Valerie Plame v. The CIA
October 22, 2007 11:35 AM   Subscribe

Wilson et al v. McConnell et al. This site has all the legal documents surrounding Valerie Plame's legal case against the CIA over her new book. CIA censors blacked out 10 percent of the copy, as can seen in this excerpt from the book, and Plame is not allowed to speak freely in her interviews. [Via No Quarter.]

In other news, Plame think it's entirely possible that the Bush administration could start a war with Iran based on twisted intelligence.
posted by homunculus (87 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
She clearly needs someone to "leak" the censored information.
posted by exogenous at 11:40 AM on October 22, 2007


How can the CIA censor her book? FOX News says she's not an agent!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:44 AM on October 22, 2007 [5 favorites]


It's gotten to the point now where I assume that any time the government censors something for 'national security' reasons, it's actually covering up evidence of criminal activity.
posted by mullingitover at 11:49 AM on October 22, 2007 [10 favorites]


mullingitover: these days, who can tell the difference?
posted by adamrice at 11:54 AM on October 22, 2007


Plame think it's entirely possible that the Bush administration could start a war with Iran based on twisted intelligence.

That's ridiculous. Even if we bought into the silly idea that they would want to, this would require a massive failure to do their jobs on the part of both the media and the Democrats. Never happen.
posted by DU at 12:02 PM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


How can the CIA censor her book? FOX News says she's not an agent!

...and then simultaneously contradicts themselves and says... "well, everybody KNEW she was an agent."

my FOX favorites:

"...invading Iraq was a humanitarian cause."

"...but we can't win in Iraq with our hands tied by the liberals. We need to level the place! We aren't there to make friends!"

...........

"...Liberals are criticizing the plan! Draft? We don't need a draft! We have plenty of troops to do the job."

"...we need Blackwater becuase we don't have enough soldiers to do the job."
posted by tkchrist at 12:03 PM on October 22, 2007


Don't forget:

1) We are fighting them there so we don't need to fight them here.

2) We need to remove your civil liberties here to keep you safe.
posted by DU at 12:09 PM on October 22, 2007


You forgot:

3) Ignorance is strength.
posted by oaf at 12:20 PM on October 22, 2007


Gah! as can be seen in this excerpt...
posted by homunculus at 12:26 PM on October 22, 2007


“well, everybody KNEW she was an agent”

To be fair to Fox News—and this pains me—I believe the argument was never that everyone knew she was an agent, but that everyone knew she worked for the CIA, which would seem to contradict her covert status.

In reality, no one's actually been able to demonstrate any knowing that Plame worked for the CIA prior to her outing by the VP's office. Even if they had, though, this still doesn't necessarily contradict her covert status as no one knew her by her unmarried name, but only as Valarie Wilson, and she was Valerie Plame when covert. Also, whether or not Washington insiders at high levels knew she worked for the CIA, that's a whole bunch different than it being in the press and getting back to the people in Eastern Europe she worked with as a covert agent.

Also—again to be fair to conservatives—what was in dispute was whether she was covert or an analyst. An analyst would of course also be censored for sensitive material by the CIA in a published book. So the censoring doesn't prove anything that was in dispute, either.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:26 PM on October 22, 2007


but that everyone knew she worked for the CIA, which would seem to contradict her covert status.

I didn't know back then.
posted by NationalKato at 12:29 PM on October 22, 2007


That's ridiculous. Even if we bought into the silly idea that they would want to, this would require a massive failure to do their jobs on the part of both the media and the Democrats. Never happen.

Is it March of 2003 again?
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:35 PM on October 22, 2007


Also—again to be fair to conservatives—what was in dispute was whether she was covert or an analyst.

No, it wasn't. The CIA says she was covert. End of story.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:36 PM on October 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Plame was one of the rare operatives to become an NOC, that is, a CIA employee who operates under nonofficial cover. Such officers, who may pose as businesspeople or students, have no diplomatic immunity and so are much more vulnerable if caught spying. They often work abroad for U.S. companies that have secret agreements with the CIA to take them in as employees or for front companies the agency sets up. A former CIA station chief tells TIME that it can cost the agency anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million to establish an NOC overseas, depending on how deep and extensive the cover must be.

CIA sources say Plame held highly sensitive jobs during the past two decades. In the late 1990s she was serving as an NOC, working as an analyst with Brewster-Jennings & Associates, a CIA front company that has been shut down. ‘She was pretty and had brains and ambition and loyalty,’ says a former clandestine officer who worked with her. ‘Everything was there.’

....But while she may no longer have been a clandestine operative, she was still under protected status. A U.S. official told TIME that Plame was indeed considered covert for the purposes of the Intelligence Identities Protection law. And even if the leak was not illegal, intelligence officials argue, it is not defensible. 'I'm beyond disgusted,' a CIA official said last week. 'I am especially angry about the b_______ explanations that she is not a covert agent. That is an official status, and there are lots of people in this building who are on that status. It's not up to the Republican Party to determine when that status will end for an agent.'

Whatever the damage to Plame, there remains the cost paid by the CIA generally. In the wake of the disclosure, foreign intelligence services were known to have retraced her steps and contacts to discover more about how the CIA operates in their countries. Outside of a James Bond movie, spies rarely steal secrets themselves; they recruit foreigners to do it for them. That often means bribing a government official to break his country's laws and pass state secrets to the CIA. 'It becomes extremely hard if you're working overseas and recruiting [foreign] agents knowing that some sloth up in the Executive Branch for political reasons can reveal your identity,' says Jim Marcinkowski, who served four years in the agency and is now the deputy city attorney for Royal Oak, Mich. 'Certainly this kind of information travels around the world very quickly. And it raises the level of fear of coming in contact with the United States for any reason.'" [Time Magazine | July 25, 2005]
posted by ericb at 12:37 PM on October 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


I didn't know back then.

I knew. But I had to sleep with her to get her to talk.

Ah. I remember it well. There we were. Sipping schnapps in front of the roaring fireplace at our Hochkönig Ski Chalet. I was wearing nothing but my sable hat and fur coat.

"Ahhh.. Valerie. Will you make love to me once we get back to America."

"Day and night. Go on about the mechanism."
posted by tkchrist at 12:42 PM on October 22, 2007 [7 favorites]


everyone knew she worked for the CIA

Well, no. And not even her neighbors knew that she was employed by the CIA.
''Before this whole affair, no one would ever have thought of her as an undercover agent,'' said David Tillotson, a next-door neighbor for seven years who got to know the Wilsons well over back-fence chats, shared dinners and play dates for their grandchildren with the Wilsons' children, Trevor and Samantha.

''She wasn't mysterious,'' Mr. Tillotson said. ''She was sort of a working soccer mom.''

He recalled his incredulity on July 14, 2003, when his wife, Victoria, spotted in The Washington Post, in a syndicated column by Robert Novak, a line identifying their neighbor by her maiden name and calling her an ''agency operative.'' Ms. Tillotson kept calling out: ''This can't be! This can't be!''

The Wilsons' neighbor on the other side, Christopher Wolf, was similarly aghast. As he sat on his deck staring at the Novak column, Mr. Wilson came out his back door.

''I said: 'This is amazing! I had no idea,''' Mr. Wolf recalled. ''He sort of motioned to me to keep my voice down.''
posted by ericb at 12:44 PM on October 22, 2007


A Secret Known, a Cover Blown
“The misinformation being spread in the media about the Plame affair is alarming and damaging to the long-term security interests of the United States. Republicans' talking points are trying to savage Joe Wilson and, by implication, his wife, Valerie Plame, as liars. That is the truly big lie….

Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985. All of my classmates were undercover -- in other words, we told our family and friends that we were working for other overt U.S. government agencies….

Yet, until Novak betrayed her, she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world. When Novak outed her he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her….

The Republicans insist on the lie that Plame got her husband the job. She did not. She was not a division director; instead she was the equivalent of an Army major. Yes, she recommended her husband to do the job that needed to be done, but the decision to send Wilson on this mission was made by her bosses.

At the end of the day, Wilson was right. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was the Bush administration that pushed that lie, and because of that lie Americans are dying. Shame on those who continue to slander Joe Wilson while giving Bush and his pack of liars a pass. That's the true outrage."
posted by ericb at 12:46 PM on October 22, 2007


Plame's Identity Marked As Secret
"A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked '(S)' for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to a source who described the memo to The Washington Post.

The paragraph identifying her as the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was clearly marked to show that it contained classified material at the 'secret' level, two sources said. The CIA classifies as 'secret' the names of officers whose identities are covert, according to former senior agency officials."
posted by ericb at 12:49 PM on October 22, 2007


You know what's awesome?

That Microsoft has a Redaction add-in for Microsoft Word! It makes this stuff so much easier!
posted by GuyZero at 12:49 PM on October 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


“No, it wasn't. The CIA says she was covert. End of story.”

Yes, it was. It was in dispute because people disputed it. End of story.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:52 PM on October 22, 2007


“Well, no. And not even her neighbors knew that she was employed by the CIA.”

Christ. Do you people even bother to read comments or do you just respond like chimps to things that catch your eye? Here's those two consecutive sentences, please actually read them:

“I believe the argument was never that everyone knew she was an agent, but that everyone knew she worked for the CIA, which would seem to contradict her covert status. In reality, no one's actually been able to demonstrate anyone knowing that Plame worked for the CIA prior to her outing by the VP's office.”
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:57 PM on October 22, 2007


CLAIM – VALERIE WILSON WASN’T AN UNDERCOVER AGENT: “Now, look, Fitzgerald has had two years, two years to answer a simple question, and that is, was the law violated by someone having willfully exposed a CI — an undercover CIA agent? Now, we know that wasn’t true. The, Valerie Plame wasn’t even an undercover agent at the time.” [Fred Barnes, Fox News, 10/15/05]

FACT – CIA SAYS WILSON WAS UNDERCOVER: “But within the C.I.A., the exposure of Ms. Plame is now considered an even greater instance of treachery. Ms. Plame, a specialist in nonconventional weapons who worked overseas, had ‘nonofficial cover,’ and was what in C.I.A. parlance is called a Noc, the most difficult kind of false identity for the agency to create.” [New York Times, 10/5/03]

From -- Right-Wing Myths About The Leak Investigation.
posted by ericb at 12:58 PM on October 22, 2007


“No, it wasn't. The CIA says she was covert. End of story.”

Yes, it was. It was in dispute because people disputed it. End of story.


In much the same way as the shape of the earth is disputed.
posted by EarBucket at 12:59 PM on October 22, 2007


“In much the same way as the shape of the earth is disputed.”

Exactly.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:00 PM on October 22, 2007


As far as anyone knew, Plame worked for a "legal services" company called Brewster-Jennings & Associates (and headquartered in Boston).
posted by ericb at 1:06 PM on October 22, 2007


Yes, it was. It was in dispute because people disputed it. End of story.

As an attempt to revise history, the Republican talking point floated when the CIA leak case became public was that everyone knew she worked for the CIA. As has been pointed out by numerous folks in the media such a claim is bogus.
posted by ericb at 1:08 PM on October 22, 2007


CIA censors blacked out 10 percent of the copy, as can seen in this excerpt from the book, and Plame is not allowed to speak freely in her interviews.

That's fairly standard, and might even be covered by federal law. Certainly since Snepp v. United States the situation wrt prior restraint has been clear.

But let's go back to rearguing c/overt. That's so much fun!
posted by dhartung at 1:13 PM on October 22, 2007


“But let's go back to rearguing c/overt. That's so much fun!”

Strangely, ercib and Pope Guilty are enthusiastically arguing about this, but there's no one here on the other side to argue with.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:15 PM on October 22, 2007


She may have been covert, but she definately wasn't culvert! AMIRITE?
posted by blue_beetle at 1:21 PM on October 22, 2007


You know, I had a conversation recently with someone who disputes whether or not climate change is the result of human behavior. Now I'm no expert, but my understanding is that it's the considered opinion of the IPCC (that is to say, the scientific community of the PLANET) that human behavior HAS contributed (if not caused) climate change. Consequently, I found myself concluding that anyone who doesn't accept this doesn't simply disagree with me but is, in fact, WRONG. It's not really a difference of opinion - it's just WRONG. Like whether or not the world is round, or whether (to use a loaded example) 2+2=4.

Now I know that things in the Plame case are not as clear-cut and scientifically grounded, but I think one needs to be careful, when arguing this case, to not lose sight of the fact that, illegal or not, it was INCREDIBLY dangerous and wrong to out her.

(OK, I realize that this has been covered - and covered, and covered - just wanted to get it off of my chest...)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:22 PM on October 22, 2007


Having watched 60 minutes last night, all I can say is "I'd hit it."
posted by Slothrup at 1:30 PM on October 22, 2007


Strangely, ercib and Pope Guilty are enthusiastically arguing about this, but there's no one here on the other side to argue with.

Posting once is enthusiastic?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:40 PM on October 22, 2007


"CIA censors blacked out 10 percent of the copy, as can seen in this excerpt from the book, and Plame is not allowed to speak freely in her interviews."

The re-daction marks, in the middle of text, are brilliant reminders of the nature of secrecy. Some of what is redacted looks like it must be so banal, yet it has to be kept secret in the interests of Nat.Sec. Then, not being able to judge for ourselves (and, realistically, probably not having the information necessary to decide why and if what has been, should have been redacted...) well, we're just left to wonder about it. Which is interesting in a book about being/becoming a spy.

Her book should probably be titled Shitload of Secret Shit I can't Talk About, but Holy Shit if I could You Would be Blown the Fuck Away. Or not.

...Yeah, probably why I'm not an editor...
posted by From Bklyn at 1:41 PM on October 22, 2007


Posting once is enthusiastic?
It's all in the technique, Pope, all in the technique.
posted by Floydd at 1:45 PM on October 22, 2007


Ethereal Bligh writes "Yes, it was. It was in dispute because people disputed it. End of story."

Yeah, some people dispute global warming, too, but it doesn't make it "in dispute."
posted by krinklyfig at 1:49 PM on October 22, 2007


It's all in the technique, Pope, all in the technique.

I got skillz.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:49 PM on October 22, 2007


I'm hardly surprised that much ws censored. First, the CIA has both a right (legally) to read and approve (or censor) anything that someone employed at some time for them has written.

Second, I have had materials sent me under FOI about a blood relative and it was so censored as to be useless. The wonderful catch though is that they let you know that if there is something that has been cut and you object o the cut, you have the right to make your case why it should not have been cut (censored). But how can you present a case if you can not see what has been cut to begin with? Catch-22.

In that instance, it was an FBI record, not CIA, but I assume that the govt works in this fashion most of the time.
posted by Postroad at 1:50 PM on October 22, 2007


FBI working to bolster Al Qaeda cases: The U.S. is concerned that evidence obtained from CIA interrogations will be inadmissible at war-crimes tribunals.
posted by homunculus at 1:52 PM on October 22, 2007


Waitaminute - Clay Bertrand is Clay Shaw!?

“when arguing this case, to not lose sight of the fact that, illegal or not, it was INCREDIBLY dangerous and wrong to out her.”

That’s the goofy thing I could never get that people bought into the idea that it’s somehow ok if she’s not actively undercover right now.
It’s not like you need some arcane level of clearance under your belt to figure this out. Anyone who’s watched a t.v. cop show knows “going undercover” is dangerous and that if you’re ever found out as a cop even much later the crooks will look for revenge and will mistakenly kill your partner who is “getting too old for this shit” just one day before he retires, then you become a one man army bent on vengance...but I digress.

Outing anyone who was undercover completely blows not only whatever you have that’s ongoing, but any past deals you might have had as folks are going to look far more closely.
Hey, you might as well reveal Joe Pistone’s location - since, y’know, he’s not undercover anymore, right? The FBI leaned really, really, really, really hard on the New York LCN to lift the half million dollar contract on his life. He’s still a ghost and carries a pistol everywhere he goes. That operation lasted 6 years (wasn’t supposed to but...) At any point he could have come out, been at home, they still wouldn’t have known anything as long as any busts directly traceable to him came out. And really, that’s pretty much how it worked. They just kept him in play, getting more and more stuff.
With Plame - sort of the same deal - her NOC didn’t somehow cease to exist just because she came home. Just like an undercover cop - the guy might take back routes to go home, maybe have a good meal and sleep with his wife once in a while, doesn’t mean he’s suddenly off the job.

People know all this stuff already. I’m amazed there was any kind of counter-argument at all.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:54 PM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Patrick Fitzgerald has explicitly said that Ms. Plame's employment was classified on at least two occasions.

During his October 25, 2005, press conference, Fitzgerald said, "In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Not only was it classified, but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community."

According to paragraph 1F of the Libby indictment [PDF], "At all relevant times from January 1, 2002 through July 2003, Valerie Wilson was employed by the CIA, and her employment status was classified."

Ms. Plame's identity was marked as Secret in the State Department memo about Joseph Wilson's trip to Niger; the memo as a whole was classified as Top Secret.

In his September 6, 2006, article "What Valerie Plame Really Did at the CIA" on The Nation's web site, David Corn wrote, "When the Novak column ran, Valerie Wilson was in the process of changing her clandestine status from NOC to official cover." On his weblog, Corn wrote, "She was an undercover officer in charge of running critical covert operations."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:59 PM on October 22, 2007


Ethereal Bligh: "“well, everybody KNEW she was an agent”

To be fair to Fox News—and this pains me—I believe the argument was never that everyone knew she was an agent, but that everyone knew she worked for the CIA, which would seem to contradict her covert status.


A lot of people miss this: that's the whole point of covert identities. If she looks like she's working in Langley, pulling a paycheck and getting her nails done every Wednesday, flaunting her covergirl looks and glorious blonde hair, she couldn't possibly be Valery Rachmaninoff, the somewhat unappealing brunette in the Soviet Union.

Her cover was good enough, in fact, that despite the fact that the CIA confirmed her covert status, people still insisted she couldn't be covert. They are, essentially, arguing that the CIA is incapable of fooling them.

Good thing enemy intelligence services don't have the pure brilliance of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders on their side.

Also—again to be fair to conservatives—what was in dispute was whether she was covert or an analyst.

Again, this isn't thinking it through: analyst was her cover identity. She can be both at exactly the same time.
posted by Malor at 2:05 PM on October 22, 2007


I don't think I've seen this on Metafilter yet.

CBS confirms 2006 Raw Story scoop: Plame's job was to keep nukes from Iran.
Speaking under strict confidentiality, intelligence officials revealed heretofore unreported elements of Plame's work. Their accounts suggest that Plame's outing was more serious than has previously been reported and carries grave implications for U.S. national security and its ability to monitor Iran's burgeoning nuclear program.
posted by Malor at 2:09 PM on October 22, 2007


Cheney: US Will Not Let Iran Go Nuclear
posted by homunculus at 2:10 PM on October 22, 2007


Khan !!!!!
posted by hortense at 2:38 PM on October 22, 2007


Our training quickly assumed a pattern: up at 5 A.M. for physical training, which involved running or walking in formation while singing bawdy songs to keep tempo, just as military recruits have done for decades; followed by a quick breakfast, then a morning class in a military discipline. Lunch * * * * * * * * * * * * * a throwback to traditional southern cooking. Almost everything was dipped in batter and deep-fried, and a salad bar was considered newfangled.

CLASSIFIED LUNCH
posted by anthill at 2:38 PM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Plame case is a good example of how the press doesn't automatically take whichever side creates the most sensationalism. Had that been the case, the focus would have been on these incredulous accounts of how people closest to her had never known, and not this story that "everyone" had.
posted by dreamsign at 2:41 PM on October 22, 2007


That the covert/overt issue is even an issue (still) illustrates how the neoconfucks gull the public day after day after fucking day. They are allowed to frame the issues. They know if they say something loud enough and often enough it becomes "truthiness".

The question is important, but it doesn't really matter if she was covert or not (she was, according to everyone who should have access to that info). The crime, and shame, here is that state information was willfully released and used for no other reason than the political character assassination of an ambassador who disagreed with the administration.

The only thing worse than the people doing this kind of "PR" work is the public that falls for it every time.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:47 PM on October 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


The U.S. is concerned that evidence obtained from CIA interrogations will be inadmissible at war-crimes tribunals.

Possibly they should be hoping it isn't?
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on October 22, 2007



Again, this isn't thinking it through: analyst was her cover identity. She can be both at exactly the same time.


Huh? Her cover identity was working for Brewster Jennings and Associates, not the CIA. In fact BJ&A was a cover, and outing Plame ruined it not just for her, but for all of their fake employees.
posted by delmoi at 2:55 PM on October 22, 2007


The only thing worse than the people doing this kind of "PR" work is the public that falls for it every time.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:47 PM on October 22 [+] [!]


Or, maybe you fall for Joe Wilson's bs and the public is right.
posted by rockhopper at 2:56 PM on October 22, 2007


so hawt.
posted by zardoz at 3:01 PM on October 22, 2007


Or, maybe you fall for Joe Wilson's bs and the public is right.

Seriously, go away.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:01 PM on October 22, 2007


“Yeah, some people dispute global warming, too, but it doesn't make it ‘in dispute.’”

Yes it does. Perhaps you need to look up the definitions for in dispute. Here's one. Here's another.

This is not a case of literal versus accepted usage. The literal and accepted usages are the same. Something need only be disputed to be in dispute There's nothing in the common usage of the term that requires the issue be legitimately undecided. It might be the case that the common usage of the term requires that some minimum threshold of controversy be met—to exclude “well, one guy this one time disputed it” usages. But, unfortunately, the right-wing's response to the Plame case easily meets this test. So does Global Warming. Both are established as being true via all relevant authorities and yet both are disputed by large numbers of people.

If you and others here have thought that in dispute meant that something was honestly disputable, be thankful that you have this opportunity to correct your misuse of the term.

“Again, this isn't thinking it through: analyst was her cover identity. She can be both at exactly the same time.”

Malor, as much as I'd like to endorse your theory—and, again, I apparently need to boldface that I'm not arguing that Plame was anything but covert and I agree that the rightwing is nutso—the actual CIA practice of coversion with their agents is that covert agents don't work for the CIA in the cover identities.

Furthermore, the actual facts in this case were that Plame was covert as Valerie Plame (not Wilson) and ran a front company that was established by the CIA for this purpose and which allowed her to plausibly travel in the region in and establish contacts, both of which she did as her primary covert intelligence work on WMD proliferation. That identity made no mention of her marriage to Wilson, had no public connection with the CIA, etc. She certainly was not “covert yet working as an analyst as her cover identity”.

However, she was at this time, and for a while before it, in practice working as an analyst. She was making the transition to being an analyst but for obvious reasons her covert identity needed to remain covert indefinitely. She was making this transition because she had recently married Wilson and was pregnant with their first child.

“Or, maybe you fall for Joe Wilson's bs and the public is right.”

Oh, I see that a reality-challenged doofus has arrived to argue the matter.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:05 PM on October 22, 2007


Or, maybe you fall for Joe Wilson's bs and the public is right.

Not that such an insightful statement requires comment, but:

Joe Wilson could be the vilest, most dishonest person on the planet - it still doesn't justify what happened.

And note, I made no comment as to his veracity - I said he disagreed with the administration.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:09 PM on October 22, 2007


Ethereal Bligh: Your comments here are confusing. Do you think that people actually knew she worked for the CIA or not? Was your first comment supposed to be sarcastic?
posted by delmoi at 3:11 PM on October 22, 2007


EB,

Not really. Benny recites Joe Wilson's story hook, line, and sinker and he thinks the public is stupid?
posted by rockhopper at 3:11 PM on October 22, 2007


Not really. Benny recites Joe Wilson's story hook, line, and sinker and he thinks the public is stupid?

Go away.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:14 PM on October 22, 2007



The claim that there was a crime aside from Scooter's purjury (he shouldn't have lied under oath) that didn't get prosecuted is baffling.

Back to the topic (sorry for the derail), I am surprised that the CIA didn't redact more than 10%. I mean, those CIA fellers are very good at CYA.
posted by rockhopper at 3:19 PM on October 22, 2007


(ah, okay it looks like EB explained what he meant before I had a chance to post my comment)
posted by delmoi at 3:20 PM on October 22, 2007


“Do you think that people actually knew she worked for the CIA or not? Was your first comment supposed to be sarcastic?”

My comment was crystal clear. The first sentence of the second paragraph explicitly asserts that no one knew (or at least that no one has been able to prove that anyone knew) she worked for the CIA at the time.

The first paragraph is saying that it's not the case that the right-wing thought she didn't work for the CIA, it's that they thought she wasn't covert.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:28 PM on October 22, 2007


The claim that there was a crime aside from Scooter's purjury (he shouldn't have lied under oath) that didn't get prosecuted is baffling.

Back to the topic (sorry for the derail), I am surprised that the CIA didn't redact more than 10%. I mean, those CIA fellers are very good at CYA.


I'm really quite serious. You're an idiot who does nothing but copy and paste long-discredited right-wing talking points. You contribute nothing at all in any sense and drag down the intelligence level of any thread you shit in. Go. Away.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:28 PM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


“Huh? Her cover identity was working for Brewster Jennings and Associates, not the CIA.”

Layers. Her covert ID is something else. People might know that V.Wilson works for the CIA. People who are in Langley, see her taking the off ramp, etc. might have known she’s CIA but have no idea what she does.
People in D.C. who are in the loop might know, but should think she’s some innocuous bland paper pusher - and not make any connection to V. Plame (her NOC) who works for BJ&A.

Pretty much only your handler should know what you’re really up to. Even then...
Old saying - two people can keep a secret better if one of them is dead.

Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if all this wasn’t some part of a larger stratagem, if only that it surprises me Cheney et.al were able to get their hands on that kind of info - although he was the secdef (and is currently the vp of course) so he’s got more connections than AT&T.
I don’t suppose I would question why the civilian authority needed that information until it was abused.
Even then, what is it they’re supposed to do? Tell the VP to fuck off? That’s essentially one of the top two guys you answer to. (There are issues there (going on now) between the oversight committees and the executive branch, but that’s the executive branch’s chaff not the agencys deal. If congress said “CIA - we want to know this” and the executive branch didn’t kick, they’d let them know...‘course, that’d require y’know, testicles)

Joe Wilson’s b.s.? If the evidence of a crime is destroyed, witnesses are willing to lie about it, then the crime the evidence is based on can’t be prosecuted - so you nail the guy(s) who covered it up - in this case Libby. I’m not a lawyer and I know that.
So the yellowcake was the real deal then? In what way did the administration not lie about that? Plenty of documentation all over that. Wilson’s position is solid. The only people with motive to out his wife were in the administration - whether it harmed the country (it did) or not.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:32 PM on October 22, 2007


The claim that there was a crime aside from Scooter's purjury (he shouldn't have lied under oath) that didn't get prosecuted is baffling.

There was once an cover company that employed undercover CIA officers, including Valerie Plame. Administration hacks leaked her name and affiliation to the press out of petty revenge, thereby outing her and destroying the whole front operation. This betrayal put countless American officers and their overseas assets at risk, destroyed careers and undermined confidence in our government's ability to protect it's intelligence personnel and methodologies. The CIA recommended prosecution for outing one of their officers, and did a damage assessment (which is classified). The chief of staff to the Vice President lied about it to FBI agents and to a grand jury.

Baffling? What part of this don't you get? When Aldrich Ames or Robert Hanssen gave up the names of CIA officers and assets, that was high treason. Is that baffling to you? The administration officials who were responsible for this breach lied under oath and obstructed justice in the case. Is that baffling to you? The President of the United States commuted the sentence, in essence sending the message that although Scooter Libby was guilty of obstructing the investigation and lying in court, he would not serve a day in jail for his crimes. Is that baffling to you?

The Plame case documents website uses the Latin term "res ipsa loquitur". If you don't know it's meaning, you should look it up.
posted by edverb at 3:43 PM on October 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


The most likely reason that Patrick Fitzgerald didn't indict anyone
under the Intelligence Agencies Protection Act is that under the act the person has to know that the agent's identity was covert. That's hard to prove, especially when people are lying to the FBI and perjuring themselves in front of the grand jury, and it's possible that Libby and Rove et. al. didn't know Ms. Plame was covert.

John Dean notes that the Libby indictment specifically mentions the Espionage Act, but Libby's perjury prevented Fitzgerald from indicting Libby under the act.

The administration officials who were responsible for this breach lied under oath and obstructed justice in the case.

Funny how those went from being impeachable offenses to no big deal.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:51 PM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


it's possible that Libby and Rove et. al. didn't know Ms. Plame was covert.

I think that if you don't care, the requirement should be waived.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:24 PM on October 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Furthermore, the actual facts in this case were that Plame was covert as Valerie Plame (not Wilson) and ran a front company that was established by the CIA for this purpose and which allowed her to plausibly travel in the region in and establish contacts, both of which she did as her primary covert intelligence work on WMD proliferation. That identity made no mention of her marriage to Wilson, had no public connection with the CIA, etc. She certainly was not “covert yet working as an analyst as her cover identity”.

Ethereal, the CIA's job is lying to you. Asserting that this is the truth, without access to classified information, strikes me as highly risky.

We've been told whatever damages the CIA least. Beyond the basic facts that she was covert and laws were broken in revealing her, any additional information should be treated as questionable at best. It could be far worse than what we're allowed to know.
posted by Malor at 4:25 PM on October 22, 2007


I had a friend in NYC who found out his father was CIA; for most of his life he thought his dad was an insurance agent. His dad had an office at a local branch office of a major insurance agency and went there every day like a normal job. His dad was involved in Iran Contra and his name came up during Ollie North's testimony, which is how my friend's family learned the truth. His dad, in turn, went to write his memoirs about his role in Iran Contra, which he dictated into microcassettes. Apparently there's some central authority CIA agents need to run anything they intend to publish through, I can't remember what he said the name of it was. My friend's dad sent a shoe box full of microcassettes to this central authority and they sent him back like three of them and told him, "publish away!"
posted by The Straightener at 4:32 PM on October 22, 2007


Imagine that one day you wake up to the incessent ping of your beeper. It is still dark outside your window, and you slide out of bed, pad quietly down the hallway and try not to wake up the wife and kids, as you slip into your home office and place a call on a secure phone. You are told that your cover has been blown, that your family may be at risk. You have to make instant decisions for your own safety, that of your family, and of every asset you have in the field - and to do that, you have to prioritize which assets are more valuable and which you can afford to lose, if necessary. You have to decide then and there which of the people you cultivated, the ones you promised safety in exchange for information and cooperation, which of them may have to die because you may not have time to save them all.
Why This Matters.
posted by edverb at 4:53 PM on October 22, 2007


The first paragraph is saying that it's not the case that the right-wing thought she didn't work for the CIA, it's that they thought she wasn't covert.

It would be more accurate to say

"... it's that they now claim that at the time they thought she wasn't covert, which might be true or might be lies to avoid prosecution."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:04 PM on October 22, 2007


“It would be more accurate to say”

No, it wouldn't, because my comment was referring to someone else's comment about what Fox News believes. “Right-wing” means “administration defenders in the press and the blogosphere”.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:08 PM on October 22, 2007


I wonder if 'Richard Armitage' was in the redacted
portion(s) of the book.
posted by rockhopper at 5:09 PM on October 22, 2007


Every word is a galaxy in the heavens.

At the very least -- A Thousand Points of Light!
posted by ericb at 6:36 PM on October 22, 2007


No, it wouldn't, because my comment was referring to someone else's comment about what Fox News believes.

Yes, and I'm saying that you don't know what Fox News believes. You only know what they say they believe, which might well be a far cry from what they actually believe. I think Fox used up any benefit of the doubt a long time ago.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:05 PM on October 22, 2007


Look at the picture. Just look at it for a moment. Every star on that wall represents a CIA officer lost in the line of duty. Every single star.

This case, and its treatment, is shit, but attempting to sentimentalize the organization of fucking assassins that work for your government doesn't earn any points with me.
posted by dreamsign at 8:55 PM on October 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


Plame talks to NPR.
posted by rtha at 9:28 PM on October 22, 2007


Ever notice how people always say "End of story" when a story is nowhere near ended?
posted by spock at 10:11 PM on October 22, 2007


she couldn't possibly be Valery Rachmaninoff

Well, that would be a good disguise, as anyone with that name is a man.
posted by oaf at 4:56 AM on October 23, 2007


Then it would be an extra-good disguise :)
posted by Malor at 5:14 AM on October 23, 2007


Ever notice how people always say "End of story" when a story is nowhere near ended?

What, precisely, is there to say beyond the fact that the CIA says she was covert?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:16 AM on October 23, 2007


“but attempting to sentimentalize the organization of fucking assassins that work for your government doesn't earn any points with me.”

Y’know, it’s funky. The military, the agency, all government service, is not some monolithic sort of star wars empire where everyone is on the same page. Some folks actually, y’know, believe in the constitution and try to do what’s best. Some folks are toadies to corporate or political interests. Some are just plain bastards who don’t care who they have to step on to get ahead.
As a f’rinstance - Three Kings (the movie). Never saw it myself, but the gist is sort of a Kelly’s Heroes (the movie) sort of deal where they want to take some money off the Iraqis.
Ok. There are those guys. Small scale Sgt.Bilko type opportunists. Then there are guys who are like the mafia, organized theivery. Then there are guys who are like the Illuminati sans pawns. Have big plans, etc. - those are your Cheney types. Throughout all this you have your rank and file types just doing their jobs. You have the small scale Sgt. York type altruists. Then there are guys who do the job the way it should be done and fully utilize all the resources at their disposal. There are the guys who go above and beyond even that, who might skirt the boundries but don’t go over the edge. And of course there are the stellar performers who work hard enough and have enough connections to make a real difference.
It’s typically those folks in the last category that get the attention of the really organized bad-ass Illuminati types. And of course if they’re not careful, they get institutionalized, criminalized, any number of things really.

Forgive the rough thumbnail there, but just because someone puts on a badge or swears an oath, doesn’t make them good or bad. It’s their own decisions that define them within the sphere of their service. You can shut up and follow orders. You can try and exploit your service and other people. Or you can try to make the world a better, safer place.
(As a topical f’rinstance, I heard Mike Levine on NPR this morning).
Plame seemed concerned with chasing nukes. There are many reasons (beyond the good Colonel Petrov) that the world has not ended. People like Plame (given her work was what I suspect it was) would be one of them. There are good people at the CIA. But there are black sheep in any family. The effects of those sheep are magnified a thousandfold when you have black budgets, political interests, etc. etc. etc. One small group with 500 million in cash, access to all kinds of transportation, neat DARPA toys, merc and or special forces cadre, etc. etc. can raise all kinds of hell especially if they’re asses are covered on the political end.
That’s a statement of fact, not approval - I wouldn’t shed a tear if the agency was radically changed to prevent that.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:34 PM on October 23, 2007


[a few comments removed - Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:03 PM on October 23, 2007


“What, precisely, is there to say beyond the fact that the CIA says she was covert?”

I wrote this:

what was in dispute was whether she was covert or an analyst.

...and you quoted it and responded with this:

“No, it wasn't. The CIA says she was covert. End of story.”

So what “there is to say” beyond what you said is, concisely, “you're wrong”. I suppose you're someone who thinks that something can't be “in dispute” if the truth value of it is known. Sadly, in the real world, people dispute known things all the time. Often, because they don't believe that they are known, and that is what is in dispute.

Alternatively, perhaps you may be someone who thinks that the common English usage of “in dispute” means “everyone agrees that something is disputable”. Unfortunately, it does not. It merely means that something is disputed. If you want a word or expression that means “everyone agrees that something is disputable”, there probably isn't such a word in common English usage. Literally, disputable might mean this, but it doesn't in practice, as people dispute whether things are disputable (or indisputable).

At any rate, I didn't write disputable, I wrote “in dispute”, the meaning of which should be indisputable but, as so many things which should be indisputable but are not—such as Plame's covert status with the CIA—seems to be something about which some people have wrong ideas.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:17 PM on October 23, 2007


not some monolithic sort of star wars empire where everyone is on the same page

Of course. I'm not a child nor a zealot.
But it's exactly the reasons you state why you can't take a slate of dead CIA agents and say "oh look at the sad loss to humanity". Yeah, true for some. For others, the world is distinctly better off without them. If the person making the sentimental argument isn't going to differentiate, they can fuck right off, because that kind of heartwarming crap doesn't apply to the agency as a whole.
posted by dreamsign at 6:09 PM on October 23, 2007


[a few comments removed - Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.]

Yeah, that's what the CIA said about Plame's book. ;)
posted by homunculus at 7:49 PM on October 23, 2007


Item in War Request Stokes Fears of Iran Strike
posted by homunculus at 4:11 PM on October 24, 2007


"As for the question about whether I've had sex with anyone to get intel (which, by the way, has been asked of me by a US diplomat and a major movie star), the answer is: there were many aspects of my job which were James Bond-like, but that, emphatically, was not one of them."

tkchrist lied?!
posted by homunculus at 9:29 PM on October 26, 2007


FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Will Now Tell All - and Face Charges if Necessary - to Any Major Television Network That Will Let Her
posted by homunculus at 10:06 AM on October 29, 2007


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