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Was the Joe Wilson Valerie Plame Affair a CIA Plot?
The National Ledger ^ | oct. 21, 2005 | Cliff Kincaid

Posted on 10/21/2005 9:44:44 AM PDT by blogblogginaway

The media version of the CIA leak case is that the White House illegally revealed a CIA employee’s identity because her husband, Joseph Wilson, was an administration critic.

But former prosecutor Joseph E. diGenova says the real story is that the CIA “launched a covert operation” against the President when it sent Wilson on the mission to Africa to investigate the Iraq-uranium link. DiGenova, a former Independent Counsel who prosecuted several high-profile cases and has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, including as counsel to several Senate committees, is optimistic that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will figure it all out.

DiGenova tells this columnist, “It seems to me somewhat strange, in terms of CIA tradecraft, that if you were really attempting to protect the identity of a covert officer, why would you send her husband overseas on a mission, without a confidentiality agreement, and then allow him when he came back to the United States to write an op-ed piece in the New York Times about it.”

That mission, he explained, leads naturally to the questions: Who is this guy? And how did he get this assignment? “That’s not the way you protect the identity of a covert officer,” he said. “If it is, then [CIA director] Porter Goss is doing the right thing in cleaning house” at the agency.

If the CIA is the real villain in the case, then almost everything we have been told about the scandal by the media is wrong. What’s more, it means that the CIA, perhaps the most powerful intelligence agency in the U.S. Government, was deliberately trying to undermine the Bush Administration’s Iraq War policy. The liberals who are anxious for indictments of Bush Administration officials in this case should start paying attention to this aspect of the scandal. They may be opposed to the Iraq War, but since when is the CIA allowed to run covert operations against an elected president of the U.S.?

DiGenova first made his astounding comments about the Wilson affair being a covert operation against the President on the Imus in the Morning Show, carried nationally on radio and MSNBC-TV. I wondered whether these serious charges would be refuted or probed by the media. Imus, a shock jock who has spent several days grieving and joking about the death of his cat, didn’t grasp their significance. But the mainstream press didn’t seem interested, either.

DiGenova told me he believes there has been a “war between the White House and the CIA over intelligence” and that the agency, in the Wilson affair, “was using the sort of tactics it uses in covert actions overseas.” One has to consider the implications of this statement. It means that the CIA was using Wilson for the purpose of undermining the Bush Administration’s Iraq policy.

If this is the case, then one has to conclude that the CIA’s covert operation against the President was successful to a point. It generated an investigation of the White House after officials began trying to set the record straight to the press about the Wilson mission. At this point, it’s still not clear what if anything Fitzgerald has on these officials. If they’re indicted for making inconsistent statements about their discussions with one another or the press, that would seem to be a pathetically weak case. And it would not get to the heart of the issue—the CIA’s war against Bush.

One of those apparently threatened with indictment, as Times reporter Judith Miller’s account of her grand jury testimony revealed, is an agency critic named Lewis Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Miller said that Libby was frustrated and angry about “selective leaking” by the CIA and other agencies to “distance themselves from what he recalled as their unequivocal prewar intelligence assessments.” Miller said Libby believed the “selective leaks” from the CIA were an attempt to “shift blame to the White House” and were part of a “perverted war” over the war in Iraq.

Wilson was clearly part of that war. He came back from Niger in Africa and wrote the New York Times column insisting there was no Iraqi deal to purchase uranium for a nuclear weapons program. In fact, however, Wlson had misrepresented his own findings, and the Senate Intelligence Committee found there was additional evidence of Iraqi attempts to buy uranium.

DiGenova raises serious questions about the CIA role not only in the Wilson mission but in the referral to the Justice Department that culminated in the appointment of a special prosecutor. At this point in the media feeding frenzy over the story, the issue of how the investigation started has almost been completely lost. The answer is that it came from the CIA. Acting independently and with great secrecy, the CIA contacted the Justice Department with “concern” about articles in the press that included the “disclosure” of “the identity of an employee operating under cover.” The CIA informed the Justice Department that the disclosure was “a possible violation of criminal law.” This started the chain of events that is the subject of speculative news articles almost every day.

The CIA’s version of its contacts with the Justice Department was contained in a 4-paragraph letter to Rep. John Conyers, ranking Democratic Member of the House Judiciary Committee. Conyers and other liberal Democrats had been clamoring for the probe.

DiGenova doubts that the CIA had a case to begin with. He says he would like to see what sworn information was provided to the Justice Department about the status of Wilson’s CIA wife, Valerie Plame, and what “active measures” the CIA was taking to protect her identity. The implication is that her status was not classified or protected and that the agency simply used the stories about her identity to create the scandal that seems to occupy so much attention these days.

But if the purpose was not only to undermine the Iraq War policy but to stop the administration from reforming the agency, it hasn’t completely worked. Indeed, the Washington Post ran a long story by Dafna Linzer on October 19 about the “turmoil” in the agency as personnel either quit or are forced out by CIA Director Goss. Like so many stories about the CIA leak case, this story reflected the views of CIA bureaucrats who despise what Goss is doing and resist supervision or reform of their operations.

Members of the press do not want to be seen as too close to the Bush Administration, but acting as scribblers for the CIA bureaucracy, which failed America on 9/11, is perfectly acceptable.

DiGenova’s comments might be dismissed as just the view of an administration defender. But his comments reflect the facts about the case that emerged when the Senate Intelligence Committee conducted an independent investigation. Wilson, who became an adviser to the Kerry for President campaign, had claimed his CIA wife had no role in recommending him for the trip, but the committee determined that was not true. Why would Wilson misrepresent the truth about her if the purpose were not to conceal the curious nature of the CIA role and its hidden agenda in his controversial mission? And who in the CIA besides his wife was behind it?

In this regard, Miller’s account of her testimony to the grand jury disclosed that Fitzgerald had asked whether Libby had complained about nepotism behind the Wilson trip, a reference to the role played by Plame. This is the line of inquiry that could lead, if Fitzgerald pursues it, to unraveling the CIA “covert operation” behind the Wilson affair. There may be rogue elements at the agency who are conducting their own foreign policy, in contravention of the official foreign policy of the U.S. Government elected by the American people. Like it or not, Bush is the President and he is supposed to run the CIA, not the other way around.

Fitzgerald has the opportunity to break this case wide open. Or else he can take the politically correct approach, which is popular with the press, and go after administration officials.

One irony of the case is that Miller is under strong attack by the left as an administration lackey when she didn’t even write an article at the time noting Libby’s criticisms of the CIA and the Wilson trip. Did her “other sources,” perhaps in the CIA, persuade her to drop the story? We may never know because she claims that she got Fitzgerald to agree not to question her about them. But what she did eventually report, after spending 85 days in jail, amounts to an exoneration of the Bush Administration. Libby, Karl Rove and others obviously believed they could not take on the CIA directly but had to get their story out indirectly through the press. They got burned by Miller and other journalists.

Goss’s CIA house-cleaning, of course, has come too late to save the administration from being victimized in the Wilson/Plame affair. Some officials could get indicted because of faulty or inconsistent memories. It is also obvious that liberal journalists are so excited over possible indictments of Bush officials that they are willing to overlook the agency’s manipulation of public policy and the press. But if the CIA has been out-of-control, subverting the democratic process and undermining the president, the American people have a right to know. If Fitzgerald doesn’t blow the whistle on this, the Congress should hold public hearings and do so.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: beltwaywarzone; cia; cialeak; libby; plame; rove; wilson
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1 posted on 10/21/2005 9:44:46 AM PDT by blogblogginaway
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To: blogblogginaway
the real story is that the CIA “launched a covert operation” against the President - little baby legs, grow baby grow.
2 posted on 10/21/2005 9:48:24 AM PDT by SF Republican
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To: blogblogginaway
...the real story is that the CIA “launched a covert operation” against the President when it sent Wilson on the mission to Africa to investigate the Iraq-uranium link.

Hmmmm

3 posted on 10/21/2005 9:48:35 AM PDT by GOPJ (The enemy is never tired, never sated, never content with yesterday's brutality. -- President Bush)
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To: blogblogginaway

So she blows her cover to Wilson on their third date during a make-out session. What if he was, say, A RUSSIAN? Didn't she violate the law?


4 posted on 10/21/2005 9:49:37 AM PDT by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: GOPJ

It's way past time the President just shut down the CIA and fired everyone there...start over and vet every person who wants to be an undercover agent.


5 posted on 10/21/2005 9:50:03 AM PDT by princess leah (\)
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To: blogblogginaway

Maybe we should be asking the CIA where the WMD's are. It sounds like this little cabal is capable of tipping Sadam off and even assisting in the hiding or disposal of the weapons. Maybe its time to start looking for double agents.


6 posted on 10/21/2005 9:51:55 AM PDT by Juan Medén
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To: blogblogginaway

Excellent!! Thanks!! Just another Rathergate but much more serious because it suggests "Dem Operatives, including Valerie, in the CIA".


7 posted on 10/21/2005 9:52:42 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: blogblogginaway

Yes.


8 posted on 10/21/2005 9:53:36 AM PDT by txhurl
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To: Sacajaweau

Who did the TWA-800 video to cover Bill Clinton?


9 posted on 10/21/2005 9:55:34 AM PDT by bmwcyle (We broke Pink's Code and found a terrorist message)
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To: blogblogginaway
The money quote of the article:

DiGenova tells this columnist, “It seems to me somewhat strange, in terms of CIA tradecraft, that if you were really attempting to protect the identity of a covert officer, why would you send her husband overseas on a mission, without a confidentiality agreement, and then allow him when he came back to the United States to write an op-ed piece in the New York Times about it.”

10 posted on 10/21/2005 9:57:03 AM PDT by kabar
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To: blogblogginaway; Peach; Fedora; Grampa Dave; STARWISE; justshutupandtakeit; Lancey Howard; ...
"DiGenova told me he believes there has been a “war between the White House and the CIA over intelligence” and that the agency, in the Wilson affair, “was using the sort of tactics it uses in covert actions overseas.” One has to consider the implications of this statement. It means that the CIA was using Wilson for the purpose of undermining the Bush Administration’s Iraq policy."

Yes, this is the theme that is so crucial to understanding this whole mess and the theme that a number of us have been sounding since fraud artist Joe Wilson first emerged on the national scene. Has Fitzgerald been onto this, or not?? I would hope/expect that there should have been all sorts of confidential grilling of current and former CIA and State people going on, especially the VIPS pigs, but who knows?? It does worry me that so little of the 'real' story ever seems to get into the MSM. I know that's not surprising given their biases, but it's still worrying that Goss and the WH so far have been totally unable to educate the media and the public about the real problems......
11 posted on 10/21/2005 9:58:08 AM PDT by Enchante (Bill Clinton: "I did not have sex with any of the skeletons in my closet!")
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To: blogblogginaway
At this point in the media feeding frenzy over the story, the issue of how the investigation started has almost been completely lost. The answer is that it came from the CIA. Acting independently and with great secrecy, the CIA contacted the Justice Department with “concern” about articles in the press that included the “disclosure” of “the identity of an employee operating under cover.” The CIA informed the Justice Department that the disclosure was “a possible violation of criminal law.
Nobody seems to want to talk about how this whole thing got started. The CIA certainly seems to have done exactly what it needed to do to hamstring the White House.
12 posted on 10/21/2005 9:58:19 AM PDT by Bob
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To: massgopguy

I believe she would have been allowed to tell her "Husband" but no one else. Joe should have never written that little gem. According to Joe, Valerie didn't approve of his book and yet she was engaged and was paid for a Cover Story with her charming snake. Secret Agent?? Me thinks not. Novak got it right. CIA Operative....Dem Operative!!


13 posted on 10/21/2005 10:00:11 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: blogblogginaway

Ever question why Porter Goss, another Florida Republican and former member of the Congressional Committee to oversee intelligence operations, was selected to head one of the already failed agencies he was being paid to oversee?


14 posted on 10/21/2005 10:00:52 AM PDT by TiaS
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To: Sacajaweau

When Valerie told Joe that she was NOC, they were only dating. On April 3, 1998, Plame became the third wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. Plame met Wilson, her second husband, at a Washington D.C party in early 1997. She was able to reveal her CIA role to him while they were dating because he held a high-level security clearance. At the time, Wilson was separated from his second wife Jacqueline, a former French diplomat. Wilson and Plame are the parents of five-year-old twins.


15 posted on 10/21/2005 10:02:00 AM PDT by UglyinLA
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To: SF Republican
Was the Joe Wilson Valerie Plame Affair a CIA Plot?

George Tenet (Clinton holdover) requested this investigation in 2003. As Director of Central Intelligence, Tenet must have known that Plame was not a covert agent and no crime was committed in revealing her identity to reporters. The only motive that Tenet could have in requesting action by DoJ was a political hit on the White House, with the likely prime target being Vice President Cheney. Every American should be very concerned about the CIA meddling in electoral politics.
16 posted on 10/21/2005 10:03:22 AM PDT by advance_copy (Stand for life, or nothing at all)
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To: blogblogginaway

Seems to me everything connected with the Niger thing should be declassified and hearings held and anyone who lied should be held accountable.


17 posted on 10/21/2005 10:03:24 AM PDT by tkathy (Do-nothings are not the ones who have saved oppressed people from tyranny.)
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To: GOPJ

Joe started working for the Kerry campaign just before he went off to the Tea Party. Of course, there is no mention that Joe has business interests in Africa and he likely got a freebe trip on USA monies to take care of business, too.


18 posted on 10/21/2005 10:03:42 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: blogblogginaway

Off topic but I'm curious. Do Plame and Wilson have children from prior marriages/relationships?


19 posted on 10/21/2005 10:04:00 AM PDT by doesnt suffer fools gladly (Bush haters are insane.)
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To: Sacajaweau

It's not illegal for a covert op to blow their own cover -- usually stupid, but not illegal.


20 posted on 10/21/2005 10:05:00 AM PDT by advance_copy (Stand for life, or nothing at all)
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To: blogblogginaway; Howlin; onyx
DiGenova tells this columnist, “It seems to me somewhat strange, in terms of CIA tradecraft, that if you were really attempting to protect the identity of a covert officer, why would you send her husband overseas on a mission, without a confidentiality agreement, and then allow him when he came back to the United States to write an op-ed piece in the New York Times about it.”

I'd sure as heck like to know why they allowed this

21 posted on 10/21/2005 10:05:26 AM PDT by Mo1
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To: blogblogginaway

This is why I am hopping mad at the MSM - they have simply refused to look at the story from this angle, which has far more serious ramifications than if Libby or Rove incidentally "outed" Plame while setting the record straight regarding Wilson's trip to Niger. They are obsessed with the inner workings of the White House, but - for the first time ever - completely indifferent to the possibility of nefarious schemes being hatched in the CIA. This sickens me. My contempt for the MSM has never been stronger.


22 posted on 10/21/2005 10:05:38 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: blogblogginaway

And "Slam Dunk" got a medal.


23 posted on 10/21/2005 10:06:05 AM PDT by rhombus
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To: princess leah

The CIA is no better then the KGB... might be worse because the CIA has no loyalty.


24 posted on 10/21/2005 10:07:01 AM PDT by JeffersonRepublic.com (There is no truth in the news, and no news in the truth.)
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To: blogblogginaway

It was Wilson and his demoncRAT friends that plotted. Wilson bragged all around DC that his wife worked with the CIA. It wasn't a secret. Yet, if and when an administration official mentions it the reaction is like telling a poorly-kept secret. In Washington, DC, there aren't any secrets.


25 posted on 10/21/2005 10:08:45 AM PDT by lilylangtree
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To: blogblogginaway

I don't know if DiGenova is correct, but I do notice that there are a number of "former terrorism" people pumping up this Plame story. Could it be that these pre-9/11 terrorism experts are diverting attention from their own mistakes by attacking the White House?


26 posted on 10/21/2005 10:12:26 AM PDT by popdonnelly
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To: blogblogginaway

Duh.


27 posted on 10/21/2005 10:12:53 AM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: Bob
"Nobody seems to want to talk about how this whole thing got started. The CIA certainly seems to have done exactly what it needed to do to hamstring the White House."

The media already had their story - "Bush tries to muzzle the brave critic who exposed false justifications for war" - and that story line was so attractive, so redolent of the glory days of Watergate, that they just couldn't see any other possibilities. The MSM just went into a collective stupor and refused to ask the obvious questions about what was going on in the CIA. Semour Hersch briefly talked about it, but it never got legs.
28 posted on 10/21/2005 10:13:11 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: Enchante

Some woman named Flavia on Tucker Carlson said last night that Fitzgerald had interviewed Italian authorities in Rome about the break-in at the Nigerian Embassy there. If you will remember, it has been suggested that the letterhead and seals that were stolen were used to produce the forgeries.


29 posted on 10/21/2005 10:13:13 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: Mo1

Bush's PR people need to get ahold of this article, and start quoting DiGenova...just "positing" the idea that what DiGenova said is not only plausible...

but, likely!!!


30 posted on 10/21/2005 10:15:26 AM PDT by Txsleuth (Please say a prayer, and hold positive thoughts for Texas Cowboy...and Faith.)
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To: blogblogginaway

Back in July, I mused about why the MSM weren't considering a CIA plot.

Here's what I posted then:

"Countless times, over a period of many long years, I've heard about how adroit the CIA is at destabilizing governments. I suspect that it would be easier to count the stars in the sky than conspiracy theories about the CIA. Many of these conspiracy theories were so convoluted that they made John le Carré novels look straightforward by comparison. Most were covered extensively in the MSM -- with the requisite anti-US slant.

Now, we have a CIA "operative" and her husband at the centre of an intrigue apparently designed at destabilizing the US government itself. Naturally (I've come to believe that I've fallen into a parallel universe, where the totally bizarre and twisted is natural), the MSM is ignoring the possibility that this is a CIA plot -- or, at the very least, that it is the machinations of a highly trained CIA operative."

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1445109/posts?page=18#18


31 posted on 10/21/2005 10:15:29 AM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA (")
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To: SF Republican

A CIA Plot -- along with the Kennedy Assassination, the resignation of Nixon, the disappearance of Hoffa, and New Coke.


32 posted on 10/21/2005 10:16:11 AM PDT by churchillbuff
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To: ravingnutter
"Fitzgerald had interviewed Italian authorities in Rome about the break-in at the Nigerian Embassy there. If you will remember, it has been suggested that the letterhead and seals that were stolen were used to produce the forgeries."

Based on what we've seen so far, the White House wouldn't have the capability of doing that, but the CIA would.
33 posted on 10/21/2005 10:16:51 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: blogblogginaway

This article is very interesting. I think it is very plausible.


34 posted on 10/21/2005 10:17:14 AM PDT by Courdeleon02
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

bttt


35 posted on 10/21/2005 10:17:54 AM PDT by txhurl
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To: kabar
“It seems to me somewhat strange, in terms of CIA tradecraft, that if you were really attempting to protect the identity of a covert officer, why would you send her husband overseas on a mission, without a confidentiality agreement, and then allow him when he came back to the United States to write an op-ed piece in the New York Times about it.”

You're exactly right...that is the money quote of the piece. That little fact has been bugging me for 2 years. How covert could she have been if the CIA was willing to let him play such an overt role in this whole affair. It's not like they were a couple of shrinking violets who hid from the public. This whole thing stinks.

36 posted on 10/21/2005 10:18:16 AM PDT by pgkdan
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To: advance_copy
Per Novak:

The Justice Department investigation was not requested by CIA Director George Tenet. Any leak of classified information is routinely passed by the Agency to Justice, averaging one a week. This investigative request was made in July shortly after the column was published.

Town Hall

37 posted on 10/21/2005 10:20:27 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: blogblogginaway

If the Republicans would institute Grand Jury investigation on some of the totally illegal activities on the Democrats, this sh@@ would rapidly come to a halt.


38 posted on 10/21/2005 10:20:38 AM PDT by Logical me (Oh, well!!!)
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To: Juan Medén
Maybe its time to start looking for double agents.

Yes! Its time to play "whack-a-mole!"
39 posted on 10/21/2005 10:21:20 AM PDT by hummingbird (Think I'll google for a while.....)
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To: blogblogginaway

The "Whitehouse" was very concerned about leaks at the time Fitzgerald was appointed.

I recall that they mentioned that a number of things needed to be investigated (i.e., leaks) in addition to the Flame/Plame matter.


40 posted on 10/21/2005 10:21:47 AM PDT by Loyal Buckeye
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

Scroll down to red arrow and circle.

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/wilson.whoswho.pdf


41 posted on 10/21/2005 10:23:11 AM PDT by blogblogginaway (<a HREF="http://www.drudgereport.com/">Link to Drudge</a>)
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To: kabar
It has been a suspicious story from the first. Her exposing her position so very early in the dating process. Their high visibility in the Washington DC social scene. Her suggestion, promptly acted upon (very unbelievable), to send her husband on a "mission". The whole thing stinks to high heaven and upon reflection seems an obvious setup. I've never worked for the CIA, but I do know a small amount about security and government clearances and I know that a person who values their job would not tell a date ANYTHING about their job or what they were working on that was in the least bit classified. I always said I was a file clerk and watched their eyes glaze over. An even better one, if you didn't like them, was to say you worked for the IRS.
42 posted on 10/21/2005 10:23:55 AM PDT by pepperdog
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To: blogblogginaway

Anyone remember the Miranda memo thingie back in 2003-04?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/search?s=Miranda+memos&ok=Search&q=deep&m=all&o=score&SX=4359468ee0ab9a45855c031ee96fcccba6ee0059


43 posted on 10/21/2005 10:26:15 AM PDT by eyespysomething (I broke the dam.)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
From an earlier post of mine:

An article I found while doing research on the multitude of CIA resignations a few days ago, which at the time I dismissed as moonbat rantings...BUT:

Why did DCI George Tenet suddenly resign on June 3rd, only to be followed a day later by James Pavitt, the CIA's Deputy Director of Operations (DDO)?

The real reasons, contrary to the saturation spin being put out by major news outlets, have nothing to do with Tenet's role as taking the fall for alleged 9/11 and Iraqi intelligence “failures” before the upcoming presidential election.

Both resignations, perhaps soon to be followed by resignations from Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage, are about the imminent and extremely messy demise of George W. Bush and his Neocon administration in a coup d'etat being executed by the Central Intelligence Agency. The coup, in the planning for at least two years, has apparently become an urgent priority as a number of deepening crises threaten a global meltdown. Shortly after the “surprise” Tenet-Pavitt resignations, current and former senior members of the U.S. intelligence community and the Justice Department told journalist Wayne Madsen, a former Naval intelligence officer, that they were directly connected to the criminal investigation of a 2003 White House leak that openly exposed Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA officer.

Seymour Hersh dropped a major bombshell that went virtually unnoticed, 54 paragraphs deep into an October 27, 2003 story for the New Yorker titled “The Stovepipe.”

“Who produced the fake Niger papers? There is nothing approaching a consensus on this question within the intelligence community. There has been published speculation about the intelligence services of several different countries. One theory, favored by some journalists in Rome, is that [the Italian intelligence service] Sismi produced the false documents and passed them to Panorama for publication.

“Another explanation was provided by a former senior C.I.A. officer. He had begun talking to me about the Niger papers in March, when I first wrote about the forgery, and said, 'Somebody deliberately let something false get in there.'

He became more forthcoming in subsequent months, eventually saying that a small group of disgruntled retired C.I.A. clandestine operators had banded together in the late summer of last year and drafted the fraudulent documents themselves.”

Source

Okay...there is much misinformation in the article which has now been disproven, as Rove/Bush/Cheney did not leak Plame's name, but what about the basic premise that this whole thing was a coup set up by the CIA? That would explain the shakeup at the CIA. You will notice that Powell's name is in there too, and he did resign in that time frame, just as they said. They are now trying to hang that memo around Bush's neck.

Yes, I have my tin foil hat securely on, LOL! From some more reliable sources:

If Joe diGenova is right, and I suspect he is, the federal investigation into the disclosure of the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame should never have happened.

“My views are stronger than ever,” the former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said Monday when asked about the white-hot controversy that has sent a New York Times reporter to jail, changed the rules of investigative journalism and now threatens to envelop the White House in a major crisis. “This investigation never should have started because it’s apparent that no crime was ever committed.” “The only way an investigation can begin is if the agency swears — swears — that it took every conceivable step to protect this person’s identity.”

For example, the CIA had to answer 11 specific questions about what steps it took to protect the identity of a covert agent. But diGenova questions whether some of the information the CIA provided the Justice Department on those 11 questions “was materially false.”

In addition, he pointed out that the CIA paid for Wilson’s trip, didn’t ask him to sign a confidentiality agreement, didn’t object to his writing the op-ed article in the Times and allowed him to conduct TV interviews and to appear in a photo with his wife in Vanity Fair, he noted.

“The CIA isn’t stupid,” he said. “They wanted this story out. I’m raising the question: Did the CIA mislead Fitzgerald?”

The Hill

Another explanation was provided by a former senior C.I.A. officer. He had begun talking to me about the Niger papers in March, when I first wrote about the forgery, and said, “Somebody deliberately let something false get in there.” He became more forthcoming in subsequent months, eventually saying that a small group of disgruntled retired C.I.A. clandestine operators had banded together in the late summer of last year and drafted the fraudulent documents themselves.

“The agency guys were so pissed at Cheney,” the former officer said. “They said, ‘O.K, we’re going to put the bite on these guys.’ ” My source said that he was first told of the fabrication late last year, at one of the many holiday gatherings in the Washington area of past and present C.I.A. officials. “Everyone was bragging about it—‘Here’s what we did. It was cool, cool, cool.’ ” These retirees, he said, had superb contacts among current officers in the agency and were informed in detail of the sismi intelligence.

“They thought that, with this crowd, it was the only way to go—to nail these guys who were not practicing good tradecraft and vetting intelligence,” my source said. “They thought it’d be bought at lower levels—a big bluff.” The thinking, he said, was that the documents would be endorsed by Iraq hawks at the top of the Bush Administration, who would be unable to resist flaunting them at a press conference or an interagency government meeting. They would then look foolish when intelligence officials pointed out that they were obvious fakes. But the tactic backfired, he said, when the papers won widespread acceptance within the Administration. “It got out of control.”

Like all large institutions, C.I.A. headquarters, in Langley, Virginia, is full of water-cooler gossip, and a retired clandestine officer told me this summer that the story about a former operations officer faking the documents is making the rounds. “What’s telling,” he added, “is that the story, whether it’s true or not, is believed”—an extraordinary commentary on the level of mistrust, bitterness, and demoralization within the C.I.A. under the Bush Administration. (William Harlow, the C.I.A. spokesman, said that the agency had no more evidence that former members of the C.I.A. had forged the documents “than we have that they were forged by Mr. Hersh.”)

The F.B.I. has been investigating the forgery at the request of the Senate Intelligence Committee. A senior F.B.I. official told me that the possibility that the documents were falsified by someone inside the American intelligence community had not been ruled out. “This story could go several directions,” he said. “We haven’t gotten anything solid, and we’ve looked.” He said that the F.B.I. agents assigned to the case are putting a great deal of effort into the investigation. But “somebody’s hiding something, and they’re hiding it pretty well.”

New Yorker

44 posted on 10/21/2005 10:26:20 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: churchillbuff

i thought those were FBI plots.


45 posted on 10/21/2005 10:26:23 AM PDT by absolootezer0 ("My God, why have you forsaken us.. no wait, its the liberals that have forsaken you... my bad")
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

If nothing else, the CIA was careless and stupid in sending Wilson to Niger. He was not in the agency, he was not a WMD expert, he was not a trained investigator, he had not been to Niger for several years, and he was a publicity-seeking blabbermouth. That such an unqualified person was sent on a politically sensitive mission, that his "investigation" was - by his own admission - haphazard and unprofessional, that he was not required to prepare a formal report of his findings, that he was not required to sign a security pledge, that his story found its way into the press before Cheney even knew about it, that his mission would almost certainly further compromise the identity of his CIA wife, and that the CIA initiated a "leak" investigation against the White House - all of this is "prima facie" evidence of either gross incompetence or worse, i.e. a plot against the President of the United States by one of its own intelligence agencies. Yet the MSM have looked the other way.


46 posted on 10/21/2005 10:27:01 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle
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To: Loyal Buckeye

bttt


47 posted on 10/21/2005 10:27:24 AM PDT by Guenevere (God bless our military!...and God bless the President of the United States!)
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To: ravingnutter

wow BTTT


48 posted on 10/21/2005 10:29:05 AM PDT by txhurl
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To: UglyinLA
Wilson was separated from his second wife Jacqueline, a former French diplomat

More leaks in Wilson's boat...

49 posted on 10/21/2005 10:29:31 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ('Deserves' got nothing to do with it.)
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To: popdonnelly
Could be! Berger and Wilson got "fired" by the Kerry campaign within a week of each other in July 2004. Berger, yes...He was caught lifting stuff from the archives. Why Wilson, too?? How are they connected??

Miller NOW admits she met/talked with Libby on June 23rd. Sandy first burgled on June 28th. Wilson wroted his op-ed on July 6th.

How did Miller even know enough to inquire about Joe? He hadn't dropped his column yet?

The little lying b**** had another source before Libby......but she has conveniently forgotten "who". It had to come out of the Dem Camp that Valerie was going to "burn". Hence, Valerie Flame. Miller had to know of BOTH Valerie and nice Mr. Wilson.

50 posted on 10/21/2005 10:31:33 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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