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PLAMEGATE-How Rove's Leak Undermined National Security

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:24 AM
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PLAMEGATE-How Rove's Leak Undermined National Security

How Rove's Leak Undermined National Security

Did the outing of Valerie Plame damage U.S. national security? Many have claimed it did not, since (in the words of conservative Victoria Toensing) the CIA "gave a desk job in Langley. You don't really have somebody deep undercover going back and forth to Langley, where people can see them." Yesterday, a bipartisan group of 11 former intelligence officers -- including Col. W. Patrick Lang, the former Director of Defense Human Intelligence Services at the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Vince Cannistraro, former counterterrorism chief at the CIA -- submitted a letter to congressional leaders rebutting these claims. The officers argue that the "desk job" excuse reveals "an astonishing ignorance of the intelligence community and the role of cover." More importantly, they say, the "disclosure of Ms. Plame's name was a shameful event in American history and, in our professional judgment, may have damaged U.S. national security and poses a threat to the ability of U.S. intelligence gathering using human sources."

"THE GRAVITY OF THE SUSPECTED CRIME...": Perhaps the best indication of the severity of the Plame leak is found in the opinion of Circuit Judge David Tatel. In February 2005, Tatel joined his colleagues on the D.C. Court of Appeals in ordering reporters Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller to reveal their sources despite the fact that he believes current law provides "a federal privilege for reporters that can shield them from being compelled to testify to grand juries and give up sources." So what explains his ruling? Tatel wrote that, in this case, the journalists' privilege had to give way to "the gravity of the suspected crime." Tatel's opinion on the matter is crucial, both because of his status as an independent, nonpartisan source, and because he admits to "aving carefully scrutinized voluminous classified filings," which virtually no other public figure commenting on the Plame case has had the opportunity to do. Later in his ruling, as MSNBC analyst Lawrence O'Donnell notes, Tatel "says he 'might have' let Cooper and Miller off the hook 'ere the leak at issue in this case less harmful to national security.'" And Tatel's colleagues are "at least as impressed with the prosecutor's secret filings as he is. One simply said 'Special Counsel's showing decides the case.'"

PLAME WASN'T THE ONLY VICTIM OF ROVE'S LEAK: In late 2003, the Washington Post revealed that Plame's outing had "also exposed the identity of a CIA front company," and so might "have damaged U.S. national security to a much greater extent than generally realized." One former high-level agency official said the front firm was "apparently also was used by other CIA officers whose work now could be at risk," meaning that "once Plame's job as an undercover operative was revealed, other agency secrets could be unraveled and her sources might be compromised or endangered." A former diplomat warned the Post that "every foreign intelligence service would run Plame's name through its databases within hours of its publication to determine if she had visited their country and to reconstruct her activities." The exposure of the front firm forced the CIA's Directorate of Operations to conduct an "extensive damage assessment," though its results have never been released.

DESTROYING A TWENTY-YEAR CAREER: Valerie Plame spent most of her adult life in the CIA, joining "shortly after graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in journalism." Retired agency officer Larry Johnson, who trained with Plame when both entered the CIA in the mid-1980s, explains that " few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed." Clandestine service officers working under such cover "are considered to hold the most sensitive and vulnerable jobs in intelligence," the New York Times reports. And training those agents "costs millions of dollars and requires the time-consuming establishment of elaborate fictions, called 'legends,' including in this case the creation of a CIA front company that helped lend plausibility to her trips overseas." "This situation has been very hard on her, professionally and personally," said Melissa Boyle Mahle, a former C.I.A. case officer and a friend of Plame, told the Times. "Not only have you removed from the playing field a very knowledgeable counterproliferation officer at a time when we really need her services. But before this she was on a fast track as a candidate for senior management at the agency. With something like this, her career will never recover." And the assault continues to this day. Larry Johnson notes that as "operatives fan out on the airwaves in an unrelenting assault on character and reputation, ...Valerie, who is still a full time employee of the CIA, is not allowed to defend herself."........
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skip fox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:09 PM
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1. "Does turd blossom float?" --Randi Rhodes
It seems like the more we know, the more likely that there will be multiple indictments for "high administration officials" in Fitzgerald's final report including at least two for Rove. (If not indictments, we'll have notifications of non-indictable wrongful activities--or some such--in the prosecutor's final report).

I say this because in learning about multiple leakers for the six reported contacts and multiple confirming sources, it becomes apparent what occurred. One administrative official discovered the Plame-Wilson-Niger relationship, took it to the White House Iraq Group, turned it over to Rove, who on the spot assigned tasks to different primary leakers/sources assuring no source called another source's contact (so as not to appear too eager), that no source's "pitch" was exactly the same but that their information was all given in an "off hand" manner (e.g., "Don't go too far out on this Wilson thing, I don't want you burnt").

Simply "doing the numbers" has told me this all along, but as new information comes out my analysis is being confirmed. We knew there were at least 6 initial leaks/contacts. Now we know that there were at least three different initial leakers (Fleicher Rove, Libby) and of the 6 reporters 4 are confirmed as Miller, Novak, Cooper, and Pincus. We also realize that there must have been a number of other confirming sources (because you cannot assure who the reporter will call for confirmation).

A master-mind would have been necessary to coordinate all these calls by different people AND would have to insure that a number of other officials were ready and willing to confirm the initial leaks.

They would have gone to Rove immediately and he, probably in an emergency of the White House Iraq Group, assigned the roles, the stories and the stances, etc.

So he not only leaked by was the mastermind of a conspiracy to leak.

We can only hope he lead a cover-up and committed perjury as well.

But now, knowing he is either guilty of leaking, leading a conspiracy to leap, and masterminding a cover-up, not to mention perjury in the Plame case, or that he will be so damaged that he'll have to leave the administration, Rove is masterfully manipulating the story to do as little political damage as possible and to stay on as long as possible. Getting Roberts on the front-burner as fast as he and W. did was a way to bury the story for a time. Unless other facts, memos, leaks about leaking come forward, the story won't re-emerge until the prosecutor's indictments or report. The Friday before that action, Rove can quietly clean out his drawers before the afternoon announcement.

Ironically, the methods that brought him to fame, too injudiciously applied brought him down. Now he uses them to prolong and fashion his departure.

What can change this? Little, it seems, without new facts coming to light.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Maybe the floater will sink
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. also recall that Rove 'forget' to memtion to Fitz that he talked to Cooper
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