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October 24, 2005

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topsecretk9

thanks windasniff

for the understatement of the year

A lot of press reports suggest the name was in the memo.

Lesley

"Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to a source who described the memo to The Washington Post.

The paragraph identifying her as the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was clearly marked to show that it contained classified material at the "secret" level, two sources said. The CIA classifies as "secret" the names of officers whose identities are covert, according to former senior agency officials."

By Walter Pincus and Jim VandeHei
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, July 21, 2005;

Wind, do you think Powell was being disingenuous in his answer?

topsecretk9

How are the KOS people handling Walter's hit?

jukeboxgrad

Clarice: "The only person who said the documents were forged was Wilson"

Uh, wrong. See SSCI p. 62: "On January 13, 2003, the INR Iraq nuclear analyst sent an e-mail to several IC analysts outlining his reasoning why, 'the uranium purchase agreement probably is a hoax.' He indicated that one of the documents that purported to be an agreement for a joint military campaign, including both Iraq and Iran, was so ridiculous that it was 'clearly a forgery.'"

And as I asked earlier, I wonder if you'd like to try to explain why no senior US intel official was awake enough to listen to the various people (including this analyst cited by SSCI) saying the documents were forged, since the errors were glaringly obvious.

"we didn't have it until 8 months after his Mission"

I realize the conventional wisdom is that US hands didn't touch the documents until 10/02. This leaves unanswered certain questions, such as the matter of the interesting date of 7/7/2000. This is discussed further here.

"They also found the adminstration never relied on those documents."

Well then I guess the administration relied on nothing at all, because, as I've said, there is nothing in SSCI, Butler, Wilson (or anywhere else) to support "recently" and "significant quantities" (words Bush used in the famous SOTU).

Jeff

windansea - You appear to think that Powell's comments on Larry King are somehow exculpatory. Could you explain how, please? I have no idea whether the INR memo was a source of information for anyone in the White House, but it certainly could have been Cheney's source, from everything we've heard so far, since we have no report of Cheney naming "Plame" to Libby, right? And the fact does remain that we need to know how Novak ended up with "Valerie Plame" -- and I don't mean how he knew the maiden name of Joe Wilson -- and Miller with "Valerie Flame." These clearly had to come from a different source than the INR memo. It is precisely that fact that I take Powell to be highlighting -- and I also take Powell and his associates to have it out for the so-called neocons in the administration at this point, serving as anonymous sources on some damning news reports recently. So tell me again what your point is?

MJW - spin, reporting, whatever!

One last thing: I wonder who will win the award for having been most assertively wrong. So far if the Wilsons and the reporters and now Tenet and McLaughlin don't go down, I'll nominate clarice. But I'm sure she will have moved on to attacking the indictment under those circumstances.

jukeboxgrad

"A lot of press reports suggest the name was in the memo. It was not."

Which could be a cagy way of saying "the memo did refer to Wilson's wife, but I'm going to trick everyone by making a fuss about the fact that the word Plame was omitted."

A lot of people are confused by this business about whether or not the word "Plame" was used here and there. It doesn't matter. There are lots of different ways of identifying someone.

Just Passing Through

It will be Wilson that is indicted. He's played a saucy game that has purposely mislead the WH, press, and the special investigator for 3 years but his string is running out.

jukeboxgrad

"The person declined to make a similar statement about Libby."

Fitz is doing a brilliant job of getting these people to turn on each other. His experience with gangsters is the perfect training for the job.

Geek, Esq.

Indeed, for those of us outside of the Special Counsel's office, the distinctions between Valerie Plame/Valerie Wilson/Joe Wilson's wife are a distraction.

Jeff

Here's another item that you folks on the right might want to digest. Please correct me if I get any of my facts wrong, I'm doing this off the top of my head. The SSCI says that the Feb. 5 2002 intelligence report contained what was said to be "verbatim text" of the purported agreement between Niger and Iraq. I take this to be verbatim text of the documents that showed up in October of that year, especially since the source appears to have been the same, namely, the Italians. I also take "verbatim text" to mean verbatim text. We know, from both the SSCI and Wilson's book, that they talked about the reporting, presumably including the verbatim text, at the Feb. 19 meeting. Wilson saw no documents, but I would guess he heard talk of verbatim text, maybe even names and dates, who knows!

Also, I take it that Wilson was tasked to look into the purported agreement, and came back thinking there was nothing to it (this even in view of the fact, my right wing friends, that he heard from one former official that he was at one point anxious that the Iraqis wanted to talk trade, and that meant uranium, though there was no talk whatsoever of uranium and little or no talk even of trade). Isn't it plausible to imagine that, since he felt confident there had been no agreement, that therefore he had debunked the documents that underlay what was said to be "verbatim text" in February 2002, since you can't have documents of an agreement that, in his judgment, had never occurred?

jukeboxgrad

"Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson"

The memo said "Valerie Wilson." Powell said the memo didn't say Plame. Obviously there is no contradiction and no news here. The fact that Larry King is too much of an idiot to understand something so simple is also not news.

clarice

Just, why do you suppose Pincus finally thre him under the train today, almost 2 1/2 years before he printed his serial lies as credible and set this nonsense off?
LOL

jukeboxgrad

"the fact does remain that we need to know how Novak ended up with 'Valerie Plame'"

Once they knew that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA (the important part of the story), it was relatively easy for someone to find out (not that it made much difference one way or another) that her name used to be Plame. Just my opinion.

Lesley

You know, its kind of funny. Upon rereading the Pincus/VanderHei article above wrt the INR, it occurred to me that they are reporting on a leaked intelligence document (with several sources describing it to them) which contained classified material at the "secret" level.

Strange how we get upset at some leaks and not at others. Guess it depends on who is doing the leaking and who benefits from it.

windansea

Wind, do you think Powell was being disingenuous in his answer?

no

jukeboxgrad

Jeff: "verbatim text"

Excellent point. Thanks. That fills in a bunch of blanks for me.

So maybe we didn't have the documents until 10/02. But as of 2/02 we had "verbatim text" from the documents, which amounts to the same thing. Sort of like how "Valerie Plame" and "Mrs. Wilson" amount to the same thing, although certain people seem to want to obfuscate matters by making a big deal about a difference that isn't really a difference.

TexasToast

So far if the Wilsons and the reporters and now Tenet and McLaughlin don't go down, I'll nominate clarice. But I'm sure she will have moved on to attacking the indictment under those circumstances.

Probably not. I would be willing to wager that she will stii be asserting that the nukes weren't ther reason we went to war and Joe Wilson is really the one to blame for the fact there weren't any WMDs.

jukeboxgrad

Lesley: "Strange how we get upset at some leaks and not at others. Guess it depends on who is doing the leaking and who benefits from it."

You might be forgetting a simple distinction. Government employees sign SF-312. Reporters don't. (I guess a special case might be reporters like Jeff Gannon and Armstrong Williams, who are also obviously government employees.)

Geek, Esq.

How did Fitzgerald get those notes, btw? If Libby was going to lie under oath, methinks he would have burned those notes as well.

Reader

jukeboxgrad

On 7/10/04 The Washington Post quoted the Senate Intelligence Committee:

[Wilson provided misleading information to The Washington Post last June (03). He said then that he concluded the Niger intelligence was based on documents that had clearly been forged because "the dates were wrong and the names were wrong."

Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the 'dates were wrong and the names were wrong' when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports," the Senate panel said.

Wilson told the panel he may have been confused and may have "misspoken" to reporters. The documents -- purported sales agreements between Niger and Iraq -- were not in U.S. hands until eight months after Wilson made his trip to Niger.

The panel found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson's assertions and even the government's previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address.]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A39834-2004Jul9.html

windansea

The memo said "Valerie Wilson." Powell said the memo didn't say Plame.

Juke....could you post a copy of the memo for us?

Lesley

Juke, I would assume that those leaking sources quoted by Pincus and Vanderhei signed SF-312's. How else would they have had access to that document?

Its the leakers with whom I have issues, not the reporters, per se, which was precisely my point, and how hypocritical we can all be about it, seemingly ignoring it if it supports our views.

clarice

[quote]) When the former ambassador spoke to Committee staff, his description of his findings differed from the DO intelligence report and his account of information provided to him by the CIA differed from the CIA officials' accounts in some respects. First, the former ambassador described his findings to Committee staff as more directly related to Iraq and, specifically, as refuting both the possibility that Niger could have sold uranium to Iraq and that Iraq approached Niger to purchase uranium. The intelligence report described how the structure of Niger's uranium mines would make it difficult, if not impossible, for Niger to sell uranium to rouge nations, and noted that Nigerien officials denied knowledge of any deals to sell uranium to any rogue states, but did not refute the possibility that Iraq had approached Niger to purchase uranium. Second, the former ambassador said that he discussed with his CIA contacts which names and signatures should have appeared on any documentation of a legitimate uranium transaction. In fact, the intelligence report made no mention of the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal or signatures that should have appeared on any documentation of such a deal. The only mention of Iraq in the report pertained to the meeting between the Iraqi delegation and former Prime Minister Mayaki. Third, the former ambassador noted that his CIA contacts told him there were documents pertaining to the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium transaction and that the source of the information was the intelligence service. The DO reports officer told Committee staff that he did not provide the former ambassador with any information about the source or details of the original reporting as it would have required sharing classified information and, noted that there were no "documents" circulating in the IC at the time of the former ambassador's trip, only intelligence reports from intelligence regarding an alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal. Meeting notes and other correspondence show that details of the reporting were discussed at the February 19, 2002 meeting, but none of the meeting participants recall telling the former ambassador the source of the report

(U) The former ambassador also told Committee staff that he was the source of a Washington Post article ("CIA Did Not Share Doubt on Iraq Data; Bush Used Report of Uranium Bid," June 12, 2003) which said, "among the Envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because `the dates were wrong and the names were wrong." Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports. The former ambassador said that he may have "misspoken" to the reporter when he said he concluded the documents were "forged." He also said he may have become confused about his own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in March 2003 that the names and dates on the documents were not correct and may have thought he had seen the names himself. The former ambassador reiterated that he had been able to collect the names of the government officials which should have been on the documents[/quote]http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/congress/2004_rpt/iraq-wmd-intell_chapter2-b.htm

windansea

The Washington Post: "The memo 'identifies her as having selected or recommended her husband' for the Niger assignment, according to a person who has seen it." [ 7/16/05]
The New York Times "The memorandum was prepared at the State Department, relying on notes by an analyst who was involved in meetings in early 2002 to discuss whether to send someone to Africa to investigate allegations that Iraq was pursuing uranium purchases. ... The notes, which did not identify Ms. Wilson or her husband by name, said the meeting was 'apparently convened by' the wife of a former ambassador 'who had the idea to dispatch' him to Niger because of his contacts in the region." [7/16/05]
The Los Angeles Times: "The memo was written by the State Department's intelligence and research bureau. It outlined the history of the Niger uranium controversy and emphasized the bureau's view that there was no substance to reports that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium from Niger. A State Department analyst who had attended the meeting at which the CIA decided to dispatch Wilson to Africa to check out the story kept the notes from that session, the former [State Department] official ["who because of the sensitive nature of the case asked not to be named"] said. The notes mentioned that Wilson's wife had suggested sending Wilson. After getting [former Deputy Secretary of State Richard] Armitage's request, the State Department's then-intelligence chief, Carl Ford, ordered the original memo -- along with the analyst's notes about that meeting -- to be sent to [former Secretary of State Colin L.] Powell, the former official said." [7/17/05]
The Wall Street Journal: "[The memo] details a meeting in early 2002 in which CIA officials discussed how to verify reports that Iraq had sought uranium ore from Niger. Ms. Wilson, an agent working on issues related to weapons of mass destruction, recommended her husband, an expert on Africa, to travel to Niger to investigate the matter." [7/19/05]
Time: "The memo, originally dated June 10, 2003, identified Plame and discussed her role in recommending her husband for the mission to Niger." [7/17/05]

topsecretk9

How did Fitzgerald get those notes, btw? If Libby was going to lie under oath, methinks he would have burned those notes as well.

that would be a supeona...so think this all through ( and remember Libby is a lawyer) while you are doing that

windansea

oh oh Joe!!

Second, the former ambassador said that he discussed with his CIA contacts which names and signatures should have appeared on any documentation of a legitimate uranium transaction. In fact, the intelligence report made no mention of the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal or signatures that should have appeared on any documentation of such a deal. The only mention of Iraq in the report pertained to the meeting between the Iraqi delegation and former Prime Minister Mayaki. Third, the former ambassador noted that his CIA contacts told him there were documents pertaining to the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium transaction and that the source of the information was the intelligence service. The DO reports officer told Committee staff that he did not provide the former ambassador with any information about the source or details of the original reporting as it would have required sharing classified information and, noted that there were no "documents" circulating in the IC at the time of the former ambassador's trip, only intelligence reports from intelligence regarding an alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal.

clarice

IIRC the NYT is unclear on this, but I get the impression that he gave them to the Prosecutor and maynot have had them with him when he testified.

Again, they do not seem material to the issue of whether he leaked this information to the reporters. If he provided them even late, a perjury case or obstruction case would be hard to make out, too.

windansea

one more time with sniffovision

The DO reports officer told Committee staff that he did not provide the former ambassador with any information about the source or details of the original reporting as it would have required sharing classified information and, noted that there were no "documents" circulating in the IC at the time of the former ambassador's trip, only intelligence reports from intelligence regarding an alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal.

clarice

Perjury:the definition that has gained general acceptance and common understanding under the federal criminal perjury statute, 18 U.S.C. 1621. A witness testifying under oath or affirmation violates this statute if she gives false testimony concerning a material matter with the willful intent to provide false testimony, rather than as a result of confusion, mistake, or faulty memory http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=US&vol=507&invol=87

Geek, Esq.

"that would be a supeona...so think this all through ( and remember Libby is a lawyer) while you are doing that"

That's what I don't get. Perjury and obstruction are crimes. If he was going to commit those, he would also commit a crime he could more easily get away with.

Reader

I think juke left.

topsecretk9

I this just glaring CYA attempt that has no chance of sticking

The former ambassador said that he discussed with his CIA contacts which names and signatures should have appeared on any documentation of a legitimate uranium transaction.

topsecretk9

Is this just a glaring that had no chance of sticking

sorry

clarice

And why do you think (in contrast to the writers of the NYT article) that there is sufficient evidence of perjury or obstruction?

Did they catch him hiding the notebook? Or did he find it after he testified and turn it over? Did he provide it timely but did the Prosecutor fail to review it and confront him with the apparent contradiction?
Was the question asked ambiguous ? Was he answering truthfully a question about when did Wilson first come to his attention?(That might be the Kristof and Wilson articles in which case an answer from reporters would be correct as A.J. Strata seems to suggest.)

How would his statement be material to the inquiry?
What evidence do you have of a willful intent to lie as opposed to a meory lapse?

windansea

as it would have required sharing classified information and, noted that there were no "documents" circulating in the IC at the time of the former ambassador's trip

zooming in on the sniffovision...I am in great doubt that Fitzmas has overlooked this little tidbit

topsecretk9

I am just giving up on that last post. If I can't do it in 2, forget it...

Geek- My personal opinion is that the confusion stems from the fact that is being reported by the Times. Politics aside, I just don't think they are doing any justice. They should just recuse themselves from the story. But that is just me and I know that you do not share that.

When this is all over, there will be plenty that both sides will take big issue with from the press standpoint.

clarice

Why did Fitz call him on Sept 29?
Why did he seek a DU campaign against his detractors a couple of days ago?
Why did Pincus finally throw him under the train?

LOL

Lesley

Goodnight everyone. Sleep well.

topsecretk9

Lesley--sweet dreams, I'm off too

sniffinator---that what got the whole thing going isn't

clarice_ I am still stunned that Pincus did it. Still stunned.

Think tomorrow is the day?

windansea

Is this just a glaring that had no chance of sticking

sorry

shimmering glare
generic blondes & niger docs
Fitzmas

nite!!


clarice

Nite all--reumor is Wed or Fri IF--

clarice

Nite all--rumor is Wed or Fri IF--

Syl

So. I keep odd hours and am now here by myself.

Syl

The Cheney bit is great news if that's where Libby got the info rather than INR!

That's the way Libby gets off the hook, security clearance or not.

If someone whom he knows has clearance and is in authority, tells Libby to get the word out that Mrs. Wilson is CIA, he has no reason to believe that the info is classified, nor to check for himself.

That person could very well be Cheney. Big deal. Fitz would have to determine exactly what Tenet told Cheney. 'Bitch! I just found out Wilson's wife is one of ours and she suggested him for the trip to Niger.' Cheney would say 'wow'. And tell Libby this was a way to push reporters away from Wilson.

Which all goes back to our original contention, that this whole deal was one gigantic 'oops'.

Syl

BTW, that updated E.O. signed by Bush in March, 2003 (timing is interesting, no?) might be found unconstitutional because it's so broad. Hope this isn't going to be the test case.

Reminds me of that movie that first got Katherine Turner in the spotlight. Heat? Something like that.

I don't remember the plot, but she got whosits to write a contract that had a flaw in it. When the contract was used as the legal means to prove/disprove something, the contract was termed invalid and the whole case thrown out....because of that flaw.

Syl

I don't think the system likes people posting more than one message in a row. Anyway...

"And the CIA did not think it plausbile that Iraq...was seeking uranium"

Actually, that's incorrect. WINPAC thought it was plausble for attempts, implausible for purchase. INR (State dept.) thought the case for either was weak and they thought both implausible. CPD (Val's group) sent Wilson and was okay with possible attempt to purchase, not okay with an actual purchase.

And Bush never said purchase, only attempt.

It's those pesky details that matter.

There is a difference between WINPAC, CPD, INR, and every other agency, group, dept. involved in assessing intelligence.

Anyone who even thinks "But everyone said the Niger stuff was a lie" just isn't thinking.

Syl

JBG

re the Forged Documents:

The documents were about a sales transaction. That they were forged only confirmed what WINPAC, CPD, and INR were saying: It was doubtful that Niger actually had sold Uranium to Saddam.

It has NOTHING to do with Saddam attempting to purchase yellowcake.

And you keep insisting that 1999 is not recent so it doesn't matter. Do you count recent in dog years or what? It was after 1998. It was after the inspectors were gone. That's all that matters.

And quantities? I don't think it was a pound or two.

Anyway, you don't get yourself a bunch of yellowcake, add water, and shape it into a nuclear loaf. It takes time to process it and you need a helluva lot of the stuff.

I don't give a tinker's damn if the forgeries were done by Cheney himself. They weren't used in any way shape or form as a basis for taking Saddam down. Or the 16 words.

Syl

JBG

You ARE correct in that the fact that information being out in public does not mean you don't have responsibility to check first before you further disseminate. (I heard that too, not being dissemination, only confirmation there are rumors.)

However, it's possible, as I mentioned above, that someone like Libby who got the information from a higher up who definitely would know whether it's okay to disseminate wouldn't think twice about independently confirming it. And if Tenet never hinted to Cheney there was a problem with it. 'Bitch!'. Cheney would feel the same way.

Cheney could have actually asked Tenet if it were okay, but was distracted by the wow factor.

Just like Harlow was distracted by the incorrect details he saw in Novak's piece and didn't check her status either.

That's two cases of 'oops' right there.

Syl

Jeff

It doesn't matter whether Cheney saw a report from wilson or not!

If Cheney DID see the report, all that means is that Wilson didn't lie. But then Wilson didn't know for sure whether Cheney saw the report or not himself. He just assumed, and based his attack on assumption.

The report of Wilson's trip had the same function as the discovery that documents of sale were forged. It only confirmed that it was highly unlikely that Niger ever sold uranium to Iraq. Which WINPAC, CPD, and INR all said anyway!!!!!!

And Bush NEVER claimed they did.

Syl

JBG

Your tap dance around plame recommending Wilson is just that. A tap dance.

The entire trip was way too casual to not be odd. CPD itself didn't think anything useful would come out of it. INR which was at the meeting didn't think so either. So why would CPD be so anxious to send him and actually come up with his name themselves? It just doesn't make sense if the whole thing was thought to be meaningless.

Valery recommended him, that's why. Maybe they liked her and said what the heck, give it a try.

No NDA, only oral debriefing. CPD didn't think it was worth much.

As I said, too casual and informal to have been thought up by the CIA itself as a real fact-finding caper.

Syl

Jeff

"Powell and his associates to have it out for the so-called neocons in the administration at this point, serving as anonymous sources on some damning news reports recently."

A bit OT, but I read one of those 'news reports' and was laughing hysterically. One of his main complaints was that Condi wasn't listening to the members of the bureaucracy whom he feels knows better, and instead implemented Bush's policies.

Americans elected Bush, not the bureaucracy.

The state dept tries to make its own foreign policy. That's a fact. They do NOT have the right to do so.

----------------

And everybody...

Unless i'm happily mistaken. Wilson is not the target and won't get indicted for anything.

In fact, I haven't yet found where he did anything illegal. Except disseminate the fact he made the trip, which was classified. The forgeries business was rich, and vicious spin, but not illegal. The IAEA had already announced Niger docs were forgeries. Wilson claiming credit is sleaze to the nth. But not illegal.

I mean even the report he said the CIA made about his trip? He didn't tell us what was in it (which would have been illegal), he told us what wasn't in it.

The guy's a total ick, but he's been careful.


Cecil Turner

Man, every time I get busy, something interesting happens. Or in this case 3 things:

  1. first significant leak from Fitzgerald's group (presumably);
  2. credible track of the initial leak; and
  3. a coherent story to fit them together.
Of course, there is the required non-sequitur: Cheney got it from Tenet? Either that's wrong, Tenet didn't know Plame was covert, or the plot is too twisted for me to come up with a theory. (A June 12 date suggests the source is the June 10 INR memo, which would bolster the first theory, but . . .)

You gotta love that last part explaining why the report from Wilson's trip had little impact, silently correcting the SSCI report the WaPo article otherwise relies on too credulously for my taste . . .

You especially gotta love it, since the article is obviously derived from the SSCI and Tenet's statement, both of which tell a different story. Unless we're positing another secret investigation, the logical conclusion is that it's wrong.

I take this to be verbatim text of the documents that showed up in October of that year . . .

Yes, has to be. (And for those interested, the first couple pages of the SSCI Niger report is required reading.) The added detail in the Feb report is what convinced CIA analysts there was something to it. There are also some unresolved questions about the analysts' reasoning, such as this bit, which seems to be in error:

The names of GON [government of Niger] officials cited in the report track closely with those we know to be in those, or closely-related positions.

Syl

From the delicious Milbank-Pincus piece noted about halfway down...

'Wilson said in a recent interview: "I never said the vice president sent me or ordered me sent."'

And, as JBG would point out, no, he did not.

But he left that impression.

And he made no attempt to correct that impression 'til much later.

Reader

Couldn't Wilson face these same charges?

Galloway lied over Iraqi oil payments, says Congress report
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington

Published: 25 October 2005

"In a report issued here, Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman and his colleagues on the Senate Subcommittee for Investigations claim to have evidence showing that Mr Galloway's political organisation and his wife received vouchers worth almost $600,000 (£338,000) from the then Iraqi government.

"We have what we call the smoking gun," said Mr Coleman, who will send the report to the US Department of Justice and the British authorities. The MP could face charges of perjury, making false statements and obstructing a Congressional investigation. Each charge carries a possible jail term of five years and a fine of $250,000."

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article322108.ece

Syl

Yay! They've got Galloway!

No, I think Wilson is a sleazebag but I don't think he was involved in that mess.

I think he was a loyal democrat, not anti-war, until early 2003.

That's when he caught BDS and turned stupid.

Reader

Syl

I meant just the charges of
"perjury, making false statements and obstructing a Congressional investigation."

Wilson was not truthful with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation referenced above in a few posts starting after 12:02 AM.

TallDave

Too bad no one got Joe Wilson to testify under oath regarding his lies. He really deserves to be frog-marched out of the DNC headquarters.

Cecil Turner

But he left that impression.

He certainly did:

  1. I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report.
  2. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.
  3. The documents should include . . . a specific answer from the agency to the office of the vice president (this may have been delivered orally).
  4. The vice president's office asked a serious question. I was asked to help formulate the answer. I did so, and I have every confidence that the answer I provided was circulated to the appropriate officials within our government.
None of those are lies, though they are misleading: 1) The VP read the DIA report and asked for "the CIA’s analysis of the issue" (I suspect he was more than a little surprised to find that question generated a trip); 2) There was no real expectation that the visit would provide useful information; 3) It didn't provide useful information, so it was not briefed; 4) The connection between the VP's question, Wilson's mission, and his response is much more tenuous than he suggests.

Having established that (unsound) evidentiary basis, Wilson proceeds to a train wreck:

  1. If, however, the information was ignored because it did not fit certain preconceptions about Iraq, then a legitimate argument can be made that we went to war under false pretenses.
  2. The question now is how that answer was or was not used by our political leadership.
  3. For this reason, questioning the selective use of intelligence to justify the war in Iraq is neither idle sniping nor "revisionist history," as Mr. Bush has suggested.
1) False premise--the evidence was never received, so this is a non-point; 2) ditto; 3) another false premise, based on the case he failed to make. All this leads to his dramatic conclusion (cunningly moved to the front of the article to ensure it wouldn't be missed):
Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.
The funny thing is that Wilson is guilty of exactly the sort of "twist[ing]" he claims (and failed to prove) the Administration is.

clarice

Very good Syl and CT--Here's the thing. Perjury before a Congressional COmmittee is very hard to prove. OTOH Wilson was under oath. His forgery story was a complete fabrication. When caught on it, he back pedaled, but (a) that original story was consistent with what he told Pincus and Kristof;(b) his backpedal might also have been a lie,(c) If it was and the SP can prove it(i.s. someone in the Agency testifying that Wilson was shown classified docs after his Mission) he may be in trouble.

Witnesses before Congress always get an opportunity to correct any misstatements, but if in so doing they reliberately tellANOTHER lie, well--

Even after that, he disputed the SSCI findings about the forgery, demanded that he be given an opportunity to further testify and wrote them a long letter of explanation. I think that, too, may have been wrong.

Finally THIS JULY, he wrote that Kristof and Pincus had misquoted him (2 years earlier) and asked them to clarify the record. Why was he so anxious NOW for them to do that. In any event, they didn't and today Pincus admits he gave credence to an incredible serial liar.

clarice

Very good Syl and CT--Here's the thing. Perjury before a Congressional COmmittee is very hard to prove. OTOH Wilson was under oath. His forgery story was a complete fabrication. When caught on it, he back pedaled, but (a) that original story was consistent with what he told Pincus and Kristof;(b) his backpedal might also have been a lie,(c) If it was and the SP can prove it(i.s. someone in the Agency testifying that Wilson was shown classified docs after his Mission) he may be in trouble.

Witnesses before Congress always get an opportunity to correct any misstatements, but if in so doing they reliberately tellANOTHER lie, well--

Even after that, he disputed the SSCI findings about the forgery, demanded that he be given an opportunity to further testify and wrote them a long letter of explanation. I think that, too, may have been wrong.

Finally THIS JULY, he wrote that Kristof and Pincus had misquoted him (2 years earlier) and asked them to clarify the record. Why was he so anxious NOW for them to do that. In any event, they didn't and today Pincus admits he gave credence to an incredible serial liar.

Rick Ballard

Wilson's email plea to Dummies United was probably occasioned by a warning that the Pincus/Milbank piece was in the hopper. I can't imagine what help he imagined Dummies United could offer - unless the spin machine here in comments is an example.

Come to think of it - they would kill a trillion pixels on a futile effort like this. Covering for sleazebags if their job.

clarice

RB. It may be that Pincus alerted him this piece was coming.

It may be that he is going to be charged himself.

In any event, I take it as a sign of some desperation that his house of lies is crashing down upon his head.

cathyf
Also, it's pretty clear Novak meant "spy."
Bullshit. There are two possibilities here:

a) Calling Plame an "operative" was a code word for "spy," or

b) calling Plame an "operative" was a code word for "Hi, I'm Bob Novak, and I'm an arrogant officious prick. You can tell this fact by my bombastic writing style which I practice in every single one of my published works."

Anyone who picks a) is a self-deluded fool...

cathy :-)

cathyf
Also, it's pretty clear Novak meant "spy."
Bullshit. There are two possibilities here:

a) Calling Plame an "operative" was a code word for "spy," or

b) calling Plame an "operative" was a code word for "Hi, I'm Bob Novak, and I'm an arrogant officious prick. You can tell this fact by my bombastic writing style which I practice in every single one of my published works."

Anyone who picks a) is a self-deluded fool...

cathy :-)

Jeff

cathyf - I agree with your b)'s characterization of Novak. But how on earth is using the word "operative" instead of "analyst" an example of a bombastic writing style? Also, given that in the past Novak has used "operative" in the context of intelligence work to mean, well, operative, you need to do more than just hurl terms of abuse at those who think Novak meant what he said. That is not, of course, inconsistent with Novak being an arrogant officious prick with a bombastic writing style. So a little more argument and interpretation compared with assertion and abuse would be welcome.

Jeff

cathyf - I agree with your b)'s characterization of Novak. But how on earth is using the word "operative" instead of "analyst" an example of a bombastic writing style? Also, given that in the past Novak has used "operative" in the context of intelligence work to mean, well, operative, you need to do more than just hurl terms of abuse at those who think Novak meant what he said. That is not, of course, inconsistent with Novak being an arrogant officious prick with a bombastic writing style. So a little more argument and interpretation compared with assertion and abuse would be welcome.

clarice

Russo Martino, the man behind the forged documents indicating Saddam had purchased uranium from Niger which Joseph A. Wilson falsely claimed he had seen and warned the Administration about, has come forward and admitted that he did this in the pay of France to undermine the British and American justification for the war in Iraq:
[quote]
The man, identified by an Italian news agency as Rocco Martino, was the subject of a Telegraph article earlier this month in which he was referred to by his intelligence codename, "Giacomo".

His admission to investigating magistrates in Rome on Friday apparently confirms suggestions that - by commissioning "Giacomo" to procure and circulate documents - France was responsible for some of the information later used by Britain and the United States to promote the case for war with Iraq.

Italian diplomats have claimed that, by disseminating bogus documents stating that Iraq was trying to buy low-grade "yellowcake" uranium from Niger, France was trying to "set up" Britain and America in the hope that when the mistake was revealed it would undermine the case for war, which it wanted to prevent.

Italian judicial officials confirmed yesterday that Mr Martino had previously been sought for questioning by Rome. Investigating magistrates in the city have opened an inquiry into claims he made previously in the international press that Italy's secret services had been behind the dissemination of false documents, to bolster the US case for war.

According to Ansa, the Italian news agency, which said privately that it had obtained its information from "judicial and other sources", Mr Martino was questioned by an investigating magistrate, Franco Ionta, for two hours. Ansa said Mr Martino told the magistrate that Italy's military intelligence, Sismi, had no role in the procuring or dissemination of the Niger documents.[/quote]

http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09/19/wniger19.xml

Jim E.

David Shuster on MSNBC just reported that Tenet, through his associates, is denying that he ever told the VP's office anything about Wilson's wife. The NYTimes article was fuzzy on this point, and Shuster seemed to be implying that his reporting on Tenet was based on reporting independent of the NYTimes column.

RogerA

Very clearly all of the posters have a great career in writing detective novels awaiting them when the dust on this kerfluffle settles! And irrespective of the outcome, this whole story will be right up there with the grassy knoll and area 51. Its like a case of herpes: its the gift that keeps on giving.

TexasToast

False premise--the evidence was never received, so this is a non-point; 2) ditto; 3) another false premise, based on the case he failed to make.


Fraid not, Cecil. Logically, this is an argument by example, something that Reagan was famous for. If this information, or information like this, was ignored in the run up to the war, while other information was hyped beyond all rationality, the point stands. Wilson does not have to prove that his report made the difference to make the argument that intelligence information was “fixed” around a policy already determined.

What amazes me is the effort to change the subject exemplified by the fierce ad hom assault on Wilson and the repeated assertions that nukes weren’t the tipping point evidence used to support the war rational. The obvious discomfort war supporters have with the ex post facto justifications emphasizes the point. If the nukes were not important, why the vitrol? They obviously were, or Wilson would be the footnote he deserves to be.

1999 and counting. A constitution without any support in the areas supporting and harboring the insurgency. We are going to be in Iraq for a long time to come. When is the next troop rotation?

RogerA

Very clearly all of the posters have a great career in writing detective novels awaiting them when the dust on this kerfluffle settles! And irrespective of the outcome, this whole story will be right up there with the grassy knoll and area 51. Its like a case of herpes: its the gift that keeps on giving.

TexasToast

False premise--the evidence was never received, so this is a non-point; 2) ditto; 3) another false premise, based on the case he failed to make.


Fraid not, Cecil. Logically, this is an argument by example, something that Reagan was famous for. If this information, or information like this, was ignored in the run up to the war, while other information was hyped beyond all rationality, the point stands. Wilson does not have to prove that his report made the difference to make the argument that intelligence information was “fixed” around a policy already determined.

What amazes me is the effort to change the subject exemplified by the fierce ad hom assault on Wilson and the repeated assertions that nukes weren’t the tipping point evidence used to support the war rational. The obvious discomfort war supporters have with the ex post facto justifications emphasizes the point. If the nukes were not important, why the vitrol? They obviously were, or Wilson would be the footnote he deserves to be.

1999 and counting. A constitution without any support in the areas supporting and harboring the insurgency. We are going to be in Iraq for a long time to come. When is the next troop rotation?

clarice

It's more than a little possible than that the NYT article is crap.
In any event unless Tenet has been struck dumb, I'll wait until he speaks on the subject.

clarice

It's more than a little possible than that the NYT article is crap.
In any event unless Tenet has been struck dumb, I'll wait until he speaks on the subject.

Jeff

Here's a little tidbit from Andrea Mitchell on last night's Hardball that seems expressly designed to drive Wilson-haters like those who populate this thread crazy. I have no idea where she's getting this or whether it's credible, but it is funny:

We‘re even told that there could be a conspiracy charge, conspiracy to violate Joe Wilson‘s civil rights. That‘s a serious charge. It‘s a federal charge and it‘s a felony. It‘s not a misdemeanor.

Jeff

Here's a little tidbit from Andrea Mitchell on last night's Hardball that seems expressly designed to drive Wilson-haters like those who populate this thread crazy. I have no idea where she's getting this or whether it's credible, but it is funny:

We‘re even told that there could be a conspiracy charge, conspiracy to violate Joe Wilson‘s civil rights. That‘s a serious charge. It‘s a federal charge and it‘s a felony. It‘s not a misdemeanor.

Creepy Dude

Thanks for the links Bilbo!

Cecil Turner

Wilson does not have to prove that his report made the difference to make the argument that intelligence information was “fixed” around a policy already determined.

I disagree, TT. He could perhaps make that point using other evidence. But he chose to make an issue of "the answer I provided," which proved nothing, and wasn't even forwarded to the people he claims "ignored" it. It's fallacious. (And this stupid thread keeps crashing my browser, so I'm gonna give up on it. Cheers)

cathyf

JBG, you've repeated this crap over and over, and it's like you just don't get why it's crap:

...according to SF-312, if you're not sure, you're obligated to ask: "I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it" (link).
But any reasonable person who was knowledgeable about the CIA wouldn't have been "not sure." The knowledgeable-about-the-CIA person would have been sure that a WMD analyst was not covert.
Some say "how were they supposed to know she was covert; not everyone who works for the CIA is covert." True. But many are. A reasonable person knows that if someone works at the CIA, there's a significant chance that person might be a covert agent: "as many as one-third of the CIA's approximately 20,000 employees are undercover or have worked in that capacity at some point in their careers" (link).
But she wasn't described simply as a "person who works at the CIA." She was described as a member of the CIA's WMD analysis team. What percentage of WINPAC analysts who go to work each day in Langley are covert? And then there is your little sleight-of-hand -- "as many as one-third of the CIA's approximately 20,000 employees are undercover or have worked in that capacity at some point in their careers" So what percentage are undercover, and what percentage are ex-undercover? Last time I checked it was illegal for the CIA to spy inside the US. (That's the FBI's job, Gorelick's Wall, etc.) Of the CIA employees who go to work in Langley each day, what percentage of them are undercover?

In the IIPA, Congress put in a clause that said that the CIA had to actually be taking actions to keep the agent secret in order for the agent to be covert, and, no, that the CIA HR dept used a particular bookkeeping category to pay her salary is not an "action." The CIA has a marked exit and has a well-known shuttle bus that runs between headquarters and the Rosslyn metro stop. The public road outside headquarters, and the Rosslyn metro stop are public places. You can see the license plates of all the cars going in and out, and/or you can follow home anyone who gets off the shuttle. If Plame took the CIA shuttle, and/or drove in/out of Langley headquarters, and/or drove in/out of one of the satellite offices that the CIA shuttle bus loops through every 2 hours, then she was not covert, no matter what the HR people or the bookkeeping people said.

I have said all along that Fitzgerald could very well be investigating the illegal release of real secret info. But the fact that Mrs. Wilson worked for the CIA was no secret. (Actually, I have said all along that he damn well better be investigating the release of real secret info, otherwise I will be right there helping to create as big a shitstorm as possible.)

cathy :-)

jukeboxgrad

READER: "On 7/10/04 The Washington Post quoted the Senate Intelligence Committee"

I should have realized someone would dredge up Sue "Steno" Schmidt. There are a number of problems with her report, some of which are described here and here.

WINDANSEA: "Juke....could you post a copy of the memo for us?"

Of course not. You're joking, right? If this is your smartass way of asking me how I know the memo said "Valerie Wilson," the answer is here.

LESLEY: "I would assume that those leaking sources quoted by Pincus and Vanderhei signed SF-312's"

I agree. However, I would suggest that before you get too upset you consider how many of those leakers are outing secret agents.

"Its the leakers with whom I have issues"

I don't think it's wise to say that leaks are always good or bad. It depends. In a democracy, the concept of a whistleblower is critical. This is a complicated issue, and a central part of this complicated case.

jukeboxgrad

CLARICE: "the intelligence report made no mention of the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal or signatures that should have appeared on any documentation of such a deal"

Right (or at least let's assume it's right). Which means that Wilson gained his knowledge about the signatures from some source other than "the intelligence report." In other words, maybe someone told him about the signatures. Which means you've proven what, exactly?

WINDANSEA: "The DO reports officer told Committee staff that he did not provide the former ambassador with any information"

Right (or at least let's assume it's right). Which means Wilson didn't get his information from "the DO reports officer." He got his information from somewhere or someone else. Which means you've proven what, exactly?

"there were no 'documents' circulating in the IC"

Right (or at least let's assume it's right). Which means that Wilson heard about it from someone, rather than reading it somewhere. Which means you've proven what, exactly?

READER: "I think juke left."

I once tried typing while I was asleep, but there were problems.

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "And Bush never said purchase, only attempt. It's those pesky details that matter."

It's true that "Bush never said purchase, only attempt." But the implication was that an attempt would lead to a purchase. If Bush had said "there have perhaps been attempts, but we know they are very unlikely to succeed," that would have been a distinctly unscary statement. So he didn't say that. Instead he said "there have been attempts." A reasonable listener, and most voters, would think "I'm sure my dear POTUS would not even bother telling me about attempts unless he thought they were likely to succeed."

In my opinion, this has a lot do with why the press has often treated the two is roughly interchangeable. I think Somerby's snit over this is overblown, and he is overlooking what I just explained.

"you keep insisting that 1999 is not recent so it doesn't matter"

It's not exactly that it doesn't matter. It has to do with whether or not Bush communicated honestly. He didn't say "as recently as 1999." He said "recently." My problem is that most people probably did not understand he was using "recently" as a euphemism for "1999."

"And quantities? I don't think it was a pound or two.

I know you're assuming Saddam wouldn't want just a pound or two. That is not the same thing as claiming there is any evidence supporting Bush's words "significant quantities."

That's like saying you heard I was buying drugs, so you claimed I was buying "significant quantities" of drugs, and then when challenged for proof you said "well, anyone interested in drugs would only be interested in significant quantities of drugs." Not exactly proof of anything.

"Anyway, you don't get yourself a bunch of yellowcake, add water, and shape it into a nuclear loaf. It takes time to process it and you need a helluva lot of the stuff."

Exactly. Which is why the whole yellowcake claim by Bush was dishonest and misleading to begin with. Saddam already had 500 tons of yellowcake that were useless to him, because he didn't have the equipment to enrich it. Given that Saddam had done nothing to enrich his existing yellowcake, and was not in a position to enrich that yellowcake or more yellowcake, Bush's claim was misleading, and designed to scare people who didn't understand such things.

"if Tenet never hinted to Cheney there was a problem with it."

I agree that Libby is off the hook, probably, if he says "Cheney told me it was OK to leak this stuff." And let's see if Cheney says "Tenet said, or implied, or hinted, that it was OK to leak this stuff."

"it was highly unlikely that Niger ever sold uranium to Iraq. Which WINPAC, CPD, and INR all said anyway!!!!!! And Bush NEVER claimed they did."

Trouble is, the unclassified NIE/White Paper, which most of Congress used as a basis for their prewar vote, omitted (among other things) this crucial sentence: "the claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa are, in INR's assessment, highly dubious."

Lying by omission is still a lie.

"CPD itself didn't think anything useful would come out of it."

That's because everyone knew he would find nothing, because there was nothing to find.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "None of those are lies, though they are misleading [discussing what Wilson said about the genesis of his trip]"

Here's what the RNC said: "Wilson Falsely Claimed That It Was Vice President Cheney Who Sent Him To Niger."

Looks like an outright lie to me. Or do you just call that "misleading?"

Cecil quotes Wilson saying: "I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat."

Let me know why cutting "dubious" out of the White Paper wasn't an example of twisting and exaggeration.

CATHYF: "calling Plame an 'operative' was a code word for ... "

I guess you didn't bother looking at this.

CLARICE, are you making some kind of mistake? The text of the article you posted appears to be an altered version of the original article. For example, you posted this text: "admitted that he did this in the pay of France to undermine the British and American justification for the war in Iraq."

I cannot find that text at the link you offered.

Lesley

Clarice, there has been some speculation that this Plame/Wilson mess was a pushback by elements at CIA who didn't want to be left holding the bag for faulty pre-war intelligence, ie don't look at us, look at that lying administration, forcing the administration into a defensive posture vs an offensive one. Could the same be true for the Chalibi stories? Perhaps he burned someone at CIA and they are returning the favor, who knows? I find it weird to blame the Niger documents on him (which seems rampant on some websites), but if those with an hidden agenda spend enough time discrediting him, the public would begin to think anything possible of him, so you turn Chalibi into the Red Herring in an attempt to divert attention from the true source of these forgeries and cover your own tracks. Seems like a classic disinformation bait and switch to me.

Apologies for the OT. Its all Clarice's fault, she got me thinking (wink).

jukeboxgrad

"the Chalibi stories"

I withdraw my speculation about Chalabi. It looks more and more like the Italians did it.

The real mystery is why no senior US intel official was awake enough to listen to the various people saying the documents were forged, since the errors were glaringly obvious.

jukeboxgrad

cathyf: "The knowledgeable-about-the-CIA person would have been sure that a WMD analyst was not covert."

Only if you define "knowledgable" as "too thick to realize that people change jobs from time-to-time, and even sometimes do more than one job at the same time."

"What percentage of WINPAC analysts who go to work each day in Langley are covert?"

I don't know; you tell me (in particular, please show me your proof that the number is exactly zero). While you're at it, tell me "What percentage of WINPAC analysts who go to work each day in Langley" are about to be assigned a covert project next week, because they have a background in covert projects. Oops, I guess she won't be working on that covert project next week after all, since she was outed.

"your little sleight-of-hand"

Uh, it's not my "sleight-of-hand," because I didn't write the article, I only quoted it. And it's not even "sleight-of-hand" at all, because any reader can decide for himself how to interpret the information.

"So what percentage are undercover, and what percentage are ex-undercover?"

Let me know when you get the CIA to tell you. Since we don't know, the reporter is doing the next best thing: sharing the information he could get. If you don't think that's better than nothing, that's your problem.

"Of the CIA employees who go to work in Langley each day, what percentage of them are undercover?"

I don't know, and neither do you, but I suspect the answer is some number other than zero. And if the answer is some number other than zero, the leakers were not in a position to be SURE she was not classified (unless they checked first).

"In the IIPA, Congress put in a clause ... "

Let me know how you figured out that Fitz is limited to only enforcing the IIPA.

"the fact that Mrs. Wilson worked for the CIA was no secret."

How interesting that not a single source (named or otherwise) has come forward to proclaim where and how they ever heard such a thing, pre-Novak.

"he damn well better be investigating the release of real secret info"

Judge Hogan said "the information she [Miller] was given and her potential use of it was a crime" (link). I think "information" means "information about Plame" (let me know if you have a reason to think Hogan is talking about something else).

Hogan seems to think that information about Plame is "real secret info." Hogan has seen page-after-page of secret evidence. But I guess you know more than he does.

jukeboxgrad

cathyf: "The knowledgeable-about-the-CIA person would have been sure that a WMD analyst was not covert."

Only if you define "knowledgable" as "too thick to realize that people change jobs from time-to-time, and even sometimes do more than one job at the same time."

"What percentage of WINPAC analysts who go to work each day in Langley are covert?"

I don't know; you tell me (in particular, please show me your proof that the number is exactly zero). While you're at it, tell me "What percentage of WINPAC analysts who go to work each day in Langley" are about to be assigned a covert project next week, because they have a background in covert projects. Oops, I guess she won't be working on that covert project next week after all, since she was outed.

"your little sleight-of-hand"

Uh, it's not my "sleight-of-hand," because I didn't write the article, I only quoted it. And it's not even "sleight-of-hand" at all, because any reader can decide for himself how to interpret the information.

"So what percentage are undercover, and what percentage are ex-undercover?"

Let me know when you get the CIA to tell you. Since we don't know, the reporter is doing the next best thing: sharing the information he could get. If you don't think that's better than nothing, that's your problem.

"Of the CIA employees who go to work in Langley each day, what percentage of them are undercover?"

I don't know, and neither do you, but I suspect the answer is some number other than zero. And if the answer is some number other than zero, the leakers were not in a position to be SURE she was not classified (unless they checked first).

"In the IIPA, Congress put in a clause ... "

Let me know how you figured out that Fitz is limited to only enforcing the IIPA.

"the fact that Mrs. Wilson worked for the CIA was no secret."

How interesting that not a single source (named or otherwise) has come forward to proclaim where and how they ever heard such a thing, pre-Novak.

"he damn well better be investigating the release of real secret info"

Judge Hogan said "the information she [Miller] was given and her potential use of it was a crime" (link). I think "information" means "information about Plame" (let me know if you have a reason to think Hogan is talking about something else).

Hogan seems to think that information about Plame is "real secret info." Hogan has seen page-after-page of secret evidence. But I guess you know more than he does.

jukeboxgrad

cathyf, one more thing. Here's a question you seem to not have noticed, so I'm going to ask it again.

You've said "secret from anybody who doesn't know how to use google"

You've said this in various forms on a number of occasions. I hope you can clarify some ambiguity. Are you saying it was possible (pre-Novak) to use Google to find out that Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame? If this is your point, so what?

Fitz is not upset that Rove et al told folks that Wilson is married to the former Valerie Plame. I think it's clear enough that Fitz is upset because Rove et al told folks that Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame who happens to work for the CIA.

On the other hand, are you trying to say that it was possible (pre-Novak) to use Google to find out that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA? If this is your point, I imagine I'm not the only person who would be greatly interested in seeing your proof.

jukeboxgrad

cathyf, one more thing. Here's a question you seem to not have noticed, so I'm going to ask it again.

You've said "secret from anybody who doesn't know how to use google"

You've said this in various forms on a number of occasions. I hope you can clarify some ambiguity. Are you saying it was possible (pre-Novak) to use Google to find out that Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame? If this is your point, so what?

Fitz is not upset that Rove et al told folks that Wilson is married to the former Valerie Plame. I think it's clear enough that Fitz is upset because Rove et al told folks that Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame who happens to work for the CIA.

On the other hand, are you trying to say that it was possible (pre-Novak) to use Google to find out that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA? If this is your point, I imagine I'm not the only person who would be greatly interested in seeing your proof.

jukeboxgrad

cathyf, one more thing. Here's a question you seem to not have noticed, so I'm going to ask it again.

You've said "secret from anybody who doesn't know how to use google"

You've said this in various forms on a number of occasions. I hope you can clarify some ambiguity. Are you saying it was possible (pre-Novak) to use Google to find out that Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame? If this is your point, so what?

Fitz is not upset that Rove et al told folks that Wilson is married to the former Valerie Plame. I think it's clear enough that Fitz is upset because Rove et al told folks that Wilson was married to the former Valerie Plame who happens to work for the CIA.

On the other hand, are you trying to say that it was possible (pre-Novak) to use Google to find out that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA? If this is your point, I imagine I'm not the only person who would be greatly interested in seeing your proof.

jukeboxgrad

Oops, managed to avoid that until now. It seems to be spreading like avian flu.

jukeboxgrad

Oops, managed to avoid that until now. It seems to be spreading like avian flu.

jukeboxgrad

Oops, managed to avoid that until now. It seems to be spreading like avian flu.

cathyf

Well, I'll take the risk that this will get posted 6 times and reply, jbg:

First off, those who spy on us use google and good old-fashioned spycraft to identify all non-covert CIA employees. The way that they do this is to record license plate numbers on the cars that go in and out of the Langley headquarters, and the various satellite office buildings that the CIA has in Langley, Rosslyn and the surrounding VA suburbs. They know where all of the satellite offices are because there is a shuttle bus that rotates among them and also goes to the Rosslyn metro station. They identify the employees who take the metro rather than driving by identifying the people who regularly get on and off the shuttle, and they can follow them home on the metro. Once you know someone's license plate number or address, his/her name is easy to get. Once you knew that this person who went to work at the CIA office each day was named "Valerie Wilson" and that the adult male who lived at that address was named "Joe Wilson," some primative data mining via google (nothing so sophisticated as Able Danger...) would tell you that "Valerie Wilson" worked for "Jennings-Brewster", and that she was the former "Valerie Plame."

So now you've used nothing but spycraft and google to link Valerie Wilson nee Plame who goes to work each day at the CIA whose employer according to the FEC's online records is Brewster-Jennings. If you are a Russian or Cuban spy, then you know that this is the same Valerie Plame who was a secret agent forced to retire when you found out about her years ago -- or maybe not, but that would be because Russian computer programmers are notoriously incompetent, rather than because of any virtue on the CIA's part.

Covert agents work in foreign countries -- it's against the law for the CIA to spy domestically. The most straightforward way to keep covert agents secret is to keep them away from known CIA locations, or at least to make their visits there rare enough that they blend in with the random visitors and minor officialdoms of other agencies.

The CIA's central problem with keeping secrets is at the boundary between the covert and non-covert side of the business. The assumption on the part of the Agency is that every non-covert CIA employee is known as a CIA employee to anyone who wishes to invest any time/effort into figuring them out. And it's not that their identity is available because of some bookkeeping category in some HR computer system. It's that their identities as CIA employees are available because they act like CIA employees. Specifically, going regularly to and from a known CIA workplace is acting like a non-covert CIA employee.

The CIA does not deal with this security problem by making all CIA employees secret, or by hiding the locations of their offices. Instead, the buildings are marked, and the employees are not hard to figure out, and the CIA focuses on making sure that their non-secret employees keep the secrets which are entrusted to them. Rather than hiding the non-covert employees from enemy agents, the whole infrastructure of background checks, flutter drills, drug tests, exclusion of homosexuals (in the old days), random security checks, etc., are all focused on preventing non-covert employees from selling out for money, or ideology, or sex, or being blackmailed. They start from the assumption that the person's CIA employment is not secret and it is not policy to keep it secret.

Various and sundry intelligence experts have explained to us that the whole Brewster-Jennings thing was set up in 1994 in order to segregate Plame's not secret future from her secret past. Because, through no fault of her own, her future could never again be secret. Brewster-Jennings allowed the CIA to continue her salary and benefits while she figured out what to do now that she could never again practice her profession of a secret agent. There is no evidence that the CIA connected anything to "Brewster-Jennings" that was traceable to anyone else, let alone a network of still-covert contacts.

This is the most reasonable explanation, and is assumes a reasonably competent CIA. All versions of the story where the revelation that Valerie Wilson nee Plame who goes to work each day at the CIA has a rather obvious fake employer Brewster-Jennings is either the revelation of a "covert agent" (IIPA definition) or has some material national security implications (Espionage Act) require unimaginably gross incompetence on the part of the CIA.

cathy :-)

jukeboxgrad

cathyf: "those who spy on us use google and good old-fashioned spycraft to identify all non-covert CIA employees"

OK, I see your point. I thought you were trying to say it was possible to essentially use google alone to link Plame with CIA. I think you've posted many comments which imply that. I'm glad you've clarified this. Thank you for doing that.

In my opinion it's up to the CIA to decide how to operate, and whether or not they're taking proper steps to protect classified information and people. If you have a better idea about how to do it, maybe you should write them a letter.

The bottom line is that Judge Hogan et al were apparently convinced ("the information she [Miller] was given and her potential use of it was a crime") that outing Plame was a serious matter. Hogan saw a lot of evidence you haven't seen. It's a mystery to me why you think you know more than he does.

"unimaginably gross incompetence on the part of the CIA."

Maybe you'd like to tell us why the top guy got a medal.

cathyf
The bottom line is that Judge Hogan et al were apparently convinced ("the information she [Miller] was given and her potential use of it was a crime") that outing Plame was a serious matter. Hogan saw a lot of evidence you haven't seen.
What you are assuming here is that Miller's subpeona was only interested in the passing about of the piece of information that wife of guy who went to Niger worked for CIA. And then you are concluding that passing about this particular piece of information must be against the law if that's all the subpeona was about. I am holding out that Fitzgerald has been investigating for 2 years the possible misuse of some other information, which was really secret. And that he subpeonaed Miller to find out if Libby passed secret information to her. And that Judge Hogan was sufficiently convinced that Miller's testimony was the only way to find that out.

So there is a possible scenario where Fitzgerald, Hogan, the CIA, etc. haven't cared about who outted Plame's non-covert CIA analyst identity, and since the media has their own vested interest in Joe Wilson's story, it is the media's endless repetition that is driving the notion that this is about her identity, rather than the direction of the investigation. Because otherwise I will be crushed and disappointed that my hero Fitzgerald, who has hunted down evil corrupt politicians in my state, is just another out-of-control political hack destroying the fabric of our republic through the perversion of the criminal justice system.

"unimaginably gross incompetence on the part of the CIA."

Maybe you'd like to tell us why the top guy got a medal.

Well, you are the one who keeps arguing that there was some national security problem with the publication that wife of guy who went to Niger worked for CIA. So you are the one who is claiming that the CIA is unimaginably grossly incompetent.

cathy :-)

cathyf
The bottom line is that Judge Hogan et al were apparently convinced ("the information she [Miller] was given and her potential use of it was a crime") that outing Plame was a serious matter. Hogan saw a lot of evidence you haven't seen.
What you are assuming here is that Miller's subpeona was only interested in the passing about of the piece of information that wife of guy who went to Niger worked for CIA. And then you are concluding that passing about this particular piece of information must be against the law if that's all the subpeona was about. I am holding out that Fitzgerald has been investigating for 2 years the possible misuse of some other information, which was really secret. And that he subpeonaed Miller to find out if Libby passed secret information to her. And that Judge Hogan was sufficiently convinced that Miller's testimony was the only way to find that out.

So there is a possible scenario where Fitzgerald, Hogan, the CIA, etc. haven't cared about who outted Plame's non-covert CIA analyst identity, and since the media has their own vested interest in Joe Wilson's story, it is the media's endless repetition that is driving the notion that this is about her identity, rather than the direction of the investigation. Because otherwise I will be crushed and disappointed that my hero Fitzgerald, who has hunted down evil corrupt politicians in my state, is just another out-of-control political hack destroying the fabric of our republic through the perversion of the criminal justice system.

"unimaginably gross incompetence on the part of the CIA."

Maybe you'd like to tell us why the top guy got a medal.

Well, you are the one who keeps arguing that there was some national security problem with the publication that wife of guy who went to Niger worked for CIA. So you are the one who is claiming that the CIA is unimaginably grossly incompetent.

cathy :-)

jukeboxgrad

cathyf: "it is the media's endless repetition that is driving the notion that this is about her identity, rather than the direction of the investigation"

It is your wishful thinking that is driving the notion that this is not primarily about her identity. Have you cast a glance at the opinion, dated 2/15/05 (pdf), written by the court that threw Miller in jail? Here are some excerpts:

"The Department of Justice undertook an investigation into whether government employees had violated federal law by the unauthorized disclosure of the identity of a CIA agent ... grand jury subpoenas were issued to Judith Miller, seeking documents and testimony related to conversations between her and a specified government official “occurring from on or about July 6, 2003, to on or about July 13, 2003, . . . concerning Valerie Plame Wilson (whether referred to by name or by description as the wife of Ambassador Wilson) or concerning Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium.” ... the special counsel is attempting to discover the origins of press reports describing Valerie Plame as a CIA operative monitoring weapons of mass destruction. ... Her exposure, therefore, not only may have jeopardized any covert activities of her own, but also may have endangered friends and associates from whom she might have gathered information in the past. ... the special counsel has established the need for Miller’s and Cooper’s testimony. Thus, considering the gravity of the suspected crime and the low value of the leaked information, no privilege bars the subpoenas."

Let us know how you spin that as being about something other than "her identity."

"there is a possible scenario where Fitzgerald, Hogan, the CIA, etc. haven't cared about who outted Plame's non-covert CIA analyst identity"

I guess that scenario exists only in a parallel universe where the court's opinion doesn't contain the language I just cited.

"I am holding out that Fitzgerald has been investigating for 2 years the possible misuse of some other information, which was really secret."

I guess "holding out" is the operative term, since the court said nothing to encourage your theory. On the contrary.

"you are the one who keeps arguing that there was some national security problem with the publication that wife of guy who went to Niger worked for CIA. So you are the one who is claiming that the CIA is unimaginably grossly incompetent."

Speaking of leaps of faith and non sequiturs, that's a pretty dramatic one right there. Yes, I think there is a national security problem when the White House outs a covert agent. How does this show that I am "the one who is claiming that the CIA is unimaginably grossly incompetent?" Your wishful thinking aside, the CIA didn't out her. The White House did.

Aside from that, you've dodged the question, so here it is again: maybe you'd like to tell us why the top guy got a medal.

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Wilson/Plame