Skip to comments.Outing Plame may not have been illegal. What is the prosecutor hunting? (the bigger picture!)
Posted on 07/17/2005 8:37:17 PM PDT by CHARLITE
Why is special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald pursuing so zealously the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, since it is all but impossible to prove that the leaker or leakers committed a crime?
So why is Fitzgerald acting like Inspector Javert in "Les Miserables"? The answer may lie in a sentence Walter Pincus of The Washington Post wrote on June 12, 2003.
President Bush mentioned the British findings in his State of the Union address in January 2003. In his leaks to Pincus, and earlier to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Wilson claimed Bush knew this was false. The key sentence in Pincus' story is this:
"Among the envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because 'the dates were wrong and the names were wrong,' the former U.S. government official said."
Wilson outed himself in an op-ed in the New York Times on July 6, 2003, "What I Didn't Find in Africa," which described his CIA-sponsored trip to Niger in 2002. On July 14, 2003, columnist Robert Novak wondered why Wilson, who had no intelligence background and strong anti-Bush views, had been selected for the Niger mission. "Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report," he wrote. That set off the Plame name game.
Maybe Fitzgerald is investigating a different crime.
What if someone in the CIA was leaking classified information to influence the 2004 election? Uncovering a crime like that would be worthy of Inspector Javert's doggedness.
I suspect the biggest shoe in this case has yet to drop, and liberal journalists won't be happy when it does.
(Excerpt) Read more at post-gazette.com ...
Fitzgerald and Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan have both raised the possibility in open court that Miller could be charged with criminal contempt if she continues to defy Hogan's order to cooperate in the investigation of who may have unlawfully leaked the name of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame to the media.
Well Done, mate!!! The operative word here is "WET" !!!
You made my evening for me!!!
Grand Conspiracy to sink the Bush Administration, backfires and sinks, France, the Democratic Party in the U.S., Al Jazera, the Russian Intelligence Org, Move On DOT ORGY, and the Liberal Clintonista CIA Officers still working at the CIA (they might as well be foreign mole agents they way they act).
I don't think so. He brought down the Gambino family. Somehow, I think the democrats would be their friends.
He's also been after terrorists since 1993. The democrats wouldn't like that, either.
It's beginning to be apparent that anyone who takes the word of any government official is a fool.
If they're all lying, why isn't there a law against it?
Everyone who can do research, or writing to editors and reporters, please keep after the whole Wilson-Corn-Plame-gate scandal because there is FAR FAR more to this than we have been told so far.... and the bloviating Wilson must be exposed for the charlatan he is. Far more importantly, if this is (as seems plausible) an attempt by Plame or others to manipulate the US election with false stories, that is HUGE! duh.....
We need to be all over the forged documents aspect, what did Wilson know and when/HOW did he know it? Did his wife leak classified info to him in their pillow talk (more likely with complete malice aforethought as a co-conspirator)? Is Valerie Plame a leaker to Judith Miller and/or other reporters, was Valerie manipulating this story, and even worse are there larger players such as the French, Saudis, etc. pulling the strings behind the curtain??
We already know much about Wilson's 'report' and subsequent op-ed column (not to mention his book) is a fraud - he never should have been sent on this 'mission' and his report was bogus and he never should have pretended to the public that his conversations over "sweet mint tea" could ever possibly disprove anything about Iraq seeking uranium from Niger.
Yet, most of the media has totally failed to investigate the grave problems with the original Wilson report and then his attendance at caucus of Democratic pols in May 2003 where he first met Nicholas Kristof and began his bloviating to the media. What are Wilson's ties and contacts with various reporters and Democratic Party figures, especially in May-June-July 2003 as the story unfolded?? Was his wife present when he met Nick Kristof and was she already helping to 'blow' any cover she may have had by cooperating with him in his madcap adventures with the media??
Every reporter who might have received info from Wilson BEFORE the David Corn column appeared identifying Valerie Plame as a secret CIA agent needs to be pressed to fess up - once Wilson is shown to be a liar and manipulator of the story, there is no ethical claim for various reporters to continue to protect him as a source, is there? I would think that journalistic ethics should require that reporters unmask and debunk a source who has been shown to be lying to and manipulating them.
In addition to the fact that Wilson had not the slightest competence or experience as an investigator, his original NY Times op-ed was deeply flawed by his assumption that anything he heard in his days in Niger could possibly disprove Iraqi interest in Niger uranium. No one in the media seems to be noticing that Wilson changed the standard from whether there was any Iraqi interest in uranium (all that was asserted in the reference to British intelligence in the infamous "16 words" of the Bush SOU address) to whether there had been actual SALE of uranium. Even the latter could not be disproved by Wilson's sessions over sweet mint tea, and he certainly could not disprove whether there had been any secretive Iraqi approaches about uranium - Wilson's account assumes that some official(s) in Niger, involved in any discussion of illegal uraniums sales (possibly smuggling for private gain??), would simply volunteer this information to a visting US former diplomat. It is preposterous on the face of it that Wilson's mission could possibly settle the policy and intelligence debate, yet he has gone on now for 2+ years pretending that he, Joe Wilson, established the facts and the WH ignored them.
Wilson's report only added some 2nd-hand support to the concerns about Iraq and Niger uranium, though he was too dense to realize it, because he did relay the information that "Baghdad Bob" himself had tried to initiate trade talks with Niger.... since Niger has exactly ONE export that could be of any potential interest to Saddam (besides uranium, the other options for Niger's potentially booming trade relations with Baghdad are "livestock, cowpeas, onions"). Just think, maybe they wanted the uranium, not the cowpeas!
Now we need someone to find out whether Valerie had any further role in this boondoggle - i.e., did she go on the trip (was it a taxpayer funded scam), did she have anything to do with producing his report, did she use him to further any sort of position she was taking within the CIA vis-a-vis WMDs???? Perhaps this was taking bureaucratic warfare among analysts within the CIA to a new level, especially if it was Valerie who termed the idea of Iraq seeking Niger uranium a "crazy report" when she first recommended her husband for the mission....
OR, perhaps Jack Kelly's suggestion is correct and this whole manipulated story was all about throwing the 2004 election to Kerry? It all fits - now we have to piece together all the details and raise hell, because the MSM certainly won't pursue the story without massive pressure.
"What if someone in the CIA was leaking classified information to influence the 2004 election? Uncovering a crime like that would be worthy of Inspector Javert's doggedness. I suspect the biggest shoe in this case has yet to drop, and liberal journalists won't be happy when it does."
The pieces come together even more....
"It is distinctly possible, (though it may be unlikely that Joe Wilson himself directly was NY Times Judith Miller's source), since Joe Wilson himself evidently routinely bragged openly to strangers about her CIA employment, prior to such "cover" being "blown" in the press."
I think it's more likely that Judith Miller and Valerie Plame knew each other, and that Plame was a source for Miller's WMD stories for years. Plame worked on the issues that Miller wrote about, and Washington is a small town.
I think that Miller is in jail to avoid revealing her sources... not on this issue, but for all her WMD stories. She doesn't want to burn her main CIA contact.
If anyone committed a crime leaking, my guess is it was Valerie Plame leaking top secret data to Miller for years.
8 posted on 07/17/2005 8:27:09 PM MDT by adam_az (It's the border, stupid!)
RE: Patrick Fiztgerald
Patrick J. Fitzgerald (born 1961) is the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. On December 31, 2003, he made national headlines by being appointed to continue the investigation into the Valerie Plame CIA leak, a case sometimes referred to by the media as "Leakgate". Fitzgerald was named to this role after Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from the case.
Fitzgerald attended Amherst College and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1985. After practicing civil law, he became an Assistant United States Attorney in New York in 1988. He handled drug-trafficking cases and in 1993 helped prosecute John Gambino of the Gambino mafia family. In 1994, he became the prosecutor in the case against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 other individuals charged in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
In 1996, Fitzgerald became the National Security Coordinator for the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. There, he served on a team of prosecutors investigating Osama bin Laden. He served as chief counsel in prosecutions related to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa.
Patrick Fitzgerald was nominated for his position as U.S. Attorney on September 19, 2001 on the recommendation of U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL), and confirmed on October 24, 2001. Peter Fitzgerald and Patrick Fitzgerald are not related.
Actually, its worse. They did volunteer to him that the Iraqis had been visiting. Meaning, that he knew Bush was telling the truth when he accused him of lying.
The Baghdad Bob reference may or may not be accurate. It is known that Wissam al Zahawie, a senior Iraqi ambassador had come calling, and some other Iraqi "businessmen" had been around.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 9. 2004
CONTACT: Sarah Ross (202) 224-4774
Iraq Pre-War Intelligence Report: Additional Views of Chairman Pat Roberts joined by Senator Christopher S. Bond, Senator Orrin G. Hatch
I have no doubt that the debate over many aspects of the U.S. liberation of Iraq will continue for decades, but one fact is now clear, the U.S. Intelligence Community told the President, the Congress, and the American people before the war that Saddam had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and if left unchecked, would probably have a nuclear weapon during this decade. More than a year after Saddams fall, it also seems clear that no stockpiles are going to be found, the Iraqi nuclear program was dormant, and the President, the Congress and American people deserve an explanation. In short, the Intelligence Communitys prewar assessments were wrong. This report seeks to explain how that happened.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was formed in 1976 during a crisis of confidence in the country and in response to a need to rebuild the publics trust in government institutions including its intelligence agencies. The Senate created this Committee to conduct, for the first time, on behalf of the American people, vigorous oversight of the intelligence activities of the United States. While the underlying premise of legislative oversight is the need for public accountability, the Intelligence Committees oversight usually occurs behind closed doors. This is a conundrum the Committee deals with on a daily basis. With the vast majority of our oversight being conducted out of sight, it is exceedingly difficult to assure the American people that we are doing our jobs. What may appear to be little to no Committee activity, often belies an intense and probing examination the result of which will never be made known to the public because the nations security interests are paramount. However, the shear gravity of certain unique issues can raise the publics interest to a level that requires a public accounting. This is such an issue.
The scope of the Committees 12 month inquiry into the U.S. Intelligence Community's prewar assessments regarding Iraq is without precedent in the history of the Committee. The Committee has looked behind the Communitys assessments to evaluate not only the quantity and quality of intelligence upon which it based its judgments, but also the reasonableness of the judgments themselves. The result is a detailed and meticulous recitation of the intelligence reporting and the concomitant evolution of the analyses. From the details emerges a report that is very critical of the Intelligence Communitys performance. Some have expressed concern that such criticism is not only unnecessary, but will also engender excessive risk aversion. I believe that, although that is possible, we should not underestimate the character of the hard-working men and women of the Intelligence Community. While criticism is never easy to accept, professionals understand the need for self-examination and the men and women of the Intelligence Community are, first and foremost, true and dedicated professionals.
In order to begin the process of self-examination, however, one must recognize or admit that one has a problem. Unfortunately, many in the Intelligence Community are finding it difficult to recognize the full extent of this significant intelligence failure. It is my hope that this report will facilitate that process. The painstaking detail and harsh criticisms in this report are necessary not only because the democratic process demands it, but also to ensure that there is an honest accounting of the mistakes that were made so that they are not repeated. It is the constitutional responsibility of the Legislature to conduct such an accounting.
It was my hope from the outset of this inquiry that the Committee could handle this important matter in a responsible manner untainted by politics. Despite early setbacks and differences of opinion, I believe we achieved that goal. A clear measure of our success is the fact that this report was approved by a unanimous vote. However, this achievement did not come without very hard work and perseverance. The Committees Vice Chairman and I have worked in full consultation throughout this process. I long ago lost count of the many meetings I have had with the Vice Chairman and Democrat and Republican members to hear and discuss their concerns about the inquiry. In response to Minority concerns and suggestions, we made many adjustments along the way. We conducted additional interviews, and most important, we expanded the scope of the review and made more than 200 changes to this report at the request of Democrat members. I am confident that every member of this committee has had ample opportunity to involve themselves to whatever extent they wished throughout the process.
Despite our hard and successful work to deliver a unanimous report, however, there were two issues on which the Republicans and Democrats could not agree: 1) whether the Committee should conclude that former Ambassador Joseph Wilsons public statements were not based on knowledge he actually possessed, and 2) whether the Committee should conclude that it was the former ambassadors wife who recommended him for his trip to Niger.
The Committee began its review of prewar intelligence on Iraq by examining the Intelligence Communitys sharing of intelligence information with the UNMOVIC inspection teams. (The Committees findings on that topic can be found in the section of the report titled, The Intelligence Communitys Sharing of Intelligence on Iraqi Suspect WMD Sites with UN Inspectors.) Shortly thereafter, we expanded the review when former Ambassador Joseph Wilson began speaking publicly about his role in exploring the possibility that Iraq was seeking or may have acquired uranium yellowcake from Africa. Ambassador Wilsons emergence was precipitated by a passage in President Bushs January 2003 State of the Union address which is now referred to as the sixteen words. President Bush stated, . . . the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. The details of the Committees findings and conclusions on this issue can be found in the Niger section of the report. What cannot be found, however, are two conclusions upon which the Committees Democrats would not agree. While there was no dispute with the underlying facts, my Democrat colleagues refused to allow the following conclusions to appear in the report:
Conclusion: The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassadors wife, a CIA employee.
The former ambassadors wife suggested her husband for the trip to Niger in February 2002. The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on behalf of the CIA, also at the suggestion of his wife, to look into another matter not related to Iraq. On February 12, 2002, the former ambassadors wife sent a memorandum to a Deputy Chief of a division in the CIAs Directorate of Operations which said, [m]y husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity. This was just one day before the same Directorate of Operations division sent a cable to one of its overseas stations requesting concurrence with the divisions idea to send the former ambassador to Niger.
Conclusion: Rather than speaking publicly about his actual experiences during his inquiry of the Niger issue, the former ambassador seems to have included information he learned from press accounts and from his beliefs about how the Intelligence Community would have or should have handled the information he provided.
At the time the former ambassador traveled to Niger, the Intelligence Community did not have in its possession any actual documents on the alleged Niger-Iraq uranium deal, only second hand reporting of the deal. The former ambassadors comments to reporters that the Niger-Iraq uranium documents may have been forged because the dates were wrong and the names were wrong, could not have been based on the former ambassadors actual experiences because the Intelligence Community did not have the documents at the time of the ambassadors trip. In addition, nothing in the report from the former ambassadors trip said anything about documents having been forged or the names or dates in the reports having been incorrect. The former ambassador told Committee staff that he, in fact, did not have access to any of the names and dates in the CIAs reports and said he may have become confused about his own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in March 2003 that the names and dates on the documents were not correct. Of note, the names and dates in the documents that the IAEA found to be incorrect were not names or dates included in the CIA reports.
Following the Vice Presidents review of an intelligence report regarding a possible uranium deal, he asked his briefer for the CIAs analysis of the issue. It was this request which generated Mr. Wilsons trip to Niger. The former ambassadors public comments suggesting that the Vice President had been briefed on the information gathered during his trip is not correct, however. While the CIA responded to the Vice Presidents request for the Agencys analysis, they never provided the information gathered by the former Ambassador. The former ambassador, in an NBC Meet the Press interview on July 6, 2003, said, The office of the Vice President, I am absolutely convinced, received a very specific response to the question it asked and that response was based upon my trip out there. The former ambassador was speaking on the basis of what he believed should have happened based on his former government experience, but he had no knowledge that this did happen.
These and other public comments from the former ambassador, such as comments that his report debunked the Niger-Iraq uranium story, were incorrect and have led to a distortion in the press and in the publics understanding of the facts surrounding the Niger-Iraq uranium story. The Committee found that, for most analysts, the former ambassadors report lent more credibility, not less, to the reported Niger-Iraq uranium deal.
During Mr. Wilsons media blitz, he appeared on more than thirty television shows including entertainment venues. Time and again, Joe Wilson told anyone who would listen that the President had lied to the American people, that the Vice President had lied, and that he had debunked the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. As discussed in the Niger section of the report, not only did he NOT debunk the claim, he actually gave some intelligence analysts even more reason to believe that it may be true. I believed very strongly that it was important for the Committee to conclude publicly that many of the statements made by Ambassador Wilson were not only incorrect, but had no basis in fact.
In an interview with Committee staff, Mr. Wilson was asked how he knew some of the things he was stating publicly with such confidence. On at least two occasions he admitted that he had no direct knowledge to support some of his claims and that he was drawing on either unrelated past experiences or no information at all. For example, when asked how he knew that the Intelligence Community had rejected the possibility of a Niger-Iraq uranium deal, as he wrote in his book, he told Committee staff that his assertion may have involved a little literary flair.
The former Ambassador, either by design or through ignorance, gave the American people and, for that matter, the world a version of events that was inaccurate, unsubstantiated, and misleading. Surely, the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has unique access to all of the facts, should have been able to agree on a conclusion that would correct the public record. Unfortunately, we were unable to do so.
I wish I was swimming in Saudi money. ;-)
Joking aside, I don't know your sources for what you posted in #8, but it makes a great deal of sense. There is definitely something much larger to this case. However, I don't have any confidence in special prosecutors, so I'm not at all convinced Fitzgerald will do anything worthwhile.
Me, too. No one ever offers to bribe me.
Give me a minute, I'll come up with the links...
Could those documents have been forged, but accurate?
What's good for CBS is sauce for the gander...
In September 2002, the British government published a white paper in which it made public British intelligence's belief that Saddam had tried to buy uranium in Africa. A month later[October 2002], the CIA received from an Italian source documents purporting to show that Niger and Iraq had done a deal. These turned out to be forgeries.
President Bush mentioned the British findings in his State of the Union address in January 2003. In his leaks to Pincus, and earlier to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Wilson claimed Bush knew this was false
On July 14, 2003, columnist Robert Novak wondered why Wilson...had been selected for the Niger mission. "Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report" he wrote.
In other words two senior administration officials told Novak that Wilson had been sent to investigate a report which the CIA did not receive until 9 months later!
Wilson said in his July 2003 article that he believed the "memorandum" he was sent to investigate was the forgery...although he never saw it. Of course, he knew exactly what it was since his wife had seen it but he couldn't acknowledge that because he wasn't cleared to see it and the CIA, which was sending him to investigate it, didn't disclose the details to him (according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report).
There's the REAL scandal.
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