My Plame Questions Weren't Answered
By: Mark W Adams

But there was much that I really, really enjoyed at Henry Waxman's Hearing last Friday which featured the testimony of Valerie Plame. There was no mention of what Brewster-Jennings had been doing, and why that particular outfit might have been the actual target of Plame's exposure.

Key info on the Right Wing Talking Point about "covert" status -- Val said she has been on foreign assignment during the last 5 years, which is what Vicky Toestink hung her red wig on.

File that one under debunked**. (See below the fold if you run into a delusional dunderhead who still refuses to understand that Libby obstructed the investigation of a very real, very dangerous crime -- or would rather take the word of the second most outrageously dressed woman at the hearing.)

Not to mention the fact that you only look at what the legislators intended when a statute is ambiguous (the IIPA isn't) and you look at the intent of the lawmakers themselves, not their staff's fantasies.

She's a stupid hack trying to stretch out her 15 minutes of fame.

Valerie Plame, wow! Is she the female version of Chuck Norris -- women want to be her, men want to be with her?

I actually pittied Knodell, the guy who should have been investigating this right along, but apparently didn't do much except fill space and collect a paycheck while in charge of making sure nobody in the White House leaks classified information.

But the REAL disclosure is the the one all the remaining Bush apologists (both of them) can point to as granting them absolution -- the Wilson's are (gasp) Democrats. Off With Their Heads!

Lynn Westmoreland bitched twice that he didn't have enough time to interview the witness, stuck around only for Plame, and with the little time he had only wanted to know which party she belonged to. Wanker of the week at least. What a tool. But when your a brazen hack, party affiliation of the people who risk their lives for this nation is all you need to know.

BTW -- the Code Pink Impeachment Queen in the background was hilareous. She actually got a bigger segment on CNN's Headline News than Plame. Gotta give cudoes for that stunt.

The following is from an exchange at the Queen's joint:

Tim, I don't want to reason with the unreasonable. Far from it.

I much prefer to single them out for abuse and ridicule and hold them up as an example for others who needlessly parrot other people's partisan talking points geared towards the low information/easily influenced lurkers. Sadly, Brian lacks the requisite expertise to understand that he has no clue what he is talking about -- let alone his complete failure to know the actual testimony well enough for himself in either the Libby case or Plame's SWORN statements before Waxman's committee -- from which he and others can form their own opinions.

I watched every minute of the hearing and have read much of the live-blogged testimony from the Libby trial and come to very different conclusions than Brian. I'd like to know exactly what testimony in the Libby case he's referring to because I confess I haven't got through it all.

Brian must have missed Plame's testimony that there is a memo, a paper trail Waxman said he would be requesting which backs up Plame's testimony and that contemporaneously debunks the nepotism charge inserted into the Senate's report by three GOP partisans -- whose version of events have been denied by Plame's CIA superiors as well.

At least I figured Brian read NRO. If a good conservative can't trust Buckley's outfit, who can they trust:

At the hearing, Waxman said that he had spoken with CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, who approved a statement Waxman read to the committee. “During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover,” Waxman said. “Her employment status with the CIA was classified information…At the time of the publication of Robert Novak’s column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson’s CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information.” A CIA spokesman later told National Review Online that Waxman’s characterization of the matter was “entirely correct.” [my emphasis]
There's only part of her email which was sent to the Senate, which was explained as something she was directed to compose to document the decision to send her husband, her account of being asked, but not initiating the question of whether he would be a good choice to send, a memo documenting this which was withheld from the Senate by the CIA, AND the fact that the Senate intel committee STILL hasn't finished their job and finalized Phase II of the 9/11 report dealing with who screwed up, how and why. There's some silence you can make suppositions about here too.

Brian fails to appreciate that unlike many of the "Bushie" U.S. Attorneys who might have ignored blatant perjury by a high government official, he also refused to go on an endless Ken Starr-like witch-hunt. Fitzgerald has never once backed off his insistence that Plame was indeed, "covert." But unfortunately, when some members of a conspiracy sit pat and refuse to name names and point fingers -- willing instead to take the rap (especially those with intricate knowledge of the pardon process like Libby does) -- it is difficult if not impossible to sucessfully prosecute the people thus protected.

Brian also fails to understand the differences of the basic English definitions of "couldn't" and "didn't," or "any" and "enough;" as in Fitz "didn't" offer "enough" evidence to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that someone violated IIPA -- in a trial where he was under so obligation to do so.

One of the "revelations" that Brian and any pundit relying on Vicky Toesing's legal opinions fails to take into account was that during the 5 years prior to her exposure, Plame TESTIFIED that she did have some foreign assignments. That fact alone (easily verifiable or debunkable for those who believe Plame committed perjury) qualifies her for protection under IIPA, and that her exposure (if intent can be proved) is a crime.

Get this Brian my friend. IIPA requires proof of intent to violate the statute. Recklessness isn't enough and proof of intent is the most difficult thing one can do in a court of law -- especially when those in a position to testify as to intent choose instead to lie to grand jury and the FBI. (And if you are going to try and defend Libby and say he didn't lie, just remember he had a very expensive attorney who couldn't get that job done -- so don't even go there. Get over it. He lied.)

Can you imagine what a drunken first year law student could do in defense of Rove or Cheney for IIPA violations when your prime witness as to their intent is Libby? One look at his GJ testimony flip-flops, and just the hint to a jury that he cut a deal for a lighter sentence in order to finger the other guys, and whomever would have been charged would walk in a heart-beat. Libby's prevarications made him useless as a witness for the prosecution in any other matter.

It's not whether someone committed a crime -- they did -- it's whether the prosecutor can prove the case that matters when asking for an indictment. More than likely, Libby is practically an essential witness against anyone else in this caper, and he's useless because he's a perjurer.

Moreover, since it would seem much of the exposure seems to have been at the direction of the Vice President, he would have to be impeached prior to being subject to a criminal indictment since he enjoys sovereign immunity while still in office. That is a challenge above Fitz's pay grade at present.

To borrow some "wisdom" from Rumsfeld, there is much unknown and unknowable about Plame's status and Wilson's findings since there is grand jury testimony that has not been released, information at CIA that has not been disclosed, and only 14 pages of the "insta-declassified" 93 page NIE report are in the public domain regarding Wilson's trip.

What we DO know is that executive order 12958 regarding classified information abuse was violated, yet never even investigated -- which by operation of that order's inclusion of a statutory referral to the criminal code made the disclosure criminal in nature regardless of the IIPA requirements.

Now, one last thing Brian, regarding your presumption that "silence tends to argue the other way." Since by your logic, we are free to ignore the spirit of the 5th Amendment -- Libby's failure to testify on his own behalf, as well as his failure to put Cheney on the stand as promised, is more damning than any of the silent spooks you must be talking about. Or didn't you understand that the reason Toesing was called -- as the minority's witness -- was to make (badly) your points for you.

I don't recall hearing Congressman Davis whining that he was denied the opportunity to subpoena those witnesses you seem convinced could "prove" Plame wasn't covert, thus no underlying crime. That is the essence of your delusion, right? That there was no underlying crime so Libby should never have been made to endure that kangaroo court, right?

That's really pathetic Brian, but thanks for the opportunity to set the record straight for the lurkers out there who might have been the least bit influenced by your ignorance of the law and facts of the affair.

The fact, according to CIA Director Hayden, is that she was, "covert." It's not like this expert with an AK47 earned her paycheck fetching coffee and answering phones.
Ms. Wilson served at various times overseas for the CIA. Without discussing the specifics of Ms. W'ilson's classified work, it is accurate to say that she worked on the prevention of the development and use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States.
Pretty important stuff, don't ya think? Seems to me that anyone who blew her cover is on the wrong side of the war on terror. Personally, I have another theory as to why she, and more importantly her cover operation, Brewster-Jennings, was outed. They were too good at their job. I was disappointed that this didn't come up in the hearing. I'd like to know a lot more about the anti-proliferation operations that stopped WMD's from getting into Iraq, just in time to prevent their later "discovery" by the folks Judy Miller was embedded with.

But anyway, under the statute, Plame likewise qualified as "covert." This wasn't necessary to convince a jury that Libby obstructed justice, lied to investigators and committed perjury. But evidently it is necessary to satisfy Brian that justice was served:
(4) The term “covert agent” means:
(A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency—

(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and

(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States; or

(B) a United States citizen whose intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information, and—
(i) who resides and acts outside the United States as an agent of, or informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency, or
(ii) who is at the time of the disclosure acting as an agent of, or informant to, the foreign counterintelligence or foreign counterterrorism components of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; or
(C) an individual, other than a United States citizen, whose past or present intelligence relationship to the United States is classified information and who is a present or former agent of, or a present or former informant or source of operational assistance to, an intelligence agency.
Too much legaleese for you? How about this, in plain English:
After the hearing, Mr Waxman sent a letter to Joshua Bolten, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, which said that the evidence presented at the hearing had “described breach after breach of national security requirements at the White House”. In the letter, Mr Waxman asked for a complete account of action taken by the White House “to investigate how the leak occurred, to review the security clearances of the White House officials implicated in the leak, to impose administrative or disciplinary sanctions on the officials involved in the leak, and to review and revise existing White House security procedures to prevent future breaches of national security.”

There are serious criminal offences attending the disclosure of Ms Wilson’s identity; they relate to Executive Order 12958, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, the Espionage Act, Title 18 Section 641, conspiracy to impede or injure officers and the Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement.
Ahhhh. the sweet smell of oversight in the morning. How refreshing, like the coming of a long awaited spring.