mexico.

theo

There is something that has always been troubling to me. IIRC in the famous July 6 Op Ed piece, Wilson insists right up front that he did not see any classified CIA documents in connection with his trip. But he sure seemed familiar with what teh CIA knew. Isn't it entirely possible that he did have access to classified documents that he should not have had and did this pre emptive denial to protect the person -- say a family member -- who gave him such illegal access?

arcanorum

Cummings asked, “During the past five years, Ms. Plame, from today, did you conduct secret missions overseas?” She answered, “Yes I did, congressman.”

stationed overseas? no.

did any of these 'covert' missions meet the threshold of IIPA definition of covert? no.

arcanorum

Isn't it entirely possible that he did have access to classified documents that he should not have had and did this pre emptive denial to protect the person -- say a family member -- who gave him such illegal access?

not only possible, but in fact rather likely.

SunnyDay

Toensig is not intimidated, heh.

sbw

Whatever happened to the gong used for the gong show? Whenever representatives start pontificataing, I'd like the opportunity to give it a whack.

Understanding is lost under all the words.

arcanorum

"Oh, well - if the CIA can't produce "some guy" to vouch for Ms. Plame's latest story, their operational skills belong in the wastebasket."

The New York PD can dredge up some 'witness' months after a police department civilian killing, but the CIA cant find a guy who recommended big hair Wilson go to Africa? No wonder we dont trust CIA competency.

bgates

Jeff - And of course Grenier didn't say that Wilson's wife recommended him for his mission, contra Apuzzo - nor does 7. of the indictment say Grenier said that.

from the liveblogS
He got a response “probably within a couple of hours.” It was from someone he did not know but was “fully knowledgeable about what had happened.” He got confirmation that CIA had sent Wilson to investigate Niger uranium and went into some detail about the mission. Conveyed that State, Office of VP, and Defense had all “expressed interest” in the issue.

That person “mentioned” that Wilson’s wife worked in the division and was the impetus behind the trip.
....
Did you [Grenier] tell him [Libby] about the wife connection? “I believe I did.” He [Grenier] thinks he told him [Libby] “something to the effect” that the wife was “why Wilson was sent” but mentioned it “only in passing.”

From the indictment:
7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson's trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.

So Jeff, is your argument that 'responsible for' and 'impetus' are not 'recommended'?

windansea

Jeff and friends are probably too busy playing gotcha politics to notice, but if Val is typical of CIA agents tasked to protect us from WMDs we should all be very very afraid

(from other thread)

An officer serving under her was upset to have received an inquiry from the vice president's office about yellowcake from Niger

yes, very upsetting, being asked to actually check something out about WMDs

and evidently, while she was comforting that junior officer,

our CIA agents need comforting when given tasks

some guy walked by her office and suggested her husband should go to Niger to check it out.

probably the janitor

She said she was ambivalent about the idea because she didn't want to have to put her 2 year-old twins to bed by herself at night.

yes, my personal comfort is more important than national security

Still, she and the guy who had just happened to walk by then went to her supervisor.

true heroes!!

Sue

Point is, CPD learned about OVP's interest in the previous intel report on Niger-Iraq on February 12, not - as evidence at the trial appeared to show - on February 13. There was a formal tasking to CIA that day. But OVP expressed its interest in the Niger story to CPD the day before, and that triggered CPD to come up with the idea of sending Joe Wilson.

An aide, maybe? What a kerfunkle. To believe one part of the story you have to ignore the other part. Libby didn't lie to Pincus when he said an aide raised the issue with the CIA.

sylvia

"In February 2004, after reviewing what the FBI had, Fitzgerald widened his investigation to include "any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure."

So Fitz didn't have the covert option, so he "widened" it to include any related to the "underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure". The problem is, THERE IS NO LAW related to the unauthorized disclosure. So obstruction of any justice to any criminal law is not possible. Heck, even Plame doesn't know about any broken laws. How is anyone else supposed to know.


not the senator

Very cute of you to use the AP story on the covert issue. Let's go to the videotape why don't we?:

Waxman's opening statement:

"I have been advised by the CIA, that even now after all that has happened, I cannot disclose the full nature, scope and character of Ms. Wilson’s service to our nation without causing serious damage to our national security interests. But General Hayden and the CIA have cleared these following comments for these hearings. During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover. Her employment status at the CIA was classified information, prohibited from disclosure under Executive Order 12958. At the time of the publication of Robert Novak’s column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information."


So unless you are saying that the CIA Director, General Hayden is lying in his statement to Congress, there's no getting around it. The discussion is over. She was covert at the time and hence, there was an underlying crime.

It might not have been prosecutable because of the intent and knowledge provisions of the law but that couldn't be determined until it was investigated. Libby obstructed a legitimate investigation.

sylvia

"Oh, well - if the CIA can't produce "some guy" to vouch for Ms. Plame's latest story, their operational skills belong in the wastebasket."

Maybe they can send Joe Wilson on a mission to find him.

ben

Joe Wilson is a proven liar, even the MSM will admit as much...the Wilson-Plames are partisan Democrats with an agenda...what possible reason would we have to believe anything Valerie Plame says? Regardless of what she says, I would like one good reason to believe any of it...nothing she said today makes her a"covert" agent, and there is enormous amounts of testimony that she was involved in picking and sending her husband to Niger...so what is the discussion really about? The same old story, the conspiracy to "out" someone that wasn't covert, and which even a 2 year investigation couldn't find any evidence of...so Fitzmas having been a bust, the Democrats are going to try the case in the media, where facts and evidence are not a factor...

Jeff

Toensing offered a falsehood when she said she has stuck to the language of the statute. She glosses service as foreign assignment, and covers up the fact that it is a gloss, not a statement of the law.

But she just admitted that she's given her legal interpretation.

And now she's saying again that the officer has to reside overseas. The statute nowhere says that. The legislative history of the statute nowhere says that.

Tom Maguire

The Cheney briefer story appears in the June 12, 2003 Pincus piece:

The CIA's decision to send an emissary to Niger was triggered by questions raised by an aide to Vice President Cheney during an agency briefing on intelligence circulating about the purported Iraqi efforts to acquire the uranium, according to the senior officials. Cheney's staff was not told at the time that its concerns had been the impetus for a CIA mission and did not learn it occurred or its specific results.

The Senate report is ambiguous - it leads with the Cheney briefer, but also has this (p. 49 of the 521 page .pdf):

Officials from the CIA's DO Counterproliferation Division (CPD) told Committee staff that in response to questions from the Vice President's Office and the Departments of State and Defense on the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal, CPD officials discussed ways to obtain additional information.

That could cover the latest story, I guess.

From Jeff:

Tom, apart from the fact that you seem to be stepping on your own prior talking point with regard to Grenier's testimony...

Hmm, I've lost track of my talking points. Was it the idea that Grenier did not relay this complete info to Libby? Who knows what Grenier told Libby about Plame, if anything, and why should we default to assuming that Grenier told Libby everything he knew about Ms. Plame, rather than just something shoreter like, "Wilson's sife is with the CIA"? IIRC, that was roughly his testimony, anyway - Grossman was the problem.

arcanorum

So unless you are saying that the CIA Director, General Hayden is lying in his statement to Congress, there's no getting around it. The discussion is over. She was covert at the time and hence, there was an underlying crime.

there are many definitions of covert that get thrown around loosely, especially when someone is trying to deceive.

Is plame covered as covert under the eyes of the IIPA law that governs disclosure of covert status? No, she is not.

azaghal

Many, many laws require the president to report to congress on agency activities. In fact, this ammounts to the preseident signining a cover leter to the agencies report. For all pratical purposes, it is the agency that reports, thought the president, to congress. Talk about picking nits.

Posted by: Ranger | March 16, 2007 at 10:58 AM

Ranger, what do you think your interlocutor's problem is? The obvious legal point that Toensing is making is that if the Executive Branch is following the requirements of the law they--including Special Counsels--can kiss any prosecution under the IIPA goodbye. Failure to comply with the provisions of the IIPA means non-covert for purposes of the IIPA, means no prosecution.

Now wouldn't it be interesting to learn whether the Executive Branch really did report regarding some people's status, as required? We can assume that if the CIA was complying with the IIPA they would have a piece of paper somewhere with names on it. What would be so difficult about determining her status, then? Go get the piece of paper, see if her name's on it or not, and voila, you have an answer.

Tom Maguire

And of course Grenier didn't say that Wilson's wife recommended him for his mission, contra Apuzzo - nor does 7. of the indictment say Grenier said that.

Go for the trifecta - neither does the emboldened question introducing this section - "Was Valerie involved in sending Joe?".

Maybe you want to raise the bar, but Joe's original denials were that his wife was not involved at all. Check out "War on Wilson?", for example.

As for the indictment, here we go:

[Libby] was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.

Believed erroneously? Is that how Grenier phrased it? Sort of like the WMD intel.

arcanorum

The legislative history of the statute nowhere says that.

then i guess we are just stuck with the sworn testimony of the woman who wrote and negotiated the legislation.

jerry

I think Toensing is at the center of all of this crud, I'd get her to testify to a grand jury.

sbw

Excuse me, Ms. Toensing, but we on this committee want to ask you for opinions about things you couldn't possibly know anything about.

Sue

She was covert at the time and hence, there was an underlying crime.

But dammit, Fitzgerald just couldn't locate it. Superman found his cryptonite...

Franklin

"No process can be adopted to protect classified information that no one knows is classified. This looks to me more like a CIA problem than a White House problem."

Exactly.

If Karl Rove is the evil genius Democrats believe he is, hopefully Anne Coulter was given a deeply clandestine CIA mission at some time in the past which would make it illegal for anyone to attack her, her motives, her actions, or even mention that she exists. When does Rove spring the trap?

stevesh

Zoiks! The final piece of the puzzle? Nuts!
---------------------------------------------
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/benchconference/2007/03/gonzopart_ivmeet_your_new_atto.html

Part IV: The Case for Attorney General Patrick Fitzgerald, By Andrew Cohen

[I]n my humble opinion, and recognizing that there may be a few other worthy candidates, there is only one person who perfectly currently fits the bill. He is a Republican and a Bush-appointee, but not a partisan or a crony or a hack like so many other current appointees. He has a sterling record of integrity and doggedness. He is obviously his own man and has shown a remarkable tendency during his career as a prosecutor for rankling partisans on both sides of the aisle. He is beholden to no one. His nomination to head the Justice Department by President Bush, and his ratification by the Congress, would send a clear message to the country that our government is willing to turn the page on the sordid recent history of the Office of Attorney General. His name? Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

bio mom

"She said she was ambivalent about the idea because she didn't want to have to put her 2 year-old twins to bed by herself at night."

Yet she could be traveling all around overseas on super-secret CIA missions?? I'm sorry. I just don't buy that. What is this, an episode of the Scarecrow and Mrs. King??

uh, no

Wow, so if it's official that she was covert, I guess Fitzgerald never figured that out.

clarice feldman

Toensing got in that Armitage was the leaker and David Corn was the first to publish Plame's name--she's apparently giving the Dems conniptions.

sylvia

"At the time of the publication of Robert Novak’s column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information."


Hmmm. Okay. Well at least we have some testimony finally. Back to my other idea that for Fitz to put the IIPA on the indictment, it had to have been violated. But shouldn't the CIA have to provide some evidence of this to Libby so he knows they aren't fibbing or making a mistake?

Jane

SO did I miss it? Is it still going on, and if so is there a link (before I start reading)?

ben

Plame was not covert, but for the sake of argument let's say she was...there is still no crime, no conspiracy, despite the painstaking Fitz investigation, there is no evidence anyone conspired to out her...there was no secret Cheney, Rove, Libby conspiracy as we have found out...so all this is one more attempt to fabricate an issue for political advantage...I think the only one who should be punished here is the person who authorized a bloodsucking parasite like Joe Wilson to Niger.

Southside

Maybe the babysitter can be called to testify.

jerry

I get the same creepy feeling from Toensing that I get from those Soul-Eaters in the Harry Potter movies... "evil" I guess.

Tom Maguire

From Jeff:

And now she's saying again that the officer has to reside overseas. The statute nowhere says that. The legislative history of the statute nowhere says that.

I would love a link to a good legislative history of that bill. I know what I think, but I can't claim to have pored through the Congressional record.

[What I Think in one sentence - Agee was operating overseas and outing agents stationed overseas; Congress under Carter wouldn't pass any bill at all for fear of free speech problems; the final bill was a compromise; hence, I doubt anyone favored an expansice definition.]

Your turn, Jeff.

not the senator

Yes, there are many different definition of covert. According to the CIA's, she was covert.

Would that have stood up in court? Could they even have entered the information necessary to make it stand up in court? Who knows? Maybe that's one of the reasons Fitzgerald didn't charge that crime.

It would only have been proven in litigation but you have to admit, that if the CIA says she was covert at the time, that in itself was reasonable cause for the investigation.

bio mom

Jeff: And what feeling do you get from Henry Waxman?? You don't want to know mine.

SunnyDay

BWAHAHAHA

Rush: "somebody must have made Armitage up, because his name is not heard anywhere."

ErnestAbe

Toensing got in that Armitage was the leaker and David Corn was the first to publish Plame's name--she's apparently giving the Dems conniptions.

I don't think so, Clarice. Toensing was quite effective for the Democrats. She acknowledged that, while maybe not criminal, the leak of classified info about Plame's covert status violated the executive order.

It sure did look ridiculous that the White House never did ANY investigation during the 2 months leading up to statement that it had no information.

arcanorum

I get the same creepy feeling from Toensing that I get from those Soul-Eaters in the Harry Potter movies... "evil" I guess.

hitler was evil. stalin was evil. idi amin was evil.

toensing? no matter what kind of creepy feeling you get, she is not evil.

Rick Ballard

"I get the same creepy feeling from Toensing that I get from those Soul-Eaters in the Harry Potter movies... "evil" I guess.

I suppose that every follower of Sauron would feel the same way. Heck, I imagine that cockroaches feel that anyone who flips on a light while they're out in the open is "evil".

We understand your discomfort, jerry. Quit crapping in the breakfast cereal and maybe we won't step on you.

azaghal

from Think Progress:

Gen. Michael Hayden recently told Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) that there was no doubt Victoria Plame Wilson was covert. Cummings — relaying what Waxman had told him — said that Gen. Hayden expressed clearly and directly, “Ms. Wilson was covert.”

Cummings asked, “During the past five years, Ms. Plame, from today, did you conduct secret missions overseas?” She answered, “Yes I did, congressman.”

Posted by: obsessed | March 16, 2007 at 11:09 AM

Yes, they're playing this for non-lawyers. The only relevant meaning for the word "covert" is the meaning that is assigned to it in the IIPA. Nobody questions whether Plame was covert in that sense at some point in her career, nor that she was covert in the sense that generally speaking the CIA didn't want her employment publicly identified. But Hayden refrains from stating that she was covert for purposes of the IIPA nor does he state that the CIA was taking all measures to preserve her status for purposes of the IIPA.

As for "secret," we all assume that all her work was classified "secret" at a minimum, much of it higher. That has zero to do with her legal status. It does have something to do with her entering the political arena with her nitwit husband, and with both of them hobnobbing with journalists.

SunnyDay

LOL whatever the WH did, it would have been

WRONG WRONG WRONG

and a hearing would have been held.

Sue

Maybe that's one of the reasons Fitzgerald didn't charge that crime.

Maybe Fitzgerald got the same response as we got today. All three. She was covert. She was classified. She was undercover. That just about covers it, doesn't it? Yes, Fitzgerald failed to charge that crime. You are free to speculate, and go ahead, make it as bad as you can, on why he didn't charge that crime.

arcanorum

It would only have been proven in litigation but you have to admit, that if the CIA says she was covert at the time, that in itself was reasonable cause for the investigation.

if she was covert then they would have referred a disclosure of a covert agent instead of a referral for release of classified information. ergo, she was not covert under IIPA, and the CIA knew/knows this.

someone in CIA is throwing sand. nothing new, its what they do.

clarice feldman

If you'll pardon me a third hand account of what Hayden said doesn't cut it for me.

arcanorum

the sky is falling! the sky is falling!

Bush's fault. Waxman to hold hearings.

Jim E.

Back on an adorable little thread on March 8, several delusional folks around here (my fav: "The Heritage Foundation was begun with less material and talent than we have here") were actively seeking to start a new think tank. I believe people started talking about the need to raise money. (For what, I have no earthly idea.) 507s and 527s and password protected websites were breathlessly discussed as were hopes that Instapundit and Rush L would publicize this new clearinghouse for Plame related "facts". (Hmmm, conveniently enough, TM was at the helm of Instapundit's place -- did he mention anything about this at all?) Folks were going to pull all-nighters developing talking points and questions for Republicans to use to put Plame in her place at today's hearing. Only after Libby was convicted, the JOM folks were finally going to get serious!

How'd that all turn out? I only saw two (or was it three?) Republicans at the Plame testimony. Too busy reading the JOMers collective talking points? Even J Pod thinks Plame was "effective."

Jane, on March 8, called this hearing today a "short term assignment which will test our mettle." So did you guys pass or fail?

sylvia

"Is plame covered as covert under the eyes of the IIPA law that governs disclosure of covert status? No, she is not."

Well, it would be hard for anyone but the CIA to determine that. Only Plame and the CIA would know for sure if she took trips outside of the country during the last 5 years that were extensive and dangerous enought to qualify as covert material. So again, if the director of the CIA say she's covert, she's for all intents and purposes covert.

The only way to challenge this is to get a detailed report of all her activities in the last 5 years from the CIA, and since she is classified - good luck. The President could do this, but I doubt he would. Still I wonder if Libby can bring this up as a basis to his appeal - his inability to get information about Plame's activities to be confronted with the evidence that she was indeed covert and that probable cause for an investigation existed. But that would make him look unpatriotic.

azaghal

[What I Think in one sentence - Agee was operating overseas and outing agents stationed overseas; Congress under Carter wouldn't pass any bill at all for fear of free speech problems; the final bill was a compromise; hence, I doubt anyone favored an expansice definition.]

Posted by: Tom Maguire | March 16, 2007 at 11:36 AM

TM, I think you're right. The IIPA was not the best drafted piece of legislation ever devised and relied too much on the climate that was current when it was proposed, without envisioning difficulties that could arise in the future and potential political uses of the statute. Live and learn. To be fair, this was the very first time this issue was addressed by any legislation whatsoever, and Congress clearly was being restrictive as to the scope of the statute.

Jim E.

clarice,

Do you get all of your news from reading this comment thread and the Corner? The hearing on TV. It is available via streaming video on the internet. Hayden's quote is accurate. Live a little, and watch some CSPAN. I'm sure they'll be playing it again tonight, too.

ben

Ok Not the Senator is grasping at straws here..we are back to "well if she was covert an investigation was warranted"...well maybe, if there was any evidence to go with it...but in any case it did go forward, the MSM and Democratic targets Rove, Cheney and Libby were not the leakers, so there was no conspiracy...should Armitage have been charged with intentionally outing Plame? What was his motive? What Waxman is doing here is trying to try a case on TV and score a few points that way..its pretty sad, but that's we are down to these days...as proven by 48 senate votes to cut and run, Democrats are ready to sell their country down the river if it will only somehow, someway, somewhere, cause the President some political damage.

arcanorum

Jane, on March 8, called this hearing today a "short term assignment which will test our mettle." So did you guys pass or fail?

'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.' -Margaret Mead

And on the seventh day the Lord looked over his creation and saw that it was good.

Sue

Mr. E,

Any explanation why Fitz! didn't charge for outing a covert agent?

ErnestAbe

Fitzgerald didn't charge a crime of the IIPA, for who knows what reason (including that it wold have been difficult to prove given need for classified info in court, or hard to prove intent), but that does not change the FACT, that Toensing herself acknowledged, that the release of classified info about Plame's status violates Executive Order 12958.

Here is the not-a-transcript from FDL:

Prohibits both reckless and negligent disclosures of classified information — and violates the executive order even though it does not violate the IIPA? Toensings stalls and tap dances and then asks for the question to be repeated. Yes, that is correct.

Toensing thereby confirmed that the actions of Karl Rove and others was illegal.

Why do they still have security clearance. Why do they still have a job.

Tom Maguire

Isn't this being broadcast, or webcast, or something?

Does anyone have a link to that? I hate video, but this seems to be the era for it.

geezergeek

NO, NO, NO. They call the wind Mariah, not Maria.

ErnestAbe

Tom Maguire,

Make sure you catch the video of Victoria Toensing acknowledging that White House officials violated Ex Order 12958, when they leaked Plame's identity.

Sue

Toensing thereby confirmed that the actions of Karl Rove and others was illegal.

No she didn't. But carry on. You will anyway.

azaghal

So now a violation of an executive order is a criminal violation?? Time for these libs to pull off the sheep outfit and reveal the inner totalitarian wolf! We'll have rule by executive order if they have their way.

Had to laugh. An FR poster noted that the only covert operative in the whole thing appears to have been Armitage, based on what has gone on at this hearing.

ben

"Toensing thereby confirmed that the actions of Karl Rove was illegal"

Huh ErnestAbe, what exactly did Karl Rove do that was illegal, considering that Armitage was the leaker?

clarice feldman

Here is the live webcast, TM but it seems to be dark at the moment.
http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1205

Jane

Jumping ahead again, it sounds like no one asked Val anything, waxman declared her covert and then they went on. Is that a fair assessment (I checked in over FDL)

Is there an internet link?

arcanorum

"Why do they still have security clearance. Why do they still have a job."

I'm sure they will be fired forthwith. i'm glad you caught this, certainly congratulations are in order, and your own self-congratulations surely are insufficient!

P O'Neill


Some of the questions to Plame, and quite likely some of her answers, are cleared with the CIA first. Similarly, there are some questions not asked and some answers not being given because the CIA requested that certain issues be off limits for the hearing. So to be parsing some very carefully phrased statements for supposed consistency with RNC talking points is not a good move.

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