Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 29, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

YES, VALERIE PLAME WAS COVERT....In a court filing today, Patrick Fitzgerald provides a summary of Valerie Plame Wilson's status with the CIA's Counterproliferation Division at the time she was outed to the press by members of the Bush administration. Guess what? She was covert:

While assigned to CPD, Ms. Wilson engaged in temporary duty (TDY) travel overseas on official business. She traveled at least seven times to more than ten countries. When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity — sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias — but always using cover — whether official or non-official cover (NOC) — with no ostensible relationship to the CIA.

At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure in the media of Ms. Wilson's employment relationship with the CIA on 14 July 2003, Ms. Wilson was a covert employee for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.

So that settles that. I hope the wingosphere can finally stop bleating about how she wasn't "really" covert and there was no harm in what Libby et. al. did.

On another note, this probably means I was wrong about the reason Fitzgerald didn't try to prosecute anyone for leaking Plame's name. (Libby was tried only for perjury, not for outing a covert agent.) I figured it was because Plame had been working inside the U.S. for six years at the time of the leak, and one of the technical elements of "covert" under the IIPA Act is that the agent has "within the last five years served outside the United States."

But obviously she had been working under cover outside the U.S. quite extensively during the previous five years, which means that Plame almost certainly qualified as "covert" under the specific definitions outlined in IIPA. Nonetheless, for some reason Fitzgerald decided not to bring outing charges against anyone. This suggests that Mark Kleiman has been right all along: Fitzgerald's decision had nothing to do with technical aspects of IIPA, but rather with its scienter requirements. That is, the leakers had to know that leaking Plame's name could be damaging, and Fitzgerald didn't think he had the evidence to make that case. That might have been especially true since the leaks seem to have been authorized at very high levels, something the leakers could have used in their defense at trial.

Anyway, it's still a bit of a mystery. But we're a tiny step closer to understanding it.

Kevin Drum 10:02 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (159)

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Comments

But, but, but........

Posted by: Trolls, et alia on May 29, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

That terrible sound you just heard was the shrieking of a thousand wingnuts as all their protestions about Plame just turned to dust and blew away.

Next.

Posted by: trex on May 29, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Just a curiosity. What do these paragraphs mean, especially the part about rolling back the cover?

After the Novak column was published and Plame's identity was widely reported in the media, and according to the document, "the CIA lifted Ms Wilson's cover" and then "rolled back her cover" effective to the date of the leak.

The CIA determined, "that the public interest in allowing the criminal prosecution to proceed outweighed the damage to national security that might reasonably be expected from the official disclosure of Ms. Wilson's employment and cover status."

Posted by: gregor on May 29, 2007 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

yes, but didnt Fitz mention this way back in that press conference in 2005? what makes this more official?

Posted by: kjell on May 29, 2007 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the reason he did not prosecute for the leak was because the original leak was from Richard Armitage, not Cheney, Rove or Libby.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plame_Affair

Posted by: anon on May 29, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think the point Dan Froomkin wanted to make was that Fitz regarded Libby as a mere pawn. It was Cheney he would have fingered had Libby not obstructed the view.

Posted by: obscure on May 29, 2007 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

The leakers didn't know it would cause damage. And they didn't care either.

Posted by: jimbo on May 29, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Off topic, but Im afraid that Al Gore is thinking about running in 2008. Im llistening to him being interviewed on Olbermann, and Al is starting to speak in magisterial, stiff sentences. I take this as a sign that he is preparing for prime time again. If AlbG would stay loose, he could have a lot of good things to say in the next 18 months. He doesnt need to run for Pres.

Posted by: troglodyte on May 29, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

anon, sorry, don't be ridiculous. it didn't suddenly become legal for other people to leak plame's identity just because armitage spit it out (i assume that, in armitage's case, again we had the "knowing" aspect in play).

in the bigger scheme of things, of course the many right-wingers who confidently asserted for years that plame wasn't "covert" are completely shameless propagandists, and they will merely move on to shrill hectoring of john edwards' haircut or hillary's ambition or barack's muslim education or any of the other pieces of bullshit upon which they thrive.

Posted by: howard on May 29, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

anon, sorry, don't be ridiculous. it didn't suddenly become legal for other people to leak plame's identity just because armitage spit it out (i assume that, in armitage's case, again we had the "knowing" aspect in play).

in the bigger scheme of things, of course the many right-wingers who confidently asserted for years that plame wasn't "covert" are completely shameless propagandists, and they will merely move on to shrill hectoring of john edwards' haircut or hillary's ambition or barack's muslim education or any of the other pieces of bullshit upon which they thrive.

Posted by: howard on May 29, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

But we're a tiny step closer to understanding it.

"we're"?? Don't you mean just you, Kevin.

Plame said as much in her testiment before congress some time back pal. I don't think she would have had any particular reason to lie about this fact before congress.

One of these days, oil prices will collapse again in a not to distance post Iraq war, post Bush period and thus too, your chronic insistence of peak oil theories, will once again show you to be equally slow on the uptake.

Posted by: Me_again on May 29, 2007 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

This is ridiculous. Alan and I and all our cocktail-party friends knew about her, so she couldn't have been covert. That's why the vast majority of Americans want to see Scooter Libby pardoned.

Posted by: Andrea Mitchell on May 29, 2007 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

"That terrible sound you just heard was the shrieking of a thousand wingnuts as all their protestions about Plame just turned to dust and blew away."

Nah, they'll just come up with some new rationalization to avoid having to deal with the issue. We've been through this before.

Posted by: PaulB on May 29, 2007 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum wrote: "I hope the wingosphere can finally stop bleating about how she wasn't 'really' covert and there was no harm in what Libby et. al. did."

I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. Victoria Toensing, Tom Maguire, the entirety of Fox News, and other affiliated loons that still represent Bush's proud 28% aren't likely to be persuaded by anything FitzGerald (or anyone else) has to say about Plame's covertness. In their world, Plame herself is the perjurer.

Cliff May, who previously claimed Plame's employment was an open secret (and that he knew about it), ought to be hounded by reporters. You'd think Cliff May would have something to say about this. After all, Fitz is trying to send his good buddy Scooter to the clink partly upon Plame's covertness, something Cliff May claims to have debunked. 'Tis a shame that Cliff May doesn't revisit his own BS. You'd think some of Cliff May's chums at the Corner would ask him to comment.

Posted by: Byron York's Hair on May 29, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

So that settles that. I hope the wingosphere can finally stop bleating about how she wasn't "really" covert and there was no harm in what Libby et. al. did.

And maybe they will quit connecting Saddam Hussein and alQaeda, but you'd be foolish to take that bet.

Posted by: qwerty on May 29, 2007 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, so outing a covert agent whose job is to prevent nuclear proliferation so you can get back at her husband for telling the truth about the lies your administration told in the march to war...we're supposed to believe the Republican base gives a CRAP about national security?

Posted by: anonymous on May 29, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, let's not forget that it was the CIA who got the whole ball rolling, and they had to have had a reasonably solid case that a crime was committed.

The IIPA is deliberately hard to prosecute under -- its Congressional authors have said so -- but one still wonders why Libby wasn't prosecuted under more general statutes prohibiting disclosure of classified information. Those have no statutory high bar of intent, and confirming or repeating a leak is just as bad as doing the leaking.

How soon after he's remanded immediately to prison do you think Bush will pardon him? And will Bush also pardon Cheney for any crimes he "has committed, or may have committed"?

Posted by: bleh on May 29, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for setting the record straight, Kevin.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 29, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

What's weird about all of the protests about Plame's status is that they never even remotely made sense! The CIA would know that she is covert and they would not have pushed this if she were not. The Justice Department would have to have evidence of this before they pursued the case and the various judges who ruled on various matters would have to have this, as well. If she were not covert, none of this made any sense at all and you'd have had to have a conspiracy of staggering size to get the case to trial.

Posted by: PaulB on May 29, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Treasonous Lugheads for $50, Alex.

They sure know how to protect us, huh? But, as was mentioned, this was old news, except the media from NPR to Spokane's Picauyune kept allowing them to spin the false "she wasn't even covert" assertion. To me, the media which allows such lies is also guilty of treason.

Posted by: Sparko on May 29, 2007 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Come on, people. I come here for the quick counterpoint from "Al" and whatsisname. It's faster than waiting for talking points on AM radio tomorrow.

Al? Al? Al?

Posted by: anonymous on May 29, 2007 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still looking for something that the Right-o-sphere has ever actually got right.

It's just one train wreck after another...

Posted by: craigie on May 29, 2007 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: "It's faster than waiting for talking points on AM radio tomorrow."

That's what's taking them so long. They need their marching orders.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on May 29, 2007 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

And now for the right wing spin of the Plame news we turn to NRO's own Byron York, whose only mention of Plame's actual status as revealed by Fitzgerald today is the following:

Finally, the Fitzgerald filings shed some new light on Valerie Plame Wilson’s job status at the CIA. In an exhibit attached to the sentencing memo, Fitzgerald reveals that at the time her name was published by columnist Robert Novak — July 14, 2003 — Mrs. Wilson was moving into an administrative position at CIA headquarters. “In August 2003, Ms. Wilson was assigned to a senior personnel position in CPD [Counterproliferation Division], where she supervised staffing, recruiting, and training for CPD,” the document says. “She had been selected for this position prior to the leak.”

No mention of her traveling overseas or covert status. Absolutely brilliant and a most honest summation Byron!

Posted by: Greg Grant on May 29, 2007 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Click the link, Kevin. Always click the link:

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times."

Valary Plame was a travel agent for the CIA and travelled to research her destinations. It was a waste of government money, and the CIA is claiming she was "covert" to cover the whole thing up.

Posted by: Al on May 29, 2007 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK
Nonetheless, for some reason Fitzgerald decided not to bring outing charges against anyone. This suggests that Mark Kleiman has been right all along: Fitzgerald's decision had nothing to do with technical aspects of IIPA, but rather with its scienter requirements.

You seem to assume that either your explanation or Kleiman's must be correct. I find this rather specious. There are other quite plausible reasons Fitzgerald might not have prosecuted for the leak. For instance, he might have felt that there would have been too much damage to the public interest from the kind of material that would have had to be revealed at trial to prove Plame's covert status and/or the leaker's knowledge beyond a reasonable doubt to warrant the benefit of actually getting a conviction.

The other problem with that supposition is that Kleiman's theory is not well-grounded in the law.

That is, the leakers had to know that leaking Plame's name could be damaging, and Fitzgerald didn't think he had the evidence to make that case.

The problem with that theory is of the tree different offenses defined in the IIPA—at 50 USC § 421(a), (b), and (c)—only the last has as an element that the leaker know that leaking could be damaging, and that's the provision least likely to be applicable to an inside leaker with authorized acccess, but would be a provision that might be applied to an unauthorized person repeating a leak (under certain circumstances). The scienter requirement in each of the the other provisions—which apply to people with authorized access to classified information, either in general or specifically identifying the agent—is merely that the leaker know "that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent’s intelligence relationship to the United States".

If there was a deliberate leak, someone violated 50 USC § 421 (a) or (b), whether or not they knew, had reason to know, believed, thought, or suspected the leak would or even might be harmful to the US.


Posted by: cmdicely on May 29, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bleh and PaulB,

You are overlooking the fact that in the Bizaroworld that the die-hard 28% and their punditocracy enablers live in, the CIA is a bastion of left-wing sympathizers just itching for the opportunity to perjure themselves if it will make the President look bad.

Regardless of whether it was technically possible to charge anyone under the IIPA or more general esponiage acts, Libby, Rove and a half-dozen other members of the administration known to have helped shop the Plame story to the press should have lost their security clearances months ago.

The fact that there doesn't appear to have been any administrative review over their failure to properly protect classified data is a clear sign of the administrations lack of seriousness on national security issues.

Posted by: Tanstaafl on May 30, 2007 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

Not that I an disagreeing with you or your analysis, but it sure is nice to know that people at the highest possible level of intelligence clearance can plead ignorance of same while leaking names for political advantage.

Some how, at least outside a court of law, that doesn't hold much logic, now does it? Harmful to the USA or not!

We should all piss on them.

Posted by: notthere on May 30, 2007 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

That was for cmdicely, 11:58 pm.

You're always interesting.

But they only released false, lying, defaming information against an individual for the benefit of the administration. That's OK then. How convenient.

Jesus! This country is so screwed.

Yes! It was a dliberate leak. Prove it!

Posted by: notthere on May 30, 2007 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

We should all piss on them

Sensible advice.

Posted by: craigie on May 30, 2007 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

Sensible advice.

Not if they are on fire.

Posted by: Disputo on May 30, 2007 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Dang. Disputo got there first.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on May 30, 2007 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

No need to wait for the right wing position to appear here. This is from Macsmind. It qualifies.

First quoting the story:
The unclassified summary of Plame�s employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.�

"Plame worked as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) in January 2002 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, 'engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business.' The report says, 'she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, �sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias � but always using cover � whether official or non-official (NOC) � with no ostensible relationship to the CIA.�

"After the Novak column was published and Plame�s identity was widely reported in the media, and according to the document, 'the CIA lifted Ms Wilson�s cover' and then 'rolled back her cover' effective to the date of the leak. The CIA determined, 'that the public interest in allowing the criminal prosecution to proceed outweighed the damage to national security that might reasonably be expected from the official disclosure of Ms. Wilson�s employment and cover status.'

And here is the rejoinder, edited down:

Excuse me? A "Grandfathered Status" of covert. Sorry, no "apples" here. First, the fact is that �if� she held covert status it would have been revealed and protected at the time when Novak notified CIA officials of the story. �Taking measures� my ass. Either she was or wasn�t and that�s what I�ve been saying from the beginning. When Novak called Bill Harlow and Harlow had to hang up and then call back, I told you that was BS. All he had to do was punch her name up in the computer on his desk and he could have told Novak straight out she was protected.

Fact is that she wasn�t. Harlow knew who she was as she had already been stripped of duties for her little scheme sending �honey bunch� to Niger (a rather embarrassing screw up I might add). .....having been relieved of duties from CIO a full year prior - in 2002, by June of 2003 she was working in a non-covert status in Langley.

Fact is that Plame still is the key to the real story about her and her rogue buds were trying to pull off prior to the war. This story is simply another bow-shot to keep others off the trail, especially after her false testimony earlier this month.

Oh, and this is choice drivel:

�The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias "but always using cover" whether official or non-official (NOC) "with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."

What you see her is a complete broadside fabrication from the rogues and nothing more. It might fool the fools of the MSM, but for those who were there and known (know?), it�s crap pure and simple. Fitzgerald is showing more and more the partisen (sic) that he is, a poltical hack of the first order. Fact is that if this document had any authenticity to it Fitzgerald could have charged Libby under IIPA. It didn�t and he knew it.

(snip)

Posted by: Terry Ott on May 30, 2007 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Man, right-wingers are wrong a lot.

Posted by: Boorring on May 30, 2007 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

I like that wingnuts think that if a columnist calls up the CIA and asks if person A is a covert agent, that the CIA has to respond truthfully.

Dumber than shit.

Posted by: Disputo on May 30, 2007 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Does no one remember Fitzgerald's parable about the umpire who gets sand thrown in his eyes? He all but told us right there why he couldn't proceed beyond nailing Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice. He obviously needed to pry some testimony out of Libby that would lead to Cheney, and he couldn't get anything that wasn't tainted by Libby's disingenuousness. That was the sand that was thrown in the umpire's (the court's) eyes. Hence the obstruction of justice charge.

I think Fitzgerald's prognosis at that point was that the taint from Libby's false testimony had terminally infected the process, and probably doomed any case he might have wanted to make against those higher up like, for instance, Cheney, or Cheney, or maybe Cheney.

Posted by: Dave Howard on May 30, 2007 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

Darn, Disputo and BGRS, I forgot.

There are always conditions.

Posted by: notthere on May 30, 2007 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

obscure: I think the point Dan Froomkin wanted to make was that Fitz regarded Libby as a mere pawn. It was Cheney he would have fingered had Libby not obstructed the view.

Yes, I was just reading Froomkin from today in his, "Fitzgerald Again Points to Cheney." He ends his piece with:

But I suspect that people looking back on this story will see it with greater clarity: As a blatant -- and thus far successful -- cover-up for the vice president.
However, I wouldn't underestimate the denial from the wingnut camp. Which reminds me. I wonder if Victoria Toensing ever corrected the inaccuracies in her testimony to Waxman and Congress?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 2:20 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, Kevin. I didn't realize CBS News was posting your Political Animal commentary.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

Unlike most others in the leftwing blogosphere, I have had my doubts about Fitzgerald since day one. I think he is as political an operative as all the rest of them.

That said, and on the off-chance that I'm wrong about him, there is nothing to stop another prosecutor in a future administration from investigating, indicting and trying the whole lot of them.

I think we are all expecting that Bush will pardon Libby and would have pardoned anyone else facing prosecution and prison before he left office. This way, Bush can't pardon those who have yet to be indicted as his father pardoned Weinberger and friends.

Posted by: Maeven on May 30, 2007 at 3:21 AM | PERMALINK

Newsweek has a few more details and reiterates the main points:

A major theme of Libby’s defenders has been that, at the time of her outing, Valerie Wilson was little more than a desk analyst who was not covered by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act—the 1982 law making it a crime to disclose the identity of a covert officer. Fitzgerald was originally appointed to investigate whether this statute had been violated. But in two memos—and in a document entitled, “Unclassified Summary of Valerie Wilson’s CIA Empooyment and Cover History”— Fitzgerald attempts to shoot down the idea that the agent's job was mostly analysis.
“It was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute”—the Intelligence Identities act— “as a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by public officials, including Mr. Libby, to the press,” Fitzgerald wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed late last Friday night....
...In the “unclassified summary” of his [memo] which was based on information cleared by the CIA and became publicly available Tuesday, Fitzgerald provided new details about Wilson’s previously classified activities at the agency. In January, 2002, she was working for the agency “as an operations officer” in the Directorate of Operations’s Counterproliferation Division (CPD) and serving as “chief” of a unit with responsibility for weapons proliferation issues related to Iraq. In that capacity, he added, she traveled overseas in an undercover capacity.
“She traveled at least seven times to more than 10 countries,” the document states. “When traveling overseas, Ms. Wilson always traveled under a cover identity….At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure in the media of Ms. Wilson’s employment relationship with the CIA on 14 July 2003, Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employe for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.”
...Fitzgerald contends that Libby’s disclosures—primarily to New York Times reporter Judith Miller—were made “deliberately and for the purpose for influencing media coverage of the public debate concerning intelligence leading to the war in Iraq” and, according to Libby’s own testimony, “may have been sanctioned by the Vice President.” Moreover, while Libby denied ever knowing that Valerie Wilson was a covert agent (and prosecutors never introduced any evidence that he had) “other evidence obtained by the grand jury indicated that defendant learned that Ms. Wilson worked at the CIA from multiple government officials under circumstances that, at a bare minimum, warranted inquiry before the information was publicly disseminated.”
Now this really shows how Libby supporters don't care about national security.
For all his strong language-Fitzgerald elsewhere asserts that Libby “lied repeatedly and blatantly about matters at the heart of a criminal investigation”— it is unlikely that the prosecutor’s new filings will temper the enthusiasm among Libby's backers. Since his conviction last March, a number of conservative partisans—who shared with Libby his ardent support of the Iraq war—have mounted a vigorous public campaign in his defense and sought to lay the groundwork for a presidential pardon. In mid-May, Libby was a featured guest at a New York dinner honoring Norman Podhoretz, one of the neo-Conservative movement's intellectual godfathers. According to reports from the scene, the dinner, organized by Commentary Magazine, opened with cheers and a "standing ovation" for Libby.
A standing ovation for a traitor. Sheesh. What a world.

I hope the Wilson will get the justice they deserve from their civil lawsuit.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 3:24 AM | PERMALINK

Let me also add, for U.S. citizens, for the intel community, for the sake of our national security, justice has not yet been served.

When the WH attacked Joe and Valerie and outed Plame's covert status, they and all the players who participated in the leak damaged a critical national security asset of the U.S.

Shameful.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 3:41 AM | PERMALINK

Only in Dubya's America would a convicted felon and partisan sycophant like I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby receive a standing ovation for his purposeful efforts to undermine our national security, while Gold Star mothers like Cindy Sheehan and Mary Tillman get smeared as "tragedy whores" -- and worse -- simply because they dared to speak truth to power.

God, but do I hate Bush, Cheney and the far right. And may they be damned to Hell for making such visceral hatred of them necessary, if we are ever to ensure our own survival as a free and democratic people.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on May 30, 2007 at 4:44 AM | PERMALINK

This fact renders what Bob Novak and Karl Rove did to Ms. Plame to be treason. The Constitution provides for capital punishment in cases of treason. Will Bush pursue their execution? Ya think?

This also shows, as Apollo 13 and others have pointed out, that we live in an upside-down world. Wrong is right. Black is white. Lies are truth. Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." He must have been looking ahead to the presidency of George W. Bush.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 30, 2007 at 6:48 AM | PERMALINK

Whereas the simplest explanation that fits the facts is that Cheney authorized the leak and violated the law, but between Libby's obstruction and perjury and the general omerta of Cheney's office it would not be possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. So he brought no charges and kept his mouth shut.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on May 30, 2007 at 7:38 AM | PERMALINK

Also,if everything points to the VP (and I think that marginal note by Cheney might well be enough to justify indictment), then we are properly in impeachment territory. If the Congress declines to impeach, what is a USA to do? I suspect that Fitzgerald is saying to Congress- 'I have done my job, now you do yours, or not, as you choose.'

Posted by: Xenos on May 30, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

Let me also add, for U.S. citizens, for the intel community, for the sake of our national security, justice has not yet been served.

When the WH attacked Joe and Valerie and outed Plame's covert status, they and all the players who participated in the leak damaged a critical national security asset of the U.S.

Word.

And what's worse, the Bush Cultists have been giving the crooks and liars in this Administration a free pass since day one (imagine their reaction if this had happened under a Democratic Administration -- hell, look at their derangement over Sandy Berger, who unlike Karl Rove et al, paid a penalty and lost his security clearance for his transgression).

Shameful. And yet another reason you can't trust Republicans with national security.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 8:01 AM | PERMALINK

Also,if everything points to the VP (and I think that marginal note by Cheney might well be enough to justify indictment), then we are properly in impeachment territory.

Cheney would preside over his own impeachment trial.

Constitutional flaw.

Posted by: obscure on May 30, 2007 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Of course the CIA is not going to go public with all the details of the activities of any agent that has been outed. The investigation was begun at the request of the CIA- that should be enough for anyone. Intelligence agencies must weigh the further damage that might result from publicity surrounding a trial against prosecuting the crime.

During WWII (pre-CIA) many intelligence officers were unhappy that the US was prosecuting newpapers for reporting that the US had broken Japanese code. For our code breakers, the less the Japanese knew about our capabilities and methods, the better, and for that reason many wanted the issue kept quiet by not having trials. Obviously, the Plame leak had created damage to the point where a public trial was not going to add to the damage already done. For whatever reason (reality contradicts their ideology?), Republicans disrespect our intelligence services.

Posted by: bakho on May 30, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Valerie was covert right up to the point that her Saudi-employed husband published his phony op-ed in the NY Times. I'm little surprised that you don't mention that a Senator is investigating her lie about who sent Joe to Niger. Another perjury case. She said one thing to the committee staff and another in public testimony. This isn't over but not in the way you think.

Posted by: Mike K on May 30, 2007 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Al on May 29, 2007 at 11:57 PM:

Valary Plame was a travel agent for the CIA and travelled to research her destinations. It was a waste of government money, and the CIA is claiming she was "covert" to cover the whole thing up.

Jesus-fucking-Christ, Al!!! We told you to quit making up your own talking points because you SUCK at doing it...Asshole...You don't do a good disinformation campaign by saying something so stupid...Do what you are fucking paid to do and put the following points out there:

- Patrick Fitzgerald hates the Bush administration.
- Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to influence Libby's sentencing by releasing information that casts Libby in a bad light.
- This court filing is just Patrick Fitzgerald's interpretation that Plame was covert, and Fitzgerald has a clear bias against Libby.
- Scooter Libby is a good person who has served his country well and deserves better treatment than this.

Just stick to the fucking talking points, Al, okay? Now get back to work, you jackass.

Posted by: Karl Rove's RNC email account on May 30, 2007 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

I'm little surprised that you don't mention that a Senator is investigating her lie about who sent Joe to Niger.

Oooh, "a Senator" is investigating her? Pray tell, what Republican Senator would that be?

Posted by: Ringo on May 30, 2007 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

"Saudi-employed husband"

A little out of the loop on this story. So, Doc Mikey, who is the husband employed by the Saudis? Bush, Cheney? There are soooo many in the administration employed by that clan which only has significance because they are lucky to be sitting on top of oil instead of merely riding around the dunes on their fine steeds killing one another.

So, tell us, Doc, before you begin your day of cutting folks off work comp.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 30, 2007 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps, Steve Inskeep, otherwise known as ex-liberal, of NPR will fill us in.

Posted by: stupid git on May 30, 2007 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Praise Koresh we didn't have to listen to wrong wing radio about this - all their talking points are right here!

Shorter Al: She was a travel agent for the CIA! What else would a blond bimbo be doing for the CIA?

Shorter Orwell: She was a crappy CIA agent - so it's okay that we blew her cover!

Shorter Mike K: It's all Joe Wilson's fault!

Such sterling examples of Republican't accountability! Such clear, concise examples of typical Republican't logic (or lack thereof). Nice to see that bipartisan spirit of co-operation at work...

Posted by: (: Tom :) on May 30, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

As employees of the Saudis, do Bush and Cheney have to fill out W-2s or do they simply get 1099s?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 30, 2007 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Orwell on June 29, 2006 at 5:32 PM:

If only the program would have been called Valerie Plame SWIFT we could all be outraged about the exposure of this secret program...But of course she wasn't a secret..

Oh dear. Orwell's wrong yet again. Going back to your irrelevant 'Wilson's a liar' meme? Or that since the Wilsons dared to appear in public as a married couple, they didn't take the Missus' covert status seriously?

Ohmigod you people are odd...not decent enough to admit that you are wrong, and not smart enough to keep from embarassing yourself.

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

"Click the link, Kevin. Always click the link:"

Kevin did quote that part, Al, and it doesn't even remotely support your assertion. Weak, Al. Really weak.

Posted by: nemo on May 30, 2007 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Give it up. This whole Plame affair is over. Your just disgrunted because you aimed for the whole administration, and the best you could do was nab Libby (short for "liberal?") on a technicality.

It doesn't matter what Plame or Fitzgerald say. Was she or was she not covert, in an objective sense. Apparently the juries still out on that. Its not for you or I to speculate.

Posted by: egbert on May 30, 2007 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

It was Richard Armitage who "outted" Valerie Plame. It was not Libby.
After having workded for the CIA they list everyone as covert who travels overseas. If you were not listed as covert you knew your career has come to a smashing end. I find it intriguing that the very crazy left that has worked so hard to strip the CIA and other intelligence servcice of their ability to do their jobs now so feverishly embrace the mantra of trying to be their protectors.
Valeie Plame lied, committed perjury, broke the law however you wish to say it when she tesitfied before the House that she had nothing to do with her drunken husband getting the assignment to go to Niger. Why no indignation about that? Documents with her signature asking for her husband to be sent have surfaced. She lied. It was under oath. She committed perjury. Why no clamor for her prosecution? Odd how the left is not screaming for her to face justice.
Last if she was a legiitimate covert officer (it is officer not agent) then Fitzgerald was amiss in not prosecuting Armitage. How can he prosecute Li8bbey and not Armitage? Especially by his own admission he knew it was Armitage that had done this since the second week of his leading the investigatgion in Washington.
This was a nice bit of political theater. That was all. Anything else and people are too far removed from reality to be taken seriously.

Posted by: Paras on May 30, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Mike, we're all wondering why the right wingers such as yourself worked yourself into an irrational, dishonest froth in trying to claim that Plame wasn't covert when she obviously was. Why was it such a large priority for you guys to lie about it?

Really, explain this one to me. You people invested so much time and energy in screaming that Plame wasn't covert and that she was "just a clerk." Why was this? Do you think that your ability to reason and your credibility is perhaps a bit tarnished now that that turns out not to be true-- which liberals knew all along?

Posted by: Tyro on May 30, 2007 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Mike, we're all wondering why the right wingers such as yourself worked yourself into an irrational, dishonest froth in trying to claim that Plame wasn't covert when she obviously was. Why was it such a large priority for you guys to lie about it?

Really, explain this one to me. You people invested so much time and energy in screaming that Plame wasn't covert and that she was "just a clerk." Why was this? Do you think that your ability to reason and your credibility is perhaps a bit tarnished now that that turns out not to be true-- which liberals knew all along?

Posted by: Tyro on May 30, 2007 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Valeie Plame lied, committed perjury, broke the law however you wish to say it when she tesitfied before the House that she had nothing to do with her drunken husband getting the assignment to go to Niger. Why no indignation about that?

because it's not true, no matter how many mindless conservatards try to spin it that way.

Posted by: haha on May 30, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

That terrible sound you just heard was the shrieking of a thousand wingnuts as all their protestions about Plame just turned to dust and blew away.

Since when did truth matter to the wingnuts?

Posted by: tomeck on May 30, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK
Also,if everything points to the VP (and I think that marginal note by Cheney might well be enough to justify indictment), then we are properly in impeachment territory. If the Congress declines to impeach, what is a USA to do?

File criminal charges. The President is, it is generally accepted, immune to criminal prosecution during his tenure in office (though not necessarily for acts during his tenure in office), but the same is not true of the Vice President, who is subject to criminal prosecution just like anyone else.

Now, it is true that Cheney should be impeached and removed if he was involved, but he should also be tried on criminal charges and sent to prison. And while I might prefer if the first were done prior to the second, there is no Constitutional reason he can't be criminal charged, sentenced, and then impeached and removed the way many federal judges have been in the past.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 30, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Whack an Employee, for the Kit "Fannie Mae" Bond update. Thought he was spending his time looking for new hair pieces.

Wonder if they still have those bumper stickers around KC, saying "Carolyn was right"?

And taking the time to name the Cape Girardieu after Rush's grand father - What a tireless worker defending torture to boot. Yes, Whack and Employee, you and Kit, two peas in a pod.

Must flush now, er was that floss?

Posted by: Mr Lysol on May 30, 2007 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Paras is a complete moron but since Mike K sometimes shows a level of discernment, perhaps we might note that he is completely full of crap on this matter.

the republicans already tried to smear wilson and plame in the intelligence report. in order to do so, they needed to completely distort the actual record. the notion that bond is now further attempting to "investigate" is the kind of thing that gullible simple-minded propagandists take to heart, but the rest of us can ignore.

but just for the record: no, it was not "wilson's fault." joe wilson did the country a great service, and in return, the thugs in cheney's office attempted to smear him. it's how they work. if you don't understand that, you don't understand anything.

just to return to Paras for a moment, listen, you imbecile, just because armitage mentioned that plame was covert doesn't mean that anyone else could feel free to mention it, nor does it mean that libby wasn't part of a campaign to smear wilson by doing whatever it took.

the rest of your ramblings indicate you know nothing but what they tell you in the fevered swamps of right-wing blogging. go hang back out there (or to your local school playground) and find some people on your own level to talk with.

Posted by: howard on May 30, 2007 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

Orwell: "I don't want that kind of person working covert."

LOL! My heroes wrecked her career by outing here, and who wants a spy like that? And anyway, I dnt like her husband.

Got news for ya, Orwell: no one gives a rat's ass what you think.

And eggy, are you still disgrunting in the corner? Do clean up the mess when your done. There's a good lad!

Posted by: Kenji on May 30, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

howard, you forgot to remind Paras that misprision requires intent - just being a gossiping busy-body doesn't qualify. Armitage may have started it, but Libby et al drove the fcuker into the ground.

Posted by: kenga on May 30, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Orwell and Mike K...traitors to the very end.

Posted by: ckelly on May 30, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

As my friend Cartman would say: "Jesus tap dancing Christ, we don't care!! We just want to play our Okama Gamesphere!!"

Maybe I will get high with Towelie next time he asks.

Posted by: Stan Marsh on May 30, 2007 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, it was Joe Wilson's fault and yes, the Saudis have been hiring retired State Dept FOs for years. If the Royal Family ever lost our support, they'd be strung up by their subjects by that afternoon and they know it.

Any proof for these unfounded allegations, Mike K? Or are you just expecting everyone to take your word for it?

I'd especially like to se how you know exactly how Saudi Arabians would react if the Saudi royal family lost the support of the Republican'ts. And how you have succeeded in reading the minds of the Saudi royal family, to know how and what they think of the situation.

How about it, Mike? Mind telling the rest of us how you tunred into the Amazing Kreskin? Or are we just going to get some more Rush Limbaugh style bloviating from your general direction?

Posted by: (: Tom :) on May 30, 2007 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Of course I didn't expect any of our resident Bush Cultists actually acknowledge, much less apologize for, being completely wrong yet again in their sneering assertions, but it's interesting that so far, only Mike K, Orwell, egbert and this paras person have had the lack of shame to justify the vice president's office deliberate otuing of a covert agent.

Wow...the depths to which some Bush Cultists will sink.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

That might have been especially true since the leaks seem to have been authorized at very high levels, something the leakers could have used in their defense at trial.

Ah yes -- the "I was only following orders" defense. There's a lot of European case law on that one . . .

Posted by: Peter Principle on May 30, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote:

"But obviously she had been working under cover outside the U.S. quite extensively during the previous five years, which means that Plame almost certainly qualified as "covert" under the specific definitions outlined in IIPA."

While I agree with him that the inability to meet the "they knew this was damaging" criteria of the statute, I also think it is important to know whether or not traveling TDY is the same as "serv[ing] outside the United States" per the law. Many federal agencies (the military for one) make a pretty significant distinction between traveling abroad temporarily and being stationed overseas. This is not a new question regarding Plame but it remains an important one. 7 TDY's to 10 countries could be significant, operational activities for weeks in Nigeria and Pakistan or they could be weekend travel to seminars in Paris and London. No one here knows which it was or how the law might differ in those cases.

Posted by: Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Mike K: I'm little surprised that you don't mention that a Senator is investigating her lie about who sent Joe to Niger.

The CIA sent Joseph Wilson to Niger.

Neither Plame nor Wilson has disputed or contradicted this fact.

Wingnuts, like you, however, have insisted that Plame sent Wilson to Niger, which is utterly false, as confirmed by the CIA itself, and inconsistent with the authority of her position at the CIA. A private cannot order a general to do anything, and that is the essence of the winger claim that it was Plame who sent Wilson to Niger.

Proving you all are still the liars you always have been.

Posted by: anonymous on May 30, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Various wounded trollkin:

It was Richard Armitage who "outted" Valerie Plame. It was not Libby.

Of course, Libby was tried for perjury, not for violating the IIPA. You've confused the issue.

..it was Joe Wilson's fault..

What, that Libby perjured himself and obstructed an investigation? Or that Armitage (and possibly others) leaked information about a covert CIA agent?

Nah. You probably mean this

Wilson created the very circumstance he now complains about. He voluntarily drew attention to himself and, by extension, his family. He interjected himself into an intense international policy dispute regarding the war with Iraq.

hunk of burning bullshit from NRO in July of '05...

Valeie Plame lied...when she tesitfied before the House that she had nothing to do with her drunken husband getting the assignment to go to Niger.

IF that was true-which it isn't-so what? Doesn't change the fact that those '16 words' should never have been said, or that Libby obstructed justice and perjured himself.

...if she was a legiitimate covert officer then Fitzgerald was amiss in not prosecuting Armitage.

Libby. Convicted. Obstruction. Of. Justice...Hard to prosecute someone you are being kept from gathering evidence about.

In all, you right-whingers are pretty weak; you're reduced to recycling years-old talking points...y'all just got stirred up because your favorite talking point re: the outing of Valerie Wilson just got thoroughly refuted.

I'd like to say that you'll get over it, but you won't.

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

A number of folks here that I presume you would view as Bush cultists have agree that if Plame was covert than her being exposed as such is clearly a bad thing. That does not mean we need to agree with everything else folks like you assume must therefore also be true. You continue to blame the VP's office although the very source you use to point to Plame's status also indicates the initial leak came from Armitage. Others continue to assert this was done to punish Joe Wilson when it seems increasingly clear that this was done as background to explain why Wilson was sent in the first place.

In short, if Plame was covert (in the sense of the law - I have no idea, for example, if any CIA person going overseas for any reason travels as a 'state department' employee) then yes those who asserted she was not are wrong and should say so. Moreover, no one should minimize the damage such exposure may have caused. But that doesn't mean we need to buy into the rest of the frog-marching crowd's theories.

Posted by: Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

This was a nice bit of political theater.

Then you must have LOVED the Iraq war. And your cavalier attitude toward the outing of a covert agent, working in WMD for God's sake!, is why (as Gregory so aptly puts it) your side will not be trusted for a generation.

Posted by: ckelly on May 30, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Left one out...

Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 11:21 AM:

No one here knows which it was or how the law might differ in those cases.

One would think that, as long as Valerie Wilson was operating under Non-Official Cover, the law would apply regardless of the unknown reasons why she traveled 'not less than seven times to more than ten times' on behalf of the CIA.

But, hey...if you want to make up some differentiation between Non-Official Cover and Non-Official Cover, go for it.

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, TDY can be kinda broad - In my day, we had several athletes go TDY to play for various Seventh Army sporting activities.

Or, one could go TDY, I suppose, when flying with a group of highly trained soldiers from Ft Lewis, WA to El Salvador to massacre a village.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 30, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw: "...the initial leak came from Armitage."

Who cares? Really. What difference does this make to the case against Libby?

The chronology of leaking, and knowing who leaked to whom, is important, but it has little bearing on whether or not Libby was guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Posted by: JM on May 30, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Give it up. This whole Plame affair is over. Your just disgrunted because you aimed for the whole administration, and the best you could do was nab Libby (short for "liberal?") on a technicality.

Posted by: egbert on May 30, 2007 at 10:23 AM

egbert, it's not over. Libby is going to be sentenced next week. Fitzgerald has recommended between 30 and 37 months. Team Libby has responded asking for less. Thirty to 37 months might sound like a joke to you. I don't know if the court will let you do it, but you might volunteer to change places with Scooter.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 30, 2007 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

grape-crush:

"One would think that, as long as Valerie Wilson was operating under Non-Official Cover, the law would apply..."

Well that was precisely my question, because I'm not sure anyone here knows whether or not traveling under non-official cover in fact means that the individual qualifies as covert under the law in question. I'm not saying it doesn't, I'm only saying that it is not abundantly clear that it does (as evidenced by your 'one would think').

JM - I never claimed that the fact that Armitage was the first leaker somehow exonerated Libby from perjury. I did state that it is perplexing that people would still assert that the VP's office was responsible for the leak when we know it wasn't.

Posted by: Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Hack[saw]: You continue to blame the VP's office although the very source you use to point to Plame's status also indicates the initial leak came from Armitage.

Yep, it is utterly irrelevant that Armitage is a long-time associate with Cheney, long acting in furtherance of Cheney goals, and tied closely to Cheney staff members and allies in the administration.

Others continue to assert this was done to punish Joe Wilson when it seems increasingly clear that this was done as background to explain why Wilson was sent in the first place.

Increasingly clear only to those who need to find some rationalization, any rationalization, to absolve Bush and Cheney of any responsibility for their ill deeds.

And you wonder why we view you as a Bush-licking hack and GOP apologist.

Posted by: anonymous on May 30, 2007 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 11:28 AM:

You continue to blame the VP's office...

Libby worked in the VP's office.

..although the very source you use to point to Plame's status also indicates the initial leak came from Armitage.

And from Rove. And probably others.

Others continue to assert this was done to punish Joe Wilson when it seems increasingly clear that this was done as background to explain why Wilson was sent in the first place.

You have not explained why the source of Joe Wilson's Niger assignment is relevant to the content of Wilson's Op-Ed piece about the '16 words' or the subsequent outing of his spouse by bad actors in the Bush administration.

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Hack[saw]: I did state that it is perplexing that people would still assert that the VP's office was responsible for the leak when we know it wasn't.

You keep using "the VP's office."

Why is that?

The issue is the VP himself, Cheney, not his office.

Yet more semantic dissembling by a Cheney apologist.

Posted by: anonymous on May 30, 2007 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, doing 30 to 37 months in the "Technicality" wing of prison, can be quite comfy. Gives one a great deal of time to hone up on how to get one's law license back. Of course, the real penalty will be the lack of Veep conjugal visits and phone calls.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 30, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

grape_crush: And from Rove. And probably others.

In Hacksaw's world, there cannot be multiple similar actions taking place at the same time.

That's what a narrow conservative viewpoint brings you.

The idea of multiple motivations and actions coalescing, mirroring, or paralleling and causing, furthering, or enhancing a similar result is beyond his pale.

Posted by: anonymous on May 30, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK
One would think that, as long as Valerie Wilson was operating under Non-Official Cover, the law would apply regardless of the unknown reasons why she traveled 'not less than seven times to more than ten times' on behalf of the CIA.

The law does not seem to be restricted to NOC: if you are under official cover outside of the United States, you meet the definition of a covert agent under 50 USC § 426 (4)(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 whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States".

Posted by: cmdicely on May 30, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw wrote: A number of folks here that I presume you would view as Bush cultists have agree that if Plame was covert than her being exposed as such is clearly a bad thing.

You know, I'm sure those kinds of comments existed in abundance, but I'm having a little trouble remembering any at the moment (it's a wheat-and-chaff thing). Care to provide, oh, three examples? While we're at it, I notice you don't mention whether you expressed any opinion on the matter -- shall we look it up?

That does not mean we need to agree with everything else folks like you assume must therefore also be true.

Ah, but that's the rub, isn't it, Hacksaw? As your desperately dishonest spinning -- focusing on Armitage as the source of the initial leak, while ignoring the OVP's concerted (and unsuccessful, until Novakula bit) effort to out Plame, for example -- reveals, you're working overtime to avoid accepting the revelations of Fitzgerald's investigation: The Vice President of the United States ran a conspiracy out of the White House to expose the identity of a covert CIA agent working to shield this nation from nuclear proliferation. And, of course, Cheney and Rove both retain their security clearances and White House positions, so it's clear the President condones this action.

Your "okay, we were wrong, she was covert, but so what" posts belie the faux-reasonableness of your phony "no one should minimize the damage such exposure may have caused" caveats -- and I note that you still question whether Plame was trruly covert, so even now you're trying to minimize the damage -- but to your Party, not the country, more's the pity.

Cognitive dissonance is a powerful force, isn't it, "Hacksaw"? Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous,

Well, when one has to concentrate on sawing a Porsche 914 in half, ala Jack Reynolds, kinda hard to see the larger view.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 30, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - sorry for the late comment but I don't quite understand your logic when you say, "...with its scienter requirements. That is, the leakers had to know that leaking Plame's name could be damaging, and Fitzgerald didn't think he had the evidence to make that case. That might have been especially true since the leaks seem to have been authorized at very high levels..." Wouldn't those at the higher levels be the ones more likely to know Plame's status as an undercover agent? And wouldn't they at least be obligated to ask the question before leaking her name? Do you think Fitzgerald has been the victim of interference from the administration? I know everyone says he is a straight shooter and I believe that myself, but I wonder what his reasoning was. On the other hand you could be right.

Posted by: lamonte on May 30, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 11:48 AM:

I'm not sure anyone here knows whether or not traveling under non-official cover in fact means that the individual qualifies as covert under the law in question.

I'm fairly confident the CIA knows, since they were the org that referred the case to the DOJ. If the CIA didn't consider her undercover/covert enough to fall under the IIPA, then why refer the case?

Here's the text from the IIPA, just so there's no confusion:

(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;

I'm not saying it doesn't, I'm only saying that it is not abundantly clear that it does..

Actually it's pretty clear, Hacksaw.

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

So where did the W-hacks get the story that "everyone knew she worked for the CIA"? Did anyone do their HW and ask around (I heard, some neighbors said, they didn't know.) In any case, even if people knew she drove to the CIA etc., her front company cover (Brewster-Jennings) was blown, meaning she couldn't pose as a non-CIA energy analyst to dig up WMD (!) tips. That's what mattered, not the apologists' red herring about whether she was overseas, ever went to marked CIA buildings, etc. You'd think people on the Bushie/(R) side really serious about stopping WMD, would be outraged that someone investigating that was impeded...

Notice that Drudge has the complaint from some wank/s about her changing stories, instead of this more vital point. (I submit stuff like this Plame story to Drudge to needle him, knowing he/staff just don't care because being part of the Republican-etc. noise machine is what he is all about, besides ad revenue.)

Posted by: Neil B. on May 30, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

"This isn't over but not in the way you think."

ROFL... Sure, Mike, whatever you say. You keep on living in that little fantasy world of yours.

Posted by: PaulB on May 30, 2007 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, that's what it means, huh?

Must get back to Ms Toensing.

Posted by: Victoria Toensing's Paralegal on May 30, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely on May 30, 2007 at 12:04 PM:

The law does not seem to be restricted to NOC..

There's a 'classified identity' subclause in that section, as I posted above.

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

This suggests that Mark Kleiman has been right all along: Fitzgerald's decision had nothing to do with technical aspects of IIPA, but rather with its scienter requirements. That is, the leakers had to know that leaking Plame's name could be damaging, and Fitzgerald didn't think he had the evidence to make that case.

Or that he felt issues of classification would make it impossible to bring the case to trial. Simply trying Libby's perjury and obstruction of justice entailed a small mountain of CIPA work, and an IIPA prosecution focused on the OVP would have been graymailed to death.

That's been my gut feeling since the CIPA hearings for the Libby trial: prosecutions aren't just based upon the possibility of conviction, but on the possibility of getting through a trial.

Posted by: ahem on May 30, 2007 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, you are free of course to assert that "The Vice President of the United States ran a conspiracy out of the White House to expose the identity of a covert CIA agent working to shield this nation from nuclear proliferation," but it remains an assertion both with regard to who leaked the information and why they leaked it.

In addition, my posts have not said "okay, we were wrong, she was covert, but so what." Rather, I have said is she was covert, revealing her status is obviously a bad thing but it does not by extension imply the rest of your conspiracy theory is correct.

Finally, I do question whether she was covert under the IIPA for the continued reason that it is not clear that temporary travel abroad qualifies as:

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

Grape_Crush wrote:

"You have not explained why the source of Joe Wilson's Niger assignment is relevant to the content of Wilson's Op-Ed piece about the '16 words' or the subsequent outing of his spouse by bad actors in the Bush administration."

It is relevant because it offers an alternative explanation to why (using your phrase) bad actors in the Bush administration outed Plame. Most folks here would say it was to punish Joe Wilson, intimidate critics, etc. However, given Plame's role in Wilson getting the gig (something both Plame and Wilson have clearly lied about previously), it is just as reasonable to explain the administration's identification of Plame as an effort to explain why Wilson was sent to Niger.

Posted by: Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

I generally think highly of Fitzgerald, but two comments: (1) his position on the covert issue (while interesting and maybe correct) is at this stage only the position of one advocate in litigation; and (2) it seems strange and perhaps unfair that Fitzgerald would agree the covert issue is irrelevant at trial and then turn around and try to use it to secure a tougher sentence.

I think there will be much more to hear on the legal issues in this case as it is appealed and, even though it sounds like Libby lied (although I was never clear about the motive for lying), I would not be surprised if he has some good arguments on appeal and even if the conviction is reversed.

Posted by: brian on May 30, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

you are free of course to assert that "The Vice President of the United States ran a conspiracy out of the White House to expose the identity of a covert CIA agent working to shield this nation from nuclear proliferation," but it remains an assertion both with regard to who leaked the information and why they leaked it.

No, it doesn't. Who leaked it -- at least some of those -- is a matter of public record thanks to the Libby trial, which transcript supports the statement I quoted in the preceding paragraph. What's an assertion is Fitzgerald's theory that Libby lied to protect Cheney and conceal the extent of his (Cheney's) involvement in the conspiracy, but let's just say that Fitzgerald has more credibility than you do, Hack.

As to why they leaked it, who cares? Is the newest wingnut line of defense going to be "sure, they exposed the identity of a covert CIA op working on nuclear proliferation, but they were justified in doing so?" (Never mind -- I guess you wingnuts have to make do with what little you have.)

In addition, my posts have not said "okay, we were wrong, she was covert, but so what."

Sure they do. You are working overtime to minimize the rather damning revelation that the OVP, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, et al, all blew the cover of a covert CIA agent.

Rather, I have said is she was covert, revealing her status is obviously a bad thing but it does not by extension imply the rest of your conspiracy theory is correct.

The "conspiracy theory" -- that multiple top White House officials leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent to the press -- entered into public testimony by the Libby trial, you mean?

Measnwhile, your stipulation that her outing was "bad" is unimpressive given your continuing to carry water for this Administration, attacking the Plames and offering up "alternative explanations" as if the Administration defenders still have any credibility. Here's a hint, Hack: You don't.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Kevin, but just because Patrick Fitzgerald now says Plame was covered by IIPA doesn't mean it was so.

IIPA doesn't cover and wasn't intended to cover CIA employees who drive to work at Langley headquarters every day, whether or not they may also travel abroad on CIA business.

'...“It was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute”—the Intelligence Identities Act—“as a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by public officials, including Mr. Libby, to the press,” Fitzgerald wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed late last Friday night....'

I find this very hard to believe - if it was indeed "clear from very early in the investigation", the Fitzpatrick should have indicted one or more people under the statute.

Posted by: Steve Rosenbach on May 30, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Valerie was covert right up to the point that her Saudi-employed husband published his phony op-ed in the NY Times.

Bwahahaha! Nonsense, you deluded clown.

According to the CIA, according to Fitzgerald's court filing which the CIA cleared, according to the facts which you seem to be immune to:

At the time of the initial unauthorized disclosure in the media of Ms. Wilson’s employment relationship with the CIA on 14 July 2003, Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employe[e] for whom the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.
You make shit up and your commentary. Is. Not. Credible.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo13, when did you get back from the moon ?

Here is Isikoff's take. I sure wish the NSA surveillance leak had been prosecuted with this fervor. Only people who supported the war are liable to prosecution in this weird world. If another big terror attack occurs, we'll see who gets strung up to the lamp posts.

Posted by: Mike K on May 30, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Rosenbach -

'...“It was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute”—the Intelligence Identities Act—“as a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by public officials, including Mr. Libby, to the press,” Fitzgerald wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed late last Friday night....'

I find this very hard to believe - if it was indeed "clear from very early in the investigation", the Fitzpatrick should have indicted one or more people under the statute.

No, Fitz had practicality to look after, and you don't know what pressures he may have been under. No intelligent person can think that something was or wasn't so because a government official subject to the actions of the Bush administration would or wouldn't have normally done blank.

Posted by: Neil B. on May 30, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

(should be quoted italics up to> under the statute.

Posted by: Neil B. on May 30, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

How droll -- everyone's favorite faux-reasonable concern troll "brian" weighs in.

I generally think highly of Fitzgerald

I'm sure they think highly of you at the RNC.

his position on the covert issue (while interesting and maybe correct)

You just gotta love how the Bush apologists are still pretending there's some doubt as to whether Plame was, as a matter of fact if not law, covert.

is at this stage only the position of one advocate in litigation

Flatly false; the CIA confirmed she was covert when they referred the matter to the DoJ for prosecution. Nice try, though.

it seems strange and perhaps unfair that Fitzgerald would agree the covert issue is irrelevant at trial and then turn around and try to use it to secure a tougher sentence.

Love the crocodile tears, brian. If you were honest -- I know, I know -- you'd understand that Fitzgerald had no intention of having the covert issue distract from the fact that Libby lied under oath; however, in sentencing, mitigating circumstances -- such as, that Libby perjured himself to obstruct Fitzgerald's investigation into the outing of a covert -- yes, covert! -- op, is perfectly proper.

I think

Objection: Another assertion without evidence.

there will be much more to hear on the legal issues in this case as it is appealed

Thank you, Captain Obvious. However, legal issues are one thing; the facts -- that Plame was covert, that Rove and Libby, among others, outed her, and that Libby lied about it under oath -- are a matter of record.

and, even though it sounds like Libby lied

You don't say.

(although I was never clear about the motive for lying)

Oh, we totally accept your confusion as genuine and not wingnut obfuscation / cognitive dissonance / flat-out lying!

I would not be surprised if he has some good arguments on appeal and even if the conviction is reversed.

Well, arguments on appeal, good or otherwise, and a reversal of conviction are always possibilities on appeal, but that aside, on what grounds? Libby lied to the Grand Jury, under oath. Do you have some insight into any grounds for reversal, or is this just cognitive-dissonance-driven whistling in the dark?

Meanwhile, it's interesting to note thatr Hack and brian are also on record -- even in brain's bland, phony, "don't see what the big deal is" style -- defending the Bush Adminsitration that outed a covert CIA officer.

Honest conservatives across the nation have long since had their fill of the Buhs Administration's mendacity, incompetence and corruption. These threads play host to the other kind, it would seem.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

If we accept that Plame was covert, it would reflect poorly on Libby and anyone else who talked about her, even if it was just negligence.

But it also raises these questions: (1) why didn't the CIA do more to try to keep Novak from witing about her; and (2) why on earth did Joe Wilson write his New York Times piece (anyone would know that it would generate publicity -- I also would love to hear whether Valarie read the piece before it was published - if she did, would it be too much to ask that this "covert agent" might tell her husband it was not a good idea to bring attention to himself in view of her status?).

There has always been something amiss about the Joe Wilson/Valarie Plame side of the story, even if you accept there was some intentional or negligent misconduct by people in the administration.

Posted by: brian on May 30, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

IIPA doesn't cover and wasn't intended to cover CIA employees who drive to work at Langley headquarters every day

I've asked this before, and I know this is a mug's game, but have Plame's driving habits been established as a matter of fact, or is the the "drive to Langley" talking point just another article of faith among the Bush apologists?

One really can't read the defenses of the Bush Administration without marveling atthe power of cognitive dissonance.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

IIPA doesn't cover and wasn't intended to cover CIA employees who drive to work at Langley headquarters every day, whether or not they may also travel abroad on CIA business.

Okay that's it! You are officially grounded from watching any more of "24." You clearly have a hard time distinguishing reality from Hollywood/Ludlum spy games.

Posted by: Simp on May 30, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

The criminal law issue is not whether Cheney, Armitage, Libby, or Rove knew the leak would cause damage. The issue is, more simply, whether any of the leakers knew that Plame was covert. They all should have known, but that is not the question under the statute. Now, the White House certainly knew that Plame worked in the CIA Directorate of Operations, and the memo circulated on Air Force One expressly referred to Plame under the heading of "secret." For uber-insiders like Cheney, Rove, or Libby those two facts alone should have been enough information to give them notice of Plame's probable covert status. Fitzgerald, however, recognized that without more direct evidence, it would be tough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any of these players actually knew Plame's status in advance of the leak campaign. It remains possible that in the rush for revenge on Joe Wilson, nobody even paused to think about Plame's operational status. So the White House and the OVP can thank their own colossal incompetence or recklessness for the decision not to prosecute anyone under the IIPA. In Libby's case the cupidity, as opposed to the stupidity, was prosecuted under the perjury and obstruction statutes.

Posted by: arteberry on May 30, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, but "brian", everyone's favorite faux-reasonable concern troll, is spinning madly, sorting deperately through Bush apologist talking points in hopes of finding one that will stick. Careful, brian, or you'll blow your cover and stand revealed as a dishonest partisan...ahhhh, hell, you weren't fooling anyone.

If we accept that Plame was covert

If? If?! If???!!! I know that not accepting Plame as covert is vital to your pretending the Bush Administration isn't as corrupt and mendacious as it is, but you don't get to say "if" at this stage. Again: Her covert status is a matter of record -- and many times over at that.

it would reflect poorly on Libby and anyone else who talked about her

You don't say. Congratulations, though, for an even more milquetoast disclaimer than Hack's "a bad thing".

even if it was just negligence.

Objection: There's no evidence to support the inplication it was "negligence", and plenty -- the fact that several Bush Administration officials blew her cover to several reporters -- to show it was not. Rip that one up, brian.

But it also raises these questions

No, it doesn't; dishonest Bush apologists like you keep raising them -- no matter how often they're rebutted -- in a lame attempt at obfuscation.

why didn't the CIA do more to try to keep Novak from witing about her

Asked and answered: They dis all they could. They asked Novak not to print the information. To do otherwise would have confirmed she was covert, which you'll recall they weren't allowed to do. Rip that one up too, brian.

and (2) why on earth did Joe Wilson write his New York Times piece

Ah, lovely blaming the victims here, brian! Wilson published the piece to debunk the Bush Administrations false implication in the SotU; it was the Administration that responded by outing Plame. The fault is the Administration's, not Wilson's; shame on you for implying otherwise.

(anyone would know that it would generate publicity

I'm sure publicity -- of the President's misleading statemnts -- was the goal, you twit. Of course, that "publicity" had nothing to do with Plame. Rip that one up too.

I also would love to hear whether Valarie read the piece before it was published - if she did, would it be too much to ask that this "covert agent" might tell her husband it was not a good idea to bring attention to himself in view of her status?)

I love the way brian presumes everyone would jsut know this Administration would out Plame in response. I'm glad your opinion of this mendacious and incompetent Administration is as low as ours; the question then is, why do you defend them?

There has always been something amiss about the Joe Wilson/Valarie Plame side of the story

No, not at all. Bush misled the nation in the SotU; Wilson called him on it, and the Administration struck back in its typically sleazy manner.

even if you accept there was some intentional or negligent misconduct by people in the administration.

Again, while i know how important it is for you not to accept the facts, you don't get to pretend that doing so is in any way a valid or honest option.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 12:34 PM:

It is relevant because it offers an alternative explanation to why (using your phrase) bad actors in the Bush administration outed Plame.

Oookay...So you argument is that, since covert officer Valerie Wilson recommended her husband Joe for a CIA-sponsored trip to gather intel, Libby, Armitage, Rove, and possibly others shopped the name of a covert officer to the news media to explain why Joe Wilson was sent to Niger?

Talk about unnecessary. If that was the case, a simple "Joe Wilson was sent to Niger by a government agency to investigate claims of an Iraq purchase of yellowcake" would have been sufficient. If that isn't the case, then you still haven't identified why Valerie Wilson's involvement in sending her husband to Niger is relevant to her outing as a covert officer.

Most folks here would say it was to punish Joe Wilson, intimidate critics, etc.

That's the explanation that makes most sense, yes.

brian on May 30, 2007 at 12:41 PM:

..his position...is at this stage only the position of one advocate in litigation

He got the memo!

it seems strange and perhaps unfair that Fitzgerald would agree the covert issue is irrelevant at trial and then turn around and try to use it to secure a tougher sentence.

Plame's covert status wasn't relevant in a trial to determine if perjury and obstruction occurred...just like Bill Clinton wasn't on trial for getting a beejer, just for lying about it under oath.

Steve Rosenbach on May 30, 2007 at 12:57 PM:

IIPA doesn't cover and wasn't intended to cover CIA employees who drive to work at Langley headquarters every day, whether or not they may also travel abroad on CIA business.

And you are the arbiter of deciding what the IIPA covers and doesn't cover exactly how?

...if it was indeed "clear from very early in the investigation", the Fitzpatrick should have indicted one or more people under the statute.

And he probably would have, if it wasn't for the obstruction of justice and perjury committed...Hard to prosecute something that you are being blocked from gathering evidence for...

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Hacksaw, meet the forest:

Bushco.'s agenda was to declare war on Iraq, and efforts like those of Joe Wilson's (one of the few that actually had the power to bring some harsh reality to the debate) were viciously attacked. The VP's office orchestrated a counterattack. Had Wilson succeeded in bringing some fact into the discussion, we may have been spared this terrible, costly, embarrassing war that has increased global terrorism. Nevermind the fact that Bush ignored multiple intelligence estimates predicting exactly the clusterfuck we're seeing in Iraq now.

Trees: partisan nitpicking about hypotheticals in an attempt to save nonexistent face, while our country bleeds.

I realize its painful to swallow the bitter pill that you and many others bought what they were selling. You're not alone. But if you continue down this path of denial and enabling, you will be.

Posted by: Captain on May 30, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Here is Isikoff's take.

Yeah, that's whose article I snipped at 12:58 PM (and quoted earlier at 3:24 AM) to show that your assertion -- Valerie was covert right up to the point that her Saudi-employed husband published his phony op-ed in the NY Times -- is make-believe and erroneous.

Still, have a hard time with the facts, eh?

I sure wish the NSA surveillance leak had been prosecuted with this fervor.

You fail to realize the difference between a whistleblower over an illegal program and a traitorous felon. I am not surprised you can't discern the difference or understand the laws over such things.

If another big terror attack occurs, we'll see who gets strung up to the lamp posts.

So you're worried that Bush can't protect us against another terrorist attack. Well, he did blow off the August 2001 PDB about "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Within the U.S." Maybe you've got something there.

But I'm curious. Since we are fighting "them" over there, so we don't have to fight them here, why do you question that another big terror attack could occur? Losing faith in Bush? Most Americans have.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, you wrote "As to why they leaked it, who cares?"

Of course a lot of people here seem to care, given their focus on Cheney deliberately outing Plame to punish Wilson, etc., etc., etc. You yourself claimes "The Vice President of the United States ran a conspiracy out of the White House to expose the identity of a covert CIA agent" and embraced Apollo 13's statement that "the WH attacked Joe and Valerie and outed Plame's covert status."

So the why, it seems, is an important part of the story. Was it to attack Joe Wilson? Was it to intimidate critics? Was it to explain how Wilson got the job?

Moreover, I am not "working overtime to minimize the rather damning revelation that the OVP, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, et al, all blew the cover of a covert CIA agent." Your assertions about OVP and Rove are just that and the information Kevin linked to today does not unquestionably show that a covert CIA agent (at least in terms of the law involved) was outed.

Posted by: Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Only people who supported the war are liable to prosecution in this weird world.

Can you cite the statute that makes a person liable for prosecution for supporting the war? Got a link?

If you are referring to Libby, his crimes were obstruction of justice and perjury.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

If was so "clear" that she was covert, why not prosecute Libby for the leak? Maybe Armitage, too.

Posted by: Brian on May 30, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 1:42 PM:

Was it to attack Joe Wilson?

Probably.

Was it to intimidate critics?

Probably.

Was it to explain how Wilson got the job?

No, as leaking the name of a covert CIA operative was unnecessary to accomplish that purpose.

Your assertions about OVP and Rove are just that..

Libby worked in the OVP, Armitage and Rove were named as leakers during Libby's trial. It's more than just assertion, Hacksaw...Bush Administration insiders have testified to their involvement.

and the information Kevin linked to today does not unquestionably show that a covert CIA agent (at least in terms of the law involved) was outed.

Let's see...the CIA says, she's a covert op, Fitzgerald says that the evidence he has satisfies the IIPA definition of a covert op...

And what do you have? A weak attempt at creating doubt where very little exists.

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

So the why, it seems, is an important part of the story.

Maybe, but my point is that motivation is not a mitigating factor -- the fact is that that a conspiracy to out Plame was run out of the OVP. Why they did it is interesting, and certainly there are motivations that are more nefarious or others, but again, by focusing on the why at the expense of the what you're both carrying the Administration's water and casting aspersions on credibility that you're simply not in a credibile position to cast.

You yourself claimes "The Vice President of the United States ran a conspiracy out of the White House to expose the identity of a covert CIA agent"

I agree with Fitzgerald that Libby's obstruction of justice prevented proving so in a court of law, but that's a reasonable conclusion from the trial record. But that's a what, not a why. Why the OVP did so is not as important as the fact that they did. One would think that the fact that they did would cause people of good will to turn away from these gangsters in disgust -- oh, what, it's you, Hack. Never mind, then.

and embraced Apollo 13's statement that "the WH attacked Joe and Valerie and outed Plame's covert status."

Again, a question of "what" established byeyond a reasonable doubt by the public record. And your problem with that would be (other than it's politically embarrassing -- to say nothing of shameful)?

I am not "working overtime to minimize the rather damning revelation that the OVP

As Exhibit A, I present Hack's posts in this thread. Thank you.

the information Kevin linked to today does not unquestionably show that a covert CIA agent (at least in terms of the law involved) was outed

I've already pointed out the dishoensty inherent in your harping on the "terms of the law involved". Kevin's post confirms that as a matter of fact Plame was covert. We know that Armitage, Libby, Rove and Fleischer outed her. You've already conceded that doing so was "a bad thing" -- or are you now claiming that it's only bad if they violated the law in doing so, and short of that outing a covert agent is hunky-dory with you?

I note with interest that you raise that one point and respond to nothing else I wrote. I presume then that you concede those points? And yet here you are, again, trying to sow doubt and confusion about matters of established fact. Your purpose can be none other than to dishonestly defend this Administration; I know there's no other way to do so, but no one makes you. Shame on you for tacitly condoning this Administration's disgusting conduct by your defense, however feeble.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

If was so "clear" that she was covert, why not prosecute Libby for the leak? Maybe Armitage, too.

Asked and answered: There are complexities in the law beyond the definition of "covert", and Fitzgerald wasn't sure -- as he was with Libby's perjury and obstruction of justice -- that he could prove it in court. I remind you, as well, that Libby's obstruction of justice limited what case Fitzgerals could prove.

Here's a question for you: We know Karl Rove leaked her identity. Why does he still have a security clearance, let alone a White House job?

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Fair question about Rove. I suspect, however, that he would be on very short list if he were canned over a leak.

I have the impression that Fitzgerald's claim is in his sentencing filing. If so, why didn't he cite the relevant law?

I think that the clarity of her status has become more clear to him since he no longer has to worry about proving it.

Posted by: Brian on May 30, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Fair question about Rove.

Then how about answering it?

I suspect, however, that he would be on very short list if he were canned over a leak.

Not "a leak" -- outing a covert CIA agent. But don't take my word for it -- let's ask Dear Leader (emphasis added):

QUESTION: Given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President Cheney’s discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, suggesting that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leak the agent’s name? And do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?BUSH: Yes. And that’s up to the U.S. attorney to find the facts.

Facts: Found.

And regardless of whether Bush out-and-out fires Rove, there's the matter that, if memory serves me right, Rove retains his security clearance despite having admitted to outinmg Plame.

I think

Sorry, reading Powerline or Maguire or wherever you get your bullshit doesn't count as "thinking".

that the clarity of her status has become more clear to him since he no longer has to worry about proving it.

Nice aspersion there, toad. But once again: Here status was always clear since the CIA referred the case to the DoJ and, evidently, not the facet of the law Fitz decided he would have had trouble proving beyond a reasonable doubt.

Let's finish this post with another quote -- this time from Bush the Elder, 1999:

“I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.”

I feel the same about those who persist in carrying their water, I might add.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

"I've already pointed out the dishoensty inherent in your harping on the "terms of the law involved". Kevin's post confirms that as a matter of fact Plame was covert. We know that Armitage, Libby, Rove and Fleischer outed her. You've already conceded that doing so was "a bad thing" -- or are you now claiming that it's only bad if they violated the law in doing so, and short of that outing a covert agent is hunky-dory with you?"

For starters the fact that the IIPA exists and provides protection for a particular type of individual in and of itself demonstrates that the nature of a person's covert status is important. It is not clear to me, nor have you demonstrate that it should be, that traveling TDY as described in Fitzgerald's letter meets the criteria of the law. This matters because the law itself recognizes there are different consequences to leaking the identity of various CIA employees. If not, leaking the name of any employee would be equally illegal. That's not me minimizing what happened, it is me understanding the law itself identifies a range of negative consequences.

We know that Armitage leaked Plame's role in Wilson getting the trip to Niger and that other administration officials, including Libby and Rove, were also discussing this with reporters. It is not clear that they knew she was covered by IIPA (if indeed she was) or that her position at CIA was covert. So you'll forgive me for not accepting outright your claim that they knowingly outed a covert agent. What I conceded was a bad thing was that if by their actions, intended or not, they exposed the identity of a covert agent protected by IIPA, it is pretty stupid for anyone to say this is not a bad thing. But it does not by extension have to mean it was an evil thing conspired by Cheney to punish Joe Wilson by destroying his wife's career.

Posted by: Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

honest to frickin' god, brian, gregory and grape crush have exhausted themselves trying to point out reality to you, but denial is, indeed, a powerful force, innit?

let's try this once again: knowing that plame was covert is only the beginning of determining whether the IIPA was violated. Fitzgerald, for reasons that he hasn't shared, determined that the bar was too high to get a conviction under IIPA (likely, as he did tell us, because in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy, libby lied).

plame's covertness has now been testified to by the CIA, by Fitzgerald, and, under oath, by Plame herself.

however, the conviction that libby is about to be sentenced for is for perjury. the point of fitzgerald's sentencing memo is to be clear to the court that this is a serious matter, despite the endless efforts of the bush enablers and the right-wing cretins and the liars and propagandists who pollute our discoure to claim that there was no crime.

in short, what you claim to "think" (i'm not sure the word actually applies to what you've spit out here) has nothing to do with "thought" as the term is generally used; it has to do with repeating right-wing sloganeering and defending the indefensible, namely the thuggish behavior of the bush-cheney administration.

Posted by: howard on May 30, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

hacksaw, no offense, man, but nobody gives a good goddamn what is "clear" to you, since quite obviously your vision is deeply flawed, your knowledge incomplete, and your reasoning ability pretty limited.

let's repeat it again: the CIA says that Plame was covert. The director of the CIA says that Plame was covert. Plame, under oath, said she was covert. Fitzgerald, as an officer of the court functioning under a requirement not to commit perjury, says she was covert.

but hacksaw isn't clear on this, nor is he clear, despite the evidence, that the thug, cheney, didn't see any reason why plame's covert employment by the cia should stand in the way of a dishonest propaganda campaign.

next your going to tell us that, in fact, saddam did try to buy yellowcake in niger. it's so preditably stupid.

Posted by: howard on May 30, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh, moron, could Rove be too politically valuable to be let go?

Once more, why didn't Fitz cite the relevant law in his filing?

Posted by: Brian on May 30, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Others continue to assert this was done to punish Joe Wilson when it seems increasingly clear that this was done as background to explain why Wilson was sent in the first place.

I have to say, it astounds me that right-wingers look at Joe Wilson, a career diplomat who served in both Niger and Iraq and continue saying, "There's no logical reason why he was sent to Niger to investigate what Iraq was trying to buy there."

Is it a reading comprehension problem? Do they think that Wilson served in Nigeria and Iran, not Niger and Iraq?

I'm starting to think it's an article of faith for Republicans that a person who actually has knowledge of an issue or region is the worst person to investigate or oversee it, because they'll be biased by having actual knowledge instead of just having read a bunch of Ayn Rand books that they think they can apply to creating, say, a stock exchange for Iraq.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on May 30, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

For all you folks who now say it is a fact that Plame was covert because Fitzgerald decided the evidence established she was, does that mean it also is a fact that no one committed any crime in "outing" Plame because Fitzgerald decided the evidence failed to establish they did?

Posted by: brian on May 30, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

could Rove be too politically valuable to be let go?

Even if he is, that hardly justifies Bush keeping him around -- indeed, it only goes to prove (as if there were any doubt) that Bush subordinates national security to political concerns. Thanks for admitting that.

why didn't Fitz cite the relevant law in his filing?

I don't know. Why don't you ask him? More aptly, why do you seem to think it matters?

Hacksaw, once again, regardless of whether Plame was covert as a matter of the statute, she was covert as a matter of fact, and Libby et al did in fact out her knowing this. I've already pointed out your, ah, disingenuousness

But hell -- if we needed any further evidence of your mendacity, look no further: We know that Armitage leaked Plame's role in Wilson getting the trip to Niger and that other administration officials, including Libby and Rove, were also discussing this with reporters.

I love it -- "leaked Plame's role"; "discussing this" -- no mention whatsoever of the somewhat salient fact that Plame -- yes! was a covert agent, and they leaked that fact as well.

Exhibit B in Hack's minimizing what this Administration did, ladies and gentlement. (But thanks for confirming the conspiracy bit you were deriding earlier.)

So you'll forgive me for not accepting outright your claim that they knowingly outed a covert agent.

It isn't just my claim, my dishonest Hack; it's a matter of record from the Libby trial.

Again: They may not have known outing her was illegal under the IIPA, but no one but you is picking that nit. They certainly did know that she was a covert CIA agent. And you're here defending them. Admirable, Hack; admirable.

it does not by extension have to mean it was an evil thing conspired by Cheney to punish Joe Wilson by destroying his wife's career

That explanation certainly fits the facts; that it obviously displeases a dishonest Bush apologist like you is only another point in its favor. Meanwhile, claims by the Bush apoloigists like they were trying to put Wilson's trip in context" don't pass the laugh test, but the fact that dishonest hacks -- excuse me, Hacks -- like you embrace this spin is merely another point against it.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

For all you folks who now say it is a fact that Plame was covert because Fitzgerald decided the evidence established she was, does that mean it also is a fact that no one committed any crime in "outing" Plame because Fitzgerald decided the evidence failed to establish they did?

Asked and answered, brian. No, you dishonest dope, because Libby's obstruction of justice prevented Fitzgerald from establishing it.

(And what's this "now say" bullshit? I and many others have been saying that the evidence shows Plame was covert since the CIA referred the case to the DoJ. In keeping with howard's weary predictions of wingnut dishoensty, cue some rightard claimign the CIA was a liberal hotbed out to bring Bush down...In any case, so much for your "Fitzgerald decided" bullshit; it wasn't just him. But you knew that, you dishonest toad.)

Sheesh, are you Bush Cultists having a contest to see who can post the lamest, most dishonest argument? This is worse than the Schaivo threads...and the facts are going the same way, funny enough.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Lemme see. Gotta decide between Fitzgerald's legal opinion and expertise versus Hacksaw's mendacious water-carrying...decisions, decisions.

Posted by: ckelly on May 30, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK
But it also raises these questions: (1) why didn't the CIA do more to try to keep Novak from witing about her;

Because that would have required, if they were to use honest persuasion, revealing more sensitive classified information to an untrustworthy uncleared party, or, alternatively, if they chose to use less-friendly means to "do more to keep Novak from writing about her", violations of a whole bunch of laws.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 30, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

It simply is not true that it is a matter of record from the Libby trial that administration officials "knowingly outed a covert agent." It is a matter of record that they discussed her role, working for the CIA on counter-proliferation, in getting Wilson his assignment.

Which goes to my next point. Why does it fail the laugh test to suggest the alternative explanation that administration officials were trying to put Wilson's trip in context? What part of the story refutes this as a possibility?

Posted by: Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK
It is not clear to me, nor have you demonstrate that it should be, that traveling TDY as described in Fitzgerald's letter meets the criteria of the law.

What part do you think it falls short of?

It is clearly service. It is clearly outside of the United States as defined in the act (50 USC § 426(10): "The term 'United States', when used in a geographic sense, means all areas under the territorial sovereignty of the United States and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.") It is clearly, in the circumstances described (either official or non-official cover) a case where the officer's "identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information".

That covers the criteria in the law (at 50 USC § 420(4)(A)). Now, unless you can cite some authority calling that into question, I suggests you give up the feigned uncertainty argument you've been making. It is quite silly.

Posted by: cmdicely on May 30, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

I've never understood the whole "Wilson gets to go to Niger" and "the Niger gig Plame got for Wilson" tripe of the rightwing traitor brigade. Setting aside for a moment the fact that CIA tapped Wilson because he was qualified (a quality that the Bush administration wouldn't recognize in any of their appointees). It makes no sense - it's Niger for Godssake. Now if Plame had recommended that Wilson spend say a year in Costa Rica investigating and take her with him - then I could see the "gig" phrasing.

Posted by: ckelly on May 30, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK
That covers the criteria in the law (at 50 USC § 420(4)(A)).

should be:

That covers the criteria in the law (at 50 USC § 426(4)(A)).
Posted by: cmdicely on May 30, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

excellent point, ckelly, and one I haven't seen made elsewhere -- but you're assuming that these morons have ever looked at a map.

Posted by: thersites on May 30, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hacksaw on May 30, 2007 at 2:28 PM

For starters the fact that the IIPA exists and provides protection for a particular type of individual in and of itself demonstrates that the nature of a person's covert status is important.

Wrong. The nature of a person's covert status is not a consideration stated in the IIPA. Just that they are employed by an intelligence agency, their identity as such is classified, and has served outside the US within the past five years...No discussion of the 'nature of service' or the length of the service outside the US or what color of hat she wore during the service...If Plame went one time for the CIA under a cover identity in the prior five years to speak with a contact over espresso and a piece of bruschetta, then she's covered by the IIPA.

Get it?

It is not clear to me..

It should be by now.

..nor have you demonstrate that it should be, that traveling TDY as described in Fitzgerald's letter meets the criteria of the law.

It has been demonstrated to you. Read the IIPA at the link posted above and stop trying to twist this in a way that is more palatable to you.

This matters because the law itself recognizes there are different consequences to leaking the identity of various CIA employees.

Yes, imprisonment and fines are specified in the IIPA for leaking the names of covert personnel. Your point?

It is not clear that they knew she was covered by IIPA or that her position at CIA was covert.

And we can't know because Fitzgerald was blocked from investigating who knew what-when about Plame and who leaked her name to the media.

So you'll forgive me for not accepting outright your claim that they knowingly outed a covert agent.

But you do admit that it's possible.

But it does not by extension have to mean it was an evil thing conspired by Cheney to punish Joe Wilson by destroying his wife's career.

Well, what was the motivation for the leak? If everything is on the up-and-up, why use Plame's name at all? Recommending someone you know for a job isn't that big of a deal, is it?

Posted by: grape_crush on May 30, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Hack wrote: It simply is not true that it is a matter of record from the Libby trial that administration officials "knowingly outed a covert agent."

Okay, let's see:

It is a matter of record that they discussed her role, working for the CIA on counter-proliferation, in getting Wilson his assignment.

..and then going and blabbing that role -- as a covert agent -- to the press. And you were deriding the notion of a conspiracy? You've just admitted it.

Which goes to my next point.

Oh, boy. More dishonest Bush Administration apologia. I can hardly wait!

Why does it fail the laugh test to suggest the alternative explanation that administration officials were trying to put Wilson's trip in context?

Asked and answered, Hack: For starters, because you dishoenst wingnuts cling to it so tightly. In addition, what context? Regardless of whether Plame had any role at all in Wilson's trip, his op-ed stands on the merits, and Plame's role, if any, is irrelevant.

What part of the story refutes this as a possibility?

Because it presumes that Cheney, et al, were operating in good faith, and the narrative of the trail -- to say nothing of the combined political careers of Cheney, Rove, et al -- simply preclue such a possibility. Too, the notion that Wilson's trip to Niger was a "junket" or "nepotism" also fails the laugh test. So much for context.

But even if you accept that "administration officials were trying to put Wilson's trip in context," the fact remains that they outed a covert CIA agent, and that is not acceptable -- expecially for the kind of political ass-covering -- to wit, trying to shore up the discredited and phony 16 words -- Cheney was engaged in.

And yet here you are defending it still, Hack. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Just for the purposes of an informal sociological study I'm doing, I'm curious if the wingnut deadenders who still believe that Plame was not covert and/or that everyone who outed her was an innocent angel caught unawares in their casual gossip also believe that:

a) we did find WMD's in Iraq, and
b) aliens helped build the pyramids

Please respond in writing to "trex@dino@saur.com" no later than 6PM tomorrow evening. Thank you.

Posted by: trex on May 30, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth, Steve Benen offers his sympatnies,/a>, touching on a point I made above:

I guess I can’t blame them. Top officials in the Bush administration outed an undercover CIA agent during a war. They did so intentionally, for political reasons, and then lied about it. In the panoply of crimes an administration can commit, this one’s right up there among the most serious.

Yup. And yet here's Hack and brian defending the Adminstration. As I said: Cognitive dissonance is a poweful force. I wonder what depths they won't sink to to avoid confronting the full extent of this Administration's mendacity, incompetence and corruption?

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

It was Richard Armitage who "outted" Valerie Plame. It was not Libby.

I like how conservatards think that if Libby robbed the liquor store one hour after Armitage robbed it, that Libby is not guilty of a crime.

Conservatards -- the devil's minions.

Posted by: Disputo on May 30, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Unlike most others in the leftwing blogosphere, I have had my doubts about Fitzgerald since day one. I think he is as political an operative as all the rest of them.

Those of us in IL love our Eliot Ness. He went through more than 50 people to get to our corrupt GOP governor Ryan, and he is now chipping away at the Chicago machine to get to the Dem mayor Daley. Now if he'd just go after the Cook Co Dems, we'd have the hat-trick.

Posted by: Disputo on May 30, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

For all you folks who now say it is a fact that Plame was covert because Fitzgerald decided the evidence established she was...

Wrong again. Fitz didn't decide that the evidence established she was covert just now.

The CIA declassified what he could say publicly about it now.

From the PDF of the court filing, "Unclassified Summary of Valerie Wilson's CIA Employment and Cover History":

The determination means that the CIA declassified and now publicly acknowledges the previously classified fact that Ms. Wilson was a CIA employee from 1 Janaury 2002 forward and the previously classified fact that she was a covert CIA employee during this period.
Some people like Fitz respect classified information. And some people don't.

Furthermore, Waxman read a statement that was cleared by Hayden of the CIA during Plame's testimony to Congress on March 16, 2007, which said:

I have been advised by the CIA and that even now, after all that has happened, I cannot disclose the full nature, scope and character of Ms. Wilson's service to our nation without causing serious damage to our national security interests.
But General Hayden and the CIA have cleared these following comments for today's hearing.
During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover. Her employment status with the CIA was classified information, prohibited from disclosure under Executive Order 12958.
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.
Plame's covert status isn't new news for some of us who have been paying attention.

...does that mean it also is a fact that no one committed any crime in "outing" Plame because Fitzgerald decided the evidence failed to establish they did?

What a wanker. Was no crime committed because OJ Simpson was acquitted?

Jeso Pete, the B team trools are here.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hack[saw]: However, given Plame's role in Wilson getting the gig (something both Plame and Wilson have clearly lied about previously . . .

Plame's role was limited to recommending her husband after being asked for a recommendation by her superiors.

Quit trying to imply that her involvement was anything more.

It wasn't and conservative attempts, including those by Rove, to suggest that Plame orchestrated it or ordered it or sent Wilson to Niger are simply deliberate lies, nothing more.

Posted by: anonymous on May 30, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Just for the purposes of an informal sociological study I'm doing

You make a good point. Anytime I step outside the the topical argument I am having with a random wingnut, I inevitably discover several obvious nuts lose. Prime indicators in my experience is that they believe that aliens crashed at Roswell and that the moon landings were staged. (An ironic pairing, since you'd think that with all alien space-tech, we would have been able to get to the moon....)

Posted by: Disputo on May 30, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK
Al is starting to speak in magisterial, stiff sentences...troglodyte at 10:23 PM
Don't be naïve . Gore has to parse his words because of the smears that he is subjected to every time he speaks.

Terry Ott at 12:56 AM: Go to auto-correct (Quick correct in WP) in your word processor and change from curly smart quotes and apostrophes to straight ones.

...A standing ovation for a traitor. Sheesh. What a world....Apollo 13 at 3:24 AM

It happened before during the Iran-Contra prosecutions. That's how a crook and liar like Oliver North almost became a senator from Virginia and now has a cushy gig on FoxNoise. IOKIYR.

Posted by: Mike on May 30, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hack[saw]: Which goes to my next point. Why does it fail the laugh test to suggest the alternative explanation that administration officials were trying to put Wilson's trip in context? What part of the story refutes this as a possibility?

The part where they repeatedly lied about her role, just as you do.

Plame did not "send" Wilson to Niger.

Plame did not "approve" Wilson's trip to Niger.

Plame did not "authorize" Wilson's trip to Niger.

Plame did not "initiate" discussions on whether to go to Niger in the first place or who to send.

Plame did not "order" Wilson to go to Niger.

Plame did not "facilitate" sending Wilson to Niger.

-----------------

Plame did "recommend" Wilson go to Niger after being asked by her superiors for such a recommendation.

Posted by: anonymous on May 30, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Jeso Pete, the B team trools are here.

Get a load of Tom Maguire:

Well, not all of us think that Fitzgerald saying so provides the final word; hence, not all of us need to admit we were wrong.

So: Fitzgerald quoting newly declassified CIA documents -- which he is able to do in public for the first time -- is him "saying so."

Gotcha.

Posted by: Gregory on May 30, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Tom Maguire: Well, not all of us think that Fitzgerald saying so provides the final word; hence, not all of us need to admit we were wrong.

Translation: I'm a Bush tool and, like Bush, I don't have to admit when I'm wrong. I just get to keep plugging away in my own version of reality, a reality that is faith-based, not fact-based. I can make up anything I want, like Bush did with non-existent Al Qaeda-Iraq linkages and equally non-existent WMDs, and I can assert anything I want in defense of my own lies, like Bush did when he claimed we had "found" the WMDs or when he claimed Congress had seen the same intelligence that he had, because, well, we're conservatives and lying and denial are not only second nature, they are our birthright!

Posted by: anonymous on May 30, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

brian: For all you folks who now say it is a fact that Plame was covert because Fitzgerald decided the evidence established she was, does that mean it also is a fact that no one committed any crime in "outing" Plame because Fitzgerald decided the evidence failed to establish they did?

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

You live by your dishonest rationalizations and you die by them, brian.

Suck on "your side's" own words.

Posted by: anonymous on May 30, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

I am now convinced that there is no offense committed by the Bush administration or Republicans in general that is too egregious for the rightwing traitor brigade.

Actually, I've been convinced for some time now.

Posted by: ckelly on May 30, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Get a load of Tom Maguire...

He's a pant load, all right. He's muddied the water with his bull shit that it's Fitzgerald's "opinion" that Plame was covert and refuses to accept the CIA-approved docs (see 3:54 PM post) that state she was covert.

Funny how wingnuts accepted the erroneous WMD threat hawked by Dear Leader and his Klan but not a CIA-approved statement about Plame's covert status. How conveniently they don't see what they do not want to see.

But here's what Maguire and his ilk can't deny: Libby is guilty. He's a felon, convicted of four felonies.

Libby is a criminal. Absent a pardon, he is going to jail.

Someone explain to me how Republicans defend and want to pardon someone who abused a U.S. national security asset as a political pawn?

Not strong on national security or law and order, are they?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on May 30, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, very interesting. Oliver North gets a cushy job after being let off on a "technicality" and the wingnuts cheer.

Libby is about to go away on. as someone upthread whines, a "technicality" and the wingnuts scream.

Wonder if Blackstone differentiates between good and bad "technicalities". Common law good and bad???

Posted by: thethirdPaul on May 30, 2007 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

"To accept the argument that Mr. Libby's prosecution is the inappropriate product of an investigation that should have been closed at an early stage, one must accept the proposition that the investigation should have been closed after at least three high-ranking government officials were identified as having disclosed to reporters classified information about covert agent Valerie Wilson, where the account of one of them was directly contradicted by other witnesses, where there was reason to believe that some of the relevant activity may have been coordinated, and where there was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President."
-- Patrick Fitzgerald, 25 May 2007

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on May 30, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

The leaker, however, was Richard Armitage -- and once the cat was out of the bag it was impossible for Libby to violate the law.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right on May 30, 2007 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

The leaker, however, was Richard Armitage -- and once the cat was out of the bag it was impossible for Libby to violate the law.

So not true.

Additionally, Libby would have violated the terms of his security clearance and, thus, possibly other laws not yet discussed.

Posted by: anonymous on May 31, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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