Skip to comments.Was Plame Covert? A Review of Isikoff and Corn's Hubris
Posted on 10/05/2006 9:46:41 PM PDT by Fedora
Was Plame Covert? A Review of Isikoff and Corn's Hubris
I recently finished reviewing Michael Isikoff and David Corns Hubris (New York: Crown Publishers, 2006) to see what it adds to the current state of knowledge in the Plamegate investigation. Here I will present my findings in the form of a list of questions and answers:
1. What did Valerie Wilson aka Valerie Plame do at CIA?
According to Isikoff and Corn (12-13, 283-286), after Plame graduated from the CIAs training program, she began working with the CIA Directorate of Operations European Division in the Cyrus/Greece/Turkey area in the late 1980s, serving as a junior case officer supporting officers in the field. In 1989 she reportedly started working at the CIA station in Athens as a talent spotter and recruiter for the Agency. In this capacity they say she initially posed as a State Department officer, using an Official Cover (OC, referring to a cover which involves another US government agency and thus provides diplomatic immunity). Then in the early 1990s she reportedly adopted a Nonofficial Cover (NOC, aka deep cover, referring to a cover involving a non-government CIA front such as a fake business entity), posing as a member of an energy firm operating out of Belgium.
Walter Pincus, Dana Priest, and other researchers have previously noted that Plames front company was called Brewster-Jennings & Associates, a disclosure that has generated remarkably little follow-up from a media usually eager to expose CIA scandals. Some researchers have asserted that Novaks 2003 column compromised CIA assets linked to Brewster-Jennings. But others have called attention to a report by former FBI agent Sibel Edmonds indicating that a year earlier the FBI was already aware that Brewster-Jennings had been compromised during a conversation between Marc Grossman and Turkish lobbyists under Bureau surveillance in a corruption investigation. Bloggers have also observed that the last known paperwork associated with Brewster-Jennings dates from Plames 1999 tax filing, and have wondered whether Brewster-Jennings was already defunct by 2003, when Isikoff and Corn say Plame had moved on to JTIF. Isikoff and Corns book sheds no new light on these matters.
Isikoff and Corn state that Plame was transferred from Europe to CIA headquarters in 1997 and was assigned by request to what they call the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) of the Directorate of Operations. She met Joseph Wilson at the Turkish embassy in Washington in early 1997, married him a year later, and had two children.
Isikoff and Corn state that following a maternity leave, Valerie Wilson returned to CPD in spring 2001 and was assigned to CPDs Iraq unit, which they say became the Joint Task Force on Iraq (JTFI) in the wake of 9/11. They assert that at the time of Bob Novaks July 2003 column, Valerie Wilson was running the JTFIs operations group and had begun filing paperwork to move from JTFI to a personnel management position and change her status from NOC to OC. Unfortunately the authors cite no on-the-record or official sources to substantiate this important information, attributing it to confidential interviews with CIA sources (424n; cf. 439n).
I have so far been unable to find any sources independent of Isikoff and Corn which discuss the JTFI. But the term Joint Task Force and the corresponding JTF component of the abbreviation suggest the phrase may be referring to CIA support of a military Joint Task Force (JTF), which is a force coordinating multiple military units in order to achieve a specific operational task. (For discussion of how such Joint Task Forces are structured, see the excerpt from the slideshow presentation The Joint Task Force reproduced online at http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/ioac/jtf1.htm ; and the organizational charts accompanying Michael P. Noonan and Mark R. Lewis, Conquering the Elements: Thoughts On Joint Task Force (Re)Organization, Parameters, Autumn 2003, 31-45, online at http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/03autumn/noonan.pdf.) I will toss out the guess (which I emphasize is only a guess) that what Isikoff and Corn are describing may have involved the CIAs support of military Joint Task Forces such as the Joint Task Force Southwest Asia (JTF-SWA), which coordinated aerial operations and marine interdiction in Iraq and the Persian Gulf area after the Gulf War; and Task Force 20, an elite unit which among other tasks hunted for WMDs during the early phases of the Iraq War. If my guess is correct, I would also suspect that CIA support of such a Joint Task Force would be determined by functional, task-oriented considerations rather than governed by the neat on-paper divisions between the CPD and other CIA units. Again, this is only a guess on my part, based on the minimal information about JTIF currently available.
2. Did Aldrich Ames leak Plames identity to the Russians?
Although this question seems highly relevant to the key issue of whether Plame was covert at the time of Novaks column, Isikoff and Corn choose to gloss over it by relegating their discussion to a footnote (as they frequently do with other important information inconvenient to their spin). According to Isikoff and Corn, 284n:
Her reassignment might have been due to Aldrich Ames. . .Within the CIA, some officers came to believe that Plame had been among the officers whose return had been prompted by the Ames case, but it was never clear if Ames had told the Russians about her.
3. What was the relationship between Plame, WINPAC, and the CPD?
This question also bears on the issue of Plames covert status. In the CIAs organizational structure, there is a functional division between the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), which analyzes collected data, and the Directorate of Operations (DO), which runs covert operations. As CIA expert Loch Johnson notes in Americas Secret Power, such on-paper divisions are somewhat artificial and can be misleading, because in practice a CIA agent or unit functions in coordination with other agents, units, and agencies. There has been some confusion over whether Plames assignment at the time of Novaks column properly fell under the DI or DO.
Novaks original column described Plame as an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction and stated that CIA counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. More recently Novak has stated that Richard Armitage told me unequivocally that Mrs. Wilson worked in the CIAs Counter-Proliferation Division. Isikoff and Corn also describe Plame as working in CPD since 1997 (284-285):
In 1997, Plame returned to CIA headquarters.
Back at Langley, Plame had to choose a new career path within the agency. She figured that with the end of the Cold War, the two growth industries in the intelligence field were counterterrorism and counterproliferation. She picked weapons and requested an assignment in the DOs new Counterproliferation Division, a unit Congress had pushed the CIA to create to address concerns about the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
This would seem to place Plame in the DO. However, other sources have described Plame as working for the Weapons, Intelligence, Nonproliferation & Arms Control Center (WINPAC), which a September 2001 CIA organizational chart (DI Design Center/MPG 381234A1 9-01) lists under the DI (while showing no distinct Counterproliferation Division listed under the DO). Judith Millers notes on her July 2003 conversations with Scooter Libby describe Mrs. Wilson as working at WINPAC. Similarly, an October 2003 Los Angeles Times article by Doyle McManus and Bob Drogin stated that Wilson's wife works with Foley in the CIA's Nonproliferation Center; and a January 2004 Vanity Fair profile based on interviews with the Wilsons described WINPAC director Alan Foley as Valerie Plames boss. On p.424 of The Politics of Truth Joseph Wilson mentioned Foley, calling him the recently retired director of the Nonproliferation Center at the CIA. Wilson made no correction of the Vanity Fair characterization of Foley as his wifes boss.
Isikoff and Corn assert on p. 392 that Libby characterized Plames title to Miller wrongly. However another explanation may lie in the relationship between WINPAC and CPD.
The September 2001 CIA organizational chart mentioned above labels WINPAC as DCI Weapons, Intelligence, Nonproliferation & Arms Control Center and lists it in the same column as the DCI Crime and Narcotics Center. Now DCI refers to the Directorate of Central Intelligence, a designation which at that time referred to the CIA Directors dual capacity as not only the Director of the CIA proper but also as the Director of Central Intelligence, responsible for coordinating all US intelligence agencies. (Since 2005 the DCI position has been superseded by the new Director of National Intelligence title, which is separate from the position of CIA Director.) Within the DCI structure of that period there were several specialized centers which coordinated the CIAs work with that of other agencies such as the FBI in order to address issues that spanned international geographic areas and transcended the jurisdiction of any single US agency. A discussion of the structure of the intelligence community in William Arkins Code Names covers WINPAC under the rubric of the DCI and its centers rather than the CIA proper:
The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), who is also the director of the CIA, is a cabinet member who at least in theory oversees the IC [Intelligence Community]. . .The DCI also oversees a number of specialized centers, such as the Counterterrorist Center (CTC) and the Center for Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control (WINPAC).
William M. Arkin, Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World, Hanover, New Hampshire: Steerforth Press, 2005, 39
Similarly, an article by Washington Post reporter Vern Loeb depicts WINPAC as being formed from three existing units, one of which was the DCIs Nonproliferation Center (NPC):
The Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control Center will bring three existing CIA analytic staffs together under Alan Foley, a veteran Soviet military analyst. As head of the Arms Control Intelligence Staff, he has spent the last three years supporting arms control treaty negotiators.
In his new role, Foley will assume responsibility as well for the existing Nonproliferation Center, which dealt with a broad range of proliferation issues, and the Office of Transnational Issues' Weapons Intelligence Staff, which is composed largely of scientists and engineers.
Vern Loeb, CIA Is Stepping Up Attempts To Monitor Spread of Weapons, Washington Post, March 12, 2001
CIA references indicate that all three of WINPACs predecessors were organized under DI, but a close reading reveals that NPC was actually a DCI center administratively housed within DI. NPC was established in September 1991 as the focal point for all US intelligence community activities related to nonproliferation. In December 1991 it took over the Arms Control Intelligence Staffs former role as the focal point for supporting all US government nonproliferation activity related to Iraq. Later it concentrated on nonproliferation activity related to Iran and North Korea. DCI George Tenet expanded the NPC by shifting several analytical units into NPC and establishing a Senior Scientist position in 1997, at the time Isikoff and Corn say Plame joined the new Counterproliferation Division.
At the time Plame became involved in nonproliferation issues in 1997, NPC was headed by Gordon Oehler. Oehler was replaced later that year by John Lauder, who performed the functions that would later be performed by WINPACs Alan Foley. The relationship of NPC to other areas of the CIA and the Intelligence Community during this period was summarized in a 1998 report of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:
When the DCI's Nonproliferation Center (NPC) was established in 1991, one of its core missions was to coordinate the disparate IC nonproliferation activities, improve communication between programs and eliminate duplication of effort. As coordinator of IC assessments on proliferation topics, but not an analytic group per se, the NPC was to serve as a one-stop nonproliferation information shop for policy makers.
After its formation, the NPC took on a number of additional responsibilities. It developed strategic plans to help guide the U.S. Government's response to the proliferation problem and provided support to CIA's Operations Directorate (DO), as well as other collectors and law enforcement agencies. The NPC also worked on collection deck development and produced a gaps study that identified deficiencies in proliferation-related collection activities. The NPC was also chartered to review the IC's performance on proliferation activities and to make relevant budget recommendations. In addition, the NPC Director was designated the issue manager for nonproliferation activities. With these and other responsibilities, the NPC has made numerous contributions to the IC's nonproliferation effort. . .
In 1992, the Committee conducted a detailed study of NFIP proliferation programs, with a specific focus on the new NPC. This year, the Committee plans to conduct a follow-up study on this topic. The Committee assessment will involve a thorough, top-down review of the NPC organization, mission and activities. The Committee will: review the NPC's efficacy as coordinator of nonproliferation programs; review NPC funding levels and staffing assignments; consider where the NPC should be located within the IC; examine NPC's relationship with the CIA's Directorates of Intelligence (DI) and Operations (DO); and examine the NPC's role in the collection and issue manager processes. Likewise, the Committee will review other proliferation-related programs throughout the IC, including within the DI and DO, with an eye toward recommending a logical construct to the Intelligence Community's efforts on the proliferation issue.
United States House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, House Report 105-135: Part 1: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998, online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&dbname=cp105&sid=cp105dq0gC&refer=&r_n=hr135p1.105&item=&sel=TOC_90656& and www.loyola.edu/dept/politics/intel/hrpt105-135.pdf
The final sentences of this excerpt indicate that at this time the NPC had a relationship with both the DI and DO within the DCI rather than being strictly a DI or DO unit per se. A 1999 CIA document clarifies the relationship between NPC, the DCI, and the CIA:
Although NPC resides administratively in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), it is a Community Center and its Director will receive overall direction from the DCI and DDCI. The Center will have the widest possible representation in its management staff, and activities from throughout the US Intelligence Community. NPC will seek continued augmentation by DOD personnel to enhance coordination of nonproliferation and counterproliferation intelligence efforts between the Intelligence Community and DOD.
Director of Central Intelligence, Director of Central Intelligence Directive 7/2, Oversight of the US Intelligence Communitys Efforts to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Means of Delivery, May 7, 1999, online at http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/dcid7-2.htm
All this suggests that WINPACs function within the DCI involved coordinating the DIs nonproliferation activity with what Isikoff and Corn call the DOs new Counterproliferation Division, and the division between WINPAC and CPD was not necessarily as firm as Isikoff and Corn imply. It also suggests that whether or not Plame was covert at the time of Novaks column cannot be deduced simply by identifying her as a CPD employee, but more information about her position in the chain of command and her actual duties would be required to resolve this issue. This underscores the significance of the document declassification which Libbys defense team has requested and Patrick Fitzgerald has resisted.
4. Was Plame covert?
As the above comments on Question 3 indicate, the data uncovered by researchers to date does not seem to provide sufficient information to state definitively whether or not Plame was covert. However the question would seem easy enough to resolve if relevant CIA organizational charts and/or internal documents were made available to the public. What was the relationship between WINPAC, CPD, and other areas of the DCI and CIA? Who was Plames supervisor, and who did they answer to within the CIA hierarchy? What were Plames actual duties? Having this type of information would be a big step towards more definitive answers.
I think this part is the most important
"Walter Pincus, Dana Priest, and other researchers have previously noted that Plames front company was called Brewster-Jennings & Associates, a disclosure that has generated remarkably little follow-up from a media usually eager to expose CIA scandals. Some researchers have asserted that Novaks 2003 column compromised CIA assets linked to Brewster-Jennings."
I expect she was a low level noc that gathered information by phone or some such which was why Brewster-Jennings was not setup as a larger front company. All of the research in to Brewster-Jennings indicates that there was not much there other than a phone and a drop box. The only problem with exposing her and this front company is that if some other noc who was higher up in the covert ladder had Brewster-Jennings on there resume they are now exposed also. I don't buy in to the idea that the administration set out to destroy her or anyone else, mearly to discredit and in the process may have really screwed some other nocs...
she initially posed as a State Department officer, using an Official Cover (OC, referring to a cover which involves another US government agency and thus provides diplomatic immunity). Then in the early 1990s she reportedly adopted a Nonofficial Cover (NOC, aka deep cover, referring to a cover involving a non-government CIA front such as a fake business entity), posing as a member of an energy firm operating out of Belgium.
Posing as either a State dept. official or working with some firm in another country automatically makes you a CIA operative in the eyes of any foreign intel service. I think really these NOC classifications server more to protect their idenity in this country rather than protect them from coming under suspicion of a foreign intel service since they know all the games the CIA plays.
In assessing the impact of the leak, CIA officials were concerned mostly about the people Wilson had recruited over the years and the informants she had worked with, even while workingon the Iraqi WMD issue. "We were more worried about her soruces," said [CIA Executive Director Buzzy] Krongard. There was also the possible exposure of Brewster-Jennings & Associates, the front company that the CIA had used to provide paper cover (as opposed to operational cover) to Wilson and other CIA employees for tax records, insurance purposes, and other paperwork matters. . .This firm, according to business records, had a Boston address, but there was no Brewster-Jennings office at this address.
Thanks for the ping!
Yes, I'd think the CIA assumes any US embassy personnel abroad are going to be operating under the scrutiny of other intelligence agencies (especially in somewhere like Brussels, where Brewster-Jennings was based). The main advantage of official cover abroad seems to be not any added secrecy, but the ability to hide behind the embassy's legal shields under official and unofficial international agreements (which is the same reason foreign intelligence agencies often operate out of embassies and UN missions here).
read later marker
Thanks for the piece and the ping.
Is Joe Wilson a lier?
Plame was outed by Aldrich Ames. At that time, she was working as a covert operative (where I don't know). At that time, she was "brought in from the cold". Her status as a "covert" was not changed on her CIA file, but she no longer worked as "covert", and was an analyst only - and most of her friends knew that (although they denied they even knew where she worked).
The next person to out her was her husband.
I don't know why these "facts" are so difficult to understand!!
If this is so" If my guess is correct, I would also suspect that CIA support of such a Joint Task Force would be determined by functional, task-oriented considerations rather than governed by the neat on-paper divisions between the CPD and other CIA units. Again, this is only a guess on my part, based on the minimal information about JTIF currently available. "--It is altogether likely that Judy Miller learned of her completely independently. She was wth the unites in Iraq searching for the weapons..
As for Foley--he denied absolutely to me that she worked for him and said he never heard of her until this all happened.
Sounds right to me.
I don't know if the Agency knew for a fact if Ames had outed her, but if they even suspected it, it would have been reckless for them to leave her out there, so I'd assume they would have pulled her in to err on the side of caution. Ames was certainly in a position to compromise her.
That might help explain the "Valerie Flame" thing.
Thanks for the reference--didn't know that was out. I remember looking at some memoir book Baker wrote a while back.
You'll like this one Fedora. He' has referenced the Plame affair in his latest book tour...thought you might like it. :o)
The single biggest reason I would never suspect that Plame was NOC was that she married a diplomat. If you were undercover, your marriage to a high profile US ambassador would be the end of your career since you wouldn't be able to operate anymore effectively. Hiding in plain sight is one thing but showing up at White House functions on C-SPAN with your diplomat husband and hitting the Georgetown cocktail circuit are not ways that covert operators practice tradecraft.
And her story about how she told Wilson that she was CIA after their second date is straight out of a movie. How would somebody who withstood the training you would have to endure at the Farm not be able to withstand the overwhelming urge to blow your cover to a guy because you want to f&ck him???!!? And why would you have not called up the agency and ran his name to see if he had any questionable contacts before you undressed yourself (professionally speaking)???? Again, it just doesn't make any sense. Plame acted like any woman would have. Any woman who was not protecting her identity for a living.
Is the Pope Catholic?
Splendid sleuthing, Fedora. Thank you~~!! Fitzie's pretty much buried Plame's status in his pursuit of Scooter, hasn't he?
I'll check that out--I'm sure his perspective on it will be interesting :-)
Not hardly.. Joe Wilson bragging all over the east coast that his signifcant other was a double ought spy makes the word "COVERT" a joke..
Thanks for the observations. In that context I think Joseph Wilson's former marriage to a French embassy worker would raise similar issues. This guy was a honey trap victim waiting to happen, IMO.
19. Was Plames CIA status an open secret in Washington before Novaks column?
Yes, he's asserted her covert status matter-of-factly, but not allowed the documents to challenge that assertion to surface. Hopefully FOIA requests which have been filed will bear some fruit (though I won't hold my breath waiting):
Well .. I read Ames already had compromised several people and that was why they scooped him up a little early. I guess I assumed he had outed her and that was why they brought her home .. but I agree with you they might have brought her in just to protect her.
But .. irregardless .. she and her husband lied and lied and lied. I still believe they're due some jail time.
It's such a farce ... just on his brazen performance at the press conference announcing the charges alone. He should have to account for the accuracy of those melodramatic statements. Does the judge make the prosecutor prove the accuracy of those statements?
"I still believe they're due some jail time."
He'd probably be vulnerable to a libel suit, too, if the people he was attacking weren't public figures. I think Judith Miller and Scooter Libby would both have a good case.
Here's a snip from a report on the CIA's internal investigation of Ames which covers what he was up to at the time Plame was coming up through the CIA Farm and Turkey/Cyprus/Greek unit in the mid-80s to early 90s period.
ABSTRACT OF REPORT OF INVESTIGATION
THE ALDRICH H. AMES CASE: AN ASSESSMENT OF CIA'S ROLE IN IDENTIFYING AMES AS AN INTELLIGENCE PENETRATION OF THE AGENCY
October 21, 1994
WHAT WAS AMES'S CAREER HISTORY WITH CIA?
18. In June 1962, Ames completed full processing for staff employment with the Agency and entered on duty as a GS-4 document analyst in the Records Integration Division (RID) of the DO. Within RID, Ames read, coded, filed, and retrieved documents related to clandestine operations against an East European target. He remained in this position for five years while attending George Washington University, on a part-time or full-time basis. In September 1967, Ames received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history with an average grade of B-.
19. Ames originally viewed his work with RID as a stopgap measure to finance his way through college. However, he grew increasingly fascinated by intelligence operations against Communist countries, and, influenced by other RID colleagues who were entering the Career Trainee (CT) program, he applied and was accepted as a CT in December 1967. When Ames completed this training nearly a year later, he was assigned to an SE Division branch. He remained there for several months before beginning Turkish language studies.
20. Ames's first overseas posting took place between 1969 and 1972. It was not a successful tour, and the last Performance Appraisal Report (PAR) of his tour stated, in effect, that Ames was unsuited for field work and should spend the remainder of his career at Headquarters. The PAR noted that Ames preferred "assignments that do not involve face-to-face situations with relatively unknown personalities who must be manipulated." Such a comment was devastating for an operations officer, and Ames was discouraged enough to consider leaving the Agency.
21. Ames spent the next four years, 1972-76, at Headquarters in SE Division. Managing the paperwork and planning associated with field operations at a distance was more comfortable for Ames than trying to recruit in the field himself, and he won generally enthusiastic reviews from his supervisors. One payoff from this improved performance was the decision in September 1974 to name Ames as both the Headquarters and field case officer to manage a highly valued Agency asset.
22. Ames's opportunity to expand his field experience came with his assignment to the New York Base of the DO's Foreign Resources Division from 1976 to 1981. The PARs that Ames received during the last four of his five years in New York were the strongest of his career. These PARs led Ames to be ranked in the top 10% of GS-13 DO operations officers ranked for promotion in early 1982. He was promoted to GS-14 in May 1982.
23. The career momentum Ames established in New York was not maintained during his 1981-83 tour in Mexico City. This assignment, like his earlier tour and his later tour in Rome, failed to play to Ames's strengths as a handler of established sources and emphasized instead an area where he was weak--the development and recruitment of new assets. In Mexico City, Ames spent little time working outside the Embassy, developed few assets, and was chronically late with his financial accountings. Further, Ames developed problems with alcohol abuse that worsened to the point that he often was able to accomplish little work after long, liquid lunches. His PARs focused heavily, and negatively, on his failure to maintain proper accountings and were generally unenthusiastic. In Mexico City, Ames also became involved in an intimate relationship with the Colombian cultural attaché, Maria del Rosario Casas Dupuy.
24. Despite his lackluster performance in Mexico City, Ames returned to Headquarters in 1983 to a position that he valued highly. His appointment as Chief of a branch in an SE Division Group was recommended by the officer who had supervised Ames in New York and approved by Chief, SE Division and the DDO. This position gave him access to the Agency's worldwide Soviet operations. Ames completed this tour with SE Division by being selected by the SE Division Chief as one of the primary debriefers for the defector Vitaly Yurchenko from August to September 1985. For his work in the SE Division Group, Ames was ranked very near the lower quarter of DO operations officers at his grade at this time.
25. By early 1984, Ames was thinking ahead to his next field assignment and asked to go to Rome as Chief of a branch where he had access to information regarding many operations run or supported from that post. He left for Rome in 1986. He once again began to drink heavily, particularly at lunch, did little work, sometimes slept at his desk in the afternoons, rarely initiated developmental activity, and often fell behind in accountings, reporting and other administrative matters. Ames was successful in managing liaison relations with U.S. military intelligence units in Italy, but he registered few other achievements.
26. Ames's mediocre performance for the Agency in Rome did not prevent his assignment upon his return to Headquarters in mid 1989 to head a branch of an SE Division Group. Here again he had access to many sensitive cases. When that position was eliminated in a December 1989 reorganization of SE Division, Ames became Chief of another SE Division branch, where he remained until late 1990. At this time, Ames was ranked in the bottom 10% of DO GS-14 operations officers. He appears to have been a weak manager who focused only on what interested him.
27. Ames moved to a position in the Counterintelligence Center in October 1990. In the CIC, where he remained until August 1991, he prepared analytical papers on issues relating to the KGB but also had access to sensitive data bases. Discussions between Ames and the Deputy Chief, SE Division, resulted in Ames's temporary return to SE Division as head of a small KGB Working Group between August and November 1991.
28. In 1991, Chief SE Division requested that a counternarcotics program be established through liaison with the states of the former Soviet Union. Thereafter, Ames began a rotation to the Counternarcotics Center (CNC) in December 1991. At CNC, where Ames remained until his arrest, he worked primarily on developing a program for intelligence sharing between the United States and cooperating countries.
29. Ames was arrested on February 21, 1994. On that date, DCI Woolsey terminated his employment with the Agency.
"Does the judge make the prosecutor prove the accuracy of those statements?"
I'll defer to Fifi on that question, LOL :-) Without knowing how all that works, my guess would be the judge can rule on it if Libby's defense raises a procedural objection to something the prosecution introduces, otherwise it's up to the defense to persuade the jury that any factual assertions are in error. Fifi and others may have more informed comments on that aspect of it.
It also suggests that whether or not Plame was covert at the time of Novaks column cannot be deduced simply by identifying her as a CPD employee, but more information about her position in the chain of command and her actual duties would be required to resolve this issue. This underscores the significance of the document declassification which Libbys defense team has requested and Patrick Fitzgerald has resisted.
I agree with the above, but you can trust the dinosaur Democrat newsrooms to continue portraying Libby's requests as a deceitful, loophole-style tactic to evade justice ("graymail" - - the dinosaur newsrooms love that newly discovered term).
Thank you Howlin.
Is the Pope Catholic?
Thanks for your work, Fedora!
In your piece you said:
"Although this question seems highly relevant to the key issue of whether Plame was covert at the time of Novaks column, Isikoff and Corn choose to gloss over it by relegating their discussion to a footnote (as they frequently do with other important information inconvenient to their spin)."
Their ommissions could be more useful than what they mention in the way of narrowing target areas of further inquiry.
I think a more telling area for covert/not covert research would be to find out when she was issued a sticker to use the parking lot at langley.
I'm looking forward to reading more! Please do ping me Fedora, when you post the rest!
David Corn - Washington Editor of The Nation Magazine
THE NATION - On the far left, The Nation magazine and its Nation Institute have been supported by OSI (Soros' Open Society Institute). The magazine published a generally flattering piece about the Soros-funded Center for American Progress. http://www.aim.org/special_report/A2089_0_8_0_C/
Soros funded/supported groups involved in both Foley and Plame controversies.
Google search results in everything from Corn's leftist articles to accusations of Corn being a mole in the progressive movement.
Fitz says he's making no allegation about Plame's status..and therefore need not and won't put in any evidence of that. Libby's lawyers are trying to make certain that Fitz doesn't try to sneak that in in a backhanded way--i.e., by suggesting as he has that thinking she was gave Libby a motive to lie.
I can't get past the fact that CIA confirmed her employment to Novak. If CIA outs you over the phone to some guy calling in, you are not covert. End of story.
If she were covert, first they wouldn't have confirmed it over the phone. Second, Novak is the one who outed her in print, and Corn revealed that she was supposedly covert. If anyone were going to be prosecuted, it should be those two. The fact that they get a pass tells you all you need to know about the motive for the investigation.
What is there to investigate? First, she's not covert, the CIA gave her up over the pnone. Second, they know who printed the information (Novak, Corn) and they know where the original information came from (Armitage).
An "investigation" when you already know the answers is a hoax.
The fact Armitage also got a pass strikes me as well. Very strange prosecutorial procedure: the three suspects whom the strongest case can be made against become witnesses whose testimony is used against a guy (Libby) fingered by one of them (Corn).
Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community.
Thanks for the additional Foley info! I'm planning to come back to his discussions with Robert Joseph when I post the rest of this.
Right. He is now saying he's not arguing any of the most outrageous things he said in the presser.