2007/03/16

Undocumented assertions vs sworn testimony

On 12 March, Charles Krauthammer wrote:

...on his essential charge as special prosecutor - find and punish who had leaked Plame's name - he had nothing. No conspiracy, no felony, no crime, not even the claim that she was a covert agent covered by the nondisclosure law.

On the same day, I responded:

The really amazing thing though, is that Krauthammer attempts the very old and very discredited tack of trying to claim that Valerie Plame Wilson was not a covert CIA agent. Very simply, the case would have gone nowhere had she not been covert. Why has the CIA not explicitly stated she was covert? Well, what does "covert" mean? It means "secret," duh! It's just really astounding that anybody at this late date could even try to push such an absurd proposition as "The fact that an agent is covert doesn't mean we can't reveal her status."

Disclosing the fact that Wilson was a covert CIA agent was indeed an "underlying crime" and yes, if it is not punished to the full extent of the law, we can expect other Bush Administration figures to be similarly careless with classified information.

And here's Valerie Plame Wilson today (16 March):

Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee. My name is Valerie Plame Wilson and I am honored to have been invited to testify under oath before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the critical issue of safeguarding classified information. I'm grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight. I've served the United States loyally and to the best of my ability as a covert operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency. I worked on behalf of the national security of our country, on behalf of the people of the United States until my name and true affiliation were exposed in the national media on July 14, 2003, after a leak by administration officials.

Note that Mrs Wilson had zero difficulties apperaring in front of Congress under oath.
Oh, and her boss in the CIA chimed in:

Apparently, Victoria Toensing still wants to argue what the meaning of "covert" is.

But according to Gen Hayden, current head of the CIA, Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA agent at the time that her name was published by Robert Novak. Rep. Henry Waxman read a prepared statement today — prepared with the express approval of the head of the CIA and reviewed therewith — that substantiated the fact that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA officer, working on classified WMD issues for the CIA and the national security fo the United States.

Ms Toensing was reported to have done a lot of tap-dancing, backing and filling and filibustering while trying to explain why Mrs Wilson was the one who was confused about her status.
Oh, and BTW, Krauthammer also said

[Prosecutor Patrick] Fitzgerald knew ... that the "leak" by the State Department's No. 2 official ... was an innocent offhand disclosure made to explain how the CIA had improbably chosen Wilson for a WMD mission. (He was recommended by his CIA wife.)

How does Mrs Wilson characteze her influence over Ambassador Joe Wilson's selection to investigate the "Saddam Hussein tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger" story?

Valerie, under oath: I DID NOT RECOMMEND, DID NOT SEND, DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY.

Did everyone get that? Valerie is now telling the full story of the way Joe was selected to investigate the yellowcake rumors. This needs to be recorded and saved in video, fer shur.

I hereby declare Valerie Plame Wilson to be the true sweetheart of every truly loyal and patriotic American! There are those Americans who refer to President Bush as their "Dear Leader" without the snark and the irony that us true patriots use. Those people make a great show of pretending to be patriots.

UPDATE: Robert Novak, who outed Plame in a column of his, wonders aloud about some very silly and meanigless issues, trying to make it appear as though there were some actually debatable aspects of them.

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