Jeff Gannon, INR Memo, Republicans on Sen. Intelligence Committee - TIED?
I keep repeating myself, but I have to say, once again, that Jeff Gannon (aka James Guckert) came into focus at a most interesting time - right around the time of the Rove/Libby/Hadley cooperative effort to "CYA" on the 16 words and the Niger story.
I repeat two pertinent questions I had asked last February:
How did Gannon get this information from the INR report? Why did no other reporter have access to it?
I will also repeat:
I would hate to even suspect that any of the fine Senators on the Intelligence Committee (listed at bottom of original post) would have cooperated in any activity, intentional or unintentional, which involved slipping internal information to Jeff Gannon/JD Guckert for the purpose of partisan gain.
Sometimes people get carried away, and although I would hope it would not be true, I just don't know these days. We know now that we can't trust the White House - but what about the partisans in the House and Senate? We know there are plenty. How can we avoid suspicion that they may havce been ill-used by the White House, at best?
"Rove/Libby have made sure that we are going to lose the "war" on terrorism by outing a CIA agent to further an agenda to go to war and then covering it up. Agents around the world are never going to trust us again at the very time when we need thier info the most."
At Americablog, readers are extremely disappointed in comments made by Sen. John McCain about Plamegate. They expected something less partisan, less divisive, and directed toward America's security interests. Read the comments at this link.
McCain appeared on MSNBCs Hardball last night - and another comment has been made at TPM Cafe by "Olden Golden Decoy" about the ridiculous thing McCain had said on the show:
When Matthews hit McCain with the fact that Rove most likely directed some really slimy dirty tricks against him and his family back during the primaries - McCain rolled over and literally turned into a proverbial pile of gutlessness by waving and blubbering it all off to "politics are like that" and "we (McCains election team) did some real dirty things too.
Capitol Hill Joint Session Hearing on Plame - CIA on the Leaks A Brief Summary Note: Partial Transcripts are available at democrats.reform.house. WaPo - Ex-CIA Officers Rip Bush Over Rove Leak
This morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer called on Andrew Card for a new offical White House investigation into the outing of Valerie Plame (since the first one didn't turn out so truthful) and said that Rove and Libby should have their security clearance pulled, in light of the latest developments in the NYT.
Rep. Henry Waxman claims he was misled on reasons the President was giving for his vote on the Iraq resolution. Waxman says the Republicans in Congress have refused to allow an investigation in Congress, and that's why the meeting is taking place where it is today, with Democrats alone. He said, in order to make war in Iraq, the truth was sacrificed by the White House, and American troops are being sacrificed, and America's security is sacrificed. (Who wins when there is no love of country or support for troops or intent to protect America? You've got it - Republicans win].
Rep. John Conyers said that the President should require that deputy chief of staff Rove should either come forward immediately and explain his role in the Plame outing - or resign.
Rush Holt proclaimed that "Nobody died at Watergate, but over 1700 sons and daughters of America have died on the sands of Iraq." Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson deserved better from the President and his administration. They took on "the wrong fellow" when they took on Joseph Wilson. The President owes America three things: 1. No excuses, 2. Candor and truth 3. He owes all covert operatives his assertive command to find who's responsible and punish them. The President is hiding behind this investigation. America deserves better.
Col. Patrick Lang was the first witness. He said he feels strongly about this case because of the structural assult on the ability of the clandestine services of the United States. You must have intelligence to prevent terror attacks. Why would anyone in the White House do anything to compromise this almost sacramental trust? (As a Catholic, Lang says he understands the fullness of the meaning of what he's saying here). Betrayal of identity has effected the CIA "like a rock on water" - it ripples out - CIA recruitment, especially overseas, is affected negatively because the recruits no longer believe their superiors will fight, and be able to fight effectively, to protect their identities. The KGB never gave up an agent - they would work forever because they knew, if word got out about a betrayal, recruitment would fall because of lack of trust. No one should give anyone up in this line of work. Trust is everything. It takes forever to get trust back once you've lost it.
Larry Johnson [ see entire testimony at DC Media Girl ]said that President Bush failed to follow his oath to uphold the Constitution when he failed to put a stop to these attacks upon Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson. The fact that Bush allows these attacks to continue to this day - and it's a "group of bullies" doing it - is not presidential. Valerie Plame and Larry Johnson were classmates in the CIA trainee program - and they were undercover from that day forward. When Plame's name was released he was taken by surprise - even internally, he'd only know her as "Valerie P." No one had asked him to come and defend Valerie Plame today. He wanted to do it. Regardless of the fact that Plame had gone from official cover to non-official cover status in the CIA, your name is always promised to remain under cover. The RNC and government representatives such as Peter King/Roy Blount/Orrin Hatch are perpetuating mistruths about how this outing of Valerie Plame is not relevant....and he will not stand for the misleading. It's reprehensible. "Desk jockey" is a term that he sees as gross ignorance, on their part, in their talking points, and he can't believe that they can't understand how "the system" works. Cover is cover. About Plame "sending her husbad to Niger": He's MYSTIFIED as to how a to low-level officer could discern what the White House wanted so she could devise a scheme, all on her own, to embarrass the administration a year and a half later. It's a preposterous premise - not at all a credible story and certainly not an excuse. In truth, Plame had received a request to ask about her husband's availability to go. She fired back a memo in reply, and that's the only one that has gotten negative attention in teh press. Johnson had voted for Bush Sr. in 1992. He'd hoped he would bring new ethical standards to Washington. Now, we see Rove and Libby being involved in savaging the good reputations of Joe and Valerie in the younger Bush's administration, and the current President Bush refuses to put a stop to any of it. That speaks volumes. Now, Johnson says he expects a parsing of what the meaning of "leak" is. The White House should forward the example of the idea that, while at war with Jidhadists, for truth's sake, our expectation should certainly be that we would not attempt to savage OUR OWN.
Attorney James Marcinkowsi asked: CAN YOU EVER RECOVER FROM THE LOSS OF TRUST? That is at the heart of this issue. What is undisputed is this fact: this leak has irreparably damaged the CIA's ability to collect intelligence, thus the ability to protect the American people. THIS IS NOT PARTISAN POLITICS. The White House has played hide and seek with the truth. Exposure of "cover", in and of itself, is destructive, regardless of an agent's status in the CIA. The American people understand that fact, regardless of the sad truth that that partisans are calling Valerie Plame a "desk jockey". Regardless of the degree of their cover status, cover is used to protect innocent CIA people and CIA methodologies. Cover is safety. When you betray it, you lose that person working for you, and future recruits, and the credibility of case officers overseas, and the safety you may have been able to guarantee the cover agent. An agent asks their trusted superiors, "Can you protect me if I do this for you?" - all legal aspects aside. Their lives are on the line while discharging their duty and trust is key to safety and success. Overseas, people know about this story and our chances for recruiting someone overseas is diminished because that recruit asks himself if he will be the next one to be betrayed. White House non-responsibilty says "we don't care," which leads to loss of agents, which leads to loss of information, which leads to loss of protection for the American people..it that simple.
Robert Baer was a new witness who had offered his testimony. His name wasn't on the letter to Congress signed by the other eleven witnesses.
Note - there was plenty of live-blogging going on at Daily Kos this morning.
Rove/Libby Stories Don't Jibe with Reporters' Versions
Richard Keil at Bloomberg has been doing some commendable work on Plamegate reporting. This is what he has for us today - from unnamed sources; people familiar with the case:
- Karl Rove told Patrick Fitzgerald that he first learned the identity of the CIA agent from syndicated columnist Bob Novak. Novak, has given a different version to Fitzgerald. There also is a discrepancy between accounts given by Rove and Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper.
- "Scooter" Libby told Fitzgerald that he first learned from NBC News reporter Tim Russert of Plame's identity. Russert has testified before a federal grand jury that he didn't tell Libby of Plame's identity.
This is not been reprted before, so I wanted to point it out. Apparently, Libby and Rove were trying very hard to cover the administration's misleading 16 words after Joe Wilson's column came out on July 6. There was e-mail between Libby and Rove regarding George Tenet's proposed draft to explain how the 16 words got into the SOTU address. Allegedly, they were coordinating with Stephen J. Hadley to come up with the official White House storyline [and deciding how best to destroy Joe Wilson's family, if you ask me].
This is from today's NY Times. David Johnston writes:
People who have been briefed on the case said the White House officials, Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby, were helping prepare what became the administration's primary response to criticism that a flawed phrase about the nuclear materials in Africa had been in Mr. Bush's State of the Union address six months earlier. They had exchanged e-mail correspondence and drafts of a proposed statement by George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, to explain how the disputed wording had gotten into the address. Mr. Rove, the president's political strategist, and Mr. Libby, the chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, coordinated their efforts with Stephen J. Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser, who was in turn consulting with Mr. Tenet...The work done by Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby on the Tenet statement during this intense period has not been previously disclosed...
I know very little about President Bush's nominee John Roberts, and I won't pretend that I do. Frankly, I'd never heard of him before Tuesday night. John Edwards has a statement about the nominee at the One America website.