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View Full Version : Did senior Bush officials blow the cover of a US intelligence officer?


zimv20
Jul 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
link (http://thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=823)

wwworry
Jul 18, 2003, 05:47 AM
It seems the Bush wanted to punish anyone who did not agree with it, even if it meant breaking the law to do so.

zimv20
Jul 18, 2003, 07:59 AM
Originally posted by wwworry
It seems the Bush wanted to punish anyone who did not agree with it, even if it meant breaking the law to do so.

how about murder?

link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3076801.stm)

mactastic
Jul 18, 2003, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
how about murder?

link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3076801.stm)

That's a pretty outrageous charge, that Bush was behind this guy's murder, and it smacks of conspiracy theory. Unless some more evidence comes out to show US involvement, I don't see how you make the connection so fast. This is really jumping to conclusions IMHO.

But the original article, about blowing the cover of Wilson's wife is awful. That is an unconscionable act, if true.

pseudobrit
Jul 18, 2003, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
That's a pretty outrageous charge, that Bush was behind this guy's murder, and it smacks of conspiracy theory. Unless some more evidence comes out to show US involvement, I don't see how you make the connection so fast. This is really jumping to conclusions IMHO.

But the original article, about blowing the cover of Wilson's wife is awful. That is an unconscionable act, if true.

It quacks like a duck.

Reliable people who have brought forth concrete evidence against Bush's war case are having unusually bad luck lately.

zimv20
Jul 18, 2003, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
That's a pretty outrageous charge, that Bush was behind this guy's murder, and it smacks of conspiracy theory. Unless some more evidence comes out to show US involvement, I don't see how you make the connection so fast. This is really jumping to conclusions IMHO.


agreed. but is it so easily dismissed?

mactastic
Jul 18, 2003, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
agreed. but is it so easily dismissed?

It should be investigated, hopefully in an independant fashion; but lets wait and see before we go throwing around accusations of murder. I know some people around here think Bush likes killing and all, but all there is so far is a dead guy. There are lots of ways people wind up dead besides having a hit put on them by Dubya.

mcrain
Jul 18, 2003, 09:01 PM
People accused Clinton of murdering some Arkansas state policeman on far flimsier evidence than exists to suggest that Bush did something similar.

mactastic
Jul 18, 2003, 09:09 PM
Originally posted by mcrain
People accused Clinton of murdering some Arkansas state policeman on far flimsier evidence than exists to suggest that Bush did something similar.

Yeah, but that doesn't make it the right thing to do here.

wwworry
Jul 19, 2003, 05:57 AM
Isn't it illegal as well as rude to blow the cover of a CIA operative?

mcrain
Jul 19, 2003, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Yeah, but that doesn't make it the right thing to do here.

Of course it does. Politics is what it is b/c of what was done in the past. Republicans investigated Clinton ruthlessly, therefore Bush Jr. should be investigated ruthlessly. Republicans accussed Clinton of everything, including murder, so if Jr. is involved with a suspicious death, then he should also be questioned.

If the Repubs can't stand the heat, they shouldn't have lit the bonfire.

zimv20
Jul 19, 2003, 09:19 AM
Originally posted by wwworry
Isn't it illegal as well as rude to blow the cover of a CIA operative?

oh, yes.

if she is indeed an operative, then the official broke the law. if she's not, then it's libelous, 'cuz no one's ever going to hire her again (she's an energy consultant who works internationally).

either way, it's an obvious retribution against joe wilson for going public. her career is wrecked. disgusting and petty tactics, but is anyone really surprised they were used?

mactastic
Jul 19, 2003, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by mcrain
Of course it does. Politics is what it is b/c of what was done in the past. Republicans investigated Clinton ruthlessly, therefore Bush Jr. should be investigated ruthlessly. Republicans accussed Clinton of everything, including murder, so if Jr. is involved with a suspicious death, then he should also be questioned.

If the Repubs can't stand the heat, they shouldn't have lit the bonfire.

So you are saying two wrongs DO make a right? Come on, the only people who accused Clinton of murder were extreme right-wingers who were hoping if they believed it fervently enough it would be true. This country will continue to spiral down into petty bickering between two parties (who act like little kids IMHO (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/18/house.disarray/index.html) ) if we continue to perpetuate this eye-for-an-eye / scorched earth policy in politics.

mcrain
Jul 19, 2003, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
So you are saying two wrongs DO make a right? Come on, the only people who accused Clinton of murder were extreme right-wingers who were hoping if they believed it fervently enough it would be true. This country will continue to spiral down into petty bickering between two parties (who act like little kids IMHO (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/18/house.disarray/index.html) ) if we continue to perpetuate this eye-for-an-eye / scorched earth policy in politics.

I agree. My point isn't that Jr. killed someone, but that Republicans aren't exactly in any position to tell Democrats that they aren't allowed to accuse the president of something like that.

3rdpath
Jul 19, 2003, 01:57 PM
the u.s. has punished entire countries for not falling in step.

why is it so hard to believe the administration would punish wilson and his wife.

this is politics. it doesn't get any lower, infantile or spiteful.

Sayhey
Jul 19, 2003, 04:01 PM
The article by the nation raises concerns that should be investigated. Exposing of CIA agents used to result in calls for treason trials by conservatives like Novak. Anybody remember Phillip Agee?

The British civil servant who most likely killed himself should be investigated by the Brits. Question is really what kind of pressure did the government put on him to shut up. I think insinuations that he was murdered seem to be very, very premature. Such ideas quickly get people put into the category of conspircy theorist silliness. Anybody got a "grassy knoll" or a "magic bullet" they want to sell?

The right-wing nuts who put out such nonsense about Clinton (ala Jerry Falwell [sp?]) only showed how bad the cesspool of such politics can get. And by the way it wasn't a state trooper, it was a former campaign and White House aide who shot himself in a Washington D.C. Park. It was investigated to death, but some nuts couldn't be convinced that Hillary or Bill didn't pull the trigger.

zimv20
Jul 19, 2003, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
I think insinuations that he was murdered seem to be very, very premature.

but if true, i do get to be the "you heard it here first" guy. :-)

Sayhey
Jul 19, 2003, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
but if true, i do get to be the "you heard it here first" guy. :-)

You got it! :D I'm writing it down and I'll be your witness.

SPG
Jul 23, 2003, 05:08 AM
Here's some more follow up, it looks like there might be something to this story after all:
http://markarkleiman.blogspot.com/2003_07_01_markarkleiman_archive.html#105893420951420261
There's more on Mark Kleiman's blog including links and a transcript of the press secretary getting grilled about it, but here's the meat of it:

It's official: the Bush Administration deliberately blew the cover of a secret agent who had been gathering information on weapons of mass destruction, endangering the lives of her sources and damaging our ability to collect crucial intelligence. (And, not incidentally, committing a very serious crime.) The apparent motive: revenge on Joseph Wilson, her husband, for going public with the story of his mission to Niger, which blew a hole in the Yellowcake Road story.

Joseph Wilson, who had previously been slightly cagy about the role of his wife, Valerie Plame, has now publicly charged on NBC that the Administration deliberately blew his wife's cover as an a act of intimidation. In doing so, he implicitly confirms that she was in fact a covert agent.(*)

And Newsday (*) has found CIA sources to confirm that Plame was undercover. Those same sources deny deny that she had any role in recruiting her husband. (Full text below.)

Tom Maguire, the one right-blogger who has bothered to notice the story, and who provides a useful timeline with links, (*) still seems to think there's some sort of doubt that this goes all the way to the White House, but I can't figure out why.

If two senior Administration officials told Novak that Plame had a role in recruiting Wilson for a CIA mission, while her role with the CIA was supposed to be covert, then they blew her cover, whether or not they said in so many words "Jennifer Plame is a CIA agent." Obviously random energy consultants don't recruit their spouses, or anyone else, for CIA intelligence-gathering missions. The fact that reporters, once they had the lead, got people at the CIA to confirm Plame's status doesn't reflect much credit on the CIA, but I don't see what comfort it offers the Bush White House.

Note that NBC ignores, and Newsday buries, the question about the potential legal liability of the two senior administration officials.

One of Kevin Drum's commenters provides the relevant text from the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, 50 U.S.C. 421:

"Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing 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, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

An email correspondent suggests that the senior administration officials had planted a false story about Plame's having recruited her husband, as a way of outing her without breaking the law. But the language of the statute, "any information identifying such agent&" -- seems to have plugged any such loophole.

Having said that the most likely situation was that Corn and Novak had it right and Plame was a covert CIA operative, I shouldn't now be surprised to find it true. But in fact I am. I'm stunned. Yes, this was the least unlikely explanation for a bizarre set of facts. But it's still too weird for words.

One more thing to note: The White House has been on notice for a week that this might come up. If they can't do any better for a response a non-denial denial from Scott McClellan (see below) and a referral to the NSC where no one is answering the phone, they must not have anything to say in their own defense. (McClellan is virtually daring people to identify the two leakers. Well, a special prosecutor with a grand jury could do the job pretty quickly, I bet.) And the NSC referral raises the question: is one of the "senior administration officials" named "Joseph" for example? Or perhaps "Rice."

As soon I read about this on Kevin Drum's blog, I thought it might be a major scandal. Now I'm sure of it. Jay Rockefeller, Diane Feinstein, and Richard Durbin are saying the right things. (*) This isn't going away.

zimv20
Jul 23, 2003, 09:46 AM
if true, that's disgusting politics. and if, for whatever reason, she's not an agent, it's libel -- she'll never work again.

Sayhey
Jul 23, 2003, 01:07 PM
Two observations:
1 - I mentioned in a previous post a former CIA agent named Phillip Agee. He wrote a book called "CIA Diary" in which he disclosed the names of CIA agents because of the Agency's role in undermining democratically elected governments in South America. Novak was one of those who cried for his head. It is a little disingenuous for him to have no problem disclosing the name of an agent now. It would raise the question whether Novak was chosen to leak the information to because of his partisan politics, situational ethics, and ties to the Bush administration.

2 - The rank hypocrisy of officals, who I'm sure all decried the appearance of impropriety in the Clinton Administration's handling of IRS files, to turn around and abuse their authority is all a little to much to stomach. If they broke the law these folks need to stand trial.

zimv20
Jul 23, 2003, 02:30 PM
an arizona paper offers this op/ed piece (http://www.azstarnet.com/star/Wed/30723editCIA.html)


It is appalling, at best, that the president should allow anyone on his staff to reveal the identity of a covert CIA agent.


This is an issue that cries out for investigation. The White House no doubt will dismiss the issue as a ploy to discredit Bush for political gain. But that's far too facile a justification for failing to pursue the matter.

Sayhey
Jul 23, 2003, 03:16 PM
zimv20,
maybe there is hope for Arizona yet! It will be interesting to see how the WH uses the argument for secrecy based on national security to justify not giving out the names of staffers who "outed" a cia agent.

By the way, love the Wolfowitz quote. It should be used in the dictionary to define "irony."