CIPA Fun, One

So Jeff Lomonaco and I were trying to figure out the best place for us to meet face to face after having emailed obsessively on the Plame case for two years. We thought of the best place to meet: at Prettyman Courthouse so we could read through the CIPA filings submitted last year in the case. This post will lay out some general items of interest. In a follow-up later this weekend (or maybe Monday), I’m going to talk about how the CIPA materials support the argument that Dick Cheney was trying to launder the information he had learned on June 10, 2003–information on DOD and State’s interest in the Niger intelligence, and information on Valerie Plame’s identity–so he could publish it. But first the general points.

Dorn Tidbits
Marilyn Dorn from the CIA wrote several statements over the course of the CIPA process describing the information that CIA needed to protect. In one of those, she provides the answer to a question bandied about for some time: whether the CIA did a damage assessment or not on the Plame leak. Dorn writes:

The CIA has not undertaken a “damage assessment”in this case. In accordance with its standard policy, the CIA does not conducta formal damage assessment to determine the actual damage to national securitycaused by an unauthorized disclosure while a criminal investigation orproduction of the matter is pending.

In other words, CIA didn’t do an assessment, but that doesn’t mean there was no damage. Rather, they simply didn’t do an assessment because they don’t, when there is a criminal investigation pending.

But Dorn does provide the following details, none of which are surprising, but describe some of the damage:

The CIA disestablished certain entities that had provided coversupport to Ms. Wilson, such as providing cover backstopping. These coverentities also provided cover support to other CIA personnel. These CIApersonnel were notified of the potential compromise of their identities and weremoved to other cover entities. The CIA notified cover providers whoseclandestine relationships with the CIA were potentially compromised by theWilson leak.

 

In other words, when Novak good and burned Brewster and Jennings in Fall 2003, a bunch of people had to get new cover.

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  1. Frank Probst says:

    I’ve always thought that the whole â€damage assessment†story was just absurd. The CIA may not have done a formal â€damage assessmentâ€, but they sure as hell assessed the damage. And they immediately to action to get people out of harm’s way. The fact that they aren’t going to fill out the formal paperwork until Dick Cheney is dead and buried doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a big scramble at Langley when Novak’s column came out.

  2. Ishmael says:

    EW – tantalizing post! Re the â€Valerie Flame†name – it seems dubious to me that this would be a CIA pseudonym for Valerie Wilson – my pet theory on the â€Valerie Flame†note by Judith Miller was that Scooter said â€Flame†instead of â€Plame†to provide some cover to Scooter having heard the name elsewhere from other reporters instead of actually getting the real stuff from Cheney – sort of like the Telegraph party game. You may appreciate this as an EngLit type, but sometimes I get so into the weeds on this stuff that I actually thought of the the old â€p†to â€f†sound shift from Grimm’s Law, if I recall correctly from my linguistics courses.

  3. Ishmael says:

    OT for a lazy Friday afternoon – the picture of you and JL at the Prettyman Courthouse going through filings, I couldn’t help but think of the iconic scene in All the President’s Men where Woodstein are in the Library of Congress reading room, and the camera pans upward to show all the concentric circles around them as they see how big this Watergate stuff really is…. I can’t wait to see who plays you in the movie, Marcy!

  4. emptywheel says:

    LOL, Ishmael

    It was really really pathetic, honestly (though I’m not saying Woodward and Bernstein haven’t looked pathetic from time to time). We were like crack addicts in there, going over the filings. â€Hey look at this!!†â€Hey, here’s something!!â€

  5. Ishmael says:

    EW – having spent many afternoons at courthouses prior to trials, going through files that can fill whole rooms, I can certainly sympathize with you! I always found it helpful to be unfailingly courteous to the registry staff, because they can make your life a living hell if they don’t like you – â€Oh, that file is in the judge’s officeâ€, or â€Sorry, the index is off-line†or â€the photocopier is out of orderâ€. Regular gifts of coffee and donuts to the staff were very helpful!

  6. Anonymous says:

    frank — in fact, it is due today,
    but it looks as though pacer, in
    texas, images the local (d.c.)
    servers around one a.m. on every
    [business?] morning, so if fitz filed
    near the 4:30 p.m. filing cut-off
    time this afternoon, we won’t see
    it imaged onto the main pacer server
    until around one a.m. fri-night/sat-morn. . .

    and i just checked — no updated
    docket yet. if you want to follow
    along, the case is docketed as 07-3068
    in the appellate court; 05-394 in judge
    walton’s trial court. . .

    can you tell i am all-a-buzz, waiting?

    i am. p e a c e

  7. Anonymous says:

    To Probst I think playing Libby’s role down with a linguistic twist may be out of character for he seems more deliberate and would be direct in his outing making the nescesity for obstruction, not being a very forward seeing group, that this would nevr get where it has gotten. They are guilty as sin. Our job is to prove it. EW is on it like feathers on a wing moving fast. i can’t wait fotr the next post. Wish I could help but thank you all supporters of the rule of law.

  8. Anonymous says:

    . . .how the CIPA materials support the argument that Dick Cheney was trying to launder the information he had learned on June 10, 2003 — information on DOD and State’s interest in the Niger intelligence, and information on Valerie Plame’s identity — so he could publish it. . .

    you KNOW i’ll be waiting for this
    one — and linking it immediately
    into my little ’lecton-shanty-by-
    the-saragosa-sea. . .

    he he!

    great teaser here EW. . .

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m working on Fitz’ filing–should have something up in about 1/2 hour.

  10. P J Evans says:

    Ishmael

    That sounds like genealogists and county clerks. (Be nice to them, and they’ll let you look at the stuff in the back room.)

  11. mk says:

    And it’s interesting, via Froomkin, I think, that Cheney’s refusal to allow National Archives to vet his use of classified materials dates from 2003.
    All roads lead to Dick, indeed.
    Missed your posts, but I didn’t need to worry — you were still on the case, emptywheel! Look forward to more soon.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Docket as of June 22, 2007 1:05 am Page 2

    ——————————————————————————–

    07-3068 USA v. Libby, I. Lewis

    United States of America

    Plaintiff – Appellee

    v.

    I. Lewis Libby

    Defendant – Appellant

    Docket as of June 22, 2007 1:05 am Page 3

    you.are.killin’.me.here.EW.

    can’t see fitzs’ filing yet
    at the federal court of appeals
    for the d.c. circuit, via
    ye’ olde PACER, yet — thus the above.

    arrrgh. i.will.wait.

  13. Mimikatz says:

    I think the pseudonyms are things like Curveball rather than just altering one letter, but then I’ll freely admit my entire knowledge of tradecraft comes from spy novels.

    All roads do lead to Cheney. He’s ripe for a Big Time expose.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I think the pseudonyms are things like Curveball rather than just altering one letter…

    You’d certainly hope so. But ya never know.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I have to agree with the comment that CIA may not have done a â€damage assessment†as bureaucratically defined, but should certainly have done a field assessment: extracting some resources, re-assigning others, letting or being unable to prevent others from taking the fall, etc. Everything from people to telephones, web addresses, data bases, car and company registrations, drops, you name it. To have failed to do so would have been criminally negiligent and plain stupid.

    They have a ballpark figure on the direct and indirect damage caused by leaking Plame’s background, but won’t tally it up so that they don’t have to hide it from Big Dick and his moles.

  16. pow wow says:

    Awesome initiative, emptywheel and Jeff! Good going. [I took the post at first to say that you were thinking of doing this sometime in the future, before it dawned on me that you’ve already been down there in the Prettyman trenches combing through the formerly-sealed stuff, including this Dorn material that is not otherwise available on-line.]

    There would have been a good deal more to access, if Libby had taken the stand and the rest of the CIPA-released material had gone into evidence. As it was, the Intelligence Community only â€provisionally declassified†a large part of the material in order to get through CIPA (and past graymail), and thus much of that material was subsequently withdrawn back into classified, redacted land post-trial, after Libby chose not to testify and as a result much of the painstakingly-developed, provisionally-declassified CIPA material relating to Libby’s allegedly otherwise-â€consumed†state of mind wasn’t admitted into evidence at trial (so filings and hearing transcripts discussing those specifics would remain redacted as well).

    The Dorn CIA material referenced here sounds like part of one or more of the multiple CIPA Section 6(c) Intelligence Community declarations to the Court that justified and explained the need, in accordance with the government’s motion(s), for summaries, substitutions and redactions of ruled-relevant classified information. The government had to labor to walk Judge Walton back from admitting a lot of classified evidence wholesale as he seemed to be inclined to do after his extremely-deferential-to-Libby Section 6(a) ruling (before which Dorn also made at least one declaration). It was on top of, and in accordance with, the last of those Dorn/IC CIPA 6(c) declarations that Fitzgerald attached his 12/7/06 CIPA 6(c)(2) affidavit that Robbins is now claiming to be of such grave import as to be reversible error to the benefit of Libby (not to mention to the benefit of Libby’s fellow graymail-privileged defendants who would be similarly protected by the small, cozy handful of CIPA-authorized ’interest-conflicted’ affidavit signers at the top of Main Justice).

  17. MayBee says:

    One CIA intelligence method that is relevant to the present case is the use of pseudonyms, which are employed in internal communications, including e-mail, to protect the identity of certain CIA employees

    Did she use a pseudonym in her internal emails about her husband Joe going to Niger?
    If she did travel under a pseudonym, publishing her real name couldn’t have been very hurtful. In that case, publishing her picture would cause the damage.
    â€Flame†sounds to me like it came from a phone conversation, rather than a face-to-face meeting (where you can see lip formation) or a reading of a name. OTOH, Fleischer’s Plam-ay sounds like a reading of the name.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Jane–it’s a courthouse, after all. So no pictures. But you can well imagine, it was almost as pathetic as two furniture junkies getting a fix.

  19. Jeff says:

    It was really really pathetic

    What?!?! I saw concentric circles in the drop-ceiling four feet or so above our heads. And for the record, when the pictures are revealed, I’m the Bernstein-looking guy.

    If she did travel under a pseudonym, publishing her real name couldn’t have been very hurtful. In that case, publishing her picture would cause the damage.

    Wow, this is a stretch. Let’s imagine for the moment that she traveled under a pseudonym only throughout her career. You don’t think publishing the information that she was married to Joe Wilson would have been a problem. You think everyone would have to wait around for Vanity Fair to publish a picture?

    Furthermore, your own logic in the service of getting the Wilsons for something or other comes back to bite you. Because according to your logic, wouldn’t Novak’s publication, in October 2003, of one of the firms she used as a front – Brewster-Jennings – be really bad in light of your claim? And indeed, wouldn’t it be bad in any case for any of the other CIA officers using it as any kind of cover?

    Let’s note in passing that Novak did not publish her real name. Her real name was Valerie Wilson. He published Valerie Plame.

    But in any case, I think it’s worse than you imagined. As the unclassified summary of her work and cover history indicated, she sometimes worked overseas in true name and sometimes in alias. (Always under cover.)

  20. Jeff says:

    it was almost as pathetic as two furniture junkies getting a fix.

    Dude, what’s with all the abuse this evening? Pathetic this, pathetic that. And I notice a common denominator here in your various axes of patheticness.

  21. MayBee says:

    Wow, this is a stretch. Let’s imagine for the moment that she traveled under a pseudonym only throughout her career. You don’t think publishing the information that she was married to Joe Wilson would have been a problem. You think everyone would have to wait around for Vanity Fair to publish a picture?

    It was Joe Wilson that first published she was married to Joe Wilson. So if that’s the problem then yes, as soon as he attached himself publicly to CIA work and her name was attached to his- anybody checking out the latest CIA guy would have found her as well. Then suddenly there’s the name of a woman that’s traveled to your country to discuss aluminum tubes? That does seem to me to be a bit of a tell, yes.

    Furthermore, your own logic in the service of getting the Wilsons for something or other comes back to bite you. Because according to your logic, wouldn’t Novak’s publication, in October 2003, of one of the firms she used as a front – Brewster-Jennings – be really bad in light of your claim? And indeed, wouldn’t it be bad in any case for any of the other CIA officers using it as any kind of cover?

    Again, she published the Brewster Jennings information herself. I have no idea how bad the release of that name actually is, because it’s hard to know exactly how it was used. Subsequent reports showed that it was easy to find to be a fraud, and that NOCs are supposed to have *real* companies as cover.
    If an employee for Columbia University is outed as a NOC, nobody suspects all of Columbia University to be a CIA front company.

    If she’s traveling under a fake name, then I think attaching the real name of Valerie Plame to her fake company was a problem as well.

    But in any case, I think it’s worse than you imagined. As the unclassified summary of her work and cover history indicated, she sometimes worked overseas in true name and sometimes in alias. (Always under cover.)

    The idea that the CIA thinks it’s good trade craft to sometimes work overseas (yet in the same field) under her real name and sometimes under a fake name is indeed worse than I thought.

  22. P J Evans says:

    The idea that the CIA thinks it’s good trade craft to sometimes work overseas (yet in the same field) under her real name and sometimes under a fake name is indeed worse than I thought.

    If she isn’t meeting the same set of people every time, it might not be a problem at all.

    You might also want to consider that no one outside the agency would have known which name was real and which was a pseudonym, if Libby and his good buddies in Washington hadn’t spilled the beans.

  23. Jeff says:

    MayBee

    It’s actually unbelievable to me that after all this time, you still don’t get the most elementary bit of this. It was identifying the woman married to Joe Wilson as a CIA employee that was the problem. Let me say that again: it was the identification of Joe Wilson’s wife as a CIA employee that was the problem.

    It was not identifying a person by the name of Valerie Plame Wilson as Wilson’s wife that was a problem. It was perfectly public knowledge that Valerie Wilson was married to Joe Wilson and that her maiden name was Valerie Plame. No problem with that.

    It was not Valerie Wilson publicly identifying her employer as Brewster-Jenning that was a problem. Indeed, that was part of her job, to do that! That was the whole damn point of Brewster-Jenning, for people like Valerie Wilson to identify it as her employer in certain circumstances.

    The problem was when a number of administration officials identified Joe Wilson’s wife as a CIA employee to reporters, some of them evidently with the intent of getting the reporters to publish the information.

    I have no brief for the CIA’s tradecraft; I have no idea. But your Wilson-hatred has really gotten the better of some pretty elementary reasoning skills.

    And oh yeah, how much do you want to bet that there are other people who publish op-eds in the Times and other prominent papers who are married to covert CIA employees? Washington is a small town. I’d bet it happens from time to time. Obviously we have no way of knowing, but I’d bet on it. It’s just not that often that said folks publish harsh criticisms of the sitting administration, I bet. Now, if you want to blame Wilson for that, go right ahead. Shall we make a rule: no spouse of a covert CIA employee is to publish harsh criticism of the reigning administration, because then they’re justified in blowing the CIA employee’s cover?

  24. Steve says:

    I think you’re way off base.
    Wilson being linked to the CIA, and her being linked to him isn’t that bad.
    It’s HER being linked to the CIA that’s bad.

    Same with Brewster Jennings. Her being linked to it isn’t bad. After all, if you don’t know either that it’s a CIA front or that she’s a CIA agent, there’s nothing wrong with her admitting (like on a political donation form) that she works for B-J. It’s only when she’s outed that you can work backward and say â€hey if she’s a CIA agent, then this company she claims to have worked for might not be real…â€

    And as for working under 2 names- if I meet some people using the name Steve McQueen, and some people using the name Steve Garrett, unless those 2 people compare notes, who’s going to know? Isn’t it possible that she met with people in Country â€A†under one name, and country â€B†under another.

  25. MayBee says:

    But in any case, I think it’s worse than you imagined. As the unclassified summary of her work and cover history indicated, she sometimes worked overseas in true name and sometimes in alias. (Always under cover.)

    And again, if she sometimes traveled as Victoria Kowalski who worked for WidgetCorp, that cover wasn’t blown by the mention of Valerie Plame working for Brewster Jennings or the CIA.

    If she isn’t meeting the same set of people every time, it might not be a problem at all.

    It depends on how disparate the sets of people are. If they are all involved in WMD, nuclear proliferation, and the ME, it would be a problem. You would expect all those people to do enough oppo research to realize one person is using different names.

    However, if some of those trips are to Canada to discuss economic policy, then yeah, using another name doesn’t seem to be a huge problem.

  26. MayBee says:

    It’s actually unbelievable to me that after all this time, you still don’t get the most elementary bit of this. It was identifying the woman married to Joe Wilson as a CIA employee that was the problem. Let me say that again: it was the identification of Joe Wilson’s wife as a CIA employee that was the problem.

    No, I get that.
    What you don’t get is that Joe Wilson wasn’t just an administration critic, he identified himself as having traveled and provided information to the CIA. HE attached himself publicly to the CIA and intelligence gathering.
    So yes, while Novak took it one step beyond for public consumption, any foreign intelligence service that was interested in who was working on proliferation for the CIA would have been interested in Joe Wilson. And from there, it was easy to see that Joe Wilson’s wife was named Valerie Plame Wilson.
    Now, for those of us that aren’t involved in intelligence work, that name means nothing to us until we are told she is a CIA employee.
    BUT to those that she had worked with overseas, that name means something. That is the name of the woman that was just in their country snooping around about aluminum tubes.
    So any foreign person that had worked with her sees her name attached to Joe Wilson, CIA informant, and they are instantly suspicious of her and separation from the US government.

    Shall we make a rule: no spouse of a covert CIA employee is to publish harsh criticism of the reigning administration, because then they’re justified in blowing the CIA employee’s cover?
    The rule should be that no spouse of a covert CIA employee should publish or publicly discuss CIA business, especially if that business is related to the spouse’s department. That’s a good rule of thumb.

  27. MayBee says:

    I’m spamming the thread with three comments in a row, but I want to answer Steve:

    I think you’re way off base.
    Wilson being linked to the CIA, and her being linked to him isn’t that bad.
    It’s HER being linked to the CIA that’s bad.

    My argument is that him being linked to the CIA and her being linked to him does link her to the CIA. Perhaps not to the average American, because we didn’t know what she did. But to people on the other side, who know that she works in the same field that he is talking to the CIA about, that’s pretty poisonous.
    Other countries work hard to figure out who our agents are. Iran currently has either one or two Americans in custody because they suspect them of being intelligence agents. Do you think Iran is going to let Valerie Wilson, Energy Consultant, into the country once they know Valerie’s husband is a CIA nuclear programs investigator? I don’t.

    Same with Brewster Jennings. Her being linked to it isn’t bad. After all, if you don’t know either that it’s a CIA front or that she’s a CIA agent, there’s nothing wrong with her admitting (like on a political donation form) that she works for B-J. It’s only when she’s outed that you can work backward and say â€hey if she’s a CIA agent, then this company she claims to have worked for might not be real…â€

    I agree that there is nothing in particular wrong with her publishing her employer as Brewster Jennings. What I understand to be the problem is that for NOCs the â€fake†companies are supposed to be real companies, or at least better fakes.
    Brewster Jennings’s problem was that once she was identified, the company was so obviously fake that anybody associated with it was outed.
    If she worked for a real (or more complete front company), as many NOCs do, identifying one agent doesn’t bring the whole company down. As I said, if one Columbia University professor is found to be a CIA operative, that doesn’t out all Columbia employees.

  28. Jeff says:

    MayBee

    Businessmen and -women presumably supply information to the CIA all the time, and to the US Government, and remember Wilson was clear in saying that he was representing the USG, he was not working clandestinely or anything like that.

    So why you think foreign intel services would have just lept to their copies of Who’s Who to see who Wilson was married to out of immediate suspicion that his wife was a covert CIA officer is unclear to me.

    Do you feel quite confident that no other spouse of a covert CIA officer has publicly discussed CIA business? Because if it has happened in other instances where the CIA spouse was not subsequently outed, either publicly in the newspaper or not, then this one cries out for an actual explanation that differs from your attempted one.

  29. Jeff says:

    What I understand to be the problem is that for NOCs the â€fake†companies are supposed to be real companies, or at least better fakes.
    Brewster Jennings’s problem was that once she was identified, the company was so obviously fake that anybody associated with it was outed.
    If she worked for a real (or more complete front company), as many NOCs do, identifying one agent doesn’t bring the whole company down.

    According to Hubris, this was only one sort of cover she used, and in fact she used other cover as well including real companies. But also, you’re sort of being inconsistent, because surely you should recognize that blowing the cover of one officer who has a real robust company for cover will not bring down the whole company, but will certainly cast suspicion on the company and especially the part of the company for which the outed officer works.

    And apart from that, there was simply no reason for Novak to publicly disclose the Brewster-Jenning information in October 2003, except if he was doing something he shouldn’t have been doing.

  30. Jodi says:

    Mr Wilson did his wife great diservice with his OP-ED. If she knew about it she probably would have stopped it, so I assume it was the â€wild side†of Joe breaking through and he did it without any consultation.

    And like a good little wife with two children by the rascal, and no possibility of â€coming in out of the cold†(spy novel talk), she then â€stood by her man.†(Tammy and Hillary talk)

  31. MayBee says:

    Do you feel quite confident that no other spouse of a covert CIA officer has publicly discussed CIA business? Because if it has happened in other instances where the CIA spouse was not subsequently outed, either publicly in the newspaper or not, then this one cries out for an actual explanation that differs from your attempted one.

    Do you feel quite confident you know what foreign intelligence services do when they read about the CIA’s business and sources in an American newspaper? Do you really think they simply sit back and wait for the next installment in the NYTs? I think they do some research of their own.

    Do you have any idea how many operatives are just quietly denied visas once they’ve been identified by foreign intel? Or how many can simply no longer get a meeting with Sheik Abdul because he’s discovered their CIA connection? No, you don’t. We don’t hear about it most of the time- it just happens.

    I have a friend who swears up and down that her South American school’s PTA president was flown out in the middle of the night because her husband was discovered to be a CIA agent. I never read about that on the cover of the NYTs and the WaPo.

    The point is, we don’t hear about it when foreign countries catch on to our agents, unless they jail them in some loud defiant act. So there is no way to judge how the businessmen that provide information to the CIA are treated by countries with things to hide once they are found out. I doubt they and their spouses are welcomed with open arms, however.

    I can think of other instances in which CIA operatives were outed in the US press that did not garner nearly the attention this one did.
    I’m thinking of the pilots of the so-called â€torture†flights who were outed to the LA times. While their names weren’t printed by the Times, it is obvious the Times knew their names. Other identifying details, including cars in their driveways were published. That didn’t get David Corn’s outrage treatment, though. And Larry Johnson had no sympathy for them.

    So my answer to your question about why the Plame case was different is this: Politics.

    According to Hubris, this was only one sort of cover she used, and in fact she used other cover as well including real companies. But also, you’re sort of being inconsistent, because surely you should recognize that blowing the cover of one officer who has a real robust company for cover will not bring down the whole company, but will certainly cast suspicion on the company and especially the part of the company for which the outed officer works.

    I’m not being the least bit inconsistent.
    If she used one name and multiple companies, that seems a bit risky on the part of the CIA if her name is/was outed.
    If she used multiple names and multiple companies, her fake names associated with companies other than Brewster Jennings would still be perfectly good cover, even when her name and the name of Brewster Jennings surfaced. As long as nobody knows what she looked like.

    If she used real companies, outing her may certainly cast suspicion on the real company- but foreign intelligence services are suspicious of Americans anyway. Of course you have to, and the CIA has to, assume countries do look very deeply at anyone they imagine to be associated with a CIA operative.

    It is you being inconsistent, if you think working for a huge company that has a known CIA connection is less suspicious to a foreign entity than being married to a man with a CIA connection.

    And apart from that, there was simply no reason for Novak to publicly disclose the Brewster-Jenning information in October 2003, except if he was doing something he shouldn’t have been doing.

    I have no idea why reporters do what they do. Why did the NYTs have to write about the SWIFT program?

  32. Jeff says:

    MayBee

    That’s an amazingly evasive set of answers. Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to answer a question with a question, outside the context of therapy?

    1. Do you have any evidence or even indication that between the time that Wilson published his column and when Novak publicly blew Plame’s cover, that research was undertaken by foreign intel services, or that the CIA took action from worry about that prospect?
    2. We do in fact read periodically about people who are obviously CIA and working under official cover getting kicked out and so forth. But by definition we don’t know about those with unofficial cover, although presumably some of them have stars up for their names at the CIA.
    3. Your still missing the point about spouses, is all I can say, as your counterexamples or whatever they are show.
    4. I’m curious, how were cars in their driveways things that positively identified those CIA employees, in a way that somehow parallels what the administration officials did with regard to Plame?
    5. your moral dodgery really comes out with your effort to kinda sorta excuse what Novak did without really being bold about it by pointing to others who for righties will have negative associations and who have done things you don’t like. Do you care to answer about Novak, or not? Just more questions for questions instead of actually addressing questions that are addressed straightforwardly to you?

  33. save us from the crackheads says:

    oh. my. gawd.

    both of the crackheads posted in this comment thread.

    i may have to stop reading the comments due to maybee and jodi ( and that other crackhead tom maguire ).

    there is another crackhead that posts crackpot crap but i cannot remember the name.

    cpould we have an ’ adult ’ comment section and a ’ kiddies ’ comment section ??

  34. serena1313 says:

    Jodi:

    Of course it was political … political retaliation. However do note that instead of addressing the message or producing evidence proving otherwise, officials in the Bush administration made a consorted effort to discredit the messenger, Joe Wilson, and outed his wife instead. The pattern is consistent … when unable to overcome a challenge a simple method is employed. They invent a distraction; attack the messenger — as opposed to the message. It is a ruthless and unconscionable process that ruins lives and careers.

    Bush got caught taking America to war based on misleading, manufactured and fabricated information. That is the big deal. The person who exposed this was looking after the best interests of the country; it was not for personal or political gain. Wilson had nothing to gain, in contrast Bush had everything to lose. Wilson knew the administration would assault his character and try to discredit him. But they came up with nothing so they went after his wife instead.

    Misplaced priorities have consequences: weakened national security, caused millions of unnecessary deaths, destroyed personal lives and careers and much, much more. That is why this is such a BIG deal.

    Valerie and Joe Wilson spent their entire adult lives serving this country. Plame risked her life for America. Neither deserve the contempt and disdain they’ve been shown. The disrespect and ingratitude are appalling. They deserve better.

    For those whom believe otherwise — apparently politics and party loyalty take precedence over and above all else. We are a nation of laws not men.

  35. MayBee says:

    That’s an amazingly evasive set of answers. Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to answer a question with a question, outside the context of therapy?

    Oh, Irony, Is that a question?
    1. Do you have any evidence or even indication that between the time that Wilson published his column and when Novak publicly blew Plame’s cover, that research was undertaken by foreign intel services, or that the CIA took action from worry about that prospect?

    Yes, Jeff. I have an email from Iranian intelligence here. They tell me they are keenly interested in who is working on nuclear proliferation for the US CIA. Therefore, they make a point to at least google everyone that talks openly about their CIA nuclear-related experience and use the information to check to make sure they aren’t giving visas to any known CIA informants or their spouses. They would further like you to know they are not idiots. Futhermore, I have a letter from Pakistan saying they are acutely interested in finding out the details of anyone in US intelligence that seems to have come into contact with the Khan network, even in Africa.

    2. We do in fact read periodically about people who are obviously CIA and working under official cover getting kicked out and so forth. But by definition we don’t know about those with unofficial cover, although presumably some of them have stars up for their names at the CIA.

    My point exactly. There is a difference between being outed in the US Press, to the American public, and being outed to foreign governments or other bad actors. Getting named in the press is rare, and we obviously know about it when it happens. Being outed to other foreign actors is less rare, but we almost never hear about it. We can assume foreign governments are actively trying to discover who CIA agents are, and being associated with a CIA informant would be a big, giant clue to them.

    3. Your still missing the point about spouses, is all I can say, as your counterexamples or whatever they are show.
    No, you just have a bad point. Perhaps your Wilson love is blinding you.

    4. I’m curious, how were cars in their driveways things that positively identified those CIA employees, in a way that somehow parallels what the administration officials did with regard to Plame?

    From the LA Times:

    The three pilots in the Masri rendition case live within a 30-minute drive of the guarded Aero hangar and offices at the rural Johnston County airport…

    In real life, the chief pilot is 52, drives a Toyota Previa minivan and keeps a collection of model trains in a glass display case near a large bubbling aquarium in his living room. Federal aviation records show he is rated to fly seven kinds of aircraft as long as he wears his glasses.

    His wife, reached by phone at her office, said her husband had done no wrong. â€He’s just a pilot,†she said.

    His copilot, who used the alias Fain, is a bearded man of 35 who lives with his father and two dogs in a separate subdivision. He called home during a subsequent mission from the Royal Plaza Hotel on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza, according to records collected by Spanish investigators from the Guardia Civil.

    The third pilot, who used the alias Bird, is 46, drives a Ford Explorer and has a 17-foot aluminum fishing boat. Certified as a flight instructor, he keeps plastic models of his favorite planes mounted by the fireplace in his living room in a house that backs onto a private golf course here. His wife declined to comment.

    5. your moral dodgery really comes out with your effort to kinda sorta excuse what Novak did without really being bold about it by pointing to others who for righties will have negative associations and who have done things you don’t like. Do you care to answer about Novak, or not? Just more questions for questions instead of actually addressing questions that are addressed straightforwardly to you?
    You asked why he did it, unless he was doing something bad. I said I have no idea why he did it. I don’t. I don’t know the man. I have no inside knowledge to discuss Novak’s morality or reasoning, and it seems pretty much along the same lines as what most reporters do. I think reporters in general say too much.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Certain redactions relate to what appear to be requests made by the Vice President of the intelligence community….

    My first thought on reading this, â€Omigod–Cheney thinks he’s VP of the intelligence community, too? So what’s that, the fifth branch of government, or is it just part of Cheney’s execuslative branch?â€

    I need more coffee in my brain before I can read this kind of stuff. I’ll get a fresh cup before I move up to the subsequent posts.

  37. Tom Maguire says:

    The missing crackhead has arrived.

    From the post:

    And if there’s any question, still, whether Valerie was covert, one could read through the extensive discussion in the CIPA filings to see what could be discussed. But this little bit would provide a little hint:

    I also discussed certain classified cover issues relating specifically to Ms. Wilson’s covert status at the CIA.

    Hmm. You think maybe if the cover issues relating to Valerie’s status remain classified, her status itself should have remained classified, too?

    Le tme supplement the record a bit. I am sure that Ms. EW has read the transcript of Ms. Plame’s testimony at the Waxman hearing, but I don’t find a Google cite for this passage at her site:

    MS. PLAME WILSON: For those of us that were undercover in the CIA, we tended to use â€covert†or â€undercover†interchangeably. I’m not — we typically would not say of ourselves we were in a â€classified†position. You’re kind of undercover or overt employees.

    Similarly, I am sure Ms. EW read the defense response to Fitzgerald’s sentencing memorandum, but this passage does not seem to have been cited:

    The summary described above [Ms. Plame’s employment summary] was provided to the defense along with a companion summary that defined a “covert†CIA employee as a “CIA employee whose employment is not publicly acknowledged by the CIA or the employee.â€4 It is important to bear in mind that the IIPA defines “covert agent†differently.

    So I am curious – just what do we learn about Ms. Plame’s IIPA status by your discovery about a new document in which she is described as â€covertâ€?

    Please let us know if/when you find:

    (a) an opinion from CIA Counsel that Ms. Plame had covert status under the IIPA – Waxman notably whiffed on that, and per Novak, the CIA is still noodling on that:

    On March 21, Hoekstra [Ranking Republican on the House Intel Committee] again requested the CIA to define Mrs. Wilson’s status. A written reply April 5 from Christopher J. Walker, the CIA’s director of congressional affairs, said only that â€it is taking longer than expected†to reply because of â€the considerable legal complexity required for this tasking.â€

    (b) an opinion from DoJ OLC (or anyone other than our earnest prosecutor) that Ms. Plame had covert status;

    (c) anything like a judge’s ruling on that point.

    Personally, I am surprised at the way Waxman and Fitzgerald get the mumblemouths when the topic comes up. For example, a relevant bit of data easily accessed in her personnel file is the last date for which Ms. Plame received credit for service abroad (it is part of her pension calculation – she received just over six years in total, per the re-classified letter excerpted in the Times).

    Surely Waxman and Fitzgerald had access to that date – why did they choose not to cite it, or even give us the final year as a hint? That could not be less secure than the info they did give, about seven trips to ten countries, or whatever.

    Puzzling.

    And re Wilson’s tradecraft in identifying himself as a CIA consultant without expecting any intel service to invoke the age-old â€cherchez la femme†rule – this was the funniest thing I have read today :

    1. Do you have any evidence or even indication that between the time that Wilson published his column and when Novak publicly blew Plame’s cover, that research was undertaken by foreign intel services, or that the CIA took action from worry about that prospect?

    Great point! Conversely, does anyone have any evidence that the Novak column prompted any foreign intel service to give a hoot? After all, there has been published speculation that Ms. Plame was outed by Ames in 1994. She also talked to the Jordanians about aluminum tubes, and probably did so overtly as a CIA officer (What, now Brewster Jennings meets with Jordanian intel to talk about Iraqi aluminum tubes?)

    But feel free to provide evidence that anyone foreign service actually cared.

    Too funny.

  38. Jodi says:

    serena1313 ,

    I agree with much you say, but to revisit a post I made a while ago.

    Once Joe Wilson goes public in the NYt, with his Op-Ed, dropping all the tibits about his connections, etc.,

    he had entered the lair of the Political Wolves, and in those lairs whether it is Democratic or Republican they eat their young if they get in the way.

    I will say again as in that post, I wish that no mention of Valerie Plame, or Joe Wilson’s wife had ever been made but that is not how it works when you irritate the Wolves.

    Or put it another way, when it is raining, I don’t take a shortcut cut down a dark alley to my car, when I am alone, a bit tippsy, carrying an expensive purse, and wearing a mini skirt, and a provocative blouse even though I have every right to do it.

    As for Bush, he should be impeached for the conduct of the Iraqi War, for the cost in lives, of treasure, and of a much more dangerous world.