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March 16, 2007

Comments

Sara (Squiggler)

Do you sincerely think that my comments on the U.S. military not being in "great shape" referred to how physically fit individual soldiers are?

Physically fit vs. mentally fit? One of the first requirements in boot camp is to instill pride and discipline into young men and women. During the Carter years, it was considered so shameful to be in the military, the rules said you could not leave your base in uniform. And the pay was so low, military families had to beg for food stamps.

We served under several presidents and I can say categorically the Carter years were the worst. And I'd stake my word on many others who served at that time feeling the exact same way.

You can go to any base, hospital, ship or battle zone today and you will find the military pride very much in evidence and the desire to complete the mission honorably their highest priority. And while your at it, ask them how they feel about President Bush. The military knows who the enemy is, both foreign and domestic, whether you do or not.

Syl

Oh..forgot to mention. I was channel surfing and caught...

a FAT guy on Olberman...

with a familiar face (but FAT)....

it was Scary larry!

and he called Victoria Toensing..

A TWIT!

A TWIT!!!


Sheesh.

PeterUK

JimE,
Easy solution the Majority party votes for and increase military personnel,extra money to attract more recruits,stops slagging off the people in uniform,oh and while your at it may as well lay the keel for the Aircraft Carrier George Bush,save doing it later.

Barney Frank

azaghal,

I have been speculating, and Harlow's comments have reinforced my specualtion, that the fact that Plame worked at CIA was not classified info at all, but that where she worked and what she worked on was.
Any thoughts?

lurker

Barney, and when she worked on classified information.

PeterUK

"They're like the three monkeys--but evil for them is truth."...and we all know what Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil were doing whilst See No Evil had its eyes covered.

Jim E.

Sara wrote: "One of the first requirements in boot camp is to instill pride and discipline into young men and women. During the Carter years, it was considered so shameful to be in the military, the rules said you could not leave your base in uniform."

And you're blaming Carter for this? Are saying with a straight face that this was never the case from 1971-1976?? I've heard people blame Vietnam. I've heard people blame dirty antiwar hippies. I've heard people blame the media. I've heard people blame all of the above for the real situation you describe.

But I've never heard Carter so singularly blamed for this. Why would most rational people place *all* of this at Carter's feet, after all? Fascinating stuff. But what could I expect from someone who thinks everything is so A-OK with the military today?

Sara (Squiggler)

Jim Webb was a Vietnam Vet who became Secy. of the Navy for a very short time. He advocated getting rid of huge standing armies left over from WWII and the Cold War and replacing them with small, mobile, highly trained special forces stationed around the world and ready to strike at any time, any place.

His ideas were before their time. There were just too many left over Senior Officers not ready to give up their commands. Years later, Rumsfield comes along and attempts to do the same thing and who comes out of the woodwork? Those same generals, now retired, bad mouthing everything Rumsfield tried to do to modernize our fighting force and make it more mobile and more lethal.

I don't know much about the Jim Webb of today. The little I do know tells me he isn't the man he was during the Reagan years and for some reason appears to have wimped out.

clarice feldman

Barney--I suspect that was classified only to keep them from further mortification..After all she worked on the NIE in which the CIA said they were afraid of WMDS in Iraq.

lurker

I supposed Jim E. had no qualms about Carter writing that recent book defending the Palestinians.

Yes, Carter screwed up. Especially with the rescue of those hostages in Iran. Especially with the negotiations of getting those hostages released. He screwed up when those hostages were not allowed to sue Iran.

PeterUK

"Why would most rational people place *all* of this at Carter's feet, after all?"

Because Carter,the President of a super power let a bunch student fanatics shaft him and humiliate his country.

Other Tom

JimE's words: "Reagan-era Republicans and military officials like Odom and Webb have been raising alarms for years." Well, there are your Reagan-era Republicans, and then there are your military officials. Jim Webb was once both, but hasn't been a military official for the past nineteen years, and no one can be sure when he was last a Republican. Those who can read, for example, would observe that he has in fact been a Democrat beginning at least as early as whenever it was that he announced his campaign for the US Senate. If he ever spoke a Republican word after 1988 I have forgotten it.

Could JimE be more specific about what alarms Webb was raising? Did any of those alarms concern Clinton-era military appropriations and readiness? Or is that a subject he'd rather not address?

And while the successful invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were indeed carried out by armed forces "inherited" by Bush from Clinton, they were in turn inherited by Clinton from Bush I, who inherited them from Reagan. If JimE would like, we could go back and recount, on a weapons-system-by-weapons-system basis, just who inherited what from whom. The Clinton administration comes out very badly under any such scrutiny, but I am frankly more interested in watching basketball right now than I am in using Google to do JimE's homework.

Sara (Squiggler)

Who are you JimE, Carter's press agent or something? You can believe me or stay in your bubble, I don't really care much. I live in the present and look forward to the future. Those were horrible years for the military and terrible years for the civilians as well with long gas lines, usury-type interest rates, and a president telling us not to put up Christmas lights to save electricity and all turn our thermostats down to 65 and wear sweaters. He described Americans as in a malaise. Yep! Thanks to him, everyone had reason to feel bad about themselves and bad about their country.

lurker

Today's military is NOT perfect but better than what we had in the Carter years. Is Carter the only one to blame? No, Carter, adm, his military, and his intelligence services.

lurker
Because Carter,the President of a super power let a bunch student fanatics shaft him and humiliate his country.

PUK, there are claims, especially made by those hostages that Ahmanednutter was one of those fanatical students.

Will to bet that Carter would have no problems shaking hands with that ahmanednutter?

PeterUK

Anti-War protest,Peace Camp outside Nancy Pelosi home Big split in the Dramacrats!

azaghal

Barney, it's clear that everything she was working on started at the "secret" level and went up from there--as I think I wrote earlier (don't wanna be quoting myself). As for where she worked, an actual organizational chart might be classified, although not general information, like, the CIA follows proliferation matters--duh! One way to get some idea would be to try their website, see how much detail they go into for public consumption. Her actual status as an employee? Well, I'll bet she applied for credit of some sort between 1997 (when she returned from overseas) and the present. She had to be able to confirm employment some way. It's possible there is some established way of doing this, but I suspect that lots of CIA employees are known as such.

None of that matters, though, since release of classified information per se is not a criminal matter, as Fitz noted. Not in itself--it has to be classified information of a specified type. There are at least three statutes that criminalize release of classified information, but each define the offense very narrowly both 1) with regard to the type of information involved (example: classified information re signals intelligence) and 2) with regard to the intent of the person. Intent is always very, very narrowly specified.

Imust B Crazy

What I think I learned today is that VPW during the period in question was a "Staff Operations Officer" of the "National Clandestine Service" who was supervising other Operations Officers on overseas assignment and may have traveled overseas on a temporary basis. The CIA's webpage about the National Clandestine Service states that all officers of the NCS are under cover and can expect to split their time 60/40 between overseas and DC based assignments - which may explain much of the obvious confusion about VPW's status and the equally obvious questions about how a CIA employee can be under cover (and possibly covert) and still able to drive to work at Langley.

What I didn't learn today was whether or not undercover Val knew ambassador Joe was married to a French Intelligence Officer when she hooked up with him on their first date. Anybody think she may have been part of an agency effort to check whether any of Joe's pillowtalk was leaking to the French??

PeterUK

Lurker,
There are pictures.

Other Tom

JimE, I respectfully withdraw the use of the term "dolt," which was inappropriate and clearly erroneous. I can only say that the better angels of my nature were momentarily overcome by the third-Martini devil.

(I hope I haven't committed some sort of crime here: those better angels have been covert for many, many years now, particularly when I have been overseas.)

Imust B Crazy

forgot the link

The Clandestine Life

azaghal

Barney, another thought.

In the counterproliferation field I have to believe that she would have been in liaison with other government agencies with interests in that field--several DoD agencies for sure. That's another indication that she wasn't covert once she returned from overseas. My understanding is that truly covert types don't even tell the whole story to their families, much less to employees of other government agencies. At that point, when she returned from overseas, she was just one more CIA employee handling sensitive classified information, like so many others. But not covert in the meaning of the IIPA, as Toensing makes painfully obvious.

lurker

PUK, huh? Photos of Carter shaking that crazy guy's hand?

UGH!! I don't think many people will come out to respect Carter like many did with Reagan and Ford.

Jim E.

OT,

What I wrote about Webb was grammatically and factually correct. For you to not cede the point that you simply misread or misunderstood it (hey, mistakes can happen) speaks to your lack of class.

And in terms of comparing funding, nice try. You'll observe two things:
1. the Cold War ended, which is kinda sorta an earth-shattering big deal when talking about military needs.
2. the drastic plummeting of military funding started under Bush I. To compare Clinton-era military funding to the Cold War era budgets of his presidential predecessors is comparing apples and oranges. (It would also be unfair to Bush I's last budgets to do the same thing.)

Jim E.

Er, I withdraw the first paragraph to my previous post.

Semanticleo

"Cleo, if after the arguments you have advanced, you don't join up you are worse, far worse than.........evil, horn-sprouting Dick Cheney.
Dumbass."

Flaccid. I expect more from you, Frankenberry.

Pofarmer

And while the successful invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were indeed carried out by armed forces "inherited" by Bush from Clinton, they were in turn inherited by Clinton from Bush I, who inherited them from Reagan.

Well, if you look at what Clinton inherited from Bush I, and what Bush II inherited, somebody go shafted.

Anybody wanna talk about the massive cuts in CIA funding during the Clintoon years?

Anybody wanna talk about how Kerry and Kennedy proposed cutting CIA funding after 9/11?

lurker
Barney, another thought.

In the counterproliferation field I have to believe that she would have been in liaison with other government agencies with interests in that field--several DoD agencies for sure. That's another indication that she wasn't covert once she returned from overseas. My understanding is that truly covert types don't even tell the whole story to their families, much less to employees of other government agencies. At that point, when she returned from overseas, she was just one more CIA employee handling sensitive classified information, like so many others. But not covert in the meaning of the IIPA, as Toensing makes painfully obvious.

I can certainly attest to the above. Why? Try asking questions to one of my brothers-in-law about his career with NSA. He has been retired from NSA for many, many years and to this very date, he still will not answer questions.

When he was on travel for NSA, he cannot tell his wife where he was going. He could not tell his wife when he was coming back. His wife was raising two young kids so if there was an emergency, she had to call NSA direct. Then NSA will contact him. Then he will call his wife back from wherever he was to work out the emergency issues.

When he was working for NSA, NSA was not that well known. Not even many people in the previous generation knew about NSA. Today, it's common knowledge.

hubel458

"deleterious effects to the US intelligence"
There is one that has ruined their reputation, as far as I'm concerned, and it is letting the nuclear proliferation
get away from them in the case of Libya
and Saddam's crooked deal with Cogema
and Niger, And then to have an employee
and husband be involved in it, who did
a snowjob on us. The west, our CIA, our
state department, etc, have a bad case
of condesending attitude about Muslims.
IE they figure Muslims to dumb to
make the bomb,so we let shenanigans
like this go on, no worry we may catch
them before one goes boom, And on the political front it just is used for electioneering in wartime!!!Ed

PeterUK

azaghal,
Real covert types are like bigamists,with two or more totally separate live.I worked with a chap,who got arrested in the Soviet Union and was held for several years on spying charges.
The papers said he was a businessman,he was an accountant,the picture was of a man with glasses and a moustache,he was always clean shaven and never wore glasses,former commander of an MTB in WWII.
Interestingly he was fluent in French,but I never knew he spoke Russian.Not revealing anything he died last year.

lurker

MacRanger has a good post up about that Knobell testimony.

Pofarmer

Yes, the cold war ended, and Clintoon was busy ignoring the Islamists so he could cut, cut, cut the military and intelligence services.

Specter

Jim E.

You still haven't answered the question of who gutted the military. Wonder why that is....

lurker

Carter never thought those Islamists were considered threats to the entire world. In fact, like Rosie, ali-cleown, et al, he felt sorry for them.

Therefore, he did not feel that we need to maintain the defense of our own country.

How wrong! We must ensure the strength and quality of our defense in order to defend civil liberties and spread democracy around the world. It's the only way to win this war, too.

arcanorum

It's so insane and factually incorrect to argue that the U.S. military is in "great shape" today, that I don't even know how to respond.

who wants to fight us? No country would last more than two weeks, except Russia and China, without their command and control being decimated and our airforce owning their airspace.

military spending billions of dollars

us 466
china 65
russia 50
france 45
UK 42
Japan 41
Germany 35
Italy 28
S Korea 21
India 19

you get what you pay for.

Sara (Squiggler)

C'mon everybody, it's Friday night, time to chill out, kick back, and have some laughs. You can start with this:

Rosie and the Terrorist

ghostcat

On this whole "Which president screwed the military?" question, one can look at a variety of metrics. Morale is one, defense spending another.

Speaking strictly from personal observation, morale sucked in the aftermath of Vietnam (Nixon/Ford), but got even worse under Carter. (The man was widely thought to be a fool in both the military and civil service.) Morale definitely improved under Reagan, dipped a bit under Bush the Elder, and hit the toilet under Clinton. (The man was widely thought to be an unworthy knave.) Morale is quite high under Bush the Younger.

The defense budget tracks this pattern reasonably well, but there are some surprises. As a percentage of GDP, defense spending dropped post-Vietnam, but began to rise in the second half of Carter's term. (Carter deserves the credit for approving the super-secret "black programs" for stealth attack aircraft.) That new growth in defense spending accelerated under Reagan, but started to slide after the collapse of the USSR, under Bush the Elder. That decline accelerated under Clinton and continued until 9/11.

The two surprises in all this may be (1) that defense spending started to grow late in Carter's term, and (2) that it started to fall again late in Bush 41's term. But the biggest choker of defense spending ... no surprise here ... was Clinton.

M. Simon

Service a broad?

OK. Send one over.

davod

What keeps getting lost here is that Plame was given up to theRussians by one US traitor and then she identified in some data data the Cubans obtained later (I wonder if that came from the Cuban spy in DIA.).

Once you realise that this happened sometime ago one has to wonder why Plame was working in any activity outside of Langley. Surely she was compromising anyone she came in contact with.

drew phillips

i can't believe the acrobatic gyrations tom maguire makes in trying to make a point. Lets keep it simple - the head of the cia says she worked in a classified position, the justice department thinks that her outing was serious enough to launch an investigation, multiple people in the administation disclosed information about her to jounalists, and joe wilson was highly qualified for the task assigned him by the cia after dick cheney requested the cia for more information on urainium sales to iraq. Anyone who refutes any of these points is unreasonable and should not be engaged in conversation with reasonable peope.

Cecil Turner

Anyone who refutes any of these points is unreasonable and should not be engaged in conversation with reasonable peope.

Close enough (though "highly qualified" is a bit of a stretch).

However, if you're going to claim it was a crime, Plame needs to be "covert" (and she apparently wasn't): "classified" doesn't cut it. If you're going to claim it was unethical, you need to show they knew her status to be classified. And, except for Armitage (and possibly Fleischer), there's nothing to suggest they even had an inkling. So what's the beef?

Barney Frank

I know this is a dead thread but some of us actually sleep.

Thanks azaghal, clarice, Cecil etal,

I probably should have made my point clearer. Since the Feds seem to be making a point of declaring her employment "status" classified and since one new mantra seems to be that even if it wasn't a crime Rove's and other's mentions/disclosures about her were in violation of executive orders and unethical.
My suspicion, which Harlow's behavior seems to strongly enforce, is that simply diclosing that she worked at CIA was not classified information at all and therefore not even in violation of any executive order, nor unethical. Cheney, Libby, Rove and others may not have been informed of the classified nature of her CIA employment for the simple reason it wasn't classified.
The exact nature of her work and the division she worked in may have been, but the only person who revealed that to my knowledge was Armitage.

Brain Surfer

I watched this spectacle in dumbfounded awe. Time to call a spade a spade. This is the type of show trial more typical of cold-war Russia, communist China, or third world countries with tyrannical despots and a cowering press. A petty show trial run by a small man glorying in his power, promoting fiction, ignoring known facts, praising the miscreants and browbeating the experts and truth witnesses.

Henry Waxman is not interested in finding facts - they are already known and in the records. Instead, he is trying to promote the Democratic agenda to undermine the President and current administration at any cost by revising history. Honor be damned. Truth be cast aside. The more you lie, the more people will come to believe the lies. Disgust is too small a word for this Waxman circus.

Cecil Turner

My suspicion, which Harlow's behavior seems to strongly enforce, is that simply diclosing that she worked at CIA was not classified information at all . . .

I have no reason to doubt Fitz's claim her status was classified. (And, if so, the critical bit of information was the fact that she worked at CIA.) Further, having worked with a lot of classified info and seen (and done paperwork on) several inadvertent disclosures, this looks a lot like one of those. But in the case of the WH, they had no reason to believe she was classified (Grenier's testimony in particular makes it abundantly clear that proper procedures weren't followed). I remain unconvinced it was particularly sensitive information, but if you're going to blame someone, it's the folks at CIA who dropped the ball.

Armitage has a little less excuse, having read it in a "Secret" paragraph of a "Top Secret" memo. But even so, the markings were woefully inadequate had she actually been covert. And again, the breach can be traced to sloppy procedures at CIA (Val attending the meeting with hubby, which generated the improperly-marked meeting report). But the bottom line is that there's no evidence any of the leakers knew it was classified info . . . (assuming it was).

The folks conflating this with the NIE declassification (apparently including Fitz, based on his GJ questions for Libby) are out to lunch. The Executive has an absolute right to classify (and declassify), and the purpose for which they decided to declassify the NIE was perfectly correct: to discredit damaging disinformation in wartime. The only thing they did remotely wrong on that score was to be relatively ineffective at it . . .

John R

A meaningless aside on this long and informative thread:

Rush Limbaugh on Friday said that no matter V. Plame's politics, she was a babe and if she weren't married "I'd be throwing my hat in the ring."

I dutifully looked at enough TV to see Plame and I have to conclude Limbaugh is daft. No wonder his relationships founder. What I saw is a heavily bleached-blonde whose carpet doesn't come close to matching the drapes, whose face is almost-pretty in a date-with-your-best-friend's-sister kind of way. Something you'd do out of duty.

How anyone could become enamored of such a fake blonde escapes me.

SlimGuy

God, gays aren't even getting kicked out at the usual rates anymore.

Posted by: Jim E. | March 16, 2007 at 05:51 PM

Dude from having been in the service in supervisory positions I can assure you that during the draft era of our military, over half of the "gays" kicked out of the service were draftees that didn't want to serve and just took the "I'm gay" position, just to exit stage right.

SlimGuy

As you say it's for the best, at least as far as Bush is concerned. But what about the rest of us who aren't Bushbots, you know like 80% of the country?

Posted by: Spartacvs | March 16, 2007 at 06:03 PM

If that is so, how come you didn't win all elections across the board with and 80% margin?

SlimGuy

iT'S A CROWDED FIELD TODAY, BUT MY NOMINATION FOR DUMBEST POST OF THE DAY IS THIS ONE__>

"You miss characterize Fitzgeralds finding that he did not have the evidence to prosecute under the Identities Protection Act as meaning there was no leak and no crime"

Posted by: clarice feldman | March 16, 2007 at 06:16 PM
Durn girl, you broke my undefeated streak since I came back to commenting.

Moving to the corner of the room to sulk and wimper an say to myself "I coulda been a contender".

SlimGuy

In this hearing, it's more important to pay attention to what wasn't said, than to what was said.


Posted by: verner | March 16, 2007 at 06:19 PM

Excellent point.

I was looking for Cindy Sheehan to be sitting in her lap or at least giving her a back rub during her testimony.

SlimGuy

PUK, She says she is but the info is obviously so secret no one told her she was--very hush hush stuff--on the other hand she did stay at the Langley Holiday Inn once.

Posted by: clarice feldman | March 16, 2007 at 06:25 PM


Clarice...the nuanced version of H&R

SlimGuy

What else?

Posted by: lurker | March 16, 2007 at 06:30 PM

We have moved from carpet bombing to choosing which carpet to bomb.

Targets which used to take 3 or 4 times to hit and a couple of flights to assess the damage in between are now taken out on one strike with a high degree of certainty and on board cameras allow bomb damage assessment quickly since prior to that capability which most bombers did not have you had to send a separate camera plane to take a look.

SlimGuy

Clarice,
Yes indeed.The research department has produce a whole new raft of products,well it is actually a raft,in essence a pair of Birkenstocks which inflate into a catamaran,for when the floods come,only $999.99,get two for $2500.00.

Posted by: PeterUK | March 16, 2007 at 06:42 PM


PUK

I have a wallet that was made from when I had to have my foreskin surgically removed due to frostbite. I won't even discuss why that happened. Lol. But it has uses, because if I rub it it turns into a suitcase.

Sara (Squiggler)

Someone said in one of the many threads flying around in the last day that a Libby juror attended the hearing. Does anyone know which one?

SlimGuy

But I've never heard Carter so singularly blamed for this. Why would most rational people place *all* of this at Carter's feet, after all? Fascinating stuff. But what could I expect from someone who thinks everything is so A-OK with the military today?

Posted by: Jim E. | March 16, 2007 at 07:37 PM

Carter was a major part of it , but it was also the crap about the "peace dividend" an how the military was shrunk from Regan days.

I will be the first to say that no everything is not AOK, but with that qualification we are still stronger even with that assumption.

Soldiers today are boots on the ground that have effective fighting power of 3 to 4 soldiers from the Viet Nam days. Aircraft are up by a factor of 10 to 1. Ships have extended their reach with cruise missiles from a 25 mile gun range to thousands of miles to reach out and touch someone and choose which window of the house they want to choose for entry.

clarice feldman

No, Sara. Denis I suppose.

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Wilson/Plame