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About the Plame Affair............

by Mac McMullen / November 1, 2005 1:18 PM PST

Here is an Oct 18, 2005, interesting read about ?America?s Spies? and the obligation of the US Government, and it?s employees, to protect those individuals. Now to Valerie Plame:

???.We have no idea what Valerie Plame told her family or friends about her work. It may be that she herself broke the rules, revealing that she once worked as a NOC. We can't know that, because we don't know whether she received authorization from the CIA to say things after her own identity was blown by others. She might have been irresponsible, or she might have engaged in damage control. We just don't know.

What we do know is this. In the course of events, reporters contacted two senior officials in the White House -- Rove and Libby. Under the least-damaging scenario we have heard, the reporters already knew that Plame had worked as a NOC. Rove and Libby, at this point, were obligated to say, at the very least, that they could neither confirm nor deny the report. In fact, their duty would have been quite a bit more: Their job was to lie like crazy to mislead the reporters. Rove and Libby had top security clearances and were senior White House officials. It was their sworn duty, undertaken when they accepted their security clearance, to build a ''bodyguard of lies'' -- in Churchill's phrase -- around the truth concerning U.S. intelligence capabilities.

Some would argue that if the reporters already knew her identity, the cat was out of the bag and Rove and Libby did nothing wrong. Others would argue that if Plame or her husband had publicly stated that she was a NOC, Rove and Libby were freed from their obligation. But the fact is that legally and ethically, nothing relieves them of the obligation to say nothing and attempt to deflect the inquiry. This is not about Valerie Plame, her husband or Time Magazine?..?


Is the Valerie Plame thing really a government response to the ?outing? of a CIA operative, or another political witch hunt to discredit the current administration, and which is why someone is satisfied to settle for a lie ?

During the Bolton confirmation hearing in early 2005 a couple of US Senators divulged the name of a CIA operative, after the CIA asked that his name not be divulged, and excused it as public knowledge. Nothing, except for the media, proceeded beyond that point.


Let?s back up to September, 2003:

?Was it really a secret that Joe Wilson?s wife worked for the CIA ??

?It?s the top story in the Washington Post this morning as well as in many other media outlets. Who leaked the fact that the wife of Joseph C Wilson IV worked for CIA ??

?What also might be worth asking: ?Who didn?t know ??


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by John Robie / November 2, 2005 12:33 AM PST

Re: "It was their sworn duty, undertaken when they accepted their security clearance, to build a ''bodyguard of lies''

There have been times that classified info/material were published in newspapers. People who have security clearances do not have a duty to build a "bodyguard of lies". If asked about something that has been revealed in public and was classified, a person with a security clearance is to not confirm or deny the revelation, not build a "bodyguard of lies". I don't believe people who possess a security clearance have been told to do that.

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Thank you Del....
by Josh K / November 2, 2005 3:11 AM PST

....for having the courage and the integrity to set partisanship aside and examine this matter on its own merits, based on what the charges are and not on what party/administration affiliations those accused happen to have.

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No courage or integrity involved...........
by Mac McMullen / November 2, 2005 3:30 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you Del....

Hi Josh,

I just happen to believe that "everything" the government might be doing doesn't necessarily belong in the public domain.

I am disgusted at the state of the US Human Intelligence capability, thanks to years of political interferrence.

I am furious that situations such as these continue to appear, and close even more doors of intelligence cooperation from around the world. No one can trust the US to keep secrets.

I have a "no tolerance" attitude toward any compromise of intelligence gathering, except, of course, for the efforts of our own counter-intelligence people.

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Not to mention....
by Josh K / November 2, 2005 3:40 AM PST

....the impact incidents like this can have on other covert agents, who might start second-guessing themselves out of fear of being outed as part of some political game by people who are supposed to be on the same side!

''Neither confirm nor deny'' was the road both Rove and Libby should have taken even if Plame's name was already out, as you said. Anything less was a dereliction of their duties, and if it was done deliberately as some sort of revenge, then that adds ''disgusting'' to the mix. While that alleged motive won't impact any punishment they receive if they're found guilty (I'm using ''they'' even though Rove has not been indicted at this point), motive is almost always a big factor in proving a case and is therefore relevant to any discussions about it.

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(NT) (NT) How blind can you be to the CIA's leaking? :-(
by Evie / November 3, 2005 12:21 AM PST
In reply to: Not to mention....
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(NT) (NT) CIA's leaking???
by John Robie / November 4, 2005 2:01 AM PST
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by Evie / November 4, 2005 11:00 PM PST
In reply to: (NT) CIA's leaking???

1. Note Novak's original source -- CIA, only indirectly "confirmed" by the Admin sources.

2. Note that the referral to DOJ for an investigation into the outing is supposed to be a classified referral. The CIA leaked that too.

Without the first leak, and the CIA's own incompetence in choosing Wilson and then not adequately protecting themselves and his wife by having him sign a confidentiality agreement (as is customary), there wouldn't have even been a request.

Without the second leak, we wouldn't have had this prosecution for what every objective legal analyst recognized from the get-go was a non-crime. The investigation would rightly have died once review of applicable statutes and facts surrounding Plame's employment demonstrated the Identities act did not apply.

Evie Happy

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The only important question is: Why was it done?
by Ziks511 / November 2, 2005 5:11 AM PST

Regardless of whether the agent was covert or not: why would any member of the Administration acknowledge a CIA agent who was the family member of an embassy employee? Any exposure of family members endangers the families of all US embassy personnel world wide, and could give terrorists an extra excuse to target them (as if they needed any more reasons).

Clearly the answer is that the Administration didn't care about the damage it might do to embassy personnel, it was to discredit Joe Wilson. Whether he was right or wrong, or lied or told the truth, what the Administration did was Nixonian in its expression of the "us versus them" mind set. And the "them" here is a large segment of the American people, anyone opposed to Adminstration policy on Iraq. It was an example of the enemies list mentality. If "they" cross you, make sure you "get" them no matter what the cost. This is the Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office break-in for the 21st Century. A crime or near-crime perpetrated for pure political spite in order to discredit someone who disagreed with them.

And it's because the Adminstration chose to smear the messenger, rather than calmly expose his "lies" or take him to court, is the reason I don't believe all the crap about his supposed lying. If somebody tells a lie you expose the lie, or at the very least contradict the liar. They didn't challenge what he said; they tried to smear and discredit the person.

This behavior is pure Karl-Rove-in-action (as borne out by the political campaigns he's run) and that's why I think he's probably the head honcho in this whole scenario. I don't think Bush had any more to do with the original crime than Nixon did with Watergate, but he's sure doing a great job of sticking by his guys when he could be saving his credibility and potentially his Presidency by cutting them loose.


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Shooting the messenger.....
by Josh K / November 2, 2005 5:55 AM PST

....has been this Administration's MO from the git-go. Someone says anything negative about Bush or his Administration and immediately (as is evidenced in this very forum) everyone starts calling him a nut and a ''disaffected former staffer,'' and questioning his patriotism. How effective that is at distracting you from the issue at hand is really up to you.

I just wish Colin Powell would write a book. I'd dare anyone to call him a nut or question his patriotism.

I have to partially disagree with your subject line though. It's not the only important question (and not important at all in terms of sentencing if Libby and/or Rove are convicted), but it is one the American people have a right to know the answer to, even those who would refuse to listen to it.

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At this point I question Powell's
by Dan McC / November 3, 2005 11:08 PM PST

loyalties, and judgement. Certainly not his patriotism.


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No the only important thing ...
by Evie / November 2, 2005 5:57 AM PST

... was IF there was anything wrong with what was done. According to the journalist's own accounts, they didn't get the name from Rove or Libby. According to Andrea Mitchell (no pro-Bush partisan), everyone in Washington knew of Plame.

When a person lies to undermine the President of his country in a time of war, it is their motives that deserve scrutiny, not those of the ones setting the record rightly straight.

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Same old, same old. Why undermine by stealth somebody who
by Ziks511 / November 2, 2005 11:36 PM PST
contradicted the Administration? Why not just come out and say he's wrong, or point out his lies? Why do it in secret rather than in the open?

Because it was REVENGE, not contradiction or setting the record straight. Karl Rove's grubby little fingerprints are glowing on that dagger in Wilson's back. It's a paradigm of Rove's style.

And if I didn't loathe the bunch in power already, this bit of political chicanery and character assassination would have pushed me over the edge as it should most people. I really don't see why the media haven't inquired WHY and HOW it was done instead of just reporting "He said, they said" without exercising any critical analysis or investigation. Maybe they think it's obvious (certainly I do) but I think it bears highlighting and emphasis.

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You're right
by Evie / November 3, 2005 12:26 AM PST

More same old same old.

The Administration TRIED to get the press to NOT fall for Wilson's crap. "Don't go too far out on this, I really can't tell you why" -- that's the redux of Rove's conversations with Cooper. Miller herself states she DIDN'T get the Plame name from Libby. Novak's (remember how you slandered him?) source was CIA, only "confirmed" by perhaps Rove and/or Libby -- which if it is anything like the conversations with Miller were "oh yeah, his wife works for the CIA".

It was Wilson that caused all this for partisan reasons, and it should be to the DISGRACE of John Kerry that he had him as an advisor to his campaign.

It is also Wilson that is the proven liar in all this. Yet you continue to buy his line of bull.

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Not just revenge, Bill -- "sending a message" lest someone

else ever be tempted to point out that the emperor is naked!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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And this should also help eliminate those
by Dan McC / November 4, 2005 5:09 AM PST

long lines at the CIA employment office. Who'll be eager to work there if this is how their work is repayed?


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More like who ...
by Evie / November 4, 2005 11:06 PM PST

... would want to work for the CIA if the best they could come up with to investigate a matter of national security was Joe Wilson, and they were too stupid to have him sign a confidentiality agreement to -- at the very least -- protect his connection to Plame. Of course there never really was much of an effort on his part to protect her identity, but we're talking about the CIA protecting their own!

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(NT) (NT) And how this administration treats them.
by Dan McC / November 6, 2005 10:52 PM PST
In reply to: More like who ...
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Not either ...
by Evie / November 4, 2005 11:03 PM PST

... just setting the record straight when Wilson implied the VP's office had sent him off on the tea-sipping mission.

If the accounting department at your University sent an accountant off to investigate whether there was an issue with patent law of some issue and attributed said investigation to YOU, I'm sure you would consider setting the record straight just that.

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That's doubtless why Fitzgerald's investigators, and later
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / November 4, 2005 2:16 AM PST

reporters, interviewed their friends to ask if any knew she was a CIA employee. None did -- all had been told the cover story. That's part of the problem, Del -- outing her outed the cover story, and anyone else using the same "front name employer." Yet another attempt at obfuscation with possibilities -- the right-wing media are great at that tactic, aren't they?!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Fitzgerald sending out agents on the last day ...
by Evie / November 4, 2005 11:19 PM PST

... to interview a few neighbors never before interviewed is suspect to say the least.

I suspect that if this is an issue in Libby's trial -- as it likely won't be because that's not what he was charged with (therefore Fitzgerald is polluting the jury pool with his statements insinuating there were other crimes) -- Libby will have no problem finding a long list of people who knew who she was.

She used the front name employer to make political contributions. If it was Valerie Plame that worked for the front company, then why did Valerie Wilson list that employer? LOL

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