Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Clear As Mud

"As clear as an unmuddied lake, Sir. As clear as an azure sky of deepest summer. You can rely on me, Sir.” --Alex De Large (Main character and humble narrator of “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess)

Initially, I held off in commenting on the circus involving Judith Miller because it’s all just too confusing. I was waiting for things to become clear before weighing in on it, but it seems that it may never get any more clear.

I realize that I don’t have any legal background. I don’t have a Law degree, but I am pretty certain that there has to be a crime before indictments can be brought.

Plame wasn't even covert, and you have to have been covert within the last five years in order for it to be against the law to reveal an operative‘s identity. There's a six-year period of time we're talking about here between the last time she was covert and when her identity came out.
A covert CIA agent having lunch, in public.

John Podheretz said:

“I hope some day somebody writes all this down, because the whole story is unbelievable. Miller never writes a story about Plamegate, but insists she must keep her sources secret, even though the name of her primary source, Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby, has long since been a matter of public record -- and has publicly released her from her pledge of anonymity. She decides to go to jail to protect the principle of source anonymity, and is only weeks away from being sprung (because the grand jury she was refusing to talk to will go out of business in October) before she abandons her stand on principle and decides to talk. And all this in relation to a matter that may well not have been a crime to begin with. Weird wacko crazy bananas.”

Miller’s notes contain a reference to a “Valerie Flame” but she says that name did not come from Scooter Libby, and she said the name came from “another source” but she can’t recall who that source could be. A few days later, a variant of Valerie Wilson, --Victoria Wilson-- appears in Miller’s notes. Mrs. Miller had called “other sources” about Mr. Wilson’s wife, but she did not say with whom she spoke.

Miller didn't get a non-covert CIA operative's name from Scooter Libby. She might have gotten it from Karl Rove, but she can't recall. No one knows if she even spoke to Rove. So why did she go to jail again?

Rove and Libby both say they got Plame's name from reporters, But no one can find any indication anywhere that Rove ever mentioned Joe Wilson's wife by name, but that doesn't matter because just mentioning that Wilson's wife works at the CIA is enough to get indicted by the New York Times, if not by a grand jury. Except that outing a CIA employee who is no longer covert isn't illegal.

Whew! Bring in the clowns now, the dog and pony show is over.

Do I have all that straight now? Who knows?

It seems the only thing that we know for sure is the fact that we don’t know anything for sure.

See? Clear as Mud.


The Boo Man said...

god you're stupid.

1st, forget the 1982 law, because it is not anywhere stated as the only law that Fitz should investigate.

2nd, when Plame was outed it revealed her cover company, and all her sources. When an operative moves from NOC to OC, they have to go thru a careful process to keep all the CIA's sources, front-companies, and agents safe.

So it doesn't matter how recently she was stationed overseas, it matters that our national security was compromised and our employees and agents were endangered.


Sheila said...

Boo Man is Rude,

Whether or not Mr.s WIlson was outed intentionally or not is one of the leading questions and why Fitzgerald is taking his time. A very serious crime.

As far as Plame. She had been covert for 20 years as Plame not Wilson. Photos in a restaurant in her capacity as his wife is irrelivant. She had been a major factor in a corporation that "was" a blanket operation for the CIA. All of the agents who worked there and ALL of the foriegn nationals who used the corporation were outed when her real name was linked with her maiden name. These people were put in mortal jeapardy and the CIA's efforts was put back 20 years.

Judith Miller is a question mark. The general believe in a nutshell, is that she used her status as a journalist to forward the Administrations agenda to smear Wilson. her integrity and ethical standing as a journalist is in jeapardy on many fronts. Least of which is acting as a lone gun with this case instead of working with her editors and then putting the newspaper in jeapardy. Even when she was told to back off the story two years ago. Something smells not quite right and so Special Prosecuter is investigating.

Mark said...

As I indicated, The whole thing is confusing to me. I may be at times uninformed but I'm not stupid.

I went to some web sites and read several articles about this thing, and I came out of it just as confused as I went in. The problem in this case is that all the various reporters and commentators see this story in light of their own bias. Left and right. Consequently, there are different views on the same story. And I don't want to make this too long a post, so I tried to encapsulate what I see as the main points, although there are many more points that perhaps should be addressed as well. I just don't seem to have the patiemce to delve in depth today. Here is a particuarly lucid comment on the Judy Miller story which I found well after i wrote this post:

Mark said...

I am going to assume that boo man is a covert CIA operative himself, since he is an expert on what a covert operative is and since he has been a member of blogger since January, and has yet to post a single word on his own blog.

So now he is outed too. Arrest me.

Anonymous said...

You just want to be handcuffed and told to spread them.

Daffy76 said...

I lost all respect for boo-man when he called you a moron. Thank you Sheila for your civility.

Anyone who reads this blog should know by now, whether or not you agree with Mark--he is not stupid.

As to this whole mixed-up mess--my head is just spinning. I can't make heads or tails of any of it. I can only hope the truth will come to light and that any wrong doing will be justly punished.

Patriot said...

It makes no sense because the spinmasters have been at it. They should arrest the whole Godless lot in Washington and let them simmer for a while in jail. But that won't happen. The ACLU would spring them right away!

Get Out Of My Country You Jesus Freaks said...

Mark I urge you to research this a little more ....

Judith Miller a rightwing journo who tows the party lies at the NYT...

Scooter Libby a Cheney Advisor told by Karl Rove about Plames ID...

Cheney told Scooter of said Identity when He was told by one George Tenant who resigned when he knew what trouble he was in....

Sheila said...

Hey mark,

The jist is this; There is a question of the Espionage Act. Did White House, CIA, State, or others by outing Plame, intentionally or otherwise break that rule. Now this "ACT" is not the one that they started with origionally. The Espionage Act is a catch all for even unintentional acts that put our coverts and undercover friends in harms way.

The rest is possible conspiracy and perjury commited during this two year investigation by Fitzgerald AKA Special Prosecuter. Cheney, Libby, Rove, Novak, Miller, and a host of other more junior staff at the WH, CIA, and State have been under investigation.

Fitz is what is called a boy scout. He's straighter and more honest than we've seen since I guess, Elliot Ness. So, the MSM can't get even a peep of leak from his office.

It's driving even the WH crazy. I hope I've updated you in a simple way. If you have more clarifications, I bet everyone has a take. I'm sure you'll get the rest.

rich bachelor said...

I have the same question as Mark though; why did Judith Miller serve time, again? Was that the opening salvo in the investigation, and she wouldn't cooperate?

Sheila said...

Judith Miller went to jail for contempt. She didn't want to out her source who turned out to be Scooter Libby. Protectin confidential sources was the journalistic ethics in question. Libby eventually called her at the jail and gave her permission to testify.

That wasn't the opening salvo. The opening one was when Atty Gen Ashcroft hired Fitzgerald to investigate the WH just before he resigned....THAT caught MY attention.
What finally got the attention of the whole nation focus's on this investigation was Miller and Cooper. I myself have been watching it for the last two years. So, the information was out there.

The bloggers were the first noise makers of this case.

Sheila said...

By the way Mark and company,

I double checked this one. Plame was actively covert for 20 years. She was what's called a "NOC". Noc's don't need overseas exposure to be covert. They take a long time to train, and don't necesarily activily live in the country they are managing out of.....go figure. Not sure of the accronym.
Her company was a bogus one called.The Brewster Jennings Association. A so called energy consulting firm that was based out of the Middle East. There is some indication that up to 20 coverts from the US were outed and are now useless. Countless Foriegn Friends of the US are or were in danger or have been "Closed Down".

So you can see, this was not just politics. Thought this tidbit of declassified information might shed some light on the sitch.

tugboatcapn said...

Sheila, are you referring to the "Espionage Act" that was passed in 1938, and makes reference to prosecuting people who expose the location of Telegraph stations and Ship yards?

Why does it not register with anyone that if you had walked into the building where Plame worked at the time when she was supposedly "outed", and asked if she worked for the CYA, They would have told you "Yes."

This whole thing started when Wilson and Plame came up with a scheme to make an end run around the White House and go to Niger, for the purpose of undermining the War Effort, and when that fell through and they were exposed as liars, they started screaming that she was "outed", even though she was no longer covert, IN ORDER TO START THIS WHOLE CONVOLUTED MESS.

I really do hope that indictments are handed down.
I really do.
I just hope that they indict the right people.

Sheila said...


You'll have to ask Mr. Fitzgerald about "The Espionage Act." There is the one that B-41 enacted that deals with presise dirty dealings and this one that is being considered is apparently the "Catch All". The only thing I can compare it to is the UCMJ regulation 134 that can get you for anything else the military deems is not right. That's the only way I can describe it. I haven't found it on the web yet.

I think we all have to get away from the he said she said or the who did it first screaming match. The real seriousness is not who caused what. It's did these very important, very well educated, very thoroughly brief men in the WH and other places, cause a national security breach. That is the real question.

If they didn't so be it. If they did, well we wouldn't want anyone to get away with putting our national security in jeapardy no matter who they are would we?

I personally hope not. Bad for our nation. But if they did, examples need to be made to ensure Classified information is protected at the highest level.

tugboatcapn said...

And I agree whole-heartedly with that.

It's just that this whole sordid mess looks to me like it was stirred up from nothing by the Wilson's and the mainstream media in order to criminalize the Bush Administration.

The more I learn about it, the more it looks that way to me.

tugboatcapn said...

Don't get me wrong.

I have absolutely no patience with corruption in Government, and I believe that there is plenty of it there.

I just don't believe that this case is all that it has been hyped up to be.