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« Harvard’s Ron Kessler: Suicidal thoughts dropped after Katrina | Main | Unknown soldiers: With 38,000 Bronze Stars awarded in the Iraq war, where are the stories of heroism? »

August 29, 2006

Comments

Christopher Taylor

Sheer politics, baby. It might help President Bush, and in Hitchens' latest column you can see quotes that all but say it. They are Drumming this, to coin a phrase. They are willing to sacrifice anything to regain power, especially truth, integrity, and honor.

Neo

I wonder what happens to Ms. Flame's book deal now. She managed to finally secure a deal (the first 7 figure deal fell thru) on the same day she and Joe filed their civil right case against Cheney, Rove, Libby and 10 John Doe-s.

Frank Warner

Books like this have a momentum of their own, unimpeded by the rational laws of friction and truth.

Valerie Plame certainly will publish her book. A ghost writer will make her appear to have been the most important spy America has ever had. The book will sell millions, and Charlize Theron will play Plame in the movie.

Ghanshyam

Libby "did not acknowledge disclosing the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame to reporters." In fact, Bond testified that Libby actually denied having leaked Plame's identity or having had any knowledge of her -- this despite the fact that two reporters had already testified that he leaked Plame's identity to them. Libby's leak was an effort to set the record straight. Critics of the CIA leak case have repeatedly claimed that the indictment stems from an effort by Libby and Vice President Dick Cheney to rebut a purportedly inaccurate attack on the administration by Wilson. According to these critics, Wilson falsely accused Cheney of having sent him to Niger to investigate reports that Iraq had attempted to purchase yellowcake uranium from the African country. In fact, Wilson, in his July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed, did not say he was sent by Cheney. Rather, Wilson wrote that it was "agency officials" from the CIA who "asked if I would travel to Niger" and "check out" a "particular intelligence report" that "Cheney's office had questions about," so that CIA officials "could provide a response to the vice president's office." There is no evidence that the Plame leak compromised national security. Some media figures critical of the CIA leak case have attempted to downplay its significance by claiming that no evidence exists that the public disclosure of Plame's identity compromised national security. In fact, news reports have indicated that the CIA believed the damage caused by the leak "was serious enough to warrant an investigation" and that the subsequent disclosure of Plame's CIA front company likely put other agents' work at risk. Further, Fitzgerald stated that Plame's identity had been protected by the CIA "not just for the officer, but for the nation's security." And in their recently published book, Hubris, Corn and Newsweek investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff reported that, at the time of the leak, Plame was the chief of operations for the CIA's Joint Task Force on Iraq, which "mount[ed] espionage operations to gather information on the WMD programs Iraq might have." Fitzgerald is a partisan prosecutor. Over the course of the CIA leak investigation and the Libby trial, conservative media figures have attempted to cast Fitzgerald as a "prosecutor run amok" who is engaging in "the criminalization of politics." But Fitzgerald's background and prosecutorial record undermine the suggestion that his pursuit of Libby was politically motivated. Indeed, Fitzgerald is a Bush administration political appointee who, as U.S. attorney, has investigated high-level public officials from both parties, including former Illinois Gov. George Ryan (R), Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (D), and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D). Fitzgerald exceeded his mandate in investigating violations beyond the IIPA. The administration's defenders also have accused Fitzgerald of exceeding his original mandate. Media figures have repeatedly asserted or implied that Fitzgerald was appointed to investigate possible violations of the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA), which prohibits the knowing disclosure of the identity of a covert intelligence officer. In fact, his mandate was far broader. The Department of Justice granted Fitzgerald "plenary" authority to investigate the "alleged unauthorized disclosure" of Plame's identity. Plame's employment with the CIA was widely known. This falsehood has taken at least two forms -- that Plame's employment with the CIA was known in the Washington cocktail party circuit and that her neighbors knew that she worked for the CIA. In fact, Fitzgerald stated in the indictment of Libby that Plame's employment was classified and "was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community," a finding he reiterated at a post-verdict press conference. Moreover, as Media Matters noted, contrary to The Washington Times' assertion that "numerous neighbors were aware that she worked for the agency," none of the neighbors cited in The Times' own news reports or in other reports said that they knew before reading the Novak column that Plame worked at the CIA. Her acquaintances told reporters that they believed she worked as a private "consultant."

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