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Who burned Valerie Plame?

Valerie Plame CIA leak 2003

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#21 schoolpsycho

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 02:48 AM

Hi, Rov.

Bigger Story? I dunno. They both need focus. But this one is especially disturbing, since it involves an administration's credibility, yet again, over the same war, yet again.

And, I would be hasty and impatient. This started 2 months ago; I'd hope they were doing everything finding out; I would be, if only because she may have been on to something bigger than 9/11, or could know someone who is. She was outed. How many more? Agents? Contacts? Government Officials? Yes, we don't know who, but we know somebody did.

Everyone on all sides is ruthless and playing for keeps here; that's my impression. Who knows what she knew about what, and when? And what we've lost is time, because not only do we have to plug the leak, evildoers have more time to plot and plan, here and elsewhere.

sp
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#22 Kevin Street

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 02:50 AM

Javert Rovinski, on Oct 1 2003, 01:15 AM, said:

Question: Why is this bigger than the Gitmo-related arrests?
That could be a big deal, too. If Airman Ahmad I. al-Halbi was sending classified stuff to terrorists, he should be prosecuted. But potential illegality in the White House is a bigger deal, because it suggests trouble at the top.

Quote

Rather than the system 'finally' correcting itself, it's starting to investigate what's largely an unknown at this point. I really don't understand the implied impatience. :Oo:

I'm just  hoping that this leads to some justice, and maybe a little sanity. Valerie Plame's career might be DOA, but if the scandal of her exposure leads to a fair investigation, it might help take the lid off of the White House, and reveal some of their dirty laundry as well. Then they might think twice before making the next blunder.

I used to believe in the American system of government, but events of the last few years have made that difficult. Now, if the system exposes its own perfidies, I'd find that very gratifying. It wouldn't make up for all that's happened, but it would make it easier to believe in America again.

Partisan, ain't I? :angel:  ;)

EDIT: Here's a column from Newsweek that takes a broader view on the scandal.

Edited by Kevin Street, 01 October 2003 - 04:19 AM.


#23 Delvo

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 12:41 AM

Novak wrote an article about this today. It's actually his first one ABOUT this, and it's a response to the so-called controversy/scandal built up around it.

One thing he does is emphasize that the thing about the "unnamed official" calling various journalists trying to find someone who'd take the leak is made up by someone else somewhere along the line. He also points out that it wasn't the real point of either the conversation in which he says this was revealed OR the article in which he passed it on; it was more of a "side comment", an anecdote mentioned as a possible factor on the question of why Wilson was assigned the Niger job (which was what Novak was really investigating). As such, he mentioned it once in the sixth paragraph of the original article.

That means someone else decided it was a big deal that needed to be the focus of its own separate stories, and that person or someone else still decided it wasn't juicy enough already and thus added the bit about the official supposedly looking around hard for someone to publicize it, which is exposed as a lie by the casual manner in which the statement was made.

So, that leaves the potential problem of info like this being revealed casually, as opposed to deliberately and nefariously. At first, I thought that itself was a problem. But Novak and many others have now pointed out that many officials and journalists in Washington already knew this anyway, which not only means that whoever this was could have figured Novak already knew, but also that it wasn't even a secret. Some people have called her an "operative" and some an "analyst", but either way, there wasn't a cover to blow... and no work to find an outlet through which to blow it... and not even anybody thinking it really mattered until after much ado was made about it as a political ploy of such exaggerated scale that even the original "exposer" felt compelled to shoot the nonsense down!

The real story here seems to turn out to be yet another case of Democrats working desperately to twist and invent facts to manufacture a scandal over nothing. Where's the beef?

:frustrated::argh: And I was hoping this might grow into something legitimate with which to replace Bush with somebody who knows the need for the war on terrorism but doesn't have the domestic policies of a Democrat in disguise (what the last President Bush turned out to be, and got fired for). If that combination exists somewhere out there, (s)he obviously won't get anywhere at all in the present Democrat party power structure, and won't get to the level of Presidential candidacy on the Republican side while there's a Republican incumbent up there without a major scandal to compel the party to replace him.

Edited by Delvo, 02 October 2003 - 12:46 AM.


#24 Rhea

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 09:22 AM

^Oh, PLEASE.  :Oo:

Novak did a big no-no and leaked the name of a CIA operative. In order to take the heat off of himself he now says that "everybody knows anyway."

Which is the equivalent of repeating a particularly scandalous piece of gossip, having the person you're hurting overhear you, and then excusing yourself on the grounds that "everybody else knows anyway."

Except in this case he outed an intelligence officer, which is a huge no-no (a felony, IIRC). Maybe a lot of people in Washington DID know, but that's no excuse for exposing her to the entire world.

Edited by Rhea, 02 October 2003 - 09:23 AM.

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#25 Norville

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 10:34 AM

Oh boy. It's never a good thing to leak the identity of a CIA operative, whether it's a field agent or mere analyst. It's a sign of the bizarre political times that suddenly it's perfectly all right that her name got leaked because "everybody knew anyway", and anyway, she's just a Democrat (or her husband is), so Demos are the only ones who have a problem with this and whoever leaked shouldn't even be punished. :wacko:

I must be extra-sensitive to the safety of intelligence operatives right around now because I'm currently a fan of the British series "MI-5" (as it's known here, though they called it "Spooks")...
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Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
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http://www.nybooks.c...s-for-survival/

#26 MuseZack

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 11:21 AM

WASHINGTON - The father of slain CIA agent Johnny "Mike" Spann said Thursday he believes an independent counsel should investigate allegations that someone in the Bush administration exposed a CIA agent's identity, calling such an act "treason."

Spann, the first American killed in Afghanistan, died in a prison uprising. His father, also named Johnny Spann, said he is still angry because he feels his son's identity and hometown were revealed before his son's family could be adequately protected.

Democrats in Congress, led by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., are calling for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate who exposed a CIA operative who is married to former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson. Wilson had accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence to exaggerate the threat posed by Iraq.

"If someone in the Bush administration leaked this, they need to be punished, and they need to be made an example of, because that's not just a leak, that's treason," Spann, of Winfield, Ala., told The Associated Press. "They should appoint an independent counsel so the American people can be sure, and let the chips fall where they may."


Yep.  No big deal, this was.
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#27 Norville

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 09:51 PM

Ah, yes, Spann, one of America's heroes. (I have an overseas friend who rudely claims that Spann got what he deserved, but then, he also believes that anyone who died in the Pentagon on 9/11 also deserved it. Gee, thanks.) I guess, because his father is objecting to the concept of an agent's identity being leaked, we can claim, as Delvo would, it's just "yet another case of Democrats working desperately to twist and invent facts to manufacture a scandal over nothing."

Wasn't there a time when we just *knew* that it was wrong to leak this sort of information, without twisting it into a political attack about how it's only a big deal because the Democrats are fussing?

(Actually, I'm not convinced that there's ever been any sense re: classified information. There was a moronic politician during WWII who bragged in public that the Japanese were setting their depth charges too shallow, so they couldn't hit our submarines effectively. Guess what happened? We lost a few more subs because the Japanese learned what was wrong with their depth charges. I've also read that some moronic politician in modern times bragged in public that we could tap into Osama bin Laden's satellite phone calls and track him that way. So much for that...)
"The dew has fallen with a particularly sickening thud this morning."
- Marvin the Paranoid Android, "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"

Rules for Surviving an Autocracy
Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
http://www.nybooks.c...s-for-survival/

#28 Delvo

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 10:03 PM

Rhea, on Oct 2 2003, 08:22 AM, said:

Novak did a big no-no and leaked the name of a CIA operative. In order to take the heat off of himself he now says that "everybody knows anyway."
Interesting... you just pointed out that Novak himself actually published the information, not just the supposed Administration official... and yet the press is concerned about the latter only...

Anyway, his own butt-covering doesn't explain the other people who say the same thing.

Quote

Which is the equivalent of repeating a particularly scandalous piece of gossip, having the person you're hurting overhear you, and then excusing yourself on the grounds that "everybody else knows anyway."
Not the same thing. You're talking about something that was supposed to be a secret, getting betrayed. But this was never a secret; that's WHY so many others already knew and took it casually as common knowledge among such political insiders and followers as themselves, their colleagues, and the press corps that reports on them. They knew, and just didn't care, because it wasn't a big deal, and somebody in control of the information had LET them know a long time ago when it was not a political issue but a minor human-interest footnote. That's not a secret.

#29 MuseZack

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 10:25 PM

Delvo, on Oct 3 2003, 03:03 AM, said:

But this was never a secret; that's WHY so many others already knew and took it casually as common knowledge among such political insiders and followers as themselves, their colleagues, and the press corps that reports on them. They knew, and just didn't care, because it wasn't a big deal, and somebody in control of the information had LET them know a long time ago when it was not a political issue but a minor human-interest footnote. That's not a secret.
Um, no.  It was a secret, as indicated by the fact that the CIA punted the matter to Justice.  The only people using the "everybody knew" excuse are Novak himself (whose constant self-contradictions are getting hard to keep track of) and Clifford May, a National Review writer who's also linked into the same neoconservative network that sold us the Iraq war to begin with.  And he claims that he heard it from one person; hardly indicative of something that was "widely known."
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin



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