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Papers: Cheney Aide Says Bush OK'd Leak

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Dallas:

By no means a pedant. Just inquisitive.

Publishing reams on Wilson is hardly the issue. Was Plame an agent? You seem to say no, while still declining to provide any authoratitive source or even answer the point regarding the CIA reaction.

Is the agency happy, mad or just plain neutral about her outing?



jambutty:

The position is indefensible.

Bush, Cheney & Co, remind me of the law firm of Dewey Cheatham & Howe.

They have no morals, no idealism, no fairness, no objectivity and no clue.  The US & the world will be fucked for years trying to bail out of the horrendous mess they've been allowed to create.

Golf on.

4pool:

The only reason that Plames name came to the fore is that she recommended her husband to go to Niger. As you know the press willl want to know "how" was Joe Wilson picked and who picked him. Especially as Joe was on the offensive about Uranium and Niger.

As for how the CIA reacted..she wasn't an agent so you figure it out.

Plame's identity, if truly a secret, was thinly veiled
BY JOHN CREWDSON
Chicago Tribune
WASHINGTON - The question of whether Valerie Plame's employment by the Central Intelligence Agency was a secret is the key issue in the two-year investigation to determine if someone broke the law by leaking her CIA affiliation to the news media.

Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald contends that Plame's friends "had no idea she had another life." But Plame's secret life could be easily penetrated with the right computer sleuthing and an understanding of how the CIA's covert employees work.

When the Chicago Tribune searched for Plame on an Internet service that sells public information about private individuals to its subscribers, it got a report of more than 7,600 words. Included was the fact that in the early 1990s her address was "AMERICAN EMBASSY ATHENS ST, APO NEW YORK NY 09255."

A former senior American diplomat in Athens, who remembers Plame as "pleasant, very well-read, bright," said he had been aware that Plame, who was posing as a junior consular officer, really worked for the CIA.

According to CIA veterans, U.S. intelligence officers working in American embassies under "diplomatic cover" are almost invariably known to friendly and opposition intelligence services alike.

"If you were in an embassy," said a former CIA officer who posed as a U.S. diplomat in several countries, "you could count 100 percent on the Soviets knowing."

Plame's true function likely would have been known to friendly intelligence agencies as well. The former senior diplomat recalled, for example, that she served as one of the "control officers" coordinating the visit of President George H.W. Bush to Greece and Turkey in July 1991.

After the completion of her Athens tour, the CIA reportedly sent Plame to study in Europe. According to her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Plame was living in Brussels when the couple first met in 1997.

Two years later, when Plame made a $1,000 contribution to Vice President Al Gore, she listed her employer as Brewster-Jennings & Associates, a Boston company apparently set up by the CIA to provide "commercial cover" for some of its operatives.

Brewster-Jennings was not a terribly convincing cover. According to Dun & Bradstreet, the company, created in 1994, is a "legal services office" grossing $60,000 a year and headed by a chief executive named Victor Brewster. Commercial databases accessible by the Tribune contain no indication that such a person exists.

Another sign of Brewster-Jennings' link to the CIA came from the online resume of a Washington attorney, who until last week claimed to have been employed by Brewster-Jennings as an "engineering consultant" from 1985 to 1989 and to have served from 1989 to 1995 as a CIA "case officer," the agency's term for field operatives who collect information from paid informants.

On Wednesday the Tribune left a voice mail and two e-mail messages asking about the juxtaposition of the attorney's career with Brewster-Jennings and the CIA. On Thursday, the Brewster-Jennings and CIA entries had disappeared from the online resume. The attorney never returned any of the messages left by the Tribune.

After Plame left her diplomatic post and joined Brewster-Jennings, she became what is known in CIA parlance as an "NOC," shorthand for an intelligence officer working under "non-official cover." But several CIA veterans questioned how someone with an embassy background could have successfully passed herself off as a private-sector consultant with no government connections.

Genuine NOCs, a CIA veteran said, "never use an official address. If she had (a diplomatic) address, her whole cover's completely phony. I used to run NOCs. I was in an embassy. I'd go out and meet them, clandestine meetings. I'd pay them cash to run assets or take trips. I'd give them a big bundle of cash. But they could never use an embassy address, ever."

Another CIA veteran with 20 years of service agreed that "the key is the (embassy) address. That is completely unacceptable for an NOC. She wasn't an NOC, period."

After Plame was transferred back to CIA headquarters in the mid-1990s, she continued to pass herself off as a private energy consultant. But the first CIA veteran noted: "You never let a true NOC go into an official facility. You don't drive into headquarters with your car, ever."

A senior U.S. intelligence official, who like the others quoted in this article spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that Plame "may not be alone in that category, so I don't want to suggest she was the only one. But it would be a fair assumption that a true-blue NOC is not someone who has a headquarters job at any point or an embassy job at any point."

According to Fitzgerald, the chief federal prosecutor in Chicago who was tapped to head the Plame investigation, Plame's "cover was blown" in July 2003, when columnist Robert Novak disclosed that Plame "is an agency (CIA) operative on weapons of mass destruction."

Two senior Bush administration officials, Novak said, had told him that Plame suggested sending her husband, former ambassador Wilson, to Africa to look into reports that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium ore from the nation of Niger.

Novak's column followed by eight days an op-ed article by Wilson in The New York Times recounting his failure to find any evidence of such a purchase during his visit to Niger.

Wilson was responding to President Bush's assertion in his 2003 State of the Union address, on the eve of the war with Iraq, that "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Knowingly disclosing the identity of a covert CIA operative is a violation of the federal Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Although prosecutor Fitzgerald has yet to accuse anyone of violating that law, he won a grand jury indictment charging former vice presidential chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby with perjury and obstructing justice for allegedly making false statements under oath about how and when he learned of Plame's CIA employment, and when he told reporters.

Libby's lawyers, who now question whether Plame's CIA employment really was secret at the time Novak's column appeared, have asked a federal judge to provide them with documents that bear on that issue.

If Plame's employment was not a legitimate secret, and if the national security was not harmed by its disclosure, Libby's lawyers argue, their client would have had no motive to lie about his conversations with reporters.

Fitzgerald has told the court he does not intend to introduce evidence showing that Plame's career, the CIA's operations or the national security were harmed by the disclosure of her CIA affiliation.

Plame's lawyer, Christopher Wolf, said his client would have no comment on any aspect of her CIA career. The CIA also declined comment on any aspect of the Plame case.
http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/news/politics/14076459.htm



4pool:

And now a little update on Joe Wilson, the forgotten one in all this....

Joe Wilson's Forgetfulness

You've got to hand it to Joe Wilson. He has certainly cashed in on his celebrity as he tours college campuses making ludicrous statements. Wilson is also someone who is curiously forgetful about facts that involve his behavior and those surrounding his trip to Niger.

''It seems to me that first and foremost, the White House needs to come clean on this matter,'' Wilson told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's ''This Week.'' ''My own view of this is that the White House owes the American people and particularly our service people who have been sent into war, an apology for having misrepresented the facts.''

In case you forgot, Joe Wilson once claimed a role in exposing the Iraq-Niger documents as forgeries. But that wasn't true, as the Senate's 2004 bipartisan Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq pointed out:

Page 45


The former ambassador also told Committee staff that he was the source of a Washington Post article…which said, "among the Envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because 'the dates were wrong and the names were wrong.'" Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports.

And media reports to the contrary, Wilson did not "debunk" the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium. In fact, most intelligence analysts believed his trip "lent more credibility" to reports that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger, and the CIA continued to approve the use of the Iraq-Niger-Uranium language "in Administration publications and speeches, including the State of the Union."
The same Senate report states:

Conclusion 13 (page 73)


The report on the former ambassador's trip to Niger, disseminated in March 2002, did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal, but State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analysts believed that the report supported their assessment that Niger was unlikely to be wiling or able to sell uranium to Iraq.

Conclusion 12 (page 72)


Until October 2002 when the Intelligence Community obtained the forged foreign language documents on the Iraq-Niger uranium deal, it was reasonable for analysts to assess that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa based on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reporting and other available intelligence.

Conclusion 19 (page 77)


Even after obtaining the forged documents and being alerted by a State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) analyst about problems with them, analysts at both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) did not examine them carefully enough to see the obvious problems with the documents. Both agencies continued to publish assessments that Iraq may have been seeking uranium from Africa. In addition, CIA continued to approve the use of similar language in Administration publications and speeches, including the State of the Union.

And, for the record, the British have stood firm in their intelligence on the matter. In fact, the July 2004 Butler report states that the president's uranium reference in his 2003 State of the Union address was "well-founded" and based on intelligence having nothing to do with the forged documents.

Here are the "relevant" bits, on pages 123 and 125:

We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the Government’s dossier, and by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, were well-founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush’s State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that:
'The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa'

was well-founded.


And,

From our examination of the intelligence and other material on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa, we have concluded that:
a. It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999.

b. The British Government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports, the intelligence was credible.

c. The evidence was not conclusive that Iraq actually purchased, as opposed to having sought, uranium and the British Government did not claim this.

d. The forged documents were not available to the British Government at the time its assessment was made, and so the fact of the forgery does not undermine it.


I wonder why none of this makes it into Mr. Wilson's speeches.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2006/04/joe_wilsons_forgetfulness.html

jambutty:


--- Quote ---I wonder why none of this makes it into Mr. Wilson's speeches.
--- End quote ---

Maybe it''s because it comes from one of Bill Kristol's rags.

Do you read anything that isn't far right dude?

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