Thursday, July 21, 2005

CSPAN to Broadcast Hearing on Public Disclosure of Covert Agents

CSPAN to Broadcast Hearing on Public Disclosure of Covert Agents

Ex-CIA Larry Johnson has written a memo about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Ray McGovern and others, all related to CIA, have signed on. (Thanks to Josh Marshall for posting it).

See Light Up the Darkness for information on a joint hearing on Friday, with the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) and the U.S. House Government Reform Committee Minority, to “to examine the national security implications of disclosing the identity of a covert intelligence officer”. The hearing will be co-chaired by Senate DPC Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND), and U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA). Former intelligence officers and analysts will discuss the impact of such disclosures.

WHEN: 10:00 AM, Friday, July 22, 2005
WHERE: Room 138 - Dirksen Senate Office Building, United States Senate, Washington, D.C.

At Kos, they've been appealing to CSPAN (politely) to cover the hearing.

CSPAN has responded positively, scheduling the airing of the live meeting on CSPAN3.

This will be the link for the LIVE broadcast online. Thanks to CSPAN for listening.

SEE BOSTON GLOBE - Ex-CIA officers rap Plame leak


Conservative media who lie for a hoped-for effect (see Donald Lambro's latest willing cooperation with RNC) are, in reality, sheltering a party and an ideology - national security be damned. I think we should be exposing these liars at every turn. Don't allow to lie and crawl back under their rocks. Expose them to the light of day - send your tips to MEDIA MATTERS.

John Fund, Ken Mehlman, Mark Steyn, and others have falsely claimed that Wilson said his wife was not a clandestine agent, and the effects are showing in rightwing "news" made by either gullible sorts or partisans who just don't care what's true anymore.

Joe Gandelman has a blogpost that means a lot, because Joe has been a professional journalist for many years. He talks about an interesting Editor and Publisher article having to do, in part, with Judith Miller and her "source". Bottom line, Sam Smith, a professor of Journalism at St Bomaventure University says:
From where I sit, Miller went to jail not to protect the name of a source, but to protect the name of a former source who may be a felon. I share the concerns of journalists across the country. The press is under attack, and it's a war that must be won. But this isn't very good terrain from which to launch a counter-attack.

John Aravosis reports that the White House press corps went for McLellan hard today. He has a partial transcript.

Cottage Industry: "Homegrown Terror Suspects"

Cottage Industry: "Homegrown Terror Suspects"

I heard a newsperson on CNN using the term "homegrown suspects" in connection with this morning's latest London terrorist bombings. Terror is a cottage industry now, apparently. Hate is manufactured by world leaders who create bogus reasons for war; for occupying foreign nations; risking a soldier's life for profit. Hate is distributed by world leaders as the most necessary product to keep the cottage industry's main product, known as "Fear", alive in the hearts of those who forget that fearless freedom and honest democracy is the only way to compete with such a dreadful venture.

This is my initial feeling about the most recent London bombings.

The London suicide bombers from the first string of London bombings

They didn't occur in a vacuum.

Cal Thomas would tell us to retaliate by killing all of them.
Quote: "I want to kill them before they kill me...Wake up, America and Britain! The jihadists are after us."
(You go ahead and decide who "all of them" should be - I think Cal Thomas has succumbed to fear. Not only that - he's terribly conflicted about Blair.)

Tom Tancredo would tell you to bomb Mecca in a cry for revenge. He sounds like a frightened child.

Tony Blair may have contributed to the worst lie ever told to the people of the world in order to begin the most unfortunate pre-emptive and immoral attack ever made upon a people, yet he is trying - I hear him trying - to remain calm and brave in the face of the cottage industry he realizes he has helped to be a BOOMING success. (pun intended)

It's speculation only, but I happen to think he's sorry for the part he played in the Iraq War. Great Britain's leader may be taking the coveted spot of "Leader of the Free World", in the absence of any honest leadership from George W. Bush. Mr. Bush has lost his crown by playing directly into the "Cottage Industry" - he has helped to produce "homegrown suspects." The Bush administration has employed the deliberately misleading and destructive rhetoric which produce the by-products most favored by Osama bin Laden: Fear and Terror. Worse, President George W.Bush has never once indicated that he has any plan to change his course, which can only mean that he wants to continue in this wrong-minded way, which was begun by a tangled web of lies.

Bush won't learn. Tony Blair might. Not because he was "cowed" by the homegrown terrorists of the new "cottage industry", but because he's learned from his mistakes, and his rhetoric shows it.

Our only way out of this has to be found TOGETHER, as a world community. Trust will be required. Humility will be required of world leaders in the 21st Century. Fearless freedom and honest democracy should be the new "big business" that kicks the ass of the wicked Cottage Industry in which the radicals of rightwing America have studied and participated.

I don't love terror. I do not revel in its black effect upon my fellow man. I invite all people in this world to understand that we have been made front-line soldiers in a war for our own personal freedom and security. If we want true freedom and democracy, we must call upon our governments for openness, honesty, and cooperation with us - we must take the reins and become responsible for our own freedom. Regardless of what you think of NY Times columnist Tom Friedman, he is absolutely correct in telling you that "the world is flat." We shall never revisit the 20th Century. As business and technology has changed, making the world the smallest it's ever been - - making your fellow man in India "your next-door neighbor" -- methods of making war have changed. More than ever before, we are more responsible, as individuals, for our own destiny. This includes our personal freedom and security.

The 21st Century demands us to act on our own behalf. If we want a better society, we must individually act to make it happen. (Note - I'm not advocating any form of anarchist behavior by saying this).

In this new "flat" world, we must expect (and ensure) that our leaders will respond to our needs. When we see "Support the Troops" ribbons on the bumpers of vehicles, we must think about it a new way. WE are troops now, along with the classic military soldiers. We are not in possession of heavy artillery. To defend our individual freedoms, we only have weapons of positive mass production from which to choose. Our lives have been put on the line by both the terrorists and our leaders. In America, this is particularly concerning, because our leaders are supposed to be speaking FOR us - not against us.

In 2005, we must decide: Are we going to take responsibility for our own freedom, or are we going to leave it in the hands of leaders who are speaking for us with hate and misleading? If elected leaders cannot learn from their dreadful mistakes, and if they give an appearance of wanting to continue down the same unsuccessful path, they must be discounted as real leaders.

Note - Joe Gandelman has a lot of good links on the most recent bombings at the Moderate Voice.

Plamegate is Front Page News Today

Plamegate is Front Page News Today

The front page of the Washington Post is adorned with a story about the State memo, which was being passed around top-level White House players on Air Force One like a bag of chips in July 2003.

Not only was the memo marked "S" for "secret", it included Valerie's last name - Plame.
From WaPo:

A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to a source who described the memo to The Washington Post.

The paragraph identifying her as the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was clearly marked to show that it contained classified material at the "secret" level, two sources said. The CIA classifies as "secret" the names of officers whose identities are covert, according to former senior agency officials.
How did Powell wind up with the memo?
The memo was drafted June 10, 2003, for Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, who asked to be brought up to date on INR's opposition to the White House view that Hussein was trying to buy uranium in Africa.

The description of Wilson's wife and her role in the Feb. 19, 2002, meeting at the CIA was considered "a footnote" in a background paragraph in the memo, according to an official who was aware of the process.

It records that the INR analyst at the meeting opposed Wilson's trip to Niger because the State Department, through other inquiries, already had disproved the allegation that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger. Attached to the INR memo were the notes taken by the senior INR analyst who attended the 2002 meeting at the CIA.

On July 6, 2003, shortly after Wilson went public on NBC's "Meet the Press" and in The Post and the New York Times discussing his trip to Niger, the INR director at the time, Carl W. Ford Jr., was asked to explain Wilson's statements for Powell, according to sources familiar with the events. [Ford] went back and reprinted the June 10 memo but changed the addressee from Grossman to Powell.
Background for those who may not have followed this closely:
..on July 6, 2003, Wilson wrote an op-ed for the New York Times entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa." He asserted, "Some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons programs was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Wilson also appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" to elaborate on the yellowcake dispute.

Later that day, Deputy Secretary of State Richard L.
Armitage called Carl W. Ford Jr., the assistant secretary for intelligence and research, at home and asked him to send a copy of the June 10 memo to Secretary of State Colin Powell, according to a former State Department official interviewed by the New York Times.

Since Powell was preparing to leave with Bush on a trip to Africa, Ford sent the memo to the White House for delivery to Powell, the former official told the Times.
[NYT, July 16, 2005]

The next day, when Bush left for Africa, Powell was carrying the memo containing the information about Plame's work for the CIA and other details about the yellowcake dispute, the Washington Post reported.

A day later, on July 8, 2003, right-wing columnist Robert Novak told Rove that he (Novak) had heard that Plame had sent Wilson on the mission to Niger..

link - Robert Parry: Rove-Bush Conspiracy Noose Tightens
I don't know who's leaking all this information to the WaPo, but I think we can safely say it isn't State-hater Joel Mowbray or God-hog Pat Robertson, who wanted to nuke Foggy Bottom (home of the State Department).

Kos thinks it's CIA. He says:
"It's the CIA. Funny how those guys don't like their covers blown."
I've made a similar observation in the past. I'd wager that Kos is right.

I'm quoting Billmon, partly because of his "diseased carcass" reference to Novak, which gave me a stomach ache from so much friggen laughter:
This leaves open the question of how the diseased carcass of Robert Novak learned Valerie Wilson's maiden name. But if Rove and company really did get their dirt from the memo, it would also seem to reduce the odds that any of them will be prosecuted under the Agee law. If Fitzgerald is going to indict anybody in the White House for the original leak (as opposed to the cover up) it seems more likely it will be a count related to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information -- up to and including espionage.
Another good tidbit from Billmon:
Patrick Fitzgerald is driving this story, not the media, and certainly not the blogosphere. If Fitzgerald has something to say (and you know all of us on the left are hoping he'll say it with indictments) he'll do it on his own time schedule. Meanwhile, the various parties involved will either keep feeding little tidbits to the press or they won't. Nothing the blogosphere does or says will affect the timing of those leaks.