Skip to comments.CIA Plame Thread - Questions, Answers, and Outcomes
Posted on 10/18/2005 12:13:44 PM PDT by CT
Rush says there is a rumor on the street that the CIA leak case is about to produce some indictments. He also said it was just a rumor, and did not assign probabilities.
I am suggesting we use this thread to get a single post that establishes key facts around this entire matter. For instance:
1. It is widely believed that Joe Wilson's testimony to the select Senate Committee upon his return from Niger is in conflict with his NYT editorial some months later. If so, it would mean Wilson was lying to either the Senate or American public through his editorial.
Please provide news links that establish Wilson's duplicity.
2. Media has variously reported Valerie Plame as a covert CIA agent. However facts established when the case first broke had Plame as a regular staff CIA employee working at Langley for the 5 years prior to allegedly being 'outed.' If so, it would mean the law prohibiting naming covert agents does not apply.
Within the last few weeks the usual media outlets have now started reporting Plame as a covert, Division of Operations employee, with no mention of Plame's most current role, and widely known identity as CIA staff.
Please provide news and other links that establish Plame's less-than-covert identity; also how media has 'airbrushed' key facts in this invetsigation that would put the entire case in doubt.
3. There are a number of circumstances, facts, and related information that makes this a very strange case. One common element, however, is how poorly the liberal media has covered it. In particular, how reporters have used inuendo and a new phenomenon - projection - to write stories with little or no basis in fact. Karl Rove is therefore only the latest example.
Please provide any and all links that establish examples of how poorly the media has performed, as well as key examples of media bias.
If there is anything else worth including, please do. It will be most useful if we can get any and all relevant data linked here.
According to Foxnews:
CIA Leak Probe Focuses on Possible Inaccuracies
WASHINGTON Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff apparently gave New York Times reporter Judith Miller (search) inaccurate information about where Valerie Plame worked in the CIA, a mistake that could be important to the criminal investigation.
Miller's notes say I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby (search) told her on July 8, 2003, that the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson worked for the CIA's Weapons Intelligence, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control unit.
Plame, Wilson's wife, never worked for WINPAC (search), which is on the overt side of the CIA. She worked on the CIA's secret side, the directorate of operations, according to three people familiar with her work for the spy agency.
The Grand Jury meets on Wednesdays and Fridays, and is due to expire on the 28th. That leaves only four more days form them to hand down indictments. Rumors have been rampant every Monday and Tuesday for the last 3 weeks about supposed indictments on Wednesday. Many bloggers have said they don't think Fitzgerald wants to wait until the last day to announce indictments because that tends to taint the public's perception of them as rushed and weak. So if nothing happens tomorrow or Friday, there's a good chance nothing will. I think Democrats are feverishly pumping these rumors, hoping they might cause one of the key figures to "crack" and go back to the GJ and rat somebody (i.e. Rove) out. They are all full of crap, Fitzgerald is playing this close and nobody knows what he or the GJ will do.
The special counsel has indicated that he does not anticipate the need for Mr. Rove's further cooperation," the statement said.
In another Article he was also asked not to divulge his testimony , as it was critical to the investigation.
This does not look like someone that is a target of the SP, but a key witness.
Is Fitzgerald a Democrat or Republican appointee?
I've read on several threads that you can generally tell who is going to be indicted in a Grand Jury probe by who *isn't* called to testify. As I am not a prosecutor, I don't know how true that statement is.
If it is true, then to the best of my knowledge, there are two people who are centrally involved in this affair who have not been called to testify - Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson. That might be telling.
It does not really matter. He did a good job covering up most of the 9/11 stuff.
Patrick J. Fitzgerald began serving as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois on September 1, 2001. Mr. Fitzgerald was initially appointed on an interim basis by Attorney General John Ashcroft before being nominated by President George W. Bush. The United States Senate confirmed his nomination by unanimous consent on October 23, 2001, and President Bush signed his commission on October 29, 2001.
Mr. Fitzgerald served on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee from 2001-2005, and he remains Chair of that Committee's sub-committee on terrorism. He is also a member of the President's Corporate Fraud Task Force. In December 2003, he was named Special Counsel to investigate the alleged disclosure of the identity of a purported employee of the Central Intelligence Agency.
I agree with you. In addition, I think what is happening now is that the media is going nuts because Fitzgerald is actually, gulp, conducting this investigation in a professional manner (no leaks etc.) That must be driving the MSM, and even the new media, nuts. Hence the wild speculation we are getting, and it is wild.
LW kooks says its a Cheney aide.
they say its John Hannah
A senior aide to Vice President Dick Cheney is cooperating with special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, sources close to the investigation say.
Individuals familiar with Fitzgeralds case tell RAW STORY that John Hannah, a senior national security aide on loan to Vice President Dick Cheney from the offices of then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, John Bolton, was named as a target of Fitzgeralds probe. They say he was told in recent weeks that he could face imminent indictment for his role in leaking Plame-Wilsons name to reporters unless he cooperated with the investigation.
Others close to the probe say that if Hannah is cooperating with the special prosecutor then he was likely going to be charged as a co-conspirator and may have cut a deal.
Hannah did not return two calls and several emails to his White House address seeking comment.
Fitzgerald is investigating whether officials in the Bush Administration illegally outed a CIA agent to get back at her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was a critic of the Administrations faulty intelligence and lead-up to war.
In a July 2003 editorial, Wilson wrote that the Bush administration twisted pre-Iraq war intelligence in order to win public support for the Iraq conflict.
Specifically, Wilson called into question the veracity of President Bushs claim in his January 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq tried to purchase yellow-cake uranium from Africa. Wilson had been sent on a fact-finding mission to Niger a year before and reported that those allegations were unfounded. Bush administration officials said Wilsons trip was a boondoggle, and was set up by his wife who worked at the CIA on weapons of mass destruction.
Those close to the investigation said in June 2003, Hannah was given orders by higher-ups in Cheneys office to leak Plames covert status and identity in an attempt to muzzle Wilson, who had been a thorn in the side of the administration since May 2003, when he started questioning the administrations claims that Iraq was an imminent threat to the U.S. and its neighbors in the Middle East. The specifics of who issued those orders and what directives were given were not provided.
Hannah had been fingered by Wilson
To many following the case, Hannahs involvement will not come as a surprise. Wilson pointed to Hannah as a possible leaker in his book, The Politics of Truth.
In fact, senior advisers close to the president may well have been clever enough to have used others to do the actual leaking, in order to keep their fingerprints off the crime, Wilson writes.
John Hannah and David Wurmser, mid-level political appointees in the vice-presidents office, have both been suggested as sources of the leak Mid-level officials, however, do not leak information without the authority from a higher level, Wilson notes.
The revelation that Hannah has become a prosecution witness strongly suggests that Fitzgerald is now looking into the motive for outing Plame and how Wilsons complaints threatened to destroy public support for the war, which the Bush administration worked diligently to win.
Fitzgerald may be looking at a broader conspiracy case of pre-war machinations by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) and by the Pentagons ultra-secret Office of Net Assessment, the former operating out of Dick Cheneys office and tasked with selling the war in Iraq, and the latter operating out of Defense Under Secretary for Policy, Douglas Feiths office and tasked with creating a war to sell, as some describe.
To spread its message that Saddam Hussein was a nuclear threat, the White House Iraq Group relied heavily on New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who, after meeting with several of the organizations members in August 2002, wrote an explosive story that many critics of the war believe laid the groundwork for military action against Iraq.
On Sunday, Sept. 8, 2002, for example, Miller wrote a story for the Times quoting anonymous officials who said aluminum tubes found in Iraq were to be used as centrifuges. Her report turned out to be wrong.
Hannah under investigation for role with Chalabi group
Hannah is currently under investigation by U.S. authorities for his alleged activities in an intelligence program run by the controversial Iraqi National Congress (INC) and its leader, Ahmed Chalabi.
According to a Newsweek article, a memo written for the Iraq National Congress (INC) raised questions regarding Cheneys role in the build up to the war in Iraq. During the lead up to the war, Newsweek asserts, the INC was providing intelligence on the now discredited Iraqi WMD program through Hannah and I. Lewis Scooter Libby, Cheneys chief of staff.
A June 2002 memo written by INC lobbyist Entifadh Qunbar to a U.S. Senate committee lists John Hannah, a senior national-security aide on Cheneys staff, as one of two U.S. governmental recipients for reports generated by an intelligence program being run by the INC and which was then being funded by the State Department. Under the program, defectors, reports and raw intelligence are cultivated and analyzed; the info was then reported to, among others, appropriate governmental, non-governmental and international agencies. The memo not only describes Cheney aide Hannah as a principal point of contact for the program, it even provides his direct White House telephone number.
Hannah and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Scooter Libby, were the two Cheney employees, We believe that Hannah was the major player in this, one federal law-enforcement officer told the magazine.
According to the Washington Post, Libby discussed Wilson's wife with at least two reporters before her identity became public.
I suspect he's playing a game of chicken, keeping his cards close to the vest, and letting the imaginations of the witnesses to run wild, hoping that someone will crack.
In the end, he may simply announce that he doesn't have anything worth indicting anyone over.
I've suggested the same for the reason that "targets" get "target letters" advising them of their exposure. They rarely testify. Rove and Libby have testified a lot. Hence, they look like they should be out of the woods. As you note, Wilson and Plame have not and Wilson hasn't been grabbing facetime as appears to be his wont. In any event, I don't know what the h*ll is going to happen and neither does most of the reporters and speculators....
Much ado about nothing.
This article is true BS. They manage to implicate everyone and everything, including the Iraq war. Sounds to me like a small cabal of Washington trash talkers trying to bring down the Administration.
I was surprised to learn that Judith Miller is a long time friend of Chalabi. I remember the dust up with Chalabi in Iraq and the back and forth in the United States about his credibility which tracked with the anti-neo-con/pro-neo-con factions. It seemed to be an intra-agency fight as well, with the neo-cons claiming he was set up. (This is all from memory.)
I'm guessing there is much, much more to all of this, from both the WH and CIA perspective. There was a rather ill disguised war going on with the CIA and State Department leakers. The only question is who had the truth on their side...since Wilson has been shown to be a liar, I'm not sure where any of this stands in the eyes of Fitzgerald.
Here are some facts I have managed to gather and an interesting timeline:
5/02/03 - In the Boston Globe on 10/02/05, Wilson states that he has been advising the Kerry campaign for about 5 months.
7/06/03 - Wilson writes his famous "What I Didnt Find in Africa" article for the NYT. Mind you, he was a Kerry adviser at the time.
7/14/05 - The Novak article comes out identifying Valerie Plame
7/29/04 - The Senate Committe investigating Wilson's report discredits it and says it was wrong and useless.
Matt Cooper of Time has testified that he called Rove initially, but it was Rove who said that Wilson's wife was CIA, but Rove didnt say she was covert and didnt name her.
Cooper subsequently brought up Plame's identity with Libby, who only confirmed it for him.
Rove confirmed Plame's identity with Novak.
Valerie's last overseas posting (strange wording by Mr. Wilson himself) ended in 1997, however, some reports say her cover was blown earlier by Aldrich Ames in 1994.
European and British intelligence agencies still stand by the claim that Iraq sought yellowcake from Niger.
Plame met Wilson in 1997, Wilson divorced his wife in 1998, he and Plame bought a house together in 1998. How, exactly, are affairs with married men by covert operatives considered by the CIA?
Valerie revealed her status as a NOC on her 3rd or 4th "date" with Wilson, according to Vanity Fair.
The upshot, while working for the Kerry campaign, Wilson wrote an untruthful column for the New York Times to smear Bush by altering the facts he gathered from a CIA mission. A mission that he got because of his wife. The Senate later discredited Wilson's claims and came to the opposite conclusion from his report. Wilson had claimed that Plame had nothing to do with it. After being discredited, Wilson was dropped from the Kerry campaign.
Does holding down a desk in the "secret" side make you a "covert agent" under the law? Or is a covert agent a field operative?
Seeing this, I think Bush and Rove are playing poker.We have seen the flop and the turn card. The coming week should be the final card on the river.
The fact that Judith Miller has said that she could not remember who her source is tells me her source is either Wilson himself or a member of the Clinton team.
I do believe as mentioned on an earlier thread that the White House has her on tape to be used at the appropriate time.
Fitzgerald is a Republican appointee, but he is a democrat
I think Joe Wilson testified as late as last week.
"Those close to the investigation said in June 2003, Hannah was given orders by higher-ups in Cheneys office to leak Plames covert status and identity in an attempt to muzzle Wilson . . . "
It appears to me that rawstory is having a wet dream.
he is just investigating the leak.
are you sure?
IIRC Ken Starr was not investigating stains and dresses
I do not know the answers but I like post #18
They actually wrote that? LOL! One scenario that hadn't occurred to me!
Here is my personal view for what it is worth:
1) There has been NO ABSOLUTE, IRREFUTABLE and CREDIBLE statement made regarding the status of Valerie Plame at the time her involvement in the Niger trip was exposed.
WAS SHE OR WAS SHE NOT OFFICIALLY A COVERT AGENT AT THAT TIME ?
Most of the people in this thread say she was not and their explanations span the gamut from her being in the USA for over 6 years ( yes, but was her covert status revoked ? ), and her employment in the CIA being known by most of her friends ( so what ?).
Therefore her OFFICIAL STATUS is crucial to the investigation. If she was not officially covert, then the issue is not the outing, because there is no "covert" status to out.
2) Even if her status were covert ( and this is a big IF ), for Rove and Libby to be indicted, there has to be proof beyond reasonable doubt that THEY INDEED BOTH *KNEW* and *MENTIONED* the fact of her covert status to reporters.
WE DON'T KNOW OF SUCH ACT. All we know as of this time is that Rove and Libby DID mention her involvement in the trip of Niger by her husband, Joe Wilson. Simply mentioning such invovlement WITHOUT mentioning her status DOES NOT CONSTITUTE SOMETHING THAT IS ILLEGAL or CRIMINAL.
3) The most worrisome element about this for Rove and/or Libby will then be --- whether or not her involvement ( i.e., recommendation of Wilson to the Niger trip ) was CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.
If it indeed was classified information ( and I don't know that ), then we have a case of Rove and/or Libby leaking classified information and THIS is illegal and indictable.
SO, IS HER RECOMMENDATION OF THE NIGER TRIP FOR HER HUSBAND *CLASSIFIED* INFO ? Does anyone know ?
4) If her involvement is classified info, then for me, IT MAKES NO SENSE TO SAY THAT WILSON's TRIP TO NIGER IS NOT CLASSIFIED EITHER.
You do not de-classify the nature of a trip only to classify the details of the trip. ONE SHOULD COME *TOGETHER* with the other. Wilson's trip *AND* Plame's involvement ( i.e., her recommending him ) SHOULD BOTH BE CLASSIFIED !!!
Now if both are classified, then I don't see why if they indict Rove and Libby for leaking classified info, they should not indict Joe Wilson too.
After all, the entire case got started because Joe Wilson WROTE ABOUT HIS TRIP IN THE NY TIMES ! Which means, he broadcast classified info to the whole world !
Therefore, if Rove and Libby are going to be indicted for leaking classified info, Joe Wilson HAS TO be indicted too.
Anyone disagree with my analysis ?
You must of heard Peter Lance on C2C am.
The first paragraphs sounded remotely plausible, but my Bias/BS-o-Meter started clanging when I hit the line...
"Hannah was given orders ...to leak Plames covert status and identity in an attempt to muzzle Wilson...when he started questioning the administrations claims that Iraq was an imminent threat to the U.S. and its neighbors in the Middle East..."
Then the BS-o-Meter jumped off the wall after I read...
First: "Others close to the probe say that if Hannah is cooperating with the special prosecutor then he was likely going to be charged as a co-conspirator and may have cut a deal..."
"The revelation that Hannah has become a prosecution witness ..."
Which is it? Is Hannah a confirmed "witness for the prosecution," or is the writer blowing reefer smoke?
Whoever the loon is, he can't keep it straight within one article.
All CIA employment is classified - even the receptionist. And it is declassified on a case by case basis meaning that when the receptionist is hired, she is specifically given a clearance to reveal where she works. I know it sounds like a big deal but it isn't. If you call the CIA to ascertain if someone is an employee, you will either get a "yes" meaning it's a non-covert position or you will get no answer at all. That's what Novak got when he called about Plame. If Valerie was ever covert, then you are not allowed to reveal that she is currently a CIA employee - that's illegal. Revealing the name of a formerly covert agent exposes everyone they've ever worked with to danger. Valerie Wilson was known as an employee of Brewster Energy. When her identity as a CIA agent was established, Brewster Energy was revealed as a CIA front. That's where the problem comes in and why the CIA referred for investigation.
Whether someone is a desk jockey or not is irrevelant. Being a spy is dangerous, stressful work and they come and go. They spy for several years and then spend years at the agency. At a later point, they may very well go back out into the field. Valerie can't do that now. Every connection she established is lost.
I have a brother who was with the agency for many, many years. It's a tough life. We should be careful not to make it tougher.
We'll see about this mess.
Oh, and if his trip was classified, he would have been indicted ages ago. One wouldn't need a special prosecutor for that. Anybody at the Justice Department could handle that in a couple hours. That would make the Sandy Berger case look like the biggest spy trial of all time - it would be that easy.
We know the info was classified, we just don't know if it's intentionally leaked or not.
I noticed that, too, and it does make it sound as if Rove's testimony was not the nail in the coffin for Rove but rather an essential piece for some OTHER line of inquiry to proceed.
DING DING DING DING We have a winner. Give that Freeper a cigar.
Re#24 Yep. Indeed, none of the leaks are coming from the WH or Fitzgerald. This thing has a direction that the presstitutes simply refuse to acknowledge. Interesting too is that the NY Slimes and Miller are getting hammered by some of their peers. Perhaps eyes are opening, albeit reluctantly. Sure will be interesting to see what Fitzgerald comes out with, if anything...
Pardon my ignorance, but wouldn't the fact that she and her husband posed for a Vanity Fair article entitled Double Exposure pretty much seal her future fate with covert operations? seems to me she outed herself with that debacle.
"Whether someone is a desk jockey or not is irrevelant."
You don't know what you are talking about.
If the agent in question has not had a covert overseas assignment for five years prior, the Agent Protection Act of 1982 does not apply.
Which is what this was supposedly all about.
What 9/11 info did he coverup??
I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction. The prediction is that the WH is not a target, but people within the CIA are. Not household names, but people acting in the role of (liberal activist) rogues within the CIA, whose goal was to politicize the WMD issue.
Joe Wilson should have reason to be nervous tonight as well.
And the original source of the leak is Mr. Richard Clarke.
What crackpots!! That they would believe that VP Richard Cheney would commit a felony crime against his country shows how sick and blinded by their hatred they are.
I believe Novak identified them originally in his pertinent article as "in the administration, but not political gunslingers." Ever see Rove or Libby without their holsters firmly in place? LOL
Can't give you one. I thought I saw something to that effect one or two weeks ago here on FR. I checked my email to see if I mailed it to my dear liberal friends but it wasn't in any of my emails. I may have been mistaken in thinking Wilson was recently before the GJ.
Tonight NBC Hardball has decided that indictments will be for a conspiracy that amounts to vindication of the allegation that Bush lied to take us to war. Both David Gergen and Howard Feinstein are hoping for this outcome.
I think it is more likely and desirable that we find the traitors in the CIA. Wilson is such a greedy sleaze, it cracks me up they are pointing fingers at Dick Cheney.
Seems it would be hard to be a covert agent and at the same time married to a former ambassador. How does that work? What foreign national would trust her?
Wait now. The Special Prosecutor has been investigating this for two years! Surely we can assume that the law applies????!!!