Monday, October 31, 2005

Plame Outed by Co-Worker(s)?

I think some (or someone) in Val's group outed her themselves just to be rid of the Wilsons.

The Kristof and Pincus articles and Wilson's op-ed were embarrassing for them because it showed how casual they were about sending an ex ambassador to do a spook's job and they hadn't even bothered to put him on a leash.

Wilson's mouth was a liability for them and they suspected Val was telling him more than she should about Company business.

Val wasn't going on junkets anymore because of a previous outing. She was doing good work, but she wasn't able to do much of what she was trained for. Damage would be minimal, so screw them.

They were the ones who slipped 'Valery Plame' into the gossip stream to punish the Wilsons.

Beyond that they didn't much care how it played out or who would be blamed.

Unless Fitzgerald is hiding it on purpose, there is little in the public record regarding who knew the actual name 'Valery Plame' (Miller's notebook and Novak's article) and nothing showing anyone in the administration knew or related that specific datum to anyone else in the administration. How did the fact of Mrs. Wilson's CIA employment get from Mrs. Wilson/Wilson's wife to Valery Plame?

I doubt we'll ever know.


terrye said...

I had the same thought.

Last night on Special Report Mort Kondracke said that Fitzgerald made some reference to Official "A" having spoken to Novak before he wrote his article.

Mort took that to mean said official outed her. Brit Hume pointed outed to him that Fitzgerald himself did not say anything of the kind.

MOrt was worried this might keep people from joining the CIA for fear they would be outed.

I am thinking the sheer stupidity of the whole episode will keep more people away from the CIA than anything Libby might have said.

In fact I would say the most lasting effect will be on the flow of news in DC. Let this be a lesson to any official when speaking with reporters: you might end up in jail. Best to hang up on them. Clic

I do think this makes the agency look bad, no matter how you slice it.

After all...Novak warned them about the article and they did not stop it. The CIA did not even ask the publisher to kill it.

Why didn't he?

Syl said...

"Why didn't he?"

Exactly. Either on purpose, or they have to be viewed as Keystone Kops.

Looks bad for them either way.

BTW, Official A is most likely Rove. All Rove said to Novak was 'I heard that too'. Rove wasn't the leaker.

We don't know who Novak's source was and Fitz ain't sayin'. Maybe he doesn't want to / or can't go there.

If the source is CIA, then we have our answer: The CIA leaked the name. The CIA confirmed her employement.

The administration 'outing a CIA agent in retaliation' is just a sideshow.

Yet those dismissing the whole affair as a sideshow are missing the real juicy bits.

David Thomson said...

Where is Occam’s razor when you need it? Learning that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA should not be the most momentous occasion in one’s life. This is a ho-hum event in Washington, DC. Bill Clinton lied about having sex with Monica Lewinsky. This is something that a man does not forget. But what is the likelihood that the former president correctly remembered the exact time or the color of Monica’s dress? Clinton was not indicted for claiming to forget some petty details. Scooter Libby is essentially having the book thrown at him for doing so!

citizen_us said...

Ready, set; HA! mine goes farther than yours.

David Thomson said...

I contend that Valerie Plame was never deliberately outed by anyone. The fact that she’s employed by the CIA is simply no big deal. It was mentioned in the roughly the same manner as if she were employed by GM, Microsoft, or Burger King. Most CIA employees are boring pencil pushers. The Richard Burton character in the Spy Who Came in From the Cold is the great exception.

Knucklehead said...

Outted by co-workers. Hmmm...

It is possible that Wilson and Plame represent the caricature of the Beltway Insiders wrought upon us by eight years of the Clinton administration and, as such, provoked some animosity among that crowd.

My Better Two-Thirds is often a pretty darned good barometer of how media storms such as the Plame Game are playing to the non-political-junkie masses. And her take on this is that it seems about the most unimportant, impossible to understand silliness among what seems a never ending barrage of unimportant silliness clogging the media stream.

When she can't follow what's going on with these sorts of stories she'll generally ask me for to net it out in the fifty-cent version. I'm generally reasonably good at that but I can't manage it in this case. I just cannot fathom why any of the players in this silliness find it the least bit important.

Yet I keep trying to find the 500 words or less summary. Here's where the effort stands to date prior to the possible explanation that it was all set in motion by a fit of Clique Pique among the Clintonista Residue.

Once upon a time a woman named Valerie Plame took a job with the CIA. She has some level of expertise in something which led to a job as a "shallow cover" analyst (which means she wasn't a 007 sort of agent but, rather, an analyst who pretended to work for someone other than the CIA, and sometimes worked overseas, but this wasn't of such grand strategic importance that the CIA went to enormous lengths to develop a "deep cover" for her).

Somewhere along the line (possibly in one of the "caught the spy" cases) it was discovered that her shallow cover was blown and, therefore, she could not work overseas as an "undercover" analyst any longer. So she was brought "in house" and given a job within the gimongo CIA that everyone knows is the CIA in DC. She became just another of the vast majority of CIA workers who more or less openly work for the CIA.

Sometime prior to this or shortly after it Ms. Plame married a fellow named Joseph Wilson. For whatever reasons Clinton appointed Wilson as ambassador to some African country of some middling importance.

It seems reasonably apparent that the Wilson-Plame duo, over the course of a few years, became some level of Beltway Insider Socialite Wannabees during the Clinton years. He was "Mr. Ambassador" and she either cultivated or had bestowed upon her some vaguely whispered about auro of "undercover CIA operative".

Then Geroge W. Bush was elected POTUS. Wilson, and possibly Plame but most certainly Wilson, rapidly succumbed to Bush Derrangement Syndrome. Not difficult to understand as he was probably suddenly on the outs when a Gore administration would have kept him in his covetted insider role in some form or fashion.

Anyway, eventually the world proceeded to McChimpy Bu$hitler's Mad Dash to Perpetual War. During this Bush uttered the now infamous "Sixteen Words" in a SOTU speech claiming that Iraq had attempted to purchase yellowcake in Africa. His political opponents, with the help of the MSM, quickly spun this into, "Bush claims that Saddam purchased yellowcake from Niger! That's a lie!" The original claim was based upon various intelligence reports among which was a British claim that they still stand behind to this day. Additionally the French seem to have forged some sort of report that they knew would be discovered and managed to get it into play to discredit the claim (a French company apparently controls Niger's uranium sales and didn't want this claim to grow legs and may have enlisted French intelligence to try and ridicule it).

For some unfathomable reason (perhaps BDS within the CIA itself) the CIA decided it would be a good idea to send someone to Niger to investigate. Enter Valerie Plame who was somehow afforded the opportunity to recommend someone for the "mission". She recommended her Hubby - Joe Wilson.

The CIA, behaving yet more perplexingly, agreed to send Wilson but never seems to have put any gag order or requirement for a report upon him.

Instead of coming back all nice and quiet and reporting to the CIA that he had discovered some tepid support for the idea that Iraq had, indeed, attempted to make yellowcake purchases in Africa (the Bush SOTU claim) and probably in Niger (the inaccurate spin used to try and discredit) Wilson came back and proceeded to write an NYT op-ed piece claiming that he'd discovered zero evidence that Iraq had ever attempted to purchase yellowcake from Niger and that even if they had tried Niger would have refused. He also apparently made the further claim that it was VPOTUS, Cheney, who had the CIA send him on this "mission".

For whatever reason (possibly BDS) several media personalities decided this was a potential story and began digging into it. In the meantime the congressional investigations eventually exposed Wilson's lies regarding his trip. This got little or no attention from the media.

During the "journalistic investigation" it was somehow "revealed" to one or more journalists that the Fair Valerie worked for the CIA (which apparently was not uncommon knowledge within Beltway Socialite Insider circles) and had recommended her hubby, Wilson, for the mission.

Bush's political opposition jumped upon this "outing" of Plame as the nefarious work of the Bush Administration to discredit the "dissident diplomat", Joe Wilson. (Note, however, that Wilson was discredited by Congress if anyone wanted to notice.)

It is possible, but not clear, that "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's Chief of Staff, mentioned or otherwise confirmed, Plame's employment with the CIA. Why he would do that is yet another of the unfathomables of this whole thing but the claim among the Bush opponents is that it was revenge. If, in fact, he did so it was probably little more than an attempt to counter Wilson's false claim that it was Cheney who sent him on the mission in the first place.

The opponents called for an investigation and a special prosecutor (Fitzgerald) was appointed to determine if any crime was committed. Apparently no crime was committed - Plame was long since no longer "undercover" and "outting" her, whoever did it, did not fit the defintion of a "crime" under the relevant statutes.

Fitzgerald investigated for two years and came up with nothing more than claims that Libby made "false statements" to FBI agents about things "material" to the investigation. This seems pretty darned weak and petty for two years of investigation looking for the commission of a crime, but there it is.

What just doesn't compute is how this idiocy got started or why anyone among the chattering classes finds it the least bit important.

Perhaps it got started as just a case of bureaucratic stupidity. Perhaps it was BDS elements within the CIA running an op to try and harm the POTUS they detested.

Perhaps the opposition finds it important simply because they believe it can damage their opponent.

But how it got rolling and why it's grown such long legs still remain pretty much unfathomable to me. The Clique Pique speculation doesn't seem to cover enough territory.

I've really grown to think of it as a loathesome pile of muck scraped together from a meager molehill.

RogerA said...

While I suspect the CIA is more complicit than they would like anyone to know, lets not forget the fabulous fabulist comes from the State Department--herewith a sample of Wilson's thinking. The DOS, and especially its INR (Intelligence and Research) bureau are quite the arabists. It isnt too hard for me to believe we have these two intelligence sources teaming up. The Neo-con's world view certainly didnt square with the arabist world view, thus the termite campaign mounted by CIA.

Anonymous said...

He listed her name inWho's Who and on the bio of the website of EPIC where on June 14, 2003 he made a speech disclosing he was the source for the Kristof and Pincus articles.

In Oct 2003 he told a reporter he had contacted the Kerry camp and told them his story.I'd bet my bottom dollar he told them his wife worked for the CIA in the very area of WMDs to add to the credibility of his story, and I wouldn't be the least surprised if that helped spread the word in the press.

Syl said...

Knuck....good summary. You might add that he went around like a good dimplomat prior to the war and said it wasn't just about WMD's, which he had, Saddam was a bad guy, and war was inevitable.

Later he joined the KEdwards campaign and changed his tune.

Syl said...

However, I see some are under the misimpression that public knowledge should mean 'not classified'. Not true.

An agent of a foreign government wouldn't necessarily believe something that is public knowledge and often characterizes it as misinformation and/or smokescreen. They're just not sure. They always look for some official confirmation.

That's why an official confirmation of something classified, whether public knowledge or not, is 'bad'.

And Fitz was going on principle. We shouldn't just dismiss that. Her status was indeed classified and classified information should be protected.

Now she may very well have done some covert things in the past few years. We don't know. From what Woodward said her 'outing' caused little more than embarrassment.

But whatever those facts are has nothing to do with whether her CIA employment should have been officially leaked to the public.


The brouhaha aspect of this case is that the press screamed for and got an investigation. THAT's where the problem lies.

Peter UK said...

Well worth every penny.

A couple of points.You say.
"a French company apparently controls Niger's uranium sales and didn't want this claim to grow legs and may have enlisted French intelligence to try and ridicule it)."
French companies are so entangled in the OFF that in all probability,the French government was involved in the national interest

It would be intersting to know what rank Plame had,or at least what connections,since not just anyone has the leverage for this kind of nepotism.

Peter UK said...

As soon as a public servant starts to boost their relatives for jobs there needs to be a full disclosure,because it is open to corruption,this was certainly nepotism in the first degree.
Why Niger,why not the head office next door,
COGEMA Resources Inc. Head Office
P .O. Box 9204
817 45th Street West
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 3X5

Knucklehead said...



A row has broken out between France and Italy over whose intelligence service is to blame for the Niger uranium controversy, which led to Britain and America claiming wrongly that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy material for nuclear bombs. (emphasis mine)

is the kind of thing that was the topic of Clarice Feldman's American Thinker article Rick cross-posted here at Flares. There is more that sufficient evidence to suggest that the claims made by British and US intelligence re: Iraq's efforts to purchase uranium were completely valid within the context of "intelligence". There is no evidence I am aware of that disproves claims that Saddam wanted to purchase uranium.

Yet the Telegraph insists on adding that nonsense to the opening sentence of their article knowing full well (or so they should) that it is an inaccurate statement. US and British intelligence has not been shown to have wrongly claimed anything about Iraq and attempts to procure uranium from African sources.

They then go on to tell us about the tiff between France an Italy of these forged documents that were apparently put in play to make the case about Iraq and Niger unsupportable.

These documents were not the source of the claim. They were put in play to redirect the "claim" and assign it a level of specificity it did not possess so that it could be "debunked". They use documents specifically forged to produce a desired effect, acknowledge the forgery and the aim, and yet promote the conclusion the forgeries were intended to create.

They go on to end with this...

British officials still say that the claim about Iraqi uranium purchases rested on a second source, not just the now-discredited documents. Intelligence officials from some other Western countries now believe, however, that the second source was also France - part of a "sinister trap" for Mr Blair.

But the Telegraph telling us that Intelligence officials from some other Western countries now believe... hardly qualifies as definitive refutation of the Iraq-Africa-uranium claims.

They just keep insisting that even what is fake is accurate. ARRRGGGHHHHH!

Gosh how I hate the MSM in all its forms. What a bunch of losers - maroons even.

Syl said...

Humanity has to be better than this :(

And beneath it all is that debunked claims were about a sales agreement.

Bush and Blair declared Saddam was seeking, which shows intent.

No claims of actually getting their hands on the stuff.

Yep, humanity still goes after the red herring.

Anonymous said...

Wilson ran all over DC for months trying to drum up interest in the President's "lies" about uranium.

Someone finally bit, and he finally had the opportunity to write the op-ed he had been trying to get for months.

Plame's alleged role was as a Director of Operations, according to earlier reports.