There was a rumor yesterday the hearing would be behind close door
Lights Out on Plame?
Valerie Plame, the former CIA operative turned celebrity, is scheduled to testify Friday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But there are still a few hurdles to overcome before she can tell her story.
Committee sources said on Wednesday there have been negotiations with the CIA over ground rules for the questions that Plame can - and cannot - be asked. And with those talks still ongoing, Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, the committee's ranking Republican, has threatened to call for a closed hearing if an agreement isn't reached by Friday.
"It would be with great reluctance, but we have to protect confidential information," Davis told The Politico.
Davis is clearly unhappy that the hearing is taking place at all, so his threat has to be viewed in that context. Davis said he "would have liked to have heard from [special prosecutor] Patrick Fitzgerald" before Plame testified, and he's not sure whether Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the committee chairman, will be able to fully address the CIA concerns.
Plame, the wife of former diplomat Joe Wilson, was publicly outed as a CIA operative by columnist Robert Novak after Wilson had questioned the intelligence used by the Bush administration to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. A federal criminal investigation ensued, eventually leading to the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on perjury and obstruction charges.
"We are mining something that has been thoroughly looked into," Davis said. "There are so many other areas where [congressional] oversight needs to be conducted instead of the Plame thing."
Waxman declined to comment on his discussions with the CIA, but strongly defended the invitation for Plame to testify publicly.
"Clearly there were leaks which were a threat to our national security," Waxman said. "We need to evaluate what happened.''
never mind the truly bad "leaks" about the phone surveillance programs and such...the Plame game is a top of the line security issue!