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May 30, 2007

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Andy Smith

And just when you thought it was safe, we have this.

psmatatoes

it's very big of you to "assist" the left, so why don't I return the favor: "An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was 'covert' when her name became public in July 2003."

so it's not an assertion of Fitzgerald's...it's that unclassified summary's statement. why don't you get back on top of "hummelgate"?

ciaochow

If Plame was covert, why didn't Fitzgerald prosecute Armitage?

psmatatoes

oh, and Andy Smith? Just because Kit "rename a courthouse after Rush Limbaugh's granpappy" Bond says it's true doesn't make it so. his aides read the same dippy blogs you do.

Other Tom

As the age-old and universal jury instruction goes, "the words of lawyers are not evidence."

Let's have some sworn testimony on the issue, and let's have some cross-examination of those who testify.

PatrickR

Conspicuous by its absence in Fitz's filing was any case law supporting his assertion.

Also missing was the sworn testimony of expert witness Victoria Toensing to the effect that Val wasn't covered by the IIPA.

SaveFarris

At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure ... Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.

Measures like ... confirming her employment to Robert Novak!

ordi

Yes and measures like... allowing her husband to print her name in "Who's Who"

psmatatoes

ordi, she had a name...and it was in a book? THAT MUST MEAN EVERYONE KNEW SHE WAS A COVERT CIA AGENT!!! OMG!

PatrickR

The because I say so prosecutor in Chicago:

Even by the standards of this case, this morning's testimony is ridiculous. Agent Schindler of the IRS testified that she's a big expert in corporate tax audits. She then testified that she'd been asked to work on the assumption that the non-compete fees paid to Hollinger Inc in Toronto should have gone to Hollinger International in Chicago. In other words, she was asked to work on the assumption that the government's case was correct. "They gave me the assumption," she explained, "and I then looked at documents to do with that assumption."

Amazingly, Agent Schindler then testified that Hollinger International's tax returns of 1999 and 2000 underreported their income by $24 million.

In tax terms, big deal. Almost all that $24 million went to Hollinger Inc as what Agent Schindler regards as "disguised compensation". Payments to a corporation are fully deductible so in tax liability terms it would be a wash. Which may be why the IRS isn't pursuing Hollinger International over the matter. But the fact is this IRS agent was testifying on the basis of an assumption the IRS does not share.

Agent Schindler does not always provided expert testimony on such a constrained basis. For example, she’s allowed to reach an independent determination of the matter. Or as Edward Genson, defence counsel asked her: “It’s not always assumptions you’re testifying to, is it, Ms Schindler?”

“No. Just in this case it is,” said the witness.

Counsellor Genson then observed that, if the payments weren’t illegal, then they shouldn’t have been on Hollinger International’s tax return. “That’s correct,” said Agent Schindler.

Furthermore, if you have a ton of signed contracts saying these payments are to go to Hollinger Inc and if these contracts are legitimate, then it would be illegitimate to put these amounts on the Hollinger International tax return.

“That’s a different assumption than I was asked to make,” said Agent Schindler.

If you operate on the assumption that everybody is operating on the assumption that the government has asked them to assume, it’s a safe assumption that they’ll agree with the assumption.

cathyf
At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure ... the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.
Ok, name two. ("measures" is plural.)
topsecretk9

Folks who think the prosecutor gets the first and final word will be satisfied with the current state of play.


And with all of Plame's various stories under oath this looks just like the Nifong-Duke process - next we will here Plame was suspended mid air when George Tenet himself suggested Joe.

cathyf

Italactico!

topsecretk9

Thanks - sorry.

topsecretk9

--ordi, she had a name...and it was in a book? THAT MUST MEAN EVERYONE KNEW SHE WAS A COVERT CIA AGENT!!! OMG!--

Wilson: My wife's name is Wilson. It is Mrs. Joseph Wilson. It is Valerie Wilson. And he named her. He identified her. So that argument I don't believe stands the test of — stands the smell test.

a measure even Wilson himself didn't honor.

danking

According to the USA Today article, Melanie Sloan is representing Plame.

Is this the same CREW lady?

cathyf

Forget covert -- Plame's affiliation with the CIA wasn't classified on or before Feb 19, 2002. It's clearly and repeatedly stated in all of the executive orders that implement the classified information system that the burden to identify classified information is the government's. If the government does not tell it's employees (contractors, too) that something is classified, then it's not classified. If the government declassifies something in error, then the government has the burden of notifying all of the employees/contractors who had access to the erroneously-declassified info to add the classification to the info. Furthermore, classified information is only given to employees/contractors if they have a work-related need to know it -- classified gossip is unauthorized, even if the gossipers have the appropriate clearances.

At the meeting on Feb 19, 2002, (1) Plame identified herself as working for the CIA without any indication to any meeting participant that her CIA affiliation was classified; (2) Plame identified the former ambassador that the CIA wanted to send to Niger as her husband, a fact which no one at the meeting had any work-related need to know. (3) At no time over the subsequent 15 months were any meeting participants notified in any way shape or form that the CIA affiliation of the wife of the former ambassador sent to Niger was in any way shape or form classified or sensitive.

Also, when we talking about the Rule of Law here (as opposed to the Rule of Prosecutorial and Bureaucratic Wishful Thinking), according to Executive Order 13292 Section 1.7(a) (it's Section 1.8(a) in Executive Order 12958, but the language is identical)

    In no case shall information be classified in order to:
  1. conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
  2. prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
  3. restrain competition; or
  4. prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of national security.

Plame's affiliation with the CIA appears to fail tests 1, 2, and 4.

So we have information which (a) probably isn't classified because one or more of Section 1.7(a)(1), (2) or (4) apply, which, at least on and after Feb 19, 2002 was treated as unclassified by the government. We have the complete chain of custody of the information (although Fitzgerald worked very diligently to cover up the actual chain of custody, which had nothing to do with any White House employee.) The information went from Valerie Plame's mouth to a State Dept staffer's ears on Feb 19, 2002. 15 months later, the DoS staffer wrote the information in a memo. The memo was read by Richard Armitage, who told it to (among others) Robert Novak. Robert Novak published it in the newspaper. This is an absolutely typical example of how unclassified information ends up in public, and why the government requires classified information to be clearly so marked so that it doesn't end up in public.

One more oddity: in the Waxman hearings, Waxman quotes a CIA document which claims that Plame's CIA affiliation was "classified under Executive Order 12958", not "Executive Order 13292". Executive Order 12958 was not in effect after March 25, 2003. 12958 was issued on April 17, 1995. If Plame's CIA affiliation became unclassified at some time between April 18, 1995 and March 25, 2003, then the CIA claim that she was "classified under Executive Order 12958" is technically true but highly misleading. While I find it astonishing to think that the CIA would play legalistic gotcha games with Waxman, you can't totally discount the possibility that the fact that the CIA has never claimed that Plame's CIA affiliation was classified under 13292 literally means that her affiliation was unclassified before March 25, 2003.

What does appear to be true is that Valerie Plame was performing a non-covert job but her salary & expense reimbursements were being taken out of one or more covert account(s). I suspect that this is not illegal (many of the government's standard accounting practices are illegal for any other entity and would result in executives going to jail on securities fraud charges.) But the law and the executive orders have their own legal language, and nowhere does it say that covert or classified are controlled by bookkeeping categories. While in this particular case the irregularities probably don't rise to the level of illegalities, if you are really seriously making the argument that the accounting categories should trump the statutory and regulatory language, then you are arguing that anything paid for with money embezzeled from a "covert" account is "covert" as well.

Before the FBI interviewed Scooter Libby for the first time, they already knew how Valerie Plame's name and CIA affiliation ended up in the newspaper: it was unclassified information, relayed by gossip, started from Valerie Plame to at least one State Dept employee on Feb 19, 2002, from that State Dept employee to other State Dept employees in late-May/early-June 2003, from another State Dept employee to a journalist in late-June, 2003, from the journalist to the wires on July 11, 2003. The FBI knew (or should have known) that Plame was not covert as soon as they traced the custody of information about her CIA affiliation from it's appearence in the media back to it's clearly unclassified source, the Feb 19, 2002, meeting.

bgates

It's not just clear that Plame was covert, "it was clear...Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute...as a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by...Mr. Libby...." Fitz not only established Plame's status with that sentence, he established Libby's guilt wrt IIPA - and all without any of that messy 'trial' stuff, too.

RichatUF

Some quick comments:

Yes, the Conyer's CREW is representing Plame and Wilson in their civil suit.

And its nice to know that Newsweek has found the Cooper Question Mark™ for the title. It is also good editorial policy to use the "covert" in quote marks.

It must "covert" in Fitzlaw-She can be photographed at both Turkish Embassy and White House functions in the company of her husband, Mr. National Command Authority.

She can contribute to political campagins using her "cover employer", knowing the FEC is a public database.

She can pose for a full color photoshoot and provide [maybe fake] details of education and career [places she served] in an international publication (Vanity Fair), oops, I think the CIA "rolled" her cover to make sure this wasn't in the magic window.

RichatUF


Other Tom

That's mighty good, Cathyf--thanks. And yes, Danking, it's the same Melanie.

I never tried a criminal case through to the sentencing phase. It's my general understanding that evidentiary standards concerning matters that can be put before the judge in a sentencing hearing are pretty loose. Even so, if I were Ted Wells I would be extremely steamed about the way Fitzgerald has proceeded here--he is trying to leverage covertness into the sentencing decision when he passed up, and in fact strenuously avoided, every opportunity to prove covertness before and during the trial. He forcefully contended that the issue was entirely irrelevant to the trial. No he is claiming that it is relevant to the sentence, and he is seeking to establish it without using the prescribed means of submitting evidence--sworn testimony subject to cross.

Anybody with any experience in these matters have any insight into whether this is beyond the pale? It sure seems that way to me, but my experience is nil.

anduril

I provided these links earlier on the old Plame thread:

AmericanThinker

CaptainEd

Both items were posted today and address this "covertness" business.

An interesting question is, when was that "unclassified Summary" written? It would have been helpful if they'd provided that information. Were there earlier pages to the Summary that could have been redacted for security purposes? Why is this important? Well, it just might be that this Summary or something similar to it--very similar to it--was used by the CIA for its referral memo. Recall: the first referral didn't work. It just may have been that DoJ told CIA, we won't touch this thing unless you can give us some sort of certification--it's called CYA. And it's also possible that Fitz used this Summary--or something very, very like it--in court filings that he is fighting tooth nail (against Dow Jones, for example) to keep under seal.

The link to American Thinker contains important testimony by Victoria Toensing, the acknowledged expert on the IIPA:

Victoria Toensing is the attorney who drafted the IIPA. She, too, testified before Waxman's committee, and she had handy the Senate Report on the IIPA, that spelled out what the Act was intended to cover. Referring to page 16 of the Senate Report Toensing stated (under oath): "Notably, the legislation limited coverage of U.S. citizen informants or sources (agents) also to situations where they "reside and act outside the United States." Toensing then quoted Joe Wilson's (self) absorbing autobiography to show that Plame had returned to the US in 1997 and had never "resided and acted" overseas again.

What amazes is that this travesty, this charade, this miscarriage of justice, is occurring in plain view of the entire nation.

anduril

Tom wrote:

Good point, but - just how strong was the good faith determination that Ms. Plame was covered by the statute? Did the DoJ run their opinion past CIA Counsel, or anyone? Or did they calculate that it was in their interest to assume the statute was relevant and simply proceed, figuring they would do the work to justify charges under the statute only if more facts emerged to support a charge? In his Oct 2005 press conference Fitzgerald did spend a lot of time on the improbable claim that investigators investigate facts, not statutes, and only open the statute books after the facts are in. Made no sense, but that was his position then. Now we are supposed to believe it was "clear from very early in the investigation", and presume they did the work to support it. Work the CIA Counsel has yet to complete. Hmm.

At AT we read:

Leave aside the fact that Fitzgerald now wants to sentence Libby as if Plame had been shown to be "covert" for purposes of the IIPA--without ever having presented any evidence for this very dubious assertion. The fact is, if Fitzgerald had not been able to make that statement, that there was at least a possibility that Plame qualified or was covered by the provisions of the IIPA, it is questionable whether Fitzgerald's investigation could have continued. It's unfortunate that the Summary is undated, so it's not possible to determine whether it was an attachment to the CIA's Referral Memo, which demanded an investigation of the supposed leak of Plame's "covert" status. Fitzgerald has, not surprisingly, adamantly refused to release the actual Referral Memo, and has instead played a sly "hide the ball" game when it comes to the issue of Plame and the IIPA--seeming to equate "covert" and "classified," and so forth.

Be that as it may, Fitzgerald now cites the CIA's statement that "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States" as evidence that his investigation was conducted in the good faith belief that a possible violation of criminal law had occurred. But let's consider what those "affirmative measures" actually were.

The portions of the Summary that follow the three cited paragraphs, above, contain no more than a listing of personnel actions affecting Plame. Therefore, the "affirmative measures" that the CIA says it was taking "to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States" can only be those set out in the preceding paragraph:

When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity--sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias--but always using cover--whether official or non-official cover (NOC)--with no ostensible relationship to the CIA.

In other words, this Summary states that "covert" CIA operatives, like Plame, travel on duty overseas using, at times, their true names, and they also utilize "official cover" during such travel, that is, they travel as officials of the US Government. Just how "covert" can this really be? Are we to suppose that foreign intelligence services don't keep tabs on US travelers -- especially those traveling as officials of the US government -- and don't try to establish a profile for "covert" operatives? Such a scenario is no longer implausible, given the highly sophisticated nature of modern data tracking and mining technology.

Now, this information amounts to a revelation of CIA intelligence "tradecraft," albeit a revelation that is neither calculated to impress intelligence professionals nor to reassure those who are concerned that our intelligence agencies are not up to snuff. Nevertheless, this revelation of tradecraft occurred on General Hayden's watch. Ask yourself, would it be helpful to foreign intelligence services or terror organizations to know that the CIA uses "official cover" for its "covert" operatives and allows them to travel overseas under true name? If you think that the answer to that question is "yes," you might also want to ask: how dumb is it to reveal this "tradecraft" to the world, as Fitzgerald has done? For an answer to that question I refer you to General Hayden--but be prepared for a profane tirade.

anduril

Note: Jeff wants to speculate and pontificate out somewhere in La-La land. He refuses to address the substance of Toensing's testimony, which hinges on the legislative history behind the IIPA, as embodied in the Senate Report from which she quotes.

hoosierhoops

Didn't Libby get convicted because he lied to prosecutors? Would it matter if plame
was Catwoman or anything else..I dunno, I don't understand some of the facts of the case...
I do understand this..This was a political trial not a criminal trial..
And if Clinton can pardon drug dealers then Bush should pardon Libby...
And if he was any kind of communicator he would rip the political show trial process to the american people on national TV and embarrass the beltway..
You know what..I never voted for Reagan but afterwards I loved that guy..He really made me feel proud to be an american and he talked so well and down to earth to us.
Bush could have taken a lesson from him.. I'm a lifelong Dem but maybe Fred Thompson will save us from Hillary.. Can you just imagine her speeches to the American people?
It would be like my nun in catholic school scolding me on my carbon footprint..
I suppose I've veered enough off topic..so i'll spare you all....

Roger

Larry and Jim already verified Plame as a CIA Operations Officer, DO, paramilitarily trained back to the 'farm' and their training together. So, the admission is not that important. What other countries need to know is was she working for the D.O. when she visited places like Montreal with Woolsey? These other countries could just as easily have been the US or Niger.

Plame has been 'blown' since Ames. She showed a strong interest in Ames(PC), how he was arrested, and PC. She used her position to get personnel, classified files, that were not supposed to exist to move into Irag and Iran with Wilson(PC). Yes, if the files are checked this can be verified. She compromised everyone who was involved with Ames and did her best to make sure foreign intelligence agencies knew and continues to do this by following the same pattern that was used to arrest Ames. The intelligence id act and the DIA 'informant' acts that have been changed because of her complaint.

'Rolling Plame's' cover has to do with the assassinations of the operations officers in Iraq and Madrid bombing. They are saying they are not responsible when Plame knew the answer to her 'Vanity Fair' article.

As far as Plame not being classified before 2003 or whatever, that has to be the case because Ames was arrested in 93 and she was actively pursing his arrest and how it was done to 95 and her move into Iraq and Iran based on 'investigating,' without approval, the Ames arrest.

Energy analysts Fitzmas:

Plame was an expert in energy companies. Like Bill's World Bank version of lending money to those to be payed back like a World Bank loan. OPEC is being sued. Kyoto affiliates are being sued. Bill wants to get foreign energy companies in debt to US banks and, if they don't pay or go along, they'll sue.

I think Hillary and Plame got along real well and this is all a 'Plame conspiracy' created by CIA energy analysts after they were done serving and had 'some wierd PSD things.'

Andy Smith

Have you heard that the CIA is actually the source responsible for exposing Plame's covert status? Not Karl Rove, not Bob Novak, not the sinister administration cabal du jour of Fourth Estate fantasy, but the CIA itself? Had you heard that Plame's cover has actually been blown for a decade — i.e., since about seven years before Novak ever wrote a syllable about her? Had you heard not only that no crime was committed in the communication of information between Bush administration officials and Novak, but that no crime could have been committed because the governing law gives a person a complete defense if an agent's status has already been compromised by the government?

And it is priceless. The press informs the judges that the CIA itself "inadvertently" compromised Plame by not taking appropriate measures to safeguard classified documents that the Agency routed to the Swiss embassy in Havana. In the Washington Times article — you remember, the one the press hypes when it reports to the federal court but not when it reports to consumers of its news coverage — Gertz elaborates that "[t]he documents were supposed to be sealed from the Cuban government, but [unidentified U.S.] intelligence officials said the Cubans read the classified material and learned the secrets contained in them."

Now just how am I supposed to believe that Ms. Flame was "covert" at the time of Novak's "outing" ?

Jeff Dobbs

Kate O'Beirne on the Corner, vying quite admirably for the "conflationist of the day" award:

Too bad Scooter Libby can't prove that he was in the country illegally before January of this year so he could be pardoned for past offenses. Apparently, President Bush's compassion extends to 12 million illegal aliens but not to someone who loyally and tirelessly served him.
anduril

Good recall, Andy. As I said:

What amazes is that this travesty, this charade, this miscarriage of justice, is occurring in plain view of the entire nation.
Roger

NOCs and Illegals}

The NOC thing really doesn't mean they are in country without the country's permission.

They are usually approved by that country.

It is very rare to send a NOC in country that is not known by the host country.

anduril

h&r, in fairness to bush, who has been unbelievably feckless in some respects in this matter, libby doesn't want a pardon if he can win an appeal.

anduril

Does anyone else ever get this feeling? Whenever I type in that special key to show I'm not a spammer, I feel, well, kinda like "covert." (Note included quotation marks.)

cathyf
When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity--sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias--but always using cover--whether official or non-official cover (NOC)--with no ostensible relationship to the CIA.
I have always been told that, in the law, words matter. Traveling "with no ostensible relationship to the CIA" is not an affimative measure, it is a negative measure. I've travelled internationally. I've never been asked who I worked for. Passport control asks "business or pleasure?" but if you answer "business" then their questions are all about how long you are staying -- their concern is that you are just coming for meetings as opposed to relocating there to work because they are looking at the passport without a work visa. Nobody has ever asked me who I worked for.

Simply not volunteering that you work for the CIA is not an "affirmative" action, it is a negative action.

J_Crater

The identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame was compromised twice before her name appeared in a news column that triggered a federal illegal-disclosure investigation, U.S. officials say.

Mrs. Plame's identity as an undercover CIA officer was first disclosed to Russia in the mid-1990s by a Moscow spy, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

In a second compromise, officials said a more recent inadvertent disclosure resulted in references to Mrs. Plame in confidential documents sent by the CIA to the U.S. Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Havana.

This leaves one to believe that Val Plame was either one of the most bravest or the most stupid "covert" agent at the CIA.

I think it was either the latter or none of the above.

RichatUF

from Andy Smith...

...the Agency routed to the Swiss embassy in Havana. In the Washington Times article — you remember, the one the press hypes when it reports to the federal court but not when it reports to consumers of its news coverage — Gertz elaborates that "[t]he documents were supposed to be sealed from the Cuban government...

I've been skeptical that she was "outed" by Ames or that her information would have been in a document sent to the US Interest Section in Cuba. But doesn't this beg a question: if she were covert at the beginning of her career, and was compromised, why was she still overseas (Brussels and London-per: Vanity Fair) and why was she named in a document.

And going back to the memo Plame wrote recommending Mr. National Command Authority: in the unclassified summary, it says she traveled on official cover-maybe thats why the memo seems familiar (this I think came up during the Miller testimony; ie the speculation being that Miller knew Plame because Plame had been a privious source for some of Miller's work on WMD during the 1990's), maybe Plame had Dept of Energy cover and was quoted as an "Energy Analyst"...some research is necessary, but I'm thinking something from the European media (esp London) 1997-1999 [around the time the US bombed Iraq and thereafter and around the time the Clinton was weather-ballooning the "strategic crime" thesis]...I'll let our resident doc forger Rocco know if the search proves fruitful

RichatUF

RichatUF

Also:

If she were travelling on official cover (or official business), wouldn't she be given a diplomatic passport?

So confused...

RichatUF

Jeff Dobbs

anduril, I agree.

But I can't pass up a good case of conflationism when I see one.

Sara

Call me really stupid, but I do not understand how "covert" can be applied to anyone who travels under their own name and as a representative of the U.S. government as part of a CIA investigation. According to information that was posted on JOM a long time ago, Val was most likely in the group that went to Australia and Canada and then to Jordon to check out the aluminum tubes. Supposedly everyone knew who the members of this "team" were, and why they were there and what they were investigating, including Val. Is this considered "covert?" I just don't get it.

And slightly OT, but I also don't get why Walton would be assigned to the FISA court after his inept and obviously obtuse understanding of highly sensitive intelligence matters.

JM Hanes

From my comment on the earlier Plame thread, but newly relevant here:

Second, and more striking is the complete absence of any identifying information about the "Unclassified Summary" as a document itself. Who wrote it and when? Was it officially provided by the CIA? Is it an official document at all -- without letterhead or signature? Or is it a Prosecution summary of materials to which it has had access? Does anyone certify to its accuracy or completeness? Who made the declassification decisions to which the document refers, and when? What standing can a simple assertion (by unidentified parties here) that the CIA was taking the required affirmative measures possibly be presumed to have, when it has never been submitted to challenge of any kind?

What amazes me is how many people, MSM included, just assume that Fitzgerald's Exhibit A is an official CIA opinion or position. Tom doesn't make that mistake, but assumes that it's a proffer from the Prosecution instead. I suspect that's the case, but the ambiguity here, which I believe to be deliberate, desperately needs to be more prominently addressed, before the "fact" the Val was officially covert takes root as conventional wisdom. It may already be too late.

cathyf

Yeah, travelling on a green (US gov) passport rather than the regular blue passport is the kiss of death for making your connections. The border people are afraid that if they don't do everything perfectly by the book that you will report them and get them fired. So it takes hours to get through passport control and customs. If Plame travelled internationally on a green passport her CIA colleagues must have really hated her guts...

Paul

psmatatoes, supra:

so it's not an assertion of Fitzgerald's...it's that unclassified summary's statement.

The unclassified summary to which you refer was written by Fitzgerald (or at least by someone on his staff). The summary's content is purportedly based on information cleared by the CIA. But the summary itself is not from the CIA; it's from the prosecutor.

topsecretk9

I've been skeptical that she was "outed" by Ames or that her information would have been in a document sent to the US Interest

In the book, Confessions of a Spy - the Real Story of Aldrich Ames (Pete Earley), twice Ames denies to Pete giving up all the names of CIA spies in Europe - he says the KGB asked him to compile a list of CIA agents he thought were vulnerable for KGB recruitment and he gave the names of those people he thought were ripe.

Granted, it's Ames, but it is interesting.

Daddy

OT: Border Security

From Drudge: The TB man told the Journal Constitution he was in Rome during his Honeymoon when the CDC notified him of the new tests and told him to turn himself into Italian authorities to be isolated and treated. The CDC told him he couldn't fly aboard commercial airliners.

"I thought to myself; You're nuts. I wasn't going to do that. They told me I had been put on the no-fly list and that my Passport had been flagged."

He...and his wife decided to sneak back into the US through Canada...

...Instead the man flew from Prague to Montreal...then drove into the United States at Champlain, N.Y....

Cycloptichorn

You guys are too funny. Really. You'll never admit the truth, no matter what documents you see, no matter who affirms that she was covert.

I think it's mostly because you've invested yourself so heavily, emotionally, in this case, that it would be damaging to your psyche to simply admit that you were WRONG.

JM Hanes is right: it already IS the conventional wisdom that she was Covert. Outside the little 20% bubble that most of you seem to reside in, it's a settled matter. You can nitpick all you like - and Kit Bond can throw whatever little tantrums he likes - but it won't change the facts.

Just to sum up some points:

Even if an agent's cover is blown in one fashion or another, they are still considered covert until their identity is officially declassified. So the whole 'outed since 2002, outed since Aldrich Ames' angle is b.s., so sorry, thanks for playing!

Some post, 'why isn't Armitage in jail, then?' We all know that a large part of the IIPA is intent. If Armitage could satisfy Fitz that he didn't intend to out Plame, then he's off the hook. Obviously Libby failed in doing this. Another factor is: the prosecution will not bring a case to trial that they don't think they can convict on.

Remember the 'Cloud' Fitz referred to; how hard is it for you people to understand that Libby lied in order to prevent his bosses from being charged with crimes?

Not that I expect any of you to do anything but keep arguing the same position: she COULDN'T have been covert, b/c of xxyy reason! Never mind that Hayden says she was, never mind that her employment history meets the requirements.

Facts just don't trump belief when dealing with many of you; it's sad, but it's even more funny then it is. Keep on arguing your position, and you'll keep getting proven wrong as time goes on.

Enlightened

It is patently obvious that the CIA has had roughly 4 years to cover their asses by manipulating VP's alleged covert status.

If this unclassified doc was signed off by Hayden, then he is just as stupid and complicit as his predecessors.

That document is so disingenuous it's laughable. The gyrations needed to connect the Valerie Plame covert today, not tomorrow, covert next Monday but not next Wednesday, covert June 3rd, but not July 11th dots are so implausible, I wonder if they actually used a scriptwriter to help them outline the doc.

It's pretty sad that real justice will never be served in this facade.

anduril

cathyf, who woulda thunk "affirmative measures could be so easy, so convenient, hey? Really no need to even think about it! Perfect for some people.

hoosierhoops

Call me really stupid, but I do not understand how "covert" can be applied to anyone who travels under their own name and as a representative of the U.S. government as part of a CIA investigation.....
Lady Sara..you are not stupid..but you knew that...
I'm not so sure if you are under your own name as a US Gov't official you would be considered covert..nor would that blow your covert status when traveling under an assumed name..maybe that was your point...
And Cathyf...( don't get upset now )
I traveled for 20 years with a US Gov't passport and never had one issue in customs..my luggage was never that lucky..:)
Maybe you guys can help me here..
How do you create links on a blog? I always check out the links here...

Enlightened

Oh look guys - Larry Johnson has come by to send Fitz some CIA love.

RichatUF

Here is a link for US Passports colours: black, maroon, blue

tsk9 says...

...twice Ames denies to Pete giving up all the names of CIA spies in Europe - he says the KGB asked him to compile a list of CIA agents he thought were vulnerable for KGB recruitment...

Nice guy

I bet no one would want to be on that kind of list. Also, I think that is what Hassen did, provided lists of FBI agents (and other gov't officials) that might have entertained a pitch

RichatUF

cathyf

Also, I'm trying to imagine how this incognito travel thingy works...

So, John "CIA WMD Analyst" Smith, Suzy "CIA WMD Analyst" Jones, and Valerie "Not CIA Don't Mind Me" Plame all troop off to Jordan. There they are picked up at the airport by their Jordanian Intelligence Service host, who says, "Greetings! We are so happy that the CIA sent you -- oh, wait, I know that it is just Mr Smith and Ms Jones that the CIA sent, and you, Ms. Plame, just got off the plane at the wrong stop -- to help us figure out these crazy tubes that Saddam is having built!"

Ummmm... So how is that "covert"? Well, having read about the whole CIA Italian rendition debacle, I'm afraid that just might be "covert" in the modern CIA.

RichatUF

a/k/a scary larry...

...it already IS the conventional wisdom that she was Covert. Outside the little 20% bubble that most of you seem to reside in, it's a settled matter...

I suppose its "settled" up until its not-you must be a Feyerabend fan

Newsweek must have gotten the Cooper Question Mark™ machine on loan from Time...

RichatUF

Jeff Dobbs

From the summary:
the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.

In internal CIA-speak this referred to as Daily Affirmations:

I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. I'm covert enough. And doggone it people like me.

cathyf

H&R -- how about "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. I'm covert enough. And doggone it nobody knows who I am."

anduril

From the summary:
the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.

In internal CIA-speak this referred to as Daily Affirmations:

I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. I'm covert enough. And doggone it people like me.

Posted by: hit and run | May 30, 2007 at 03:16 PM

Heh, H&R, you're also scary, because you're beginning to understand Government Think! That's, like, where people say, if we think it's so it must be!

Enlightened

Well, if you try and connect the CIA dots to covert-i-ness- perhaps when Val accompanied Smith and Jones to Jordan she was not covert when she left the US but was covert in Jordan, but was not covert when she arrived back in the US, but was covert when she drove the Family Truckster to Langley.

And then, when she cried foul, the CIA determined in 2005 to just change it all back to February 2002.

I mean, really - the public interest in her status was more compelling than the alleged "national security" breach that did not occur when her covert-i-ness was outed on a day she wasn't covert in the morning but switched to covert that night.

Jeff Dobbs

Cathy:
And doggone it nobody knows who I am

Oh absolutely...you're right.

anduril:
you're also scary, because you're beginning to understand Government Think!

Yikes. That gives me pause to consider a pause on all this Plame stuff and politics stuff if that is what is happening to me

...

...

...

There that's better.

Jane

The whole thing is simply disgusting and if J Walton buys it he should be disbarred for being utterly clueless.

Sara

he says the KGB asked him to compile a list of CIA agents he thought were vulnerable for KGB recruitment...

If this is true and Val was on his list ... well that is a frightening turn of events, don't you think? Was Val "ripe" for KGB recruitment?

Enlightened

Hey wait a minute. Am I missing something?

This "Employment Summary" never once refers to Valerie PLAME. Not even Valerie Plame Wilson.

It's all about Valerie Wilson.

I thought this whole charade revolved around the name Plame? No?

TXMom

I admit it, I'm not a lawyer, I didn't stay in a motel last night, but if you are to be sentenced for a crime, shouldn't the jury have judged you guilty of that precise, exact, explicit crime? (Pick your choice of words.) I don't see how Fitzgerald can ask for Libby to be sentenced for a crime he wasn't charged with nor found guilty of committing.

I know lefties don't care about this because if you aren't one of them, you don't deserve any consideration or fairness, but still, they always claim I must live with the rule of law...

Just sign me: Bewildered in Texas.

JM Hanes

What's really funny, Cycloptic, is that the arguments Fitzgerald is making in his collected sentencing memoranda -- to which the (unsourced, undated) summary is attached -- should scare the hell out of everybody, no matter what bubble they reside in.

This particular unclassified document itself, per Fitzgerald's own filing, has been around since at least last June. Does the fact that he could presumably have shared such information with the public at almost any time along the way, raise even the slightest question in your own mind about what conceivable public interest was served by his refusal to do so? Even if such concerns don't trouble your own bubble, the fact that Fitz chose to tie the summary's publication to the sentencing process should give even his devoutest acolytes pause.

According to Fitzgerald, if you are convicted of obstruction, you can be sentenced as a secondary accessory-after-the-fact to the crime you believed the Prosecution was investigating. Whether or not that crime was what they were actually investigating at all. Whether or not any crime at all was actually committed.

Welcome to your world!

Enlightened

So where is Valerie PLAME's CIA employment history?

hoosierhoops

dang it hit&run
We need to hack your pc and put together an unauthorized H&R Book...Great stuff for a long period of time..
How about a 20% commission? Would that be something you would be interested in? :)

Jane

What's really funny, Cycloptic, is that the arguments Fitzgerald is making in his collected sentencing memoranda -- to which the (unsourced, undated) summary is attached -- should scare the hell out of everybody, no matter what bubble they reside in.

Perzactly.

Roger

Plame was a counter intelligence probe on Ames back in 93 and 95. She took interest in the arrest, making her interest to counter intelligence. Her actions since then have basically confirmed she was a bad agent. She leaked the Ames arrest, she made sure people paid, used their files to move into Iraq and Iran, followed the pattern that arreste Ames to attack the US goverenment, and later went on to work for Wilson in Iraq(diplomat-CIA). She may have been covert under her own name because of the marriage. Joe's dad was also a diplomat in Spain(CIA). It may be more complicated because she could have been assigned to Wilson and that's how she moved up in the past. Later, she moved up to CPD, but getting Joe the contract brings questions about Joe's status as a diplomat and his father's status as a diplomat in Spain(where they blew up Madrid, Basks like dad's old days).

Plame's pattern goes back to Ames. She used this to move up. She might have been mad she was part of counter intelligence, but she was showing heavy interest in Ames, so she just got the files, outed everyone involved and moved up. She did the same thing with Wilson and Iraq and Spain.

Plame needs an investigation going back to 93, when Ames was arested. The files she accessed would show a pattern that she still follows. A ciminal conspiracy investigator couldn't miss this.

European agents sounds alot like Plame, Chayes(Fitz now confirms Plame's DO after he visits Harvard and possibly blew an 'informant' and may have showed that he did not investigate Plame thoroughly) and alot of other people. Ames would have been looking for CIA agents and that's too bad. If he was looking for those and went after something else, too bad. They waited for Ames to out about 30 KGB agents and then arrested him based on who he was selling. It would be a mistake to out someone not in the business.

The Cuban thing might have something to do with the retired CIA agent there who confirmed Plame was leaked by Ames. They would use the confirmation to prosecute. The Swiss embassy might be able to confirm some aspects of Europe(Ames), Iran and Iraq, CIA, Plame's pattern, and how Plame moved up using the Ames arrest.

Passport issues can be a problem. There are passports, diplomtic passports, and specially stamped State Department passports that might confuse Plame, but probably not Wilson or Ames or Howard. It doesn't seem that important.

Covert accounts make no sense. It would be put through her employer like USAID CIA money is out. It is possible that she had an account as an 'informant' or employee that was set up for her by an agent or agency, but these are usually traps, especially if it's a foreign bank.

The intelligence id act can protect alot of people, not just CIA. Plame is complaining about this, which has to do with Ames again. The DIA has a better way of classifying these, but they are still classified as informants or agents of the government, which is a great way to leak someone and get rid of a problem not liked by CIA anyway.

Affirmative measures is strange. Why? Plame was already blown by Ames. She was performing actionable intelligence regarding the Ames arrest when she knew to stay away. The CIA was the problem, which is why it was all DOJ.

The US intelligence community exists. In 95 most agencies like CIA and DOJ had to cross check and that's because of Ames.

Tom Maguire

it's very big of you to "assist" the left, so why don't I return the favor: "An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was 'covert' when her name became public in July 2003."

Jiminy - it was stated clearly at the Waxman hearing that the CIA uses "covert" and "classified" interchangeably without reference to the IIPA.

From cathyf:

Forget covert -- Plame's affiliation with the CIA wasn't classified on or before Feb 19, 2002. It's clearly and repeatedly stated in all of the executive orders that implement the classified information system that the burden to identify classified information is the government's. If the government does not tell it's employees (contractors, too) that something is classified, then it's not classified.

An echo of that argument appears in some filing or commentary I was reviewing today, so we may yet see it in the defense response. Anyway, Cathyf, you are not alone in thinking she had legacy status.

From OT:

It's my general understanding that evidentiary standards concerning matters that can be put before the judge in a sentencing hearing are pretty loose. Even so, if I were Ted Wells I would be extremely steamed about the way Fitzgerald has proceeded here--he is trying to leverage covertness into the sentencing decision when he passed up, and in fact strenuously avoided, every opportunity to prove covertness before and during the trial.

Let's see if Walton gets steamed.

Too bad Scooter Libby can't prove that he was in the country illegally before January of this year so he could be pardoned for past offenses.

Hmm - he can prove he was doing illegal things in the country - close enough?

You can nitpick all you like - and Kit Bond can throw whatever little tantrums he likes - but it won't change the facts.

Well, I agree that it may not change the attitude of the 80% (or less?) who are impervious to facts on this point.

However, certain facts, such as, not every word of a prosecutor must be accepted at face value, aren't changing; it is the 80% that is ignoring them.

In internal CIA-speak this referred to as Daily Affirmations:

I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. I'm covert enough. And doggone it people like me.

They like me, but they don't know it. Because of my covertiness.

From JH Hanes:

According to Fitzgerald, if you are convicted of obstruction, you can be sentenced as a secondary accessory-after-the-fact to the crime you believed the Prosecution was investigating. Whether or not that crime was what they were actually investigating at all. Whether or not any crime at all was actually committed.

Isn't it actually worse - you can be sentenced for the crime the *prosecution* thought they were investigating, even if you had no idea what you might be obstructing, if anything.

That said, I have not read the sentencing calculation to see how the IIPA charge boosts the sentence - presumably it is not by the full impact of an IIPA conviction.

Appalled Moderate

h&r:

I like this incantation, myself:

In every day, in every way, I am getting coverter and coverter...

It makes me think of 70s Pink Panther movies, which seems to be where our current CIA got much of their tradecraft.

cathyf
I admit it, I'm not a lawyer, I didn't stay in a motel last night, but if you are to be sentenced for a crime, shouldn't the jury have judged you guilty of that precise, exact, explicit crime? (Pick your choice of words.) I don't see how Fitzgerald can ask for Libby to be sentenced for a crime he wasn't charged with nor found guilty of committing.
Well, not only that, but Libby repeatedly demanded to present evidence that the crime couldn't have happened, and the judge explicitly ruled that he was not allowed to present this evidence to the jury. It's not like Libby chose to ignore Plame's status -- he was prohibited from presenting the evidence that she was not covert to the jury.

Was it anduril who asked in the last thread about how stupid a judge would have to be in order to fall for this?

Citizen

Hey Tom, why aren't you telling the whole story?

Are you still a partisan hack?

Jeff Dobbs

JMH:
should scare the hell out of everybody, no matter what bubble they reside in.


This is why I was very interested to hear you engage over at Jeralyn's. A person of the left and a defense attorney, and from my experience amiable and completlely hinged -- she should be a credible voice on this.

I haven't followed that discussion over there -- if you have gotten or get anything from her on this, it would make for excellent cross-posting here.

Enlightened

Ok, well Val's loverboy Johnson in Wiki said NOC's travel WITHOUT diplomatic passport.

"A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed."


She did that with two little babies at home huh? And a little post partum depression too. Hmmmm.

Cycloptichorn

As lying to the FBI and a Grand Jury is a crime, then there isn't much doubt that a crime was committed. In fact, it has been proven that there was a crime committed in a court of law; this seems to be the only standard that Republicans respect any longer, and not even then when they disagree with the outcome.

The prosecution of this case was, and is, under no compunction whatsoever to release any information which they deem would not help their case. Libby wasn't on trial for violating the IIPA, the information had little to do with the facts of the trial. So the hand-waving about the timing of the document release is immaterial.

It's pretty obvious that the information was included in the filing to counter claims by prominent neocons and Righties that there was 'no reason to investigate in the first place,' as was undoubtedly written in many letters to Walton - letter which the authors and Libby's lawyer are too ashamed to make public, hee hee

Just a bunch of sour grapes from the losing team, is what I read. Doesn't change the facts, the narrative, the history that is made. Outside the 20%, there is little doubt about what went on in the WH during this time.

Enlightened

"As lying to the FBI and a Grand Jury is a crime, then there isn't much doubt that a crime was committed. In fact, it has been proven that there was a crime committed in a court of law; this seems to be the only standard that Republicans respect any longer, and not even then when they disagree with the outcome."


So how again does Valerie Wilson's CIA employment status fit into the sentencing of this crime?

Can't you just get your love from Truthout strokers and stay away from here?

PatrickR

The IIPA was specifically written to stop the actions of Phillip Agee and The Covert Action Information Bulletin. What Agee was doing was deliberately exposing people who lived overseas and worked for (or with) the CIA. From Agee's book:

One of our most valuable PCE penetration agents, Luis Vargas, recently reported on what he thought was the beginning of serious guerilla operations here. ...his close and frequent association with the leaders of the group gave significant intelligence. Rafel Echeverria Flores, the number one PCE leader in the sierra, and Jorge Ribadeneira Altamirano, also a PCE leader in Quito ..., were the leaders...

Does that look anything like what Scooter Libby did?

Jeff Dobbs

hoosierhoops:
Great stuff for a long period of time..

Thanks. And I have been remiss...godspeed to Jordon and strength and peace to you and your family...

MikeS

So, the Cyclops belongs to the 'Slam Dunk' school of information analysis?

I guess it does save a lot of time that would be otherwise wasted verifying and validating.

Appalled Moderate

Was Valerie Plam covert within the meaning of the IIPA? I'm not sure that question is answered by anything put out by the CIA. It's pretty clear that the CIA felt that she was covert according to their own definition.

But I think, by focusing on the narrow requirements of the IIPA, you guys are making a mistake. Fitz was interested in prosecuting on the basis of the Espionage Act as well, and I think the CIA definition of covert would authorize the prosecution on that basis.

Cycloptichorn

So how again does Valerie Wilson's CIA employment status fit into the sentencing of this crime?

Only that it goes to show that there was an underlying reason for the investigation. It shouldn't have any effect on the length of sentencing, despite various forms of outraged predictions here.

Can't you just get your love from Truthout strokers and stay away from here?

And leave you alone in your little bubble? Nah.

The really funny thing to me, is that the wheels are going to grind up the leaders of the Republican party to a far greater extent than this. Why, I think that when we look back at the history of how the GOP went from having it all, to being back in the wilderness, this event will be little more than a comma.

TXMom

"As lying to the FBI and a Grand Jury is a crime, then there isn't much doubt that a crime was committed."

OK, so if a crime was committed, lying to the FBI and Grand Jury, what is the appropriate sentence for this? I'm interested in knowing your opinion.

Cycloptichorn

OK, so if a crime was committed, lying to the FBI and Grand Jury, what is the appropriate sentence for this? I'm interested in knowing your opinion.

If convicted in a court of law, the appropriate sentence is, imho, somewhat greater than the 30-37 months that Fitz recommended. But, it's good enough for me.

Fitz is correct that Libby has displayed no remorse for the crime whatsoever and shows no understanding that what he did was, in fact, wrong. So there's no real reason he should expect leniency.

Enlightened

"Only that it goes to show that there was an underlying reason for the investigation."

Hey - we know you are ok with committing a crime to advance an investigation going nowhere but expanded for entrapment purposes. Lefties love using crime to their advantage. Fake but accurate facts to destroy a man has you literally foaming at the mouth in orgasmic anticipation.

"that the wheels are going to grind up the leaders of the Republican party to a far greater extent than this."

Still praying for the unsealing of sealed v sealed huh?


The history of the left - built on premature ejaculations. That's something to be proud of for sure.


Cycloptichorn

Snark and insult don't change the facts about Libby.

Love this line - 'Fake but accurate facts.' It's a great one :)

I fully and completely support you saying whatever it is you feel you need to say about the left or myself in particular.

There was no crime committed to advance this investigation, sorry.

Sara

The really funny thing to me, is that the wheels are going to grind up the leaders of the Republican party to a far greater extent than this.

Cycloptichorn -- the problem with people like you is that your BDS and hatred of Republicans so clouds your judgment that you cannot see that when it comes to intelligence and the CIA, a partisan view is not only incredibly stupid but extremely dangerous. Not that you care. Your hatred of America is mindboggling.

You and your group of VIPers or moonbats has put so many lives at risk, has tried to bring down a sitting president in some backroom coup, and you continue to support a woman who perjures herself before Congress, not to mention what may be very illegal coverups for her "command authority" "I've got great hair" husband. And for what? Money and greed and a sick need for power. The hell with the brave U.S. serviceperson, or hardworking government types trying to do a very hard job. As long as you get the ink and whatever power you were trying to grab, the heck with the safety and security of the country.

TallDave

I think we're generally is missing the larger point of how scary it is this investigation happened at all.

We all know there were many, many, many leaks to the press about secret CIA activities. I could name half a dozen off the top of my head that had real and serious (not debatable and tenuous) national security implications. As best I can tell, few if any of them were ever seriously investigated and certainly none received the attention this got.

And I think we all know the reason why: if tactics like jailing reporters had been used to investigate any supposed national security leak that didn't promise indictment of Republicans, the entire MSM would have screamed bloody murder. There would have been zero cooperation, no progress, and we'd have endless headlines about the sanctity of sources.

This is not healthy. Politics and media pressure are overriding the rule of law.

cathyf
But I think, by focusing on the narrow requirements of the IIPA, you guys are making a mistake. Fitz was interested in prosecuting on the basis of the Espionage Act as well, and I think the CIA definition of covert would authorize the prosecution on that basis.
I agree, which is why I focus on her not fitting into the CIA definition of covert, either. If she had been a real NOC, she wouldn't have been at the Feb 19, 2002 meeting, she wouldn't have written the cable, and the US Government would have not disclosed to anyone without a need to know just how the CIA came to be acquainted with the former ambassador being dispatched to Niger.

As far as I can tell, the only way that she satisfied any definition of covert is that her salary, benefits and expenses were being paid out of the budget category that real covert agents get paid out of.

(Having not done any research on the matter, I've been very hesitent to point to any illegality or even impropriety on the matter of which set of books the CIA used to pay Plame. But I'm actually kind of curious -- covert money is rather an obvious target for theft, and given the history of the last 30 years, it's hard to imagine that Congress would have missed the opportunity to make it illegal to pay people out of covert funds if they are not doing covert work. During the Clinton administration, the CIA's budget was cut quite deeply, and many agents were simply laid off because the CIA no longer had the budget to fund their activities. So how many other non-covert activities do you think that the CIA was hiding over in the "covert" budget categories? We can mutter darkly about "black ops" but I also have seen the US Government up close enough to know that in real life vital government operations only happen because employees bend the rules to get them done. It's not always a bad thing, either -- if the CIA was a marginally more effective spy agency in the 90's because courageous patriotic employees were violating the law by taking good programs that had been given the budget axe and hiding them on the covert side, well, good for them.)

Enlightened

Well, we have a perfect example of the mindthink used to convict Scooter Libby right here on this board.

And the fact that this newly beloved "unclassified doc" alleging Plame's covert status clearly indicates that the "publics interest in the criminal investigation clearly outweighed any DAMAGE TO NATIONAL SECURITY" - meaning Valerie Plame Wilson was a freaking nobody - indicate the CIA's absolute complicity in this charade.

JM Hanes

Cycloptic:

"It's pretty obvious that the information was included in the filing to counter claims by prominent neocons and Righties that there was 'no reason to investigate in the first place..."

I certainly don't dispute its PR value! The part that concerns me most, and that you either just don't get or just ignore, is the part the summary plays in Fitzgerald's assertions on which sentencing indeces should apply. When such precedents come back to bite your myopically complacent 80%, it will bring new meaning to the term "sore losers" as you use it now.

SMGalbraith

Well, speaking only for myself (or is that redundant), I'll make an offer to our lefty friends (including "conservative" Glenn Greenwald):

I'll accept the judgment of Fitzgerald based on his investigation that Plame was covert if they accept the judgment (Robb Commission, Butler Commission, SSCI, et cetera) that the Bush Administration never manipulated pre-war intelligence on Iraqi WMDs or pressured intelligence analysts to cook the books.

Deal; or no deal? (which has to be about the dumbest game show ever devised by man; so much for evolving from lower to higher species).

SMG

Enlightened

"Love this line - 'Fake but accurate facts.' It's a great one :)"

Uh, yeah well, we figured as much.

topsecretk9

Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't leaving her status ambiguous have been better - as in are "covert" agents supposed to be arranging multiple trips for their spouses?

And as Cathy notes, Plame injected herself in all various communiques all over the Government but has now admitted that she was...

in the company of reporters (i think from at least Dec. to May) leaking and also while an employee of the agency did an interview where things were told about her and was photographed all without getting agency approval - clear violations.

Dale in Atlanta

You all are making a mistake to even begin debating "Cycloptichorn", who is so juvenile, as to use this sweaty-palmed 13 year old-level, Beavis & Butthead inspired, "handle" "Cycloptichorn" to begin with!

Every time he posts with that juvenile moniker, he must sit there and go "Huh....huh...huh....huh!

Take a look at it, it's like the juvenility that led to the naming of the band "Hootie and the Blowfish" and their album "Cracked Rear View".....He he he he....

Cyclop(tic)...Horn......

Get it... a "one-eyed" "horn"!

The moron is referring to his "appendage"!

What a clown, and it shows the level of intellect of these Lunar Chiroptera Leftists!

The only reason I "got it", is because I thought it was an interesting looking name, and I Googled the hell out it thinking it might be something related to the Greeks or Romans, and NOTHING appears, so I searched the Dictionary, the Thesarus, the "Wiki", and nada!

So then, I tried to just Prounounce the damn thing out lout, and suddendly, a dim memory, of something from SIXTH GRADE came welling up, and the rest is history!

Anybody who treats him serioulsy, and tries to have a discussion with him, you are wasting your time...

Specter

Didn't Walton opine at one point that after looking at the data and the referral from the CIA even he was unable to figure out if Plame was covert or not?

Hey Psychotic - Nice of you to join us Larry. Didya get permission from your former superiors to post here, or anywhere else for that matter? I seem to remember they are looking closely at you. Not that you are too hard to see - I mean from the latest picture I saw you must be close to what? 250? 260? Porker....lol.

Crust

(Reposting in correct thread.)

So it sounds like there is still room for debate on whether her position was covert (in the legal sense). But on the other hand, it is well-established that Plame's position was classified (i.e. covert in an ordinary sense), right?

Leaking classified information is a crime too. So why is it such a big deal whether or not she was (legally) covert? What would be stopping Fitz from going after Armitage, Libby and Rove for leaking classified information? Possible answer: He can't prove intent. But my bottom line still stands: why does every care soooo much about covert vs. non-covert?

I'm not a Plame-iac, so forgive me if I'm missing something obvious...

topsecretk9

Leaking classified information is a crime too.

And that is why it's a problem she was talking with reporters.

Enlightened

Dale - Ok - I'm done with the Cyclops! Figures he has such a small appendage, goes well with the small brain.

maryrose

Plame's name was leaked by Armitage-no consequences.
Libby also meant no harm-didn't leak and didn't lie to the prosecutor Fitz to the FBI or grand jury. Fitz can't bait and switch now. Judge will sentence-should be no jail time because of confusion over status-might have been clear to Fitz but absolutely NOT DEFINITIVE to anyone else including congressional committee. Plame herself didn't know her own status. If not free on appeal process then Bush should pardon. On appeal Wells should bring up how defense was stymied in memory expert and covert question.

PatrickR

If I were Ted Wells I'd begin my response to Fitz by quoting to Walton from none other than Patrick Fitzgerald:

Without the truth, our criminal justice system cannot serve our nation or its citizens. The requirement to tell the truth applies equally to all citizens, including persons who hold high positions in government.

Which should include Federal Prosecutors filing motions before Federal Judges, one would think.

Then I'd provide the testimony before Waxman's committee, that Fitz neglected; Victoria Toensing's.

Finally, I'd provide the one example of a prosecution under the IIPA, a CIA employee in our embassy in Ghana (and her Ghanian boyfriend) named Sharon Scranage. She agreed to a plea bargain for 'turning over classified information, including the identities of CIA agents and informants, to Ghanaian intelligence officials.'

That's it. The extent of the case law on the IIPA. Did Fitz live up to his own press conference rhetoric?

Cycloptichorn

Dale:

You all are making a mistake to even begin debating "Cycloptichorn", who is so juvenile, as to use this sweaty-palmed 13 year old-level, Beavis & Butthead inspired, "handle" "Cycloptichorn" to begin with!

My handle dates back to my university years, and is an amalgam of a description of my monocular status (I'm blind in one eye) and my self-identification as a Texas Longhorn.

Generally it is considered to be in poor taste to focus on something as petty as someone's chosen handle, but I can see how it would provide a useful vent for your frustration, given the way events are going these days.

I'm only interested in discussing politics, nothing more.

JM Haynes:
When such precedents come back to bite your myopically complacent 80%, it will bring new meaning to the term "sore losers" as you use it now.

I don't dispute this. It isn't as if we Dems haven't played the sore loser card many times in the past and will undoubtedly do it again.

But, you realize, it means that we know it when we see it :) There's no shame in it, but pretending that arguments about Libby's innocence have any validity to them is beyond the realm of reasonability.

anduril
But I think, by focusing on the narrow requirements of the IIPA, you guys are making a mistake. Fitz was interested in prosecuting on the basis of the Espionage Act as well, and I think the CIA definition of covert would authorize the prosecution on that basis.

Posted by: Appalled Moderate | May 30, 2007 at 04:22 PM

And the obvious proof of this assertion is that Fitz did, indeed, prosecute Libby for espionage--oh, wait!

Yo, two comments:

1. What is the CIA's definition of "covert?" Where can I find this will o' the whisp, or do I have to look between the lines somewhere? Is it contextual, or is it in the mind of the beholder?

2. Please show me how Libby's actions violated in any way, shape or form the Espionage Act--with specific reference to the elements contained in that act. Good luck. If a prosecutor as aggressive and unprincipled as Fitz couldn't do it I doubt that you can. If Fitz had thought that a CIA definition would give him grounds for prosecution under the Espionage Act, the CIA would have given him the definition they wanted. But agency definitions don't give you that--you have to look to the Act itself.

topsecretk9

--Didn't Walton opine at one point that after looking at the data and the referral from the CIA even he was unable to figure out if Plame was covert or not?--

Yes he did and he also made many decisions based on assurances that Fitz was not going there - so if there was a reason to be pissed at fast and loose Fitz - I would think this is it.

Crust

(Argh, started in the wrong thread again.)

Tom, fyi Instaputz replied to your comment there. Bottom line he didn't get your case about two different meanings of "covert" (legal and as normally used by the CIA).

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame