Patterico's Pontifications

5/29/2007

Report: Plame Was Covert

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:16 pm

When I supported Patrick Fitzgerald’s prosecution of Scooter Libby, many of you confidently asserted that Fitzgerald knew that Plame was not covert. Ergo, you said, he knew early on in the investigation that “no crime had been committed,” and he should have dropped the investigation immediately. In this post, I argued (among other things) that those of you making that argument were “making assumptions that the facts can’t cash.” I noted that it was entirely unclear whether Plame was indeed covert; why, even Tom Maguire didn’t know for sure.

Today, it has become more clear, with this report:

An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame’s employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was “covert” when her name became public in July 2003.

It’s anybody’s guess why Fitzgerald didn’t bring charges of outing a covert agent; my guess is that he couldn’t prove intent. But the idea that he should have dropped his investigation as soon as he “found out Valerie Plame wasn’t covert” just took a pretty big hit.

76 Responses to “Report: Plame Was Covert”

  1. Well, there’s the whole “Libby didn’t actually do the outting” thing, but that’s neither here nor there…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  2. Read very closely. I believe there’s a reason they used “indicates”. We need the original documents this claim is based on.

    jpm100 (a99bf7)

  3. Since her HUSBAND was, for some time before “Libby leaked” her identity, walking around parties telling people his wife was a spy for the CIA, that might be part of it.

    But I’m silly… I think that if you’re going to nail someonr for leaking something like that, you should go after the FIRST person, you know, first…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  4. Who is this “Plame” person y’all are speaking of?

    The Other JD (044292)

  5. “Since her HUSBAND was, for some time before “Libby leaked” her identity, walking around parties telling people his wife was a spy for the CIA, that might be part of it.

    But I’m silly… I think that if you’re going to nail someonr for leaking something like that, you should go after the FIRST person, you know, first…”

    What’s your cite for the fact that her husband was walking around and blowing her cover?

    And what is your rationale that blowing a covert CIA agent’s cover isn’t a crime, just because someone else may have done it first? Until such time that the CIA itself decides that the cover has been irrevocably blown, beyond all damage control or decision that the word probably wouldn’t reach some targets still worth watching, cover is still worthwhile and blowing it should still be a crime.

    aplomb (7e0317)

  6. Pat — here’s the prosecutorial “rub” from my perspective: I don’t think the CIA’s view of who it deems “covert” neatly translates into the definition of “covert” under the statute at issue. While its in the CIA’s interest to define “covert” as broadly as possible, thereby giving maximum coverage to its assets, the statute in question recognized tension between the rights of the press and the needs of the intelligence community, and defines the term “covert” in a very non-specific manner.

    The “5 Year” provision is a clear example, as is the “affirmative steps” provision.

    (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;

    This language begs the question of what is to be the definition of “served”?

    What Fitzgerald suggests in his Exhibit is that her personnel file only describes trips she took abroad on agency business during a 5 year period, not a period of time in which she was “posted” abroad. This is likely a key distinction. And, any trips she took using “official” cover — i.e., she passed herself off as a government official, just not an intelligence agent of the CIA — likely don’t count under the statute.

    I found this excerpt from a USA Today article from 2005:

    “The column’s date is important because the law against unmasking the identities of U.S. spies says a “covert agent” must have been on an overseas assignment “within the last five years.” The assignment also must be long-term, not a short trip or temporary post, two experts on the law say…. “Unless she was really stationed abroad sometime after their marriage,” she wasn’t a covert agent protected by the law, says Bruce Sanford, an attorney who helped write the 1982 act that protects covert agents’ identities.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-07-14-cia-wilson_x.htm

    The second expert cited is Victoria Toensing. She obviously comes with an agenda, but it can’t be denied that she was at the table in 1982 when this statute was drafted, and she was advocating on behalf of the CIA’s position when it was drafted as a senior Justice Department official. She too has said that mere overseas travel in an undercover capacity is not enough to trigger the protections of the statute.

    The “affirmative measures” provision of Sec. 421 is not defined in the statute, and this omission also presents some difficulties.

    For example, is the taking of “affirmative measures” by the CIA negated by actions of the CIA which at the same time work to defeat those affirmative measures?

    The CIA took affirmative measures in the sense that Plame had NOC cover through a front energy company which the agency created and for whom Plame ostensibly worked during her overseas postings in the 1990s.

    But, when she returned to the United States in 1997, she didn’t continue to maintain the NOC cover by working at an office identified as the dummy front company. Rather, she drove through the gates of Langley every day for about 6 years on her way to a desk job at CIA HQ.

    Does the fact that the CIA maintained her as “covert” on paper simply by not revealing her previous work and continuing to keep handy her NOC cover in case it might be of use (such as when need to for an occasional overseas trip for a discreet purpose) also mean that she still falls under the protections of the statute when anyone with a camera could stand on the road leading to Langley and take her picture driving in and out of the CIA?

    I think these were the difficulties Fitzgerald faced in trying to determine whether he had a prosecutable case under the Intelligence Identities Act, in addition to the question of intent that you mentioned.

    I think this difficulty is revealed by how much he danced around that question. He knew that the CIA wanted to assert that she was covert, but he also knew that the CIA took actions inconsistent with that assertion.

    wls (c109e2)

  7. Patrick–

    I hate to tell you, but this latest CIA bullcrap is just that CRAP! Please read the latest Senate Intelligence Committee Report — namely the minority reports on this subject. If it took the CIA this long to determine that what’s her name Plame was really covert, I can’t help but wonder why we have these bozos in the employ of the US intelligence. Its obvious that both Valerie Plame and her husband lied to the US Congress and to the American people. Will Henry “Vyshinsky” Waxman ever be the man to admit that? Don’t hold your breath!!

    Mescalero (e9a2a0)

  8. wls raises an excellent point. Covert as defined under the IIPA cannot mean the dictionary definition of the word covert, it is a legal term of art. I elaborated on this at some length here:

    http://www.lifelikepundits.com/index.php/site/comments/i_said_valerie_plame_part_2_of_3_the_iipa/Valeria Plame – IIPA legal issues

    Charles (54a827)

  9. Remember that when Fitzgerald picked up the investigation, after Comey appointed him, Libby had already committed the first of the counts for which he was indicted. The question of who outed Plame first, which as it turns out was Armitage, has nothing to do with how Libby’s case turned out. Fitzgerald could hardly not prosecute what he found the first time he opened the file. And anyway, this ‘first outer’ thing has always been asinine. Just because the store was looted already doesn’t mean the second person in the store to loot isn’t also in deep shit.

    How cute, I see signs of the typical wingnut horseshit about Joe Wilson ‘outing’ his own wife. How quaint these fantasies seem after this, the latest and most official indication that she was covert. Vicky Toensing and Joe DiGenova must be putting up some impressive numbers on their phone bill trying to concoct some dishonest way to continue to dispute this lost cause.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  10. I’m not a lwayer so this is a completely uninformed opinion, but I it appears to me that this information is being released in order to affect the sentencing of Libby next week. I don’t see how it can given that Libby was authorized to release the information by the president.

    chad (582404)

  11. multum in parvo — its beyond dispute that Wilson outed his wife first in print. His interview with David Corn was published only two days after Novak’s column, and while Novak only described her as an “agency operative,” Wilson told Corn much more detail about her undercover work and her NOC status. He doesn’t do so directly, but Corn’s comments are nonsensical unless they are considered in the context that they apply to Plame.

    “Corn’s article contains not a single source–named or unnamed — except Joe Wilson. He says that Wilson would “neither confirm nor deny” that his wife works for the CIA in any capacity. But Corn goes on to raise the possibility not only that she works there but also that she is one of the agency’s “top-secret operatives.” Corn provides details regarding Plame’s covert work that Novak did not. He says she had “the dicey and difficult mission of tracking parties trying to buy or sell weapons of mass destruction or WMD materials.” How did Corn learn that?

    Corn reveals that Plame was “known to friends as an energy analyst for a private firm.” Again, Novak did not report that. How did Corn know what Plame’s cover story was–unless he had learned it from Wilson, who, of course, was neither confirming nor denying whether it was her cover story?
    He writes that while Wilson would not acknowledge “whether [Plame] is a deep-cover CIA employee,” Wilson was nevertheless willing to say: “Naming her this way would have compromised every operation, every relationship, every network with which she had been associated in her entire career. This is the stuff of Kim Philby and Aldrich Ames.” Wilson also tells Corn, on the record, that he thinks it “pretty clear” that his wife’s secrets-which, of course, he refused to confirm or deny-were exposed “to intimidate others who might come forward.”

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_14_57/ai_n15674251/pg_2

    While that is of no real consequence in terms of the Fitzgerald investigation, it does lay waste to their continued crocodile tears about how they were treated at the hands of the Admin.

    wls (c109e2)

  12. Uh, no, wls. This has to be gone over yet again I see.

    Corn interviewed Plame two days after Novak’s column used the term ‘operative’ for Plame, which was the first public sign that she’d been outed. Your blithe brush over that point is an exercise of horseshit-stirring of magnificent brazenness. It’s also the kind of thing you expect from Cliff May.

    Wilson did not go into ‘much more detail about her undercover work and her NOC status.’ He said flatly that he wouldn’t discuss his wife’s career. Corn was asking him precisely because it appeared that Novak had blown her. Which he had.

    Corn covers in this post the illogical and frankly idiotic line of fabrication you bring up:
    http://www.davidcorn.com/archives/2006/09/toensing_and_ws.php

    To sum up and repeat, this story falls apart over one excruciatingly simple fact: Corn only interviewed Wilson because he suspected a crime had been committed. Amazingly, there are those who’ve said Corn outed Plame in doing so (ahem, Toensing). This is akin to someone noticing that a document he suspects is secret has been stolen and writing about it (including his uncertainty over the secrecy), and the cops coming and arresting him. The idea, as I understand it from kindergarten on, is you go after the guy who did the stealing. Just saying. Maybe you learned differently.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  13. I can read Corn’s original article and you can read Corn’s original article.

    And you can continue to ignore the fact that Novak called her an “agency operative” and nothing more, and Corn said so much more.

    And Corn’s source was Joe Wilson.

    Did Novak mention her NOC status?

    Did Novak reveal the nature of the front company?

    Did Wilson say he wouldn’t discuss his wife’s undercover status just before discussing his wife’s undercover status?

    Corn’s approach from Day 1 has been as a mouthpiece for the Wilsons. His denials of the implications of his own writings have ZERO significance. His original article will always be there to reveal his after-the-fact rationalizations to be exactly that.

    wls (c109e2)

  14. ‘Agency Operative’ is and always has been the ‘tell’ that alerted the world that an outing had happened. That’s it. Don’t tell me you’re denying that. In Novak’s publishing history, it’s been shown, he only ever used that term wrt undercover agents. Corn noticed the term and asked, rightly it turned out, what other kind of ‘operatives’ are there besides NOCs at the CIA? Flower arrangers? Shoe-shine guys?

    But Novak’s story is but a consequence of the outing itself. The underlying act of outing her was being undertaken out of the VP’s office, or perhaps you’d like to quibble with the testimony of Libby himself. The revelation was first to Armitage, then I believe Woodward, then Novak, who as a reasonable person might expect leaped at the chance to whore himself out on command from the WH and actually publish about it.

    Corn’s original article will always stand there–we agree on one thing then. It says, put short, ‘Novak just compromised our national security the other day.’ And he did, the douchebag. How he still has a job after committing outright treason, in the spirit of the word, is beyond explanation.

    After this incredible episode, the notion that the right gives a damn about national security is really what’s important going forward. If this case were easily explained to the general public, forget it. You’d not see a Republican in the WH for decades. It’s only the labyrinthine nature of the scandal that’s saved the right’s sorry asses from the absolute dishonor and disgrace their leaders have so earned. Luckily, there are plenty of other, more easily described scandals and foul-ups that suffice to keep them at 28% in the polls.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  15. How many people work for the CIA?

    Until Corn’s piece, Valerie Plame was just one of those people.

    What other kind of operatives are there besides NOCs??? Is that a serious question?

    It reveals a lot of your ignorance on the topic.

    wls (c109e2)

  16. wls, if someone is a “secret agent” at the CIA, you blow her cover when you reveal she works at the CIA. Once that’s done, everyone who dealt with here when she claimed to be working for a private company will assume she was really engaged in a CIA operation. The damage is done whether or not you specify she was a “secret agent”. The distinction between “Novak revealed she worked for the CIA” and “Corn revealed she was a NOC” is trivial.

    multum_in_parvo writes The underlying act of outing her was being undertaken out of the VP’s office, or perhaps you’d like to quibble with the testimony of Libby himself. The revelation was first to Armitage …

    As far as I know, Armitage learned about Plame’s status from a classified State Department memo, not from the VP’s office.

    Serenity Now (b08c67)

  17. Aldrich Ames-Valerie Plame.

    Ring a bell?

    susan (7faf4d)

  18. It is difficult to tell but it seems that the source of this “report” is the CIA. Given it’s performance since the dawn of the Bush Administration, that hardly inspires confidence. In fact if the CIA reported that the sun was up, I’d go outside and look.

    Ken Hahn (8c738a)

  19. aplomb,

    What’s your cite for the fact that her husband was walking around and blowing her cover?

    multum_in_parvo,

    How cute, I see signs of the typical wingnut horseshit about Joe Wilson ‘outing’ his own wife.

    See this conversation between Richard Armitage and Bob Woodward which took place over a month before the Novak column.

    W: But it was Joe Wilson who was sent by the agency. I mean that’s just —

    A: His wife works in the agency.

    W: — Why doesn’t that come out? Why does —
    A: Everyone knows it.

    W: — that have to be a big secret? Everyone knows.

    A: Yeah. And I know [e.d.] Joe Wilson’s been calling everybody. He’s pissed off because he was designated as a low-level guy, went out to look at it. So, he’s all pissed off.

    W: But why would they send him?

    A: Because his wife’s a [e.d.] analyst at the agency.

    W: It’s still weird.

    A: It — It’s perfect. This is what she does. She is a WMD analyst out there.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  20. Here’s the audio of that conversation.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  21. Thanks Pablo… I was too lazy to hunt up the source…

    And anyway, this ‘first outer’ thing has always been asinine. Just because the store was looted already doesn’t mean the second person in the store to loot isn’t also in deep shit.

    Well, if you’re going to try someone for outting Plame, I’m just saying that you should, you know, get all of them, regardless of who it was…

    But that would mean going after non-Bush people, so THAT won’t happen…

    Scott Jacobs (90eabe)

  22. But that would mean going after non-Bush people, so THAT won’t happen…

    Another problem is that in order to prosecute under the IIPA, the “leaker” has to have access to classified information about the agent, and then has to pass it along to another who is not authorized to receive such classified information.

    Repeating what you’ve heard on the cocktail circuit is not a violation of the law. However, that doesn’t explain Bill Harlow telling Novak that Plame was CIA if her status was classified. Perhaps Harlow broke the law. But the interesting thing is that everyone who was talking about Plame at the time thought she was a WMD analyst, not an undercover agent.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  23. I just downloaded and scanned thru the 30 page document that Fitzgerald filed. It is the minutes of a committee meeting charired by Henry Waxman in which Plame asserted that she was a covert agent. Granted I gave it a quick read but I didn’t see anyone from the CIA who appeared and said “Yep, she was covert.” She even admits to working at CIA headquarters which tends to blow the taking active steps to conceal her identity part right out of the water.

    chad (582404)

  24. “Agency operative” is not an official title or position at the CIA. Novak made no mention of Plame’s covert status. Plame herself admitted that there was no indication that Novak, or even Libby, even knew she was covert. Corn was the first to tell us that Plame was covert, in clear violation of the statutes.

    You can’t be covert and drive through the front gates at Langley every day. Do you think our enemies would never think to look there? This defies logic. Our covert field agents do not work at a desk in Langley. You can’t be covert half the time. Or when it is convenient for you, like when you are manipulating intelligence for your own benefit, and don’t want it in the news.

    Vatar (bb1678)

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    BitsBlog » Democrats claim again Plame was covert. In other news, large light scheduled to appear in east. (33ff78)

  26. Forget “covert” — Plame’s affiliation with the CIA wasn’t classified on or before Feb 19, 2002. It’s clearly and repeatedly stated in all of the executive orders that implement the classified information system that the burden to identify classified information is the government’s. If the government does not tell it’s employees (contractors, too) that something is classified, then it’s not classified. If the government declassifies something in error, then the government has the burden of notifying all of the employees/contractors who had access to the erroneously-declassified info to add the classification to the info. Furthermore, classified information is only given to employees/contractors if they have a work-related need to know it — classified gossip is unauthorized, even if the gossipers have the appropriate clearances.

    At the meeting on Feb 19, 2002, (1) Plame identified herself as working for the CIA without any indication to any meeting participant that her CIA affiliation was classified; (2) Plame identified the former ambassador that the CIA wanted to send to Niger as her husband, a fact which no one at the meeting had any work-related need to know. At no time over the subsequent 15 months were any meeting participants notified in any way shape or form that the CIA affiliation of the wife of the former ambassador sent to Niger was in any way shape or form classified or sensitive.

    Also, when we talking about the Rule of Law here (as opposed to the Rule of Prosecutorial and Bureaucratic Wishful Thinking), according to Executive Order 13292 Section 1.7(a) (it’s Section 1.8(a) in Executive Order 12958, but the language is identical)

    In no case shall information be classified in order to:

    (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;

    (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;

    (3) restrain competition; or

    (4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of national security.

    Plame’s affiliation with the CIA appears to fail tests 1, 2, and 4.

    So we have information which (a) probably isn’t classified because one or more of Section 1.7(a)(1), (2) or (4) apply, which, at least on and after Feb 19, 2002 was treated as unclassified by the government. We have the complete chain of custody of the information (although Fitzgerald worked very diligently to cover up the actual chain of custody, which had nothing to do with any White House employee.) The information went from Valerie Plame’s mouth to a State Dept staffer’s ears on Feb 19, 2002. 15 months later, the DoS staffer wrote the information in a memo. The memo was read by Richard Armitage, who told it to (among others) Robert Novak. Robert Novak published it in the newspaper. This is an absolutely typical example of how unclassified information ends up in public, and why the government requires classified information to be clearly so marked so that it doesn’t end up in public.

    One more oddity: in the Waxman hearings, Waxman quotes a CIA document which claims that Plame’s CIA affiliation was “classified under Executive Order 12958“, not “Executive Order 13292″. Executive Order 12958 was not in effect after March 25, 2003. 12958 was issued on April 17, 1995. If Plame’s CIA affiliation became unclassified at some time between April 18, 1995 and March 25, 2003, then the CIA claim that she was “classified under Executive Order 12958″ is technically true but highly misleading.

    What does appear to be true is that Valerie Plame was performing a non-covert job but her salary was being taken out of a covert account. I suspect that this is not illegal (many of the government’s standard accounting practices are illegal for any other entity and would result in executives going to jail on securities fraud charges.) But the law and the executive orders have their own legal language, and nowhere does it say that “covert” or “classified” are controlled by bookkeeping categories. While in this particular case the irregularities probably don’t rise to the level of illegalities, if you are really seriously making the argument that the accounting categories should trump the statutory and regulatory language, then you are arguing that anything paid for with money embezzeled from a “covert” account is “covert” as well.

    Before the FBI interviewed Scooter Libby for the first time, they already knew how Valerie Plame’s name and CIA affiliation ended up in the newspaper: it was unclassified information, relayed by gossip, started from Valerie Plame to at least one State Dept employee on Feb 19, 2002, from that State Dept employee to other State Dept employees in late-May/early-June 2003, from another State Dept employee to a journalist in late-June, 2003, from the journalist to the wires on July 11, 2003. The FBI knew (or should have known) that Plame was not covert as soon as they traced the custody of information about her CIA affiliation back to it’s clearly unclassified source.

    cathyf (6d1f33)

  27. multam_in_parvo said “Just because the store was looted already doesn’t mean the second person in the store to loot isn’t also in deep shit.” Multam has not read the IIPA. If he had read the law, he would know that the IIPA would only apply to the one who first blew the cover and not the second. I’m not sure why multam refers to ACTUALLY READING THE LAW as “wingnut horseshit,” but then he’s probably very sad that his delusions of potency arer not being supported. Multam also doesn’t get the difference between someone saying that “WIlson’s wife” worked at the CIA (Armitage’s statement) which was then coupled with Novak looking Wilson up in Who’s Who, in other words an indirect reference, and what COrn did, which is a far mroe direct reference. Multam, please, read the law so that you can put all your facts, real or imagined, in context.

    Serenity now: The IIPA does not cover and in fact due to First Amendment constraints COULD NOT cover any or even most of the employees of the CIA. See the link in my comment above.

    Chad, note that Waxman would not allow the GOP any witnesses other than Toensing. Since Waxman was running such a kangaroo court, I find any of his conclusions fromt hat hearing suspect at best. Link: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/03/was_valerie_covert.html

    This boils down to one thing, really: The IIPA does not cover ‘covert’ agency people as the CIA uses the word ‘covert.’ By necessity the word ‘covert’ in the IIPA is a term of art, and has a far more restricted meaning.

    Charles (54a827)

  28. cathyf, the Executive Orders don’t make anything Armitage or Novak did illegal. An Executive Order does not automatically have the force of law.

    http://www.lifelikepundits.com/index.php/site/i_said_valerie_plame_part_3_of_3_executive_orders_12958_and_13292/

    Charles (54a827)

  29. Charles, I’m confused by your comment. Armitage repeated unclassified information to Novak. Of course that’s not illegal — it’s protected by the First Amendment. But Executive Orders 12958 & 13292 surely are the “controlling legal authority” (to coin a phrase :-) ) which define the information as unclassified.

    cathyf (6d1f33)

  30. Why is it that we now think we know Plame was covert within the meaning of the statute? Because the Government alleges it in a sentencing memorandum?

    Paul (8cbb16)

  31. WORD: The court filing on Plame’s employment most specifically avoids mentioning the specific timeline of her overseas assignments that would establish an IIPA violation. By doing so, it fails to establish the elements of any IIPA violation. The operative date of Plame becoming “non-covered” in any sense for any purpose is the date of Novak’s column, per the CIA itself.

    The filing can in no way be used to justify “seriousness” on Libby’s grand jury statements of the following year. No crime was shown in Plame’s “outing,” and Libby’s actions ALL follow her loss of cover.

    Fitz is whistling in the dark. He continued his investigation AFTER establishing that no crime had been committed, and the violations prosecuted occured as a result of his continuing the investigation AFTER he knew no crime had actually been committed. There was no “seriousness” to the investigation at that point. As soon as he’d established that no crime had been committed in “outing” Plame, the investigation became a witch hunt.

    Tully (e4a26d)

  32. @paul – That was essentially my point. The government made a representation that early in the process they had determined Plame was in a covert status. To back this up they offer minutes from a hearing held by congress in which Valerie Plame says “I was covert”. Isn’t there supposed to be some sort of determination made on the veracity of statements used in court. I didn’t see anywhere where the defense has stipulated he covert status.

    Here is another thing that is bothering me. The government is asking for a heavier penalty because Libby maintains his innocence, but he has filed an appeal so if he says yeah you got me I am really guilty as sin that kind of destroys his appeal I would think. This strikes me as punishing Libby for exercising his right to appeal.

    Last thing – In the government’s filing they essentially assert that Libby violated the IIPA and the implication is they want that taken into account when the sentence is determined. But, they admit they didn’t file on those charges because they couldn’t prove them. This strikes me as much like a person being tried for discharging a firearm in city limits and found guilty and then when it comes times for the person to be sentenced the prosecution asking that the unproven murder that was committed be taken into account, because they established early on that the defendant committed a murder they just couldn’t prove it.

    chad (719bfa)

  33. Kathy, where was that February 19, 2002, meeting where Plame supposedly outed herself according to your story?

    I’ll help you out. It was at the CIA. It was the meeting where the Joe Wilson trip was mooted.

    Nice try. You could’ve saved yourself the exhaustive quasi-legal-eagle citing of executive orders if you’d bothered to be honest about the simplest point of all in your recitative.

    Charles, if I’d wanted to talk about the IIPA, I would’ve talked about the IIPA. You brought it up, not me, in a half-clever bit of obfuscation. In fact, in Fitzgerald’s first briefing, he said that the IIPA was just one of the statutes of which he was investigating violations.

    Vatar, yes you can, and she did, work at Langley as a NOC. Multiple sources have said so, and multiple NOCs do the same thing.

    wls, you’re fading, and I guess you’re switching targets from Wilson to Corn. Amazing, you’re fixated on blaming the fire on the guy who cried fire.

    Pablo, I have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re Powderfinger, right? That’d explain a lot. I guess you’re trying to say something about Woodward’s claiming to have known about Plame, but nobody’s really interested in explaining what Woodward says when he’s in full suckup mode. Anyway, to say it for the third time, Novak’s column wasn’t the only ‘outing.’ Maybe you’re wishing someone would go after Armitage, as if he’s a lefty? Fine, someone please go after the bullet-headed, neckless wonder. He’s one of yours. Another Bushie involved would be wonderful.

    These arguments are also with Patterico, who, despite his absence in this thread disagrees with all of you.

    In order to believe these bizarre fantasies you’ve all concocted in whatever feverish places you go to concoct your fantasies, you’d have to posit a conspiracy that includes Fitzgerald (a Republican apppointee), probably Walton (a Republican appointee), hundreds of members of the media, the CIA and I guess Dick Armitage. It amazes me, on this thousandth instance of seeing it, the lengths people will go to believe that up is down and white is black when this case comes up. But then, it’s understandable because this case redounds to their disgrace on precisely the issues that deluded loyal Bushies most value–their patriotism.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  34. where was that February 19, 2002, meeting where Plame supposedly outed herself according to your story?

    I’ll help you out. It was at the CIA. It was the meeting where the Joe Wilson trip was mooted.

    Who cares where it was? It doesn’t matter where the room is — on Feb 19, 2002, Valerie Plame was doing something that no NOC would ever do.

    (What is it with the non-sequitors? First Charles, now multum — is it something in the water here?)

    cathyf (6d1f33)

  35. Vatar, yes you can, and she did, work at Langley as a NOC. Multiple sources have said so, and multiple NOCs do the same thing.

    Beyond the “he said, she said,” please try to be logical for one moment. Our enemies know who goes in and out of those gates. Of that you can be sure. There is no expectation of privacy when you travel through the front gate of the CIA headquarters every day for 6 years.

    Also you can’t be an undercover nuclear arms investigator when your husband is writing articles in the New York Times about his own nuclear investigations on behalf of the CIA. Even if potential contacts didn’t know Plame worked at the CIA, they still wouldn’t touch her with a 10 foot pole, because her husband was doing well publicized work with the CIA on nuclear investigations. That blew her cover, if it wasn’t already blown multiple times before by Ames, etc.

    Vatar (bb1678)

  36. Vatar, you’re using logic…

    You know better than that…

    Scott Jacobs (90eabe)

  37. Okay Kathy, so a covert CIA agent being at a CIA meeting at CIA headquarters constitutes her outing herself. If you’re fine with that, then all the best.

    Vatar, if you have problems with CIA security, take it up with them. Based on your level of assuredness, I’m sure you know allllll the procedures. If you’re worried, I suggest standing on the side of the road with a bullhorn shouting ‘Hide your faces! They can see you!’

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  38. Former CIA Agent Larry Johnson on 10/26/05 regarding Vatar’s ‘she’s not covert if she’s driving into Langley every day’ inanity:

    “People saying that just demonstrate their further ignorance of the CIA. At least 40 percent of the people driving through those gates every day are undercover.”

    Not so much ‘he said she said’ as much as everyone says except for the people who don’t know a thing but won’t let them stop them from repeatedly making baseless claims, among them, you.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  39. I must say, I’m amazed at how many CIA agents post here. (I mean, how could you start with what CIA agents do and never do, otherwise?)

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  40. so a covert CIA agent being at a CIA meeting at CIA headquarters constitutes her outing herself.

    It was not a CIA meeting. It was a meeting with at least one person from outside the CIA in attendence. And that exact person, 15 months later, told someone who wrote a memo which was read by someone who told someone who wrote in the newspaper that the former ambassador with the excellent contacts whom the CIA dispatched to Niamey in Feb, 2002, was the husband of a CIA managerial type. That exact fact which that exact person learned at that exact Feb 19, 2002, meeting. The exact fact which was not classified at the Feb 19, 2002 meeting, and which that exact person had no work-related reason to be told. As a competent, trained, government employee with a security clearance, the State Dept. person who wrote the SECRET/NOFORN memo knew with absolute certainty that the CIA affiliation of the wife of the Niamey-bound former ambassador was not classified.

    cathyf (6d1f33)

  41. Um…multum?

    Quoting Larry Johnson?

    No NOC goes through the front gates. There is a “black” entrance to Langley, but NOCs very rarely use it. Far easier to use safehouses or one of the scads of other company buildings.

    I suspect that the reason the CIA has not been more declarative on status is that it would bring up that embarassing incident in Cuba and remind folks of the Ames mess.

    The front gates are under fairly strict surveillance from some of the houses in Evermay, ya know, right across the street and rented out to various foreign embassies.

    Why don’t we wait and see what the Libby folks put down on paper?

    Uncle Pinky (6546ec)

  42. multum_in_parvo:

    More inanity from you — 40% of CIA agents going in and out are undercover??? No kidding??

    You know what — about 100% of agents from some federal agencies are “undercover” as well. How’s that you ask?

    Most federal agencies have an “undercover identity” created for each of their agents — including driver’s licenses and credit cards in the names of those alter-egos. The reason for that is the agents don’t always want to check into hotels or rent cars using their official ID or their government credit cards when they are traveling for business — that sort of announces their presence in the community when they might prefer to be anonymous.

    So, the fact that 40% of the CIA personnel gonig through the gates are “undercover” tells us nothing.

    A very small percentage of case officers have a NOC. A much larger percentage have an official cover — posing as government officials in other agencies while actually serving as CIA officers.

    Saying someone is an “operative” and saying someone has a NOC is analagous to saying the former plays co-ed softball and latter is a major leaguer.

    WLS (077d0d)

  43. …source of this “report” is the CIA. Given it’s performance since the dawn of the Bush Administration, …

    Uh, their performance since the Church Commission has been pretty much the same. They got gutted by partisan Democrat politics and have been gun-shy Democrat ass-kissers ever since.

    dubya (753723)

  44. Kathy, do you have a single cite for any of the things you claim? I think the hard time you’re having is that you’re, y’know, repeating shit that some other person made up, and then possibly just making shit up yourself.

    The other thing I remember and can cite if you really like (except you owe me like six cites now) is that the person writing the ‘S’ memo showed up late and kinda screwed the pooch. But again, you got a lot to prove in your fanciful claims, and then you’re gonna have to prove that Fitzgerald is in cahoots with…I dunno…Jane Hamsher? Christy Hardin-Smith? MoveOn? George Soros? Tinky Winky of the Teletubbies? Seems that in the face of a few facts, you’ve fallen a long way from your initial haughty airs of this_statute(a)(b) and that_statute(a)(b). It’s been entertaining.

    Uncle Pinky, you have a cite for your claim, or are you just making shit up too?

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  45. Cathyf: I wasn’t clear, sorry. I meant that even if the EO’s did forbid Armitage to do what he did that doesn’t make it illegal. EO’s do not necessarily have the force of law.

    multum: You have nothing other than the IIPA. The fact that you did not rbing it up either indicates that you don’t know the law or that you think people are guilty of crimes not written down. It was not obsfucation, it was precision. And I know that Fitzgerald was INVESTIGATING whatever he could, as you pointed out that was his first briefing. In other words he said he’d go digging and see what he could turn up. He turned up nothing, not even an IIPA violation. The crime Scooter Libby was convicted of was a process crime unrelated to the substantive purpose of the investigation. The fact is that the IIPA is the only statute that could cover the matter. If you think another could, feel free to cite to it. I am not sure of what bizarre fanatsy you think I’ve concocted. I’ve made a legal statement. Even taking the facts we know into account in a light most unfavorable to anyone in the Bush administration, no crime was committed. Feel free to look over the links I provided earlier to see more of my sources.

    multum I notice that you are regularly demanding citations, I think the physician should treat himself. What law do you think was broken? And have you researched that law?

    Here’s some help again:
    http://www.lifelikepundits.com/index.php/site/comments/i_said_valerie_plame_part_1_of_3_preliminary_stuff/
    http://www.lifelikepundits.com/index.php/site/comments/i_said_valerie_plame_part_2_of_3_the_iipa/
    http://www.lifelikepundits.com/index.php/site/comments/i_said_valerie_plame_part_3_of_3_executive_orders_12958_and_13292/

    Charles (54a827)

  46. Howdy multum,

    Not cites but sources, SPOs in my poker game, pickle factory employees I went to school with and still go to bars with (although not McKeever’s as much since it went no-smoking) and friends of the family kept since we got PNGed. Still have my old diplomatic passport from that one.

    Hey, I don’t mind you asking but I would like to know if you but the same question to your ol’ scrupulously honest buddy Larry Johnson.

    I’ll check back with you in a couple of hours. Grilling off some absolutely superb lamb chops and ramps.

    Uncle Pinky (6546ec)

  47. You have nothing other than the IIPA.

    You revel in being wrong, and then you go do it again. Fitzgerald noted possible violations of the Espionage Act in a footnote:

    ‘If Libby knowingly disclosed information about Plame’s status with the CIA, Libby would appear to have violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 793 [the Espionage Act] if the information is considered “information respecting the national defense.”‘

    And that’s not all–Fitzgerald was general about ‘improper disclosure of national defense information,’ leaving his options open wrt statutes.

    ‘Not even an IIPA violation.’

    That’s a law that requires proof of intent. Between that and Libby’s obstruction, you’re essentially saying that Fitzgerald couldn’t flap his arms and take flight. IIPA has proven useless just when it was most needed.

    The crime Scooter Libby was convicted of was a process crime unrelated to the substantive purpose of the investigation.

    Afraid they were, Chuck, or should I call you Vicky on this one? Fitzgerald noted the relationship with his ‘umpire’ analogy. He couldn’t investigate other crimes precisely because Libby committed the crimes of perjury, obstruction and lying to investigators.

    What law do you think was broken?

    Libby committed perjury (two counts), obstructed justice and lied to federal investigators (one count each). He’s been found guilty. I would’ve thought you would have noticed this incident by now.

    Cute cite of your own blog. You must think that nobody’s going to click through. Sorry, citing your own self is otherwise known as ‘masturbation.’ Surprise you could type so well with one hand.

    The minute you get a fact right, get back to me, Chuck. With that last little dishonest trick, you’ve lost my interest completely. All your charades have been debunked a hundred time. Watching you as Vicky Toensing’s mini-me go around mouthing them again is amusing but a little embarrassing at this point.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  48. Huh,

    Left a response for multum a couple of hours ago, but it appears to have been eaten by the filter.

    Anyway, multum I got no cites for you, just my sources. Friends, family, more than half my poker group are all employed by or affiliated with our chums at Langley. Nip out my front door, take two rights and there we are. Oftentimes my work brings me in contact with the folks who work there and often enough I have to pay visits to some of the other sites to drop stuff off. It is near impossible to live in this town for any period of time without getting to know lots of employees, whether you know it or not.

    Hope that helps you decide the thorny question of credibility; have you asked ol’ Larry “Four Year” Johnson if he makes things up? His record is, frankly, in the toilet round here.

    Uncle Pinky (6546ec)

  49. Kathy, do you have a single cite for any of the things you claim?

    Um… Are you talking to me? Since my name isn’t spelled that way, and I have cited everything I have claimed:

    Executive Order 12958: http://www.fas.org/sgp/clinton/eo12958.html

    Executive Order 13292: http://www.fas.org/sgp/bush/eoamend.html

    SECRET/NOFORN memo: http://bp0.blogger.com/_L6pDyjqqsvY/RfrvKUp7HCI/AAAAAAAACfo/c_I24bdcPpk/s1600-h/plame+document.JPG

    Here’s a source that discussed NOCs being Top Secret / Codeword: http://www.consortiumnews.com/2005/102905.html This one is particularly interesting, in that it was written right after the indictments by “Robert Parry [who] broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek.” Since he does not question that Plame was NOC, he is absolutely positive that the White House officials were “bandying about the name of a covert CIA officer based on the flimsy rationale that she was married to an ex-diplomat who had been sent on a fact-finding trip to Niger” and is outraged that Fitzgerald has not indicted them for leaking. He says:

    Under the rules of classification, however, to see such secrets an official must not only have a top-secret clearance but also special code-word clearance that grants access to a specific compartment governed by strict need-to-know requirements.

    We certainly learned at the trial that Plame’s identity was freely shared by the CIA without any sort of need to know or any designation of secrecy, let alone TS/codeword.

    As to an explanation of why no one at the Feb 19, 2002, meeting needed to know of Mrs. Wilson’s CIA affiliation for any work-related purpose, I refer you to Joe Wilson’s book. Where he says that her CIA affiliation had no bearing on the decision to send him. Do you think he was lying about that? If so, what was the work-related reason that the Feb 19, 2002, meeting participants needed to know that fact?

    cathyf (56ec65)

  50. Why are you citing the Executive Orders?

    And why do you think it helps your cause to cite Parry asserting that the Bush Admin’s betrayal was even worse than Fitzgerald thought it was?

    If those cites aren’t bizarre enough (you really needed to cite something that explained why that note-taker’s presence at the 2/19 meeting ‘outed’ Plame, but seem to have conveniently forgotten that), you have some unintelligible claim arising from your reading of Wilson’s book. If your pull from the book is what I think it is, it’s Wilson saying that there was no nepotism or boondoggling going on in his assignment to go to Niger.

    If so (sic, I believe you mean ‘if not’), what was the work-related reason that the Feb 19, 2002, meeting participants needed to know that fact?

    What fact? I’m not sure what you’re even saying at this point, and I doubt you do either.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  51. multum, you really need to learn to read.

    I cited a blog that I blog at because I treated each subject exhaustively. There are citations within those entries to the United States Code, to various USSC rulings, and to the CRS legal service. Citing to a position that is full of its own cites is not masturbation, it’s efficiency. I am sorry to see that your angry, impotent little mind can’t comprehend that.

    You’ve further conflated two different things. Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice because he gave two different answers to two different people. Please read the trial documents. Libby’s different answers did not impede Fitzgerald’s investigation.

    You further claim that there were crimes committed…because Fitzgerald said that he was going to investigate them? I thought I explained this to you but I will try again. In this country a person is not guilty just because someone alleges something. The Salem Witch Trials are long over. Yes, Fitzgerald said that he would ivnestigate all possible avenues, including possible investigations of the Espionage Act, but…

    (here I pause so that I am sure you will get the point)

    Fitzgerald did not charge anyone with those crimes.

    Do you understand now? This is me “reveling” but not in being wrong, I’m reveling in a simple point. You are quoting from assertions made at the beginning of the ivnestigation.

    According to you why didn’t Fitzgerald charge anyone with the substantive crime? No one wa charged with anything other than a process crime. Fitzgerald found no other possible source of criminal liability.

    multum, you can call me citing to previously published work a trick all you want, but the fact is you don’t want to face the truth. You are scared of facts. If you want me to start posting all the citations I used in those other posts I will.

    Here’s an example of a dishonest trick: I say “The crime Scooter Libby was convicted of was a process crime unrelated to the substantive purpose of the investigation. The fact is that the IIPA is the only statute that could cover the matter. If you think another could, feel free to cite to it…What law do you think was broken?” It’s pretty obvious that I am asking you what substantive law was broken, not the process crime that I had already distinguished from the underlying investigation. You then replied: “Libby committed perjury (two counts), obstructed justice and lied to federal investigators (one count each). He’s been found guilty.” It’s very clear I wasn’t asking you about Libby. I was asking you about the revealation on Richard Armitage’s part that Joe Wilson’s wife was a CIA agent.

    “I would’ve thought you would have noticed this incident by now.” Yes, well, I would have thought you would be capable of answering the questions that I ask, not the questions that you wish to think I asked.

    One more time: What substantive law was broken? And why didn’t Fitzgerald charge anyone with it? Why was it that the only charges resulting from this entire thing were process charges related ot the investigation and not the original incident?

    Note to everyone else: I don’t expect multum to answer me, because he can’t. If he had been able to answer my questions he wouldn’t have had to resort to deliberately misinterpreting what I said, not would he have had to salt his diatribe with disgusting references, and why he lacks citation.

    Charles (54a827)

  52. Hm, multum demands hyperlinks from cathy but provides none of his own.

    Typical.

    Charles (54a827)

  53. By the way multum, who is Chuck?

    Charles (54a827)

  54. So, multum, do you understand the differences among facts, logic and conclusions? I cited Perry on the fact that NOC identity is Top Secret / codeword because 1) he has reason to have expertise on the fact in question, and 2) since he hates the Bush Administration I can be confident that he would have no motive to lie about the NOC=TS/CW fact in order to make the White House look better. As Perry explains in the linked article IF Plame was NOC, THEN any officials, White House or any other government officials, learned that she worked at the CIA 1) via official communications properly designated Top Secret / codeword; AND 2) because the official had a need to know that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. We learned at the trial that in fact every time a CIA official or a State Dept official told a White House official or a State Dept official that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA, that it was NOT designated Top Secret / codeword (and indeed not designated as classified in any way); AND we learned at the trial that no one who received this information had anything like the sort of need to know described by Perry (or all the other experts I’ve seen who’ve all described that fact the same way.) I happen to completely agree with Perry: IF Plame was NOC, THEN any officials, White House or any other government officials, learned that she worked at the CIA 1) via official communications properly designated Top Secret / codeword; AND 2) because the official had a need to know that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA. Therefore, since neither 1) nor 2) in fact happened, Valerie Plame was not NOC on Feb 19, 2002, and not NOC in May, June or July of 2003. See? Use facts and logic together to lead to a conclusion. There is nothing wrong with Perry’s logic, or even his known facts. The only reason that his conclusion is erroneous is that he assumed that Plame was really NOC.

    If you have some some evidence that Perry was lying about the NOC=TS/CW fact, give the evidence. If you have some evidence that all of the officials who testified as to the circumstances of Plame conversations at trial were lying, give the evidence. If you have some evidence that Fitzgerald was lying when he stipulated that there was no evidence that Libby ever had reason to believe that Plame’s CIA affiliation was classified, produce the evidence. Otherwise, stuff it.

    cathyf (56ec65)

  55. So, multum, do you understand the differences among facts, logic and conclusions?

    Sadly, cathyf, he is wholly unfamiliar with the first two.

    Charles (54a827)

  56. multum_in_parvo,

    I have a friend who was an “Official Cover” CIA officer – he retired in the mid-90’s after a 30-year career with CIA, mostly posting overseas.

    His experience was that covert CIA officers, whether NOCs or “OCs”, were instructed in no uncertain terms that they were *never* to come anywhere near Langley.

    SRosenbach (8fa39f)

  57. Okay, SRosenbach, I’ll take the word of your surely non-fictional ex-CIA friend over the mountains of evidence contrary to his learned opinion. Riiiiiight.

    Cathy, honey, you’re smacking the table too hard and revealing yourself as a crackpot. Let me save you the space and paraphrase you–nobody treated Plame as covert with the proper protocol, so she wasn’t covert, and your sole source is a guy who really didn’t mean to be saying that.

    I’ll have to admit that I truly don’t know why the secret handshake wasn’t engaged, the German Shepherds weren’t released, and the decoder rings, the Langley-wide alarm, the laser beams and the Bat-signal didn’t go off every time Plame was within five feet of another person. If anything, Parry’s article is a sign that this Admin was incredibly careless, and then I’ll just say, y’know, she was covert. Yesterday settled it: her employers said so by pointing out how she met each requirement of IIPA, joining her coworkers in saying so, Bush’s own appointee General Hayden telling Waxman so, the owner of this blog agreeing, and that’s pretty much a wrap, and I’m getting tired of entertaining whack-job, conspiracy-theorist dead-enders. Sorry, your overheated reasoning based on a stray story by Robert Parry ain’t changing a single person’s mind.

    Charles, I’m not going to read your blog. If you send me $10 via Paypal I promise I’ll try to read a paragraph, m’kay?

    Libby’s different answers did not impede Fitzgerald’s investigation.

    I’ve already answered this. But you’re one of those forum wingnut whackjobs who gets his answer and then asks the same question again, and then gloats when his opposite number doesn’t come back within ten seconds to waste his time re-answering again.

    To repeat for the last time, Fitzgerald says that Libby’s crimes impeded his attempts to investigate the other crimes. I’ll believe Fitzgerald over you. So he didn’t indict under IIPA nor the Espionage act, partly because he couldn’t while Libby was lying to him and partly because of the scienter requirement. This is speculation, because as yet Fitzgerald hasn’t said definitively.

    And let’s just quit playing jesuitical games here. There are a lot of really ugly, ultimately treasonous actions a high government official can take, and ways to obfuscate those actions, that IIPA isn’t going to reach because of the scienter requirement. Libby lives in that gray area where he ought to earn all our reprobation, except you and the other small percentage of Americans who are strangely sanguine that a high government offical would commit felonies out of a White House office.

    To engage your specific question when I really should know better, the crimes for which Libby was convicted and brought this White House low are the substantive crimes. You’re pretty blithe about these ‘process crimes’ despite the fact that they’re multiple felonies committed while the felon was an employee of the White House, the highest such criminal conviction in 30-plus years. If you’re not troubled about obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to investigators, it’s impossible not to conclude that you’re either a simpleton who doesn’t understand civil society and the consequences of such a betrayal at the highest level, or that you’re a cynic. I wasn’t raised to excuse such actions by my elected representatives; apparently you were.

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  58. Let me save you the space and paraphrase you–nobody treated Plame as covert with the proper protocol, so she wasn’t covert

    You may not like this argument, multum, but there’s a good chance it’s a valid one.

    Draw a parallel to other areas of law: if you don’t enforce a trademark you hold, you risk losing the trademark altogether; if a homeowners’ association doesn’t enforce its covenants, the entire set of covenants can be ruled invalid.

    So, it’s not at all improper to suggest that if the CIA didn’t treat Plame as if she were a covert agent, then her status as such would be lost.

    Basically, if the CIA wants protection for its covert agents, it must move to protect them.

    Steverino (d27168)

  59. While I have never been to Langley, I used to go through the front gates at Ft. Meade every day, where they have a similar level of security. And I can assure you, I was not undercover, nor could I have been in that position.

    Quoting Larry Johnson? Why don’t you quote where he said it was no wonder Karl Rove’s mother committed suicide, after she saw how he turned out.

    Vatar (085be7)

  60. multum_in_parvo — you the photographer? If so, like your work and jealous of your travels. 8)

    dubya (c16726)

  61. multum: Lifelikepundits.com is not my blog. It is owned and operated by another person who invites several guest bloggers on, one of which is me. I gain not a penny from it. But if you would like me to reprint the entire post here, I don’t mind. However you and I both know that you’re trying to evade the issue. I’ll ask you the same questions, and I’ll make them very simple:

    1) Do you understand the difference between a substantive crime and a process crime?

    2) Do you udnerstand that after a thorough, exhaustive investigate Mr. Fitzgerald did not charge anyone with a substantive crime regarding the Plame leak?

    3) Have you ever read either the Espionage Act (not counting those sections that were later redacted) or the IIPA?

    4) Do you understand that term ‘covert’ in the IIPA, which was the main statute of focus of the hearing at which Plame testified and which about Victoria Toensing testified, does not necessarily mean the same thing as the word ‘covert’ would mean in everyday use? In other words, do you understand the concept of a legal term of art?

    5) Are you familiar with something called the first amendment?

    I don’t mind dealing with you using baby steps multum. If you absolutely feel that you have to make childish insults and crude references then so be it, that’s who you are. But have the courage to answer the questions.

    Charles (54a827)

  62. Thank you, dubya, but that’s someone else who probably is in my same field, which is where the nick comes from. Cheers, Richard

    multum_in_parvo (ff7b02)

  63. If it has been “proven” that Plame was a covert agent at the time of the leak, can you show me the legal ruling that establishes that as a fact?

    Seems like we all agree that there are certain legal requirements that must be met in order to establish a person as a covert agent who would then be protected by the IIPA laws governing the exposure of said covert agent’s identity. So where is the legal ruling that definitively states that Plame was covert?

    Let me help you- It does not exist.

    Instead what we have here are people making the assertion that Plame is legally covered by the IIPA laws without going to the trouble of actually proving anything.

    Given the fact that nothing has been conclusively determined about Plames legal status vis a vis covert agent classification pursuant to IIPA requirements, why do some people get upset when others point this basic fact out?

    Victor. (d9e5ed)

  64. Basically, if the CIA wants protection for its covert agents, it must move to protect them.

    And telling reporters who call the Public Affairs Office that she works for the CIA doesn’t fall into the “protection” category.

    Pablo (99243e)

  65. Patrick – You might want to take a look at the defense filings in the Libby case rebutting Fitzgerald’s assertions of Plame’s status. The CIA summary apparently came with an explanation of term covert. For the CIA’s purpose in the communication to the prosecution it apparently meant an employee who’s employment the CIA refuses to publicly acknowledge or that the employee refuses to confirm. The definition is considerably short of the IIPA standards, but it is unclear whether Fitzgerald is hanging his hat solely on the CIA determination. He claims DOJ has done it’s own work. No opinions from either source are provided.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  66. This is just silly…she was so “covert” that she drove into the Langley campus every day in her own car.

    I’m amazed anybody is clinging to this…

    lawdawg (1cd82f)

  67. Multum has nothing to say.

    Res ipsa loquitor

    Charles (54a827)

  68. Victoria Toensing said under oath (yes?) before the Waxmann committee that:
    1. Plame did not fulfill the requirements of the statute
    2. Her legal clients who currently were or had been “under cover” for the CIA “laughed” when they were asked if covert folks would go in and out of Langley.

    This is the CIA that allows officials while in the agency to write books criticizing the President.
    The same CIA that wouldn’t tell the FBI who was in the US that had been to terrorist meetings previously out of the country, who then went on to be part of 9/11.
    The same CIA that leaked the identity of a covert private airline.
    The same CIA whose ex-chief has written a self-serving book criticizing the president that gave him a medal for outstanding service.

    The same DOJ that essentially ignored the seriousness of Sandy Berger’s misbehaviour.

    The same Joe Wilson that worked to undermine the president while misrepresenting what he found on an assignment he wasn’t qualified to go on.

    When I see Victoria Toensig prosecuted for perjury and be convicted, or the current CIA director testify under oath that Plame was covert, then I’ll think about believing the report.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  69. It is clear that after Fitzgerald fought so hard to keep Plame’s status or employment history from being mentioned during the trial where it would be subject to cross examination, now he wants it entered as fact prior to the sentencing phase.

    Vatar (085be7)

  70. All along, Fitzgerald has been pretty coy in his use of the word “covert,” which he’s used in an informal sense to imply, without and actually coming out and saying, that Plame was “covert” within the meaning of the Espionage Act. It sounds to me like he’s playing the same game one last time. “Sure, she was covert, as in, not-overt. I never said she met any statutory definition of the word, blah blah blah.”

    Xrlq (0869f5)

  71. I reiterate that I was not against prosecution of Libby per se if he had committed perjury, but rather in light of all of the other nonsense in this case and the lighthanded dealing with known violator of secrets Sandy Burger, it seemed out of place.

    Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive has another take on this announcement here:http://www.blackfive.net/main/2007/05/plame_covert_he.html#comments

    Basically says (rhetorical judo, tongue in cheek), “Since Plame was covert, heads should roll, beginning with hers and her husbands and her handlers in the CIA.” If she was covert and people’s lives were put in jeopardy because of her being outed, she and her husband share responsibility. It is their job first of all not to bring attention to her in a jeopardizing way. his writing an op-ed in the NYT about his CIA backed escapades put him (and his wife, listed as his wife in “Who’s Who by Wilson himself) obviously in the spotlight. Besides, isn’t there usually an agreement when someone does work for the CIA that they aren’t allowed to disclose information without the approval of their “boss” at the CIA?

    Vatar makes a good point, if only speculation, about how this has been handled by Fitzgerald. The fact that this information, which should have been known years ago, is released in time to be under consideration for sentencing (but not enough in advance to be challenged) sure looks like a willful maneuver by Fitzgerald. I guess if the prosecutor wants to push for maximal sentencing it fits and might even be considered appropriate, I don’t know.

    I still say the admin and the American people are the victims of a preemptive “PR War” strike.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  72. Nifong, Fitzgerald and Giuliani are not typical prosecutors in my experience. Prosecutors I have dealt with had a sense of proportion and a sense of responsibility that their prosecutorial discretion obligated them to act judicially. For example: I got three months in jail and three years probation for some little would-be Robin Hood charged with two counts of attempt armed robbery. His trial started right after the sentencing hearing of a gang member who had gunned down a seventeen-year old. On the other hand, Fitzgerald has been putting a lot of Illinois thieves, Republican and Democrat, away ….

    nk (c66fe9)

  73. P.S. Some Cook County Assistant State’s Attorneys had a “sentencing pool”. The ASA with the most years given out to defendants he prosecuted would win. They all got fired or “transferred”.

    nk (c66fe9)

  74. All along, Fitzgerald has been pretty coy in his use of the word “covert,” which he’s used in an informal sense to imply, without and actually coming out and saying, that Plame was “covert” within the meaning of the Espionage Act.

    Errr… make that the Identities Act.

    Xrlq (37df2e)

  75. By the way, over at Powerline they noted that Sandy Berger gave up his license to practice law in D.C. rather than answer more questions about his activities stealing from the National Archives. Hooray for the DC Bar in pushing the issue.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)


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