Skip to comments.Congresswoman Calls on Special Prosecutor to Investigate Gannon's Role in Plame Leak
Posted on 02/11/2005 10:30:42 AM PST by seamus
Washington, DC - Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (NY-28), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Rules, and Rep. John Conyers (MI-14), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, called on Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the leaking of a classified Central Intelligence Agency memo containing the identity of undercover agent Valerie Plame to a man at the center of the White House Press Briefing Room scandal, "Jeff Gannon."
Rep. Slaughter, a long-time advocate for media reform and accountability, brought this story into the national spotlight days ago when she wrote President Bush asking for an investigation into the issue.
"This matter is growing more serious by the day. We now know that 'Jeff Gannon' had access to classified CIA documents that contained the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame. This is more than an issue of media manipulation by the White House... this is now an issue of national security," said Rep. Slaughter. "What is the White House hiding? This man, Mr. Gannon, should never have been admitted into the White House briefing room in the first place. Someone let him in day after day. Someone gave him access to classified CIA documents. Someone must answer for this. It is critical that we uncover the exact nature of the relationship between Gannon and this White House," added Slaughter."
In addition, Reps. Slaughter and Conyers wrote W. Ralph Basham, Director of the Secret Service, calling on his office to provide details on the security clearance of day pass holders in the White House briefing room as well as any and all information they can provide on Mr. Gannon.
"White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan was unable to answer these important questions in yesterday's briefing so we hope the Secret Service will be able to fill in the blanks," said Slaughter. "Since the White House has denied any role or responsibility in this matter I hope the Secret Service can shed some light on their procedures for clearing day pass holders to the White House briefing room," continued Slaughter.
The letters follow:
February 10, 2005
Mr. Patrick J. Fitzgerald
United States Attorney
US Attorney's Office
219 S. Dearborn Street, Suite 5000
Chicago, IL 60656
Dear Mr. Fitzgerald:
We write to ask that you investigate the leak of a classified Central Intelligence Agency memo containing the identity of undercover agent Valerie Plame to James D. Guckert, a member of the White House press corps. It appears that the White House was so focused on smearing the reputation of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, that it knowingly leaked his wife's identity to a Republican activist posing as a journalist.
James D. Guckert, who operated under the false name "Jeff Gannon," and may have engaged in criminal activity, had been attending press events at the White House for up to three years. Mr. Guckert reportedly received an internal and classified CIA memo that revealed the identity of Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife. Because of the extremely sensitive nature of this leak, and its relation to the investigation you are conducting, we believe that you as special counsel are the most appropriate person to conduct the inquiry.
Under Department of Justice regulations, a special counsel should investigate when (1) a "criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted," (2) the investigation "by a United States Attorney Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department," and (3) "it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter."1 In the present case all three factors have been met.
As has been long discussed, revealing the identity of an undercover agent violates myriad laws. Whoever in the Administration gave Mr. Guckert the memo risked Ms. Plame's very life and must be punished to the full extent of the law.
There is a clear conflict of interest in the Administration investigating Mr. Guckert's role in this crime. Mr. Guckert and the White House press operation work together closely to forward the President's policies.
First, Mr. Guckert would not be considered a bona fide journalist by his peers in the press corps, as most of his claims to legitimacy have already been discredited. Access to the President and his press corps is highly competitive, and many seasoned journalists have not had the honor of attending the events or enjoying the access Mr. Guckert has. That a person of these dubious qualifications was given such close contact to the President, perhaps in violation of standard security procedures, demonstrates the Administration's affinity for and bias towards Mr. Guckert.
Second, Mr. Guckert's questions clearly reiterated the White House's policy, and simply asked for concurrence. Finally, Mr. Guckert's "articles," published by a news front for GOPUSA, track White House talking points word for word.
Clearly, Mr. Guckert returned the White House's favor by advancing the President's policies with gusto. With such a close relationship between Mr. Guckert and the White House, the conflict of an administration-led investigation is all too apparent.
Finally, the public interest has been thwarted far too long over the leak of Ms. Plame's identity. It has been over a year and a half since Robert Novak published Plame's identity and we are no closer to finding who in the Administration illegally leaked her status as an undercover agent. Having a special counsel immediately follow up this lead is necessary to ensure that those who risk their lives for our country to gather intelligence are fully protected.
We look forward to hearing whether you will be following up on this new information, or if you have, what progress you have made.
John Conyers, Jr.
It's pretty scary when a journalist, or blogger, or any private citizen can prompt members of Congress to call for a criminal investigation just for being pro-Bush.
This goes along with your earlier thread.
The amazing thing is that people are able to right this kind of stuff without laughing themselves to death.
They are going to try and tie the Plame/Wilson leak to FR....you just watch.
Is this abuse of power?
"And just who let Hillary have 900 FBI files?" she was later heard to ask?
oops - right = write. I hope Rep. Slaughter's online accountability brigade doesn't charge me with felonious mispelling of a homonym.
I am Joseph Steffen, and I approved this message.
Joseph Steffen aka ncpac
PO BOX 177 B
It's a damned shame that O'MALLEY CHEATS ON HIS WIFE!!!!
Scary, but not surprising....
People at FR have been posting what was already leaked in the MSM about Plame/Wilson since day one. That story didn't start with us - not by a long shot.
Makes you wonder if the water in DC really has too much lead.
These brown shirts are going after very basic rights: guns and speech. Frightening indeed!
Gannon is no worse than Helen Thomas in his ability to toss softballs at the right targets. His crime is simply not being a liberal.
And at that, this White House doesn't leak anything anyway. If they did, however, Gannon would be the last person who'd get it. If he actually broke a story that embarassed the big boys, McClellan would never hear the end of it. He doesn't need or want that kind of aggravation.
So the idea that Gannon was leaked anything -- least of all the Plame stuff (even by accident) -- is prepostrous.
We now know that 'Jeff Gannon' had access to classified CIA documents that contained the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame.
Maybe it's my public skool edumaction, but how do they "know" this? Wouldn't the identity of an undercover CIA Op be held in a secret document?
Guns Before Butter.
Memo to Louise: You're being used. But you probably already know that.
It's ridiculous, preposterous, absurd, and they know it. Maybe it's time for these Dem hacks to ask if any of the documents Sandy Berger stuffed in his socks and smuggled out of the national security archives have anything to do with Plame. <<--insert eye roll smilie here
"Rep. Slaughter, a long-time advocate for media reform and accountability."
As laughable as the UN appointing Cuba to the Human Rights Commission.
Why does Slaughter say "we now know he had access to CIA documents"? Is she baseing this on the crap their spewing over the Daily Kos?
cyncooper, have you seen this? Straight out of your predictions from two days ago.
Have not seen it...will read immediately. Thanks!
Oh well, if Reparations John is involved in asking for the investigation you know this is a serious issue that needs to see the light of day. Someone should tell Conyers that the money spent on a special prosecutor will not be available to pay reparations.
"This matter is growing more serious by the day. We now know that 'Jeff Gannon' had access to classified CIA documents that contained the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame. This is more than an issue of media manipulation by the White House... this is now an issue of national security," said Rep. Slaughter.
Stop it, Louise, you're killin' me!! I'm laughing so hard I can't get my breath! Tune in and listen to Rush on Monday, Louise, because he is going to subject your crowd to a massive amount of ridicule. Rush always says that liberals are at their funniest when they are out of power and this really proves it.
They are getting hysterical.
They obviously do not appreciate the ability of regular people to have access to their leaders. Only the "establishment" press can do that.
OK, this part: We now know that 'Jeff Gannon' had access to classified CIA documents that contained the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame.
Then a couple months later in December, the WaPo did this article saying the CIA denied the description of the memo and raised hints about why "conservative news outlets" had heard about it. A few days later, Talon News wrote an article about the WaPo raising questions and Jeff Gannon directly says his source was not the administration.
It is my considered opinion that the answer is elementary...his source was the WSJ article plus some more digging on his own perhaps.
The salient point to keep in mind is the source relied on by the "conservative news sources" turned out to be 100% correct. The sources the WaPo had ("CIA officials) turned out to be wrong. That says much.
Now, as to Fitzgerald, he has Gannon on his list already. I have every confidence that Fitzgerald is indeed looking into this memo and why "CIA Officials" were misrepresenting it. It is outrageous that an elected official would purport a reporter "had access" to it when it has a) not been established it was even classified and b) She is focusing on one reporter out of several.
I'll go try and read the letters more thoroughly but I certainly do hope Fitzgerald is on the case and I think he is.
See my post #26.
It is pretty obvious to me that Democrats will use any method, any vehicle, any person, or any website to attack the President.
They are so full of hated for Bush!
Ol' Louise is a kool-aid drinker from WAY back. And besides, anything for attention.
Chronology doesn't matter anymore; if we ever talked about anything that turns out to be embarrassing, we're the ones that started it for the express purpose of embarrassing the offended party.
Excuse me, but wasn't there a story about a guy, a democrat I think, that stuffed secret documents in his socks.
Wasn't there a First Lady, a democrat I think, who lost FBI documents on her political opponents, only to have them show up months later on a table top somewhere in the White House.
I guess some breaches of national security are more important than others. Best Regards Sergio
WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: WHAT IS A REPORTER?
Thu Feb 10 2005 20:49:03 ET
White House spokesman Scott McClellan On Thursday challenged liberal media activists, who are currently feigning outrage over events surrounding "Jeff Gannon," to examine the definition of reporter in the new century.
"In this day and age, when you have a changing media, it's not an easy issue to decide or try to pick and choose who is a journalist. It gets into the issue of advocacy journalism," McClellan said.
"Where do you draw the line? There are a number of people who cross that line in the briefing room.
"There are a number of people in that room that express their points of view, and there are people in that room that represent traditional media, they represent talk radio, they're columnists, and they represent online news organizations."
The reference to "U.S. intelligence officials" might also refer to individuals other than CIA personnel - one of the prominent players in all of this seems to be Greg Thielmann who was assigned to the State Dept. Bureau of Intelligence and Research. He apparently retired at some point after this meeting was held.
This is beginning to fit. Did Thielman write or receive the memo? It was written by someone at State.
We know that Thielman and Wilson have similar views on the administration and the Iraq war. Is it possible that this was an intentional self-outing with the intent of boosting book sales, undermining the war, and embarrassing the despised Bushies?
When Rep Slaughter is shown evidence that Joe Wilson (Plame's husband) was the source of the leak, the punishment will be what???
My thinking on Thielmann would be he might be part of the gang that misrepresented the memo and said it either didn't exist or Plame wasn't involved in it.
As a matter of fact, Plame has been linked to the State Dept. I need to leave but will back shortly and try to find the source (a NY Times piece by Kristoff).
Second, as Mrs. Wilson rose in the agency, she was already in transition away from undercover work to management, and to liaison roles with other intelligence agencies. So this year, even before she was outed, she was moving away from "noc" which means non-official cover, like pretending to be a business executive. After passing as an energy analyst for Brewster-Jennings & Associates, a C.I.A. front company, she was switching to a new cover as a State Department official, affording her diplomatic protection without having "C.I.A." stamped on her forehead.
Hopefully someone will shove a mike in her face to ask as they roll footage of him being "frog marched" off to jail...
Read the thread and note the dates and subsequent posts. In addition I have always maintained this was a coordinated attack on Bush and Blair because at the same time the Wilson and fictional Wilkinson charges were being rolled out, Blair was being hit with almost identical charges about the "Sexed up dossier".
Is Gannon being used as a whipping boy to control who gets into Their Club (the Old Media)?
The Old Media smell blood in the water. I'm just wondering if they're the ones who dumped it in.
Who do you think is behind this coordinated attack on Bush and Blair? Since Saddam was a Russian client and Russian agents were in Baghdad moving things over the Syrian border even after the war began, I have been thinking that Russia might be fighting a proxy war with us...That the end of the Cold War was just a waiting tactic to regain strength to resume battle (same as the Islamists do). Wouldn't they feel humiliated about their downfall and determined to get revenge? People like Wilson and Plame are suspicious to me, since we know our government was infiltrated, especially in the 60s. The have an agenda, and it isn't to protect what's good in our country.
The explanation is simply .. desperation. They are totally out of power and they seek ANY AVENUE to try to look powerful again. The goal is to appear powerful in the public's eye.
Please write or call your congressperson and ask them what the hell they are doing about Slaughter's stupid call for an investigation. Don't allow your congressperson off the hook - they cannot be allowed to be cowed by these smarmy democrats. The fact she's from NEW YORK tells me a whole lot about why she launched the charge in the first place.
"As a matter of fact, Plame has been linked to the State Dept."
I can't find the reference but it was reported that Mr. Joseph C. Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame had dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Walter Pincus just before Pincus wrote his article about Novak and the Plame leak for the Wash Post. At one time, Mrs. Pincus held an appointed position in the State Dept. Bureau of Intelligence and Research.... as did Mr. Theilmann. Washington is definitely a close-knit community.
Thanks, JJ. The hairs on the back of my neck (lol) are rising. This story, and the others linked to it, are taking on an odor all their own. I have a hunch about this.. I think it's going to bite the perps back, REALLY hard. (kaboom, style)
They're all saying the same "we know" bullcrap.
They don't "know" they're assuming. All they know is that he's involved with it and he came across some info. But saying he was given classified documents sounds shadier.
By Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times, May 6, 2003
The Vanity Fair article said: In early May, Wilson and Plame attended a conference sponsored by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, at which Wilson spoke about Iraq; one of the other panelists was the New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof. Over breakfast the next morning with Kristof and his wife, Wilson told about his trip to Niger and said Kristof could write about it, but not name him. At this point what he wanted, Wilson says, was for the government to correct the record. "I felt that on issues as important to our whole society as sending our sons and daughters to kill and die for our national security we as a society and our government have a responsibility to our people to ensure that the debate is carried out in a way that reflects the solemnity of the decision being taken," he says