Skip to comments.Payback Time [Wilson/Plame CIA-WH-FBI Saga]
Posted on 09/30/2003 5:59:49 PM PDT by AntiGuv
The burgeoning flap over the leaking to the press of the name of a CIA agent - a clear and serious violation of federal law - is a serious, serious legal and political problem for the Bush White House.
Let us explore the numerous implications:
1) The facts: In July two high level White House aides called at least six DC reporters - one of whom was Robert Novak - to 'slime' whistle-blowing former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, by revealing that she, Valeria Plame, is a CIA agent.
2) The CIA is furious over the 'politicization' of the identity of one of their agents. CIA Director George Tenet has asked the Department of Justice to investigate and bring criminal charges.
3) Former Ambassador Wilson - once appointed by the first President Bush and the last US Ambassador to meet with Saddam before the 1990 invasion of Kuwait - believes it was G.W. Bush's closest political advisor, Karl Rove, who either made or authorized the 'sliming' phone calls. Wilson is so angry over this lawbreaking that he has called for Rove to be arrested and "frog marched out of the White House in handcuffs."
4) The Bush White House was angry at Wilson for writing a July 1, 2003 op-ed piece in the New York Times explaining his Administration-authorized investigation into the 'Saddam tries to buys uranium from Niger' story. After shooting down that tale, Wilson was shocked to see the President make the same claim in this year's State of the Union speech.
5) Now, here is a key question: who in the White House was so angry with Wilson for 'blowing the whistle' that they authorized these six phone calls? Certainly no one can believe that low-level aides would even know that Plame was a CIA agent let alone feel free to have a concerted 'leaking campaign.'
6) Clearly whoever orchestrated this anti-Wilson campaign was looking for payback - payback for having the temerity to challenge the veracity of the President of the United States. But their anger took them over the edge into lawbreaking. Who in this disciplined, top-down, well oiled White House would read Wilson's op-ed and slam his fist down on the desk and proclaim, "That bastard is going to pay! What do we have on him? Let's get it out there!"
7) Whoever authorized the Plame leak could possibly go to jail for this willful act of lawbreaking. And those who actually called the six reporters could also go to jail - unless they cop a plea and rat out others.
8) Preliminary reports are that there is a great dissension inside the White House staff over this leak. Many are described as 'disgusted' at the outing of Ms. Plame.
9) There is still the question of whether or not the Ashcroft Justice Department will honestly investigate the Bush White House. Already Capitol Hill Democrats are calling for an Independent Counsel to do this investigation. But that law expired and has not been renewed.
10) Meanwhile over at the Langley HQ of the CIA, there is much disgust over the way they are always made the scapegoats by this White House. After all, CIA Director Tenet had kept the African uranium tale out of the Cincinnati speech last October that helped escalate the case for a pre-emptive war against Iraq. But if heads don't roll over the Plame leak, you can bet that CIA will leak things of their own about the Bush White House.
11) Leaking and blackmail have always been a part of governing inside the Beltway. But it has been one of this Administration's unexplained curiosities why President Bush has kept Clinton's CIA Director - especially after so many massive intelligence failures: 9/11; our failure to get Osama; our failure to prove the existence of WMD before the war; our failure to get Saddam; and our failure to find WMD in the six months since the end of the war.
12) Many have wondered if Tenet has 'something' on the Bushes. Now many more are wondering who made those six phone calls - and who authorized them?
13) We need to reverse things: if the Clinton White House had sold out an active-duty CIA agent as 'payback' for some whistle-blowing article, we would be outraged. This crime is no less serious because it was done in a Republican White House.
14) Long ago, in a piece entitled "Bush's Achilles Heel," I wrote that this Bush's weakness was the entire mystery, secrecy and sometimes-illegality of the intelligence community. This Plame leak now threatens to become a huge story - involving lawbreaking, revenge, abuse of power and the inevitable cover-up. Plus the 10 Democrats running for President and the media are going to have a field day with it.
15) Yep, 'tis true: payback is a bitch.
Wilson is a liar--
He gave detailed interviews about the Iraq war well before the war in which he said not a word about the alleged "fraudulence" of the Niger claims.
His own bio at the Middle east Institute names his wife: if anyone knew she worked for CIA, then she was "outed" by Wilson himself in 2002.
Novak denies anyone identified the wife to him
More horses--- for the dem spin machine.
The culprit can be found at the above link..
FR always has the answer to most anything sinister....
I couldn't get past #1 because he has his FACTS wrong. NO high level, low level or middle of the bell curve White House anybodies called Robert Novak and nobody called any other reporter until Novak burned, if thats what he did, Mrs Wilson.
Back it up.
OK, yeah, I'm whining. I'll try reading the article. It's Newsmax, so it's probably pretty good.
Not to mention an attempt to make the Repubs look bad just in time for the recall.
Did we really think there would NOT be a so-called Repub scandal one week before Davis is to be voted out? Hillary-strategy-prints all over this.
I only skimmed swiftly after point number one. Never start an article off by stating a rumor as fact.
"What do you mean, 'the leaker was a Democrat'. Lie damn you
the California recall is next week."
"In July two high level White House aides called at least six DC reporters - one of whom was Robert Novak..."
Robert Novak, on CNN's Crossfire:
"Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this. There is no great crime here."
"They asked me not to use her name, but never indicated it would endanger her or anybody else. According to a confidential source at the CIA, Mrs. Wilson was an analyst, not a spy, not a covert operative and not in charge of undercover operators."
Not that the agenda-types in wither wingnut gallery will listen to Novak now that he's served their purpose. But just to set the record straight. I knew Plamer worked for eh CIA before the Novak story too. So did a lot of people. It wasn't a secret.
"In one speech I gave out in Seattle not too long ago, I mentioned the name Karl Rove. I think I was probably carried away by the spirit of the moment.
"I don't have any knowledge that Karl Rove himself was either the leaker or the authorizer of the leak."
Not that anyone will listen to HIM either, though he's so much like Scott Ritter he changes positions as often as he breathes.
If he did and he has the audacity to point his bloody finger with these specious allegations at our honorable President Bush, then I hope to God that the DOJ opens every door, every window, every crevice into which this Joe Wilson has ever been.
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