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June 03, 2007

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» Covert or Not Covert from UNCoRRELATED
Tom Maquire doesn't take Fitzgerald's assurances at face value. If Plame was indeed covert, it would show up on her pension record.... [Read More]

» A Case of Malicious Prosecution from Villainous Company
Any credible defense of Scooter Libby must begin with this concession: if he perjured himself, he is subject to the customary penalties for that offense. Reasonable people may ask whether his trial was conducted fairly, but a jury has declared... [Read More]

» A Few Questions from Pajamas Media
on Valerie Plame's pension benefits and how they track her service abroad. It seems an obscure topic, but it's crucial regarding whether she was a covert agent or not. (Tom Maguire @ Just One Minute)... [Read More]

» CIA: Plame Was CovertJYM: If She Was Covert, How Come No One Can Prove That? from Ace of Spades HQ
Last week Patrick "Father Fitzmas" Fitzgerald released what is purportedly a "summary" of Plame's CIA employment, indicating, he claims, that she was covert. The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in tempor... [Read More]

» The Ongoing Malicious Prosecution Of Scooter Libby from Flopping Aces
Tom Maguire notes in his newest Plame post that there is an easy way to find out if Plame was indeed covert under the IIPC. The term covert agent means (A) a present or retired officer or employee of an... [Read More]

» Libby Sentencing Today from Flopping Aces
Now the Libby case has done gone crazy: Former White House aide I. Lewis Scooter Libbys hopes of avoiding prison in the CIA leak case began to dim Tuesday as a federal judge ruled he could face a longer sentence... [Read More]

Comments

Other Tom

Congrats for being all over this pension-record angle since way back when, TM.

I believe I am justifited in sensing that this issue will never be fully aired, and the answers will not be forthcoming. Fitz has long since perfected the art of hiding the pea from this hapless judge, and Walton is about the last guy in the world I would expect to grab the thing by the throat and get to the bottom of it. And I'm not sure defense counsel has pursued it as ferociosly as they might have. Let's hope I'm dead wrong, and some light bulbs go on in the right places.

Tom Maguire

Well, this was concise when I started it - it was only the writing that made it longer...

clarice

Congratulations, TM..It is a clear, well-constructed argument. I blogged it and perhaps the blog will run tomorrow on AT.

I've done everything I could to get this around. I hope others will work on it, too.(LARWYN, are you lurking? Please!)

clarice

Congratulations, TM..It is a clear, well-constructed argument. I blogged it and perhaps the bblog will run tomorrow on AT.

I've done everything I could to get this around. I hope others will work on it, too.(LARWYN, are you lurking? Please!)

clarice

Congratulations, TM..It is a clear, well-constructed argument. I blogged it and perhaps the bblog will run tomorrow on AT.

I've done everything I could to get this around. I hope others will work on it, too.(LARWYN, are you lurking? Please!)

JM Hanes

Brevity is no substitute for clarity, TM. I have found this issue almost impossible to follow as it has developed in various threads over time, and you've done an excellent job of fixing that here. Kudos are in order! You made it look easy.

I'd only change one thing: Let's hope someone with the authority to demand an answer asks him.

clarice

Typepad seems to be on illicit drugs tonight or something.

JM Hanes

TM:

cboldt has a pastable, OCR generated, text of the Unclassified Summary here. Just scroll past his introductory remarks and the filing error notices.

Memomachine

Hmmmm.

Is Libby appealing the conviction?

Frankly I still don't see how any of this case makes any sense legally or logically.

topsecretk9

Brevity is no substitute for clarity, TM. I have found this issue almost impossible to follow as it has developed in various threads over time, and you've done an excellent job of fixing that here. Kudos are in order! You made it look easy.

Ditto!

JM Hanes

Memomachine:

"Frankly I still don't see how any of this case makes any sense legally or logically."

Or ethically, either. Welcome to the club.

JJ

I'm not groaning!

vnjagvet

According to a gospel writer (Matthew) it Jesus said he had to speak in parables:

"because they seeing : : see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."

Or in the words of an often quoted saying:

"There are none so blind as those who will not see."

I guess those problems have not gone away.

I wonder if we repeat these facts often enough, others will get the message.

Foo Bar

Well done, TM. This is good stuff. I agree that the pension info has some relevance to the IIPA applicability.

Absent an IIPA clause along the lines of "service abroad shall be defined using the same rules used for agency pension calculations", though, I don't think the pension information would necessarily settle the matter. It seems fairly well established that Plame's status as a CIA employee was not publicly acknowledged and that she had at least taken a few work-related trips overseas in the 5 years prior to the Novak column. Suppose she hadn't earned any pension-bumping overseas service since '97. Given that set of facts, it seems to me that a judge could rule either way regarding IIPA applicability without the ruling being completely outrageous. Maybe you think the pension definition should prevail, but I don't think a ruling that the short trips count as service abroad would be stunningly incompetent.

So I'd be interested to hear how folks here might try to persuade a judge that's on the fence why it's in the national interest for "service abroad" to be interpreted narrowly, i.e., why the leak of the identity of an agent whose status was classified and who had only taken brief trips abroad in the past 5 years should not be prosecutable. I know we can make a legalistic argument that the pension rules provide the only non-arbitrary interpretation of service abroad, but cmon- let's look at the big picture and think about the spirit of the law. Here are a couple of suggested arguments:

  • Information is meant to be freely shared, even when the information is something the U.S. government prefers to keep secret in the course of doing national security-related work

  • Our government has just been too uptight in recent years about national security leaks, and we really ought to take a chill pill and let this kind of thing slide more often

I know such sentiments are shared by most in the JOM community, so I thought I'd save others time by getting them out of the way myself.

Maybeex

Foo Bar- can you make the argument that the law should not contain a provision about trips abroad at all? Why limit it to five years? Why shouldn't all agents be protected by law?

Foo Bar

Maybee-

Well, there's 2 questions there-what the text of the law ought to be, and how the text of the law as it is today ought to be interpreted. I'm sure you could make an argument that the law shouldn't mention overseas service at all or have the 5 year limit, but the fact is that in its current incarnation it does clearly mention these criteria, so the law as it stands simply can't apply to an agent who hadn't set foot outside the U.S. in more than 5 years.

My point is that given the IIPA as written, a decision that Plame qualified seems to me to be within the range of minimally competent possible rulings not blatantly at odds with the text of the law. So I think a judge would have some discretion here, and given that wiggle room I wonder why folks here would want to urge a judge to err on the side of being lax and forgiving about leaks.

Maybeex

As for me, I would say the law was written with the five year time served overseas provision for a reason. Definining that too broadly obviously goes against the spirit of the law, which most definitely was an attempt to not keep every agent protected by law.

Practically, I don't want a CIA that can send an agent out once a year for few days to protect him/her from being named under punishment of law. The CIA needs to be held accountable, and know that its agents that get involved in things they shouldn't (including politics) may lose their priviledge of cover.

Daddy

Great job TM. Thanks for the hard work. If Libby's lawyers aren't regularly perusing this website they're nuts.

Daddy

That above complement applies to you too Clarice for your excellent new American Thinker posting. I have no idea how Bush is going to play this pardon business, but observing his Immigration stance, I'm not optimistic. And now with Drudge speculating on a possible new Supreme Court Vacancy, if it's a Hariet Myers clone Take 2 I'm tearing out what little hair I got left.

clarice

TM--check out para 4 of this doc which Macsmind cites to--A quick read indicates that records maintained by the CIA may be turned over to Courts and defense counsel.

http://jya.com/cia-pa-files.htm

clarice

Thank you, Daddy. Maybe Dick Cheney will take him hunting and change his mind.

Daddy

LOL Clarice, but being this time o' night I spewed beer on the keyboard instead of coffee. Does that count?

clarice

You must have a plastic cover on your keyboard if you can still post, daddy.

Daddy

Well seeing how it's almost 11:00 PM but the sun's still shining up here, don't know whether I should try to go to bed or go out skateboarding. Both options have their drawbacks, so a refill seems proper. Cheers.

JM Hanes

Foobar:

Well, for starters, when Harlow was apparently prepared to confirm Plame's appointment to a nationally recognized reporter (and more than one, apparently) right off the bat, I think there are real questions about just how actively the CIA was attempting to deny her CIA affiliation.

That said however, as I understand it, the whole point of the 5 year privoso was not the protection of the agent who had returned home, but protection of any contacts/networks being run by the agent abroad -- people who remained vulnerable overseas for an extended period after the agent's own departure. If those links had already been severed, then unrelated TDY travel, even using an alias, at a later date might not reset the NOC clock at all, where actual service abroad might do so. That's presumably why the distinction is important, and why, perhaps, it's being deliberately obscured.

In fact, I've even wondered if the fact that the Summary states that Plame was travelling on "official" business might, in and of itself, mean that she was not, by definition, operating under non official cover.

What we have here is a chicken & egg affair: The IIPA has never really been litigated (i.e. tested), and we don't have enough information to propose a definitive basis for litigation. That's the problem. We left to speculate -- and so are the folks who have been so quick to claim that this matter has now been settled. It might please them to see the Prosecutor get the first, last, and only word here, but if this were any other case, they'd be screaming bloody murder.

sylvia

I agree, masterful post TM. You have woven the threads of all our previous suspicions into one sweater, or uh, a quilt. Something has to be rotten here if Fitz is going through all this trouble to conceal the service facts, and I agree with your point that, even if it turns out Plame had been overseas, his playing cute has wasted the defense's (and our) time for all these years by allowing this issue to percolate for so long, when it could have been resolved with a few simple statements.

I suspect the main reason that the CIA thinks this issue is so "sensitive" and are shaking in their boots over it, is that Plame and Wilson probably have threatened legal bloody murder if the CIA releases her file info, or ever dare to call any little foreign trip Plame might have had in those 5 years as uncovert. After all the Wilsons are counting on playing the victims here, and they don't want the CIA messing that up for them. But maybe now that they are fighting over her book, the CIA will be less afraid.

JM Hanes

Thank you Clarice, for saying it, and for saying it so damn well.

sylvia

Anyway, at minimum, the defense should get the bald facts of when Plame was out of the country in those five years and for how long. THAT at least shouldn't "sensistive" or hard to come up with, and then tney can leave it up to the appeals judge to determine whether those trips, if any, constitute foreign "service".

clarice

Thank you, JMH..

Sara

Kudos to both Tom and Clarice. But, even if everything were released tomorrow and it proved that Val really did qualify under the five year rule, you still have to get around the other provision of taking "affirmative measures" to protect her identity. Harlow's actions negate that right off the bat and Val's own actions of openly identifying herself and introducing her husband at the meeting that generated the INR memo just add to the lack of evidence of affirmative measures. Afterall it was her actions that ultimately allowed Armitage to blab about her to a nationally syndicated columnist and her husband's ego needs vis a vis Who's Who that verified her name.

Sara

To any here who also read Barking Moonbat Early Warning System, Allan Kelly, known as The Skipper, has passed away suddenly. He was found dead at his St. Louis townhouse, but few other details are available. Allan had a great blog and his technical help to me in setting up my own Expression Engine blog was invaluable. Right now I'm numb, but I wanted to let others know. For more information -- LINK

hit and run

Foo Bar:
I know we can make a legalistic argument that the pension rules provide the only non-arbitrary interpretation of service abroad, but cmon- let's look at the big picture and think about the spirit of the law.


In thinking about the spirit of the law, would you consider Ms. Toensing to be relevant and important? And would you consider her unbiased and dispassionate in her views?

hit and run

Oh, and my "friend" was sent a copy of this post and the Plame to Sue CIA post, FWIW. I told him to get on it if he didn't want 498 more emails.

lurker9876

Lady Sara, I was reminded in the other thread that Corn and Isikoff mentioned that Valerie traveled to Jordan to review those tubes. Cathyf said that Jordan wouldn't let her in unless CIA spoke for her.

This means that:

1. CIA had to keep records of her trips. After all, don't we fill out forms post trips to get reimbursed?

2. This would also be less than ten days as Cecil Turner pointed out.

3. There were a few posts that refer to calculations of pension benefits. If this was not a covert trip, then this probably would be a calculation of pensions benefits differently than for a covert trip.

4. This doesn't sound like a covert trip. her life wouldn't be in imminent danger.

5. I'm surprised that CIA would allow her to go on covert trips especially after they thought Ames compromised her.

6. As for CIA take the means to protect her, Plame took that responsibility and accountability away from CIA with her public appearances and Vanity Fair. The articles that topsecret located indicated that each CIA employee is accountable for maintaining their own status. Valerie's public appearances and Vanity Fair made her irresponsible by revealing herself.

7. Toensing's opening statement said all "following factors" must be met in order to determine violation of the IIPA. Clearly, there was no violation of the IIPA.

As for Toensing. I think her understanding of the Libby situation and the IIPA that she wrote is relevant and important. She did a far better job explaining the IIPA before Waxman than anyone else did. As for the critics of Toenging, their arguments have not made any sense at all.

As for her being unbiased and dispassionate in her view, my answer is yes. I don't think she has ever seen anything like this Libby case before (has CIA ever filed a report / complaint with DoJ about one of their employees before Plame?) Wish she would explain what overseas service really mean, though.

lurker9876
5. I'm surprised that CIA would allow her to go on covert trips especially after they thought Ames compromised her.

Clarification: that is, if any of her overseas trips post 1997 were of covert nature. The world already knew who she was by then, I'm sure.

Appalled Moderate

It's pretty clear Fitz is bootstrapping statutes he would have liked to gotten Libby on into the sentencing phase. I don't see the judge allowing this, and following Fitz's recommendations.

But remember -- the goal is always Cheney. If we can scare Libby, maybe, just maybe we can turn him. Plus, Fitz needs that rep as a hard guy for future plea negotiations with bad guys. Plus, who knows, the judge may rule on your side.

So, it may be a stretch to look too hard at this particular filing or take it too seriously.

hit and run

Fitz turned that Rumsfeld quote on its head?

You go to trial with the law you want or wish to have, not the law you have.

Becuase, afterall, who's gonna stop you?

cathyf

Well, we've seen in the Chicago Tribune's expose of the Italian rendition case, the CIA's tradecraft is so appallingly bad that it would not be surprising that they would send her on "covert" missions even though her identity was compromised.

But anyway, I think there is something else being hidden by the "not acknowledged" fandango. Not acknowledged to whom? Take the aluminum tubes in Jordan example. If Plame went to Jordan to debrief a source (one that she recruited while in Europe?) or anywhere where she debriefed a source, then sure, that would be covert and service abroad. But if she went to Jordan and met with Jordanian intelligence officials to discuss the tubes, then she didn't get in the door unless the CIA vouched for her -- i.e. disclosed her CIA affiliation to a foreign government. And there was apparently a WMD "dog and pony show" that went to Canada among other places -- sure, Canada is a friendly government, but if the CIA outed Plame to the Canadian government, then, sorry, not covert.

The overseas service is necessary but not sufficient for the IIPA. I'm sure George Tenet travelled a bit overseas and got some pension boosts out of the deal, but it was never against the law to tell anyone that he worked at the CIA. I'm wondering if the "subtle and complicated" thing is whether Plame mixed "covert" stuff in with non-covert stuff, and the CIA lawyers are saying, "Whoa! You can't have someone be overtly a CIA agent, and then turn around and have them be covert, too. Covertness is like virginity -- once it's gone, you can't get it back."

Some of our more bizarre resident trolls make barely-coherent accusations that Plame got sources killed. If a monstrously incompetent CIA sent Plame on a couple of "covert" missions to meet with people who were spying on Iraq, Iran, or any other countries for us, and somebody's intelligence service who knew her from her multiple outings followed her around to see who she was meeting with and then killed them, well, yeah, that would be a nasty complex and subtle legal issue to sort out whether she counts as "covert".

Rick Ballard

"So I'd be interested to hear how folks here might try to persuade a judge that's on the fence why it's in the national interest for "service abroad" to be interpreted narrowly"

To keep the friggin CIA from running domestic political black ops under the smoke screen of "covert"? It is absolutely absolutely hilarious (in a 'please hold my head while I puke' sense) to watch the opposition defend the CIA while it is doing precisely what the strict construction of IIPA was designed to prevent.

The Munchausens wandered far from the reservation in their foray into domestic politics and they both deserve whatever ill befalls them as they lie their way into the future. The CIA deserves to fall even further (if that were possible) in the public eye for the disgraceful ineptitude shown in its handling of the matter. If Plame is indicative of the quality of the average CIA employee we'd be better off working some sort of swap with the Russians or Chinese. Say 20 CIA employees for one average Russian or Chinese employee.

Sue

This is the perfect case for Fitz and his theory that if the law isn't clear you have to decide what it should be. A law never litigated...and still not litigated...would make his day.

And whoever said if Fitz was doing this to anyone other than Libby they would be going crazy is exactly right. This whole case has turned everyone upside down. The left screeches everytime Libby puts on a defense and screeches again because terrorists are not given the same legal system Libby is afforded. Craziness...

Other Tom

First, let me also say that TM's post is the clearest exposition of this issue that I have ever seen--in fact, it's the only one that's clear at all, at least to me.

Second, congratulations to Clarice--as soon as I saw her article posted on Lucianne, it became the first thing I read after logging on (even before coming to JOM). I wish she could have an opportunity to be heard by Walton.

Third, I agree wholeheartedly with FooBar that the pension issue is not dispositive with respect to the "service abroad" requirement. Because the congress didn't specifically adopt the CIA's regulations as governing this determination, it is still up to the courts to determine what it takes to satisfy the requirement--just as the CIA's policies on what is "covert" don't control. However, I think most judges would certainly give weight, and probably a lot of weight, to the treatment afforded by the CIA in making its pension determinations. I think that treatment would get considerably more weight than would a CIA internal determination that she was "covert," since its use of that term so clearly predates, and is independent of, the congressional enactment.

As for reasons for treating the application of the "service abroad" requirement narrowly, the first that comes to mind is the principle that all criminal statutes must be narrowly construed--I think it's the doctrine of "fair notice" or some such. If you want to make a certain course of conduct criminal, you must be very precise about what it is you are criminalizing, or people won't know what they can and cannot do.

Maybeex

To keep the friggin CIA from running domestic political black ops under the smoke screen of "covert"?

There we go. That's what I was trying to say.

Sue

I keep going back to Scary's words, as scary as that is. The CIA classifies its employees in two categories. Overt, i.e., Tenet, Harlow, the person who answers the phone in the reception area, etc. and covert, i.e., Valerie, Scary, etc. Fitzgerald can throw that classification around and not be wrong. But what Tom, and others, point out is whether she was 'covert' under the provisions of the IIPA and that isn't answered by Fitzgerald just claiming she covert. I can't see how Walton can even consider this in sentencing when he himself ruled it wasn't relevant to the case he tried.

PatrickR

'...let's look at the big picture and think about the spirit of the law.'

Yes, let's do that.

The law was specifically drafted with the antics of Phil Agee in mind. He'd published a book, held press conferences in European cities, and created the Covert Action Information Bulletin, all for the purpose of exposing CIA agents and their foreign contacts. DELIBERATELY.

What the spirit of the law isn't; for the protection of airhead blondes with politically ambitious husbands who use the CIA to insinuate themselves into political campaigns.

lurker9876

"ut remember -- the goal is always Cheney. If we can scare Libby, maybe, just maybe we can turn him."

1. Fitz has found nothing so far. Karl Rove, too.

2. Funny that Cheney was a member of that 1995 committee addressing the woes of CIA with respect to Aldrich Ames. Surely, Cheney knows the law well enough.

3. Cheney simply asked CIA, "Who sent him on this junket?" or "Who did CIA send on this junket?". Cheney did not do anything wrong. So why would Liby turn him? There was nothing for Libby to turn.

lurker9876

What damage to the National Security was done by outing Plame's identity?

Rick Ballard

"What damage to the National Security was done by outing Plame's identity?"

It may have prevented the election of Jon Cary and the elevation of Ambassador Munchausen to Secretary of State Munchausen. The world would be a different place if Jon Cary were President, inshallah.

Surely you must agree, infidel.

qquirl

Dates of Service are just dates. This is what Plame ordered. It is usually used for employment and sent directly to the potential employer. This could have been the book or movie people. The description of service is ordered seperately by the federal employee. Federal employees dates of service have to be ordered by the employee or there is no confirmation that they were employed. This is secret like most federal employees. The description of
service is ordered seperately. So, Plame's issue might be that she just ordered a Dos, not a DoS.

The publication of the DoS is not Plame's decision, she has ordered it and sent it to an employer. The employer may release that information as part of the employment or job.

Plame was just secret like most federal employees.

Covert, etc. is how most federal employees that work in the IC or deal with the IC may be classified. Under some laws, anyone can be covert at an IC agency. Plame was originally called an agency operative. There are alot of agencies at Congress and now two more: Geospacial Intelligence Agency and the one at energy. The idea that Novack would make a mistake in saying she was an operative at an agency is that there are operatives at most agencies. Novack would, in effect, be exposing one of these operatives at another agency that may not work with CIA or the others for a specific reason. This is where Novak made his mistake. If you study Plame, it is obvious that this is what she is doing, but there are all kinds of classified federal and other employees. Novak could have been accused of leaking these and Plame confirmed herself in the past.

National Security damage is generally checked by US citizens being affected. In CIA, Plame may have gotten some foreign operations officers in Iraq killed and there might have been bombing is Spain, but no US citizens were killed. So, like Ames, that's okay. The proof that she did get some US citizens killed and agents is classified.

Other Tom

"Plame may have gotten some foreign operations officers in Iraq killed and there might have been bombing is Spain, but no US citizens were killed. So, like Ames, that's okay."

What on earth does that mean?

sammy small

I think that means that Munchausen can be prosecuted in Spain since he was the one who outed a CIA agent.

anduril

Very nice job, Tom, and, as we've discussed for the past several days, there are many other problems with trying to apply the IIPA to Plame--and almost certainly other records. Bureaucracies are all about keeping records, which is one of the few things they do well. By entering into that mindset and the mindset of the government personnel process this whole charade may ultimately be unraveled, with a big assist from this forum.

I was late getting around here today because I was also lost in admiration for another expose: Ron Cass' very fine summary of the Sandy Burglar affair: Sandy Berger and the Clinton Cover-Up - Why It Matters (link at RealClearPolitics). Powerline, in referencing Cass' article, specifically compares the Burglar affair with the Libby case. Many others have done so previously, of course, but the comparison is especially pointed in view of the the excellence of Cass' summary of the facts and issues.

hit and run

I noted last night that there were no direct Global Warming questions in the Dem debate.

Gaia is not pleased

EXETER, N.H. - After people called 911 to report hearing explosions, emergency officials initially thought there had been underground methane gas blasts. But it turns out that New Hampshire actually had three small earthquakes over the weekend

clarice

Thank you, OT.(I was startled for a minute H & R--Gaia is what I'm naming my Bengal kitten who's still too young to leave her mommy.)

Other Tom

The Berger case continues to rankle with me. What in the hell is going on with these "career prosecutors" at Justice, and who is providing adult supervision? (Rhetorical question.)

qquirl

Ames was known as he was killing Russian KGB agents. The issue is that CIA allowed the killing to go on. CIA would say this is normal. Killing the enemy. The setup for his arrest would upset the KGB and they might take issue with the fact that he was allowed to kill those KGB agents. Like Iraq and Spain, this is considered a plan in the community. It is obvious in the community that the killings were planned. This was allowed.

Spain is very obvious. Plame uses backgrounds like Wilson's dad(CIA) and him growing up there as a diplomat's son. It was the 'old terrorists' that did the bombing. Al Quaeda couldn't have really been behind it because of this background. There was alot trading over who and a Congresional Gold medal for Spain after the people in charge were voted out after the bombing.

Plame and Larry. Alot like Larry's work in Africa and travel through London, see the same pattern with Plame and NY. The arrests are made as they show up. The argument would be that they have chosen to serve and this kind of thing may last for 5yrs, 10, or even a lifetime. So, Larry might find his work in private security effected, by, for example, having problems with his employers setting him up to make someone happy, alot like Plame set up all the undercover agents and informants by showing up in NY.

What Plame and Larry will find out is there is no one there in the end. All alone. Larry can take care of himself and handles these problems all time at the expense of agents and informants. Plame has always had an issue with 'protect me.' There is absolutely none in the end. Libby knows this and so does Bush's brain. They are all thrown to the wolves in the end. Libby and bush's brain chose to protect the P and VP, which, apparently was a mistake. In the long run it's not.

anduril


The Berger case continues to rankle with me. What in the hell is going on with these "career prosecutors" at Justice, and who is providing adult supervision? (Rhetorical question.)

Posted by: Other Tom | June 04, 2007 at 11:39 AM

A lot of us suspect that the adult supervision is being provided by Chuck Schumer who, while not the Judiciary chairman, seems to run the Committee. Have a nice day. :-(

Other Tom

Okay, qquirl, if you say so...

I'm attempting to reach Professor Irwin Corey to see what he thinks about this.

Neo

TM, you spell it out very well, but I have a feeling that the "covert" status of Ms. Flame, and whatever Sandy Berger was trying to hide by stealing from the National Archives, will go down in history next to the whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa and Judge Crater.

hit and run

Clarice:
Gaia is what I'm naming my Bengal kitten who's still too young to leave her mommy.)


Well that's gotta be worth a couple tons CO2 offsets right there.

topsecretk9

This from the Berger article spoke volumes to me:

When Fox News' Chris Wallace raised the possibility that Clinton's Administration might have done something more to prevent 9/11, Bill Clinton went into an inexplicable rage on national television. Wallace touched a nerve. So did the DC Bar.

Democrats are rats AND Scaredy cats!

Jane

You guys are in fine form in here today. I haven't thought of Professor Irwin Corey in weeks, at least.

Other Tom

Here's cause for great cheer:

"MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN ) – Columnist and author Eric Alterman has been released after being arrested Sunday night inside the debate spin room. He was charged with criminal trespass after police say he refused repeated orders to leave."

The careful reader will note that the vile Alterman writes for both The Nation and Media Matters. I want him flogged.

Sara

I haven't thought of Professor Irwin Corey in weeks, at least.

Sheesh! I haven't thought of him in 30 years. I thought he was dead, but I just looked him up and he isn't and he even has an "official" website with the obligatory Bush bash.

Cycloptichorn

During Plame's appearance before Congress, Waxman, in reading the statement approved by Gen. Hayden - which he has never contradicted or claimed was not accurate - affirmed that Plame had traveled overseas within 5 years of the date of the hearing, let alone from the time her identity was revealed.

So it seems that there is at least some evidence that Plame had in fact worked abroad during the time period in question.

Not that this will stop people here from claiming that Hayden was lying, Waxman was lying, the CIA was lying to Hayden... anything other then accepting the fact that she was in fact considered a covert agent by any reasonable standard.

Jane

Actually it's just easier to claim that Cyclops is lying and leave it at that.

Jane

Clarice,

DId you post somewhere that you had signed on with Thompson's campaign? Who did you sign on with?

Cycloptichorn

Jane -

Actually it's just easier to claim that Cyclops is lying and leave it at that.

Just as intellectually dishonest, though. Not that this seems to be an impediment to making an argument, as long as you are pro-Libby.

JM Hanes

Rick:

"The CIA deserves to fall even further (if that were possible) in the public eye for the disgraceful ineptitude shown in its handling of the matter."

It goes way beyond ineptitude. You'd think that when a covert agent, by any definition, has been outed, the very first, most time sensitive, priority would be damage assessment. Yet we have no indication that the CIA has ever completed, or even seriously undertaken, an official assessment. We do know they explicitly postponed doing so even after the SP's appointment. We are left to wonder just what they did provide in response to the DoJ's demand that they re-submit their referral in order to trigger an actual investigation.

I suspect, as Bob Woodward suggested, that everyone already knew no damage had been done. Given Judge Walton's reaction to the classified version of the referral docs, however, I'd be willing to bet that what the CIA did instead was to concoct a hair raising scenario of potential damage to covert networks and national security interests that such a putatuve outing would cause.

Even a largely generic representation could be sufficiently detailed to merit the classified status and resulting secrecy which has proven so critical to the Prosecution's success at every turn. Potential damage has been the official narrative from the start -- whether we're talking about the ostensible warnings to Libby, or Fitzgerald's rhetorical flourishes for public consumption. None of the pivotal parties to this investigation & prosecution, from the CIA & the FBI, to the DoJ & Fitz could afford to have that narrative undercut by an announcement that the total damage done was zip, zero, nada.

There has been similarly convenient, emblematic, lack of candor about the IIPA as well. Plame admitted that she, herself, didn't know whether she qualified as covert per statute and deferred to CIA lawyers' expertise. Yet despite the passage of years since the referral, they maintain they haven't been able to figure out if the IIPA applies in Plame's case either, because it's all just too complicated for words. How perplexing could it really be if Val's covert status were as clear as Fitzgerald asserts it was? It seems simple enough to our colleagues on the left. Bureaucratic glitches, on the other hand, pose labyrinthine complications -- as Plame's own suit against the CIA so ironically confirms.

Once again, Fitzgerald's former narrative in this regard was quite consistent: It didn't matter if Val was covert, what mattered was whether Libby had reason to believe she might be. It didn't matter whether the IIPA applied, what mattered was Libby's alleged belief that it might apply. If Fitzgerald, and Fitzgerald alone, now claims that it was clear the IIPA applied from the start, it's also clear that, with the exception of Libby, Fitzgerald has the most to lose if it never really did.

topsecretk9

via drudge

Sources tell CBS NEWS that Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA) will be indicted this afternoon on more than a dozen counts involving public corruption. Jefferson has been the subject of a ongoing probe in which FBI agents allegedly found more than 90-thousand dollars in cash in his freezer. The Justice Department is expected to unveil the charges later today... Developing...
clarice

I hope for Gonzales' sake, this is true. So far it appears the DOJ functions were contracted out to the Three Stooges.

Jane

Sources tell CBS NEWS that Congressman William Jefferson (D-LA) will be indicted this afternoon

Yippppeeeee!!!!

Other Tom

If Cyclops were paying attention at all, he would know that nothing said by Hayden, Plame or Waxman resolves the question of the applicability of the IIPA.

Other Tom

Perhaps, along with the Jefferson indictment, they will unseal the Rove indictment as well.

hit and run

Jefferson will settle in exchange for donating the freezer money to charity and writing "I won't freeze cash" 100x on a chalk board.

Also, the FBI will have to issue him a written apology for the raid on his congressional office and the 15 agents who conducted the search will be sent to prison for 10 years each.

Rick Ballard

"If Fitzgerald, and Fitzgerald alone, now claims that it was clear the IIPA applied from the start, it's also clear that, with the exception of Libby, Fitzgerald has the most to lose if it never really did."

I maintain that Fitzjerk's actions regarding this are best understood in light of the ethics charges filed by Clarice. He must assert the IIPA claim as a ward against the charge of filing a false affidavit with Tatel.

I would submit that his failure to prosecute Armitage, who used a document clearly marked as Top Secret as his source regarding Plame, is rather clear evidence that no IIPA violation occured. "Oops" isn't generally considered a valid defense for criminal conduct and if any damage had actually occured, one might expect the CIA to have requested that Armitage be treated at least as harshly as was Deutsch.

JM Hanes

The Jefferson trial is one that any Plamaniac worth his salt will be watching with interest. We can only hope they don't hand him over to the Berger crowd.

Cycloptichorn

If Cyclops were paying attention at all, he would know that nothing said by Hayden, Plame or Waxman resolves the question of the applicability of the IIPA.

If you read my post, you would see that I asserted that Hayden's statement, read by Waxman, asserted that Plame had in fact served overseas within the requisite time period.

Whether or not this resolves the question of the IIPA is up to the political bent of the viewer, I suspect; but there is some evidence that Plame had served overseas, evidence which has neither been countered nor disproven in any fashion.

As for Jefferson, he's a corrupt bastard and I hope he goes to prison for a long long time.

Sara

Fox is now announcing that investigators are going to the Grand Jury and asking for an indictment against Jefferson this afternoon. They are also confirming that the GJ has been hearing the evidence and are still in session today. Via Jim Angle who is usually pretty trustworthy with his info.

Rick Ballard

JMH,

Remember the Espy case. Black defendants in DC have a "Get Out of Jail" card in their pockets that is even stronger than the "Go Directly To Jail" card that Jewish folks in Republican administrations have to carry.

Don't worry though. After all, we have the finest legal process system in the world.

topsecretk9

Well an indictment for a democrat is a resume enhancement - so I suspect Nancy will put him back in charge of Ways and Means.

Sara

I'm sorry, I meant Brian Wilson not Jim Angle.

hit and run

tops, you beat me to it.

Other Tom

"Whether or not this resolves the question of the IIPA is up to the political bent of the viewer." No it isn't. It's up to how statutes are interpreted by the judiciary. There has been lenghty discussion of this issue here, largely unaffected by the fact that most of us are sympathetic to Libby.

I, for one, am steadfastly biased in favor of Libby, but that has not prevented me from concluding that he did in fact lie. I have sought to weigh in with what I know about how the IIPA is likely to be applied (should a court ever apply it) without regard to that bias. Many others have contributed valuable insights as well.

While I am not going to do Cyclops's homework for him, I will simply reiterate that nothing said by Waxman, Plame or Hayden resolves the question of the applicability of the IIPA.

Other Tom

Make that "lengthy."

Cycloptichorn

While I am not going to do Cyclops's homework for him, I will simply reiterate that nothing said by Waxman, Plame or Hayden resolves the question of the applicability of the IIPA.

And I will reiterate that this is an assertion with neither argumentation of logic nor factual support, and therefore little more than your opinion. It's a nice opinion, but not a stated fact such as you say.

hit and run

John Edwards uncomfortable around gays? Wife Elizabeth provides the context:

Elizabeth Edwards was asked about gay rights on CNN last night, and gave some background to Bob Shrum's claim that John Edwards felt uncomfortable with gays.

"I believe that Bob Shrum brought up the issues of gays and lesbians, and John said, you know, I come from a small southern town, Baptist, you know. ... Honestly, he said, honestly an abstract issue for me because he said, you know, I don't really know, as far as I know, know any gay people. ... I said, well, actually you do.

"I referred to a friend of mine from English graduate school and how we had been out -- John and I had been out for the evening. I saw this old friend from English graduate school when we were still in law school, and I went over and spoke to him, and I knew that he was gay, and I said, you know, I'm engaged. And there's the fellow over there I'm engaged to. And he said, oh, he's awfully cute. I might snake him if he wasn't with you. And I told John that.

"And this is where he used the word 'uncomfortable.' He said, that made me feel uncomfortable. So Bob correctly remembers the word 'uncomfortable' but incorrectly remembers the circumstances in which he said it. All of us feel uncomfortable at someone snaking us -- I guess in the presence -- trying to snake us in the presence of our fiancee, and that made him feel uncomfortable, and John talked about that."

lurker9876
Whether or not this resolves the question of the IIPA is up to the political bent of the viewer, I suspect; but there is some evidence that Plame had served overseas, evidence which has neither been countered nor disproven in any fashion.

Read Toensing's opening statement and appendices

What matters the most is not whether Plame was covert or not. What matters are:

1. Did CIA take the means to protect Plame's identity? No.

2. Did the outing of Plame's status damage the National Security and US government? No.

3. Did CIA provide the annual list of covert agents to WH adm as per IIPA? No.

What also matters is the narrow conditions of the IIPA. Toensing says that all of the factors listed in her opening statement must be met in order for a IIPA vioation to take place.

After reading the factors, there are no IIPA violations.

And it doesn't matter whether we are pro-Libby or not. What matters is how new precedents are being set within the legal system that is going to affect us.

OT, I agree. There is nothing that Waxman, Plame, Hayden, or third party that resolves the question of the applicability of the IIPA. Interesting that the date of the hearing was used by Waxman as he thought covered Plame. She left CIA years before the day of the yearing.

OT, Had Fitz determined rightly that there were no violations of the IIPA, Libby would never have "lied" as per your beliefs. Libby may have lied but he did not lie intentionally and maliciously in the criminal sense.

Cycloptichorn

It seems to be the opinion of many here that without a positive determination from the judiciary, there can be no statement made of whether the IIPA was violated or not, no matter how much evidence one can provide to show that this is true.

In an amazing contrast, it is assumed by all here that Jefferson is Guilty (including me!), yet no such determination of guilt has been made.

Why is it that in one case, people find evidence to be enough to make a positive determination without a legal ruling, and on the other, there can be no positive determination without legal ruling? Partisanship rears its' ugly head and interferes with people's better judgment.

clarice

Rick, I have wondered what impelled Fitz to file this lunatic sentencing memo--and you may be right, it is to Cover his keister for the representations made to the Miller court .

lurker9876

While I am not going to do Cyclops's homework for him, I will simply reiterate that nothing said by Waxman, Plame or Hayden resolves the question of the applicability of the IIPA.

And I will reiterate that this is an assertion with neither argumentation of logic nor factual support, and therefore little more than your opinion. It's a nice opinion, but not a stated fact such as you say.

Sorry, there is absolutely nothing in Waxman's, Plame's, and Hayden statements that are factual. None of their statements confirm Plame's "covertiness" as per IIPA. There are NO IIPA violations to date. There are NO evidence of IIPA violations that we have seen to date. There ARE evidence that confirms that Plame was not covert.

lurker9876
It seems to be the opinion of many here that without a positive determination from the judiciary, there can be no statement made of whether the IIPA was violated or not, no matter how much evidence one can provide to show that this is true.

There was enough evidence coming from the judiciary that has not reported any IIPA violations at all. Fitz has stated more than once that he has determined that there were no IIPA violations. Remember Tatel?

clarice

Cyclo:"In an amazing contrast, it is assumed by all here that Jefferson is Guilty (including me!), yet no such determination of guilt has been made. "

Hmm--could it be that it's because we saw the tinfoil covered cash in his freezer; because the briber confessed to the bribing; AND because in the middle of the Katrina rescue he insisted that he be transported to his house to remove his records?


Cycloptichorn

Lurker,
Toensing is a Hack and her opinions are immaterial to this case. She certainly isn't an impartial or objective observer, nor did she 'write the IIPA' as she claims.

1. Did CIA take the means to protect Plame's identity? No.

Assertion

2. Did the outing of Plame's status damage the National Security and US government? No.

Another assertion

3. Did CIA provide the annual list of covert agents to WH adm as per IIPA? No.

Another assertion, and not one which would rob the individual agent of her protection. The individual agent is not responsible for the actions of the CIA as a whole.

Lame, if this is the best you can come up with, really...

Libby may have lied but he did not lie intentionally and maliciously in the criminal sense.

He most certainly did, and what more, has been found guilty in a court of law of doing exactly this.

lurker9876

Lurker,
Toensing is a Hack and her opinions are immaterial to this case.

Your assertion. Toensing wrote the IIPA. She is the most knowledgeable about IIPA. Her opinions matters to this case.

She certainly isn't an impartial or objective observer, nor did she 'write the IIPA' as she claims.

Your assertion. Whether she wrote it or not, she worked on it so she remains credible and knowledgeable about IIPA. She is not biased and very objective observer. Her points have been valid.

1. Did CIA take the means to protect Plame's identity? No.

No, it is not. Read about Harlow, for starters. Plame also did not take responsibility and accountability to ensure her status is protected as per 1995 Cia committee to handle Ames and Agee issues.

2. Did the outing of Plame's status damage the National Security and US government? No.

Sorry, we haven't seen any damages done to the National Security and US government.

3. Did CIA provide the annual list of covert agents to WH adm as per IIPA? No.

Waxman did not receive the list. Otherwise, he would not be having his oversight 'dog and pony' show.

Libby may have lied but he did not lie intentionally and maliciously in the criminal sense.

It remained an unfair trial by jury.

Your posts remain lame. As JMHanes said before, go to your room. Stop making statements when you have no facts to support you.

lurker9876

Even if Waxman did receive the annual list for the last 7 years (as required by law, he did not say if Plame was on those lists in the last 7 years.

Cycloptichorn

Clarice -

The individual points of data are immaterial. There are evidentiary points re: the Plame case which could be used to argue guilt in the same fashion as the ones you pointed out towards Jefferson (not, I repeat, that I don't think he's guilty!)

It's a simple thing - you either believe that it is possible to make a determination without an actual ruling by the Judiciary, or you don't. It's hypocritical to act otherwise.

Lurker,
Fitz has stated more than once that he has determined that there were no IIPA violations.

Can you link to where he has stated this? If it really has been more then once, this should be a trivial matter.

[toensing] is not biased and very objective observer. Her points have been valid.

Are you serious?!? She was sitting at the Libby defense table during a good part of the trial. She is in no way whatsoever 'impartial' or objective.

It remained an unfair trial by jury.

This is the worst and most specious of your objections; that the jury trial wasn't fair. You have no evidence other than your biased opinion to show that the jury was unable to make an accurate determination of guilt.

clarice

Fox is reporting Jefferson was just indicted on over 90 counts. Certainly even a DC jury will have trouble clearing him of everything.

topsecretk9

Fox is reporting Jefferson was just indicted on over 90 counts.

aye karachi!

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