Friday, March 16, 2007

Scattered thoughts on Valerie Plame Wilson

1. The admission. James Knodell, Director of the Office of Security at the White House, confessed that there was no internal investigation of the leak, even though Bush sort of, er, um, promised a full internal investigation of the leak. Some of you may be old enough to recall that Nixon once promised a full internal investigation of the Watergate crime, which everyone was sure that he would conduct with due diligence.

But really, are we surprised? Step one in any investigation would have been to talk to Valerie Plame Wilson. We have never received the slightest indication in all this time that anyone from the White House popped by to say Hi, although she did speak to FBI investigators in 2003.

2. Victoria Toensing: She appeared today in an exciting episode of Squirm, Bitch, Squirm! I notice that she ran out of squirming room when grilled on her misreporting that Plame-Wilson had not operated overseas in five years. Toensing, who helped to draft the bill in question, uses abstruse rationalization to "prove" that VPW was not covert "under the act."

She says that no-one at the White House knew VPW was covert. How would Toensing know such a thing? Did she -- frightening thought! -- crawl into the mind of Dick Cheney?

She also says that her CIA source laughed when asked if a field operative would ever work out of headquarters for any length of time. I suspect she pulled that "source" out of the same asshole-dispenser that disgorged her "five years" whopper. You don't have to read very deeply in the literature of espionage to know that an Agency employee may at certain times run an operation from a desk and at other times will go out into the field.

Why was VPW back at headquarters? One possible answer arises from lukery's fascinating claim regarding Marc Grossman. More on that anon.

Toensing also blames the CIA (as neocons often do) because they did not prevent the leak. If I read that now-famous chart correctly, she's saying that no-one at the Agency should ever have trusted anyone in the administration, especially not at the Office of the Vice President.

Can't disagree.

3. So who told Cheney and Rove?
We still don't know, but I will develop a theory below.

Let me go out on a limb and suggest that the reason why Cheney went to Spook Central had much to do with Brewster Jennings (the cover firm employing VPW), which had an annoying (to him) habit of trying to stop the proliferation of WMDs. In the past, we've discussed the theory -- and it is only a theory -- that individuals linked to the A.Q. Khan network were tapped to plant WMDs in Iraq.

4. We come to the most important part of the story: Brewster Jennings. The evidence is piling up that this scandal stems not from get-Joe-Wilson motives, but from get-Brewster-Jennings motives. If you have any interest in that angle -- and you damn well ought to -- then lukery has today's Most Important Article In The World, right here and here.

FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds did not know about the Wilsons specifically, but she had run across Brewster Jennings. Sibel, you will recall, was translating conversations dealing with the American Turkish Council, which some now see as a nest of criminals:
Sibel's case also involves the nuclear black market - some Turkish members of the ATC have supplied Pakistan's A.Q. Khan network with hardware, as have American companies that Sibel overheard on the wiretaps. Perhaps even more disturbing, as reported in Vanity Fair, other wiretaps indicate that "Turkish groups had been installing doctoral students at U.S. research institutions in order to acquire information about black market nuclear weapons." Daniel Ellsberg says that, according to Sibel, bribes were paid to people at the State Department to facilitate this activity.

These are extraordinary claims, of course, and we have a lot of evidence to support the claims - including, but not limited to, the fact that Valerie Plame's front company, Brewster Jennings, had been conducting a counter-intelligence operation against the ATC for years.
Plame was investigating the ATC. That was her sin, or one of her sins.

So who, exactly, is behind the American Turkish Council? Here is Sibel Edmonds:
AIPAC helped form the American Turkish Council - look at the board members, look at the people. You will see the same people involved in both fronts, because it is the same operation.
According to former CIA man Phil Giraldi:
But beyond that, the Edmonds revelations become more serpentine and appear to involve AIPAC, Israel and a number of leading neoconservatives who have profited from the Turkish connection. Israel has long cultivated a close relationship with Turkey since Ankara's neighbours and historic enemies - Iran, Syria and Iraq - are also hostile to Tel Aviv.
Giraldi then goes on to point out that Turkey needs to get its hooks into Congress in order to keep aid flowing, including access to military technology.
Someone has to be in the middle to keep the happy affair going, so enter the neocons, intent on securing Israel against all comers and also keen to turn a dollar. In fact the neocons seem to have a deep and abiding interest in Turkey, which, under other circumstances, might be difficult to explain. Doug Feith's International Advisors Inc, a registered agent for Turkey in 1989 - 1994, netted $600,000 per year from Turkey, with Richard Perle taking $48,000 annually as a consultant. Other noted neoconservatives linked to Turkey are former State Department number three, Marc Grossman, current Pentagon Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman, Paul Wolfowitz and former congressman Stephen Solarz. The money involved does not appear to come from the Turkish government, and FBI investigators are trying to determine its source and how it is distributed. Some of it may come from criminal activity, possibly drug trafficking, but much more might come from arms dealing.
Grossman, says lukery, "outed" Brewster Jennings in 2001 -- long before Robert Novak got wind of it. Looks like the neocons may have been out to deep-six that operation that early. Everything changed that year.

Which brings us back to a question asked in point two, above: Why was VPW working out of headquarters after 2001?

And we also return to point three. Who told Cheney and Rove?

5. The movie. People tell me VPW looks like Sharon Stone, and I am sure she would do a good job. I just happen to think that Sheryl Lee is the most underrated actress in recent history and I want to see her get a big role. Gillian Anderson would be a fun piece of casting...
Remember that Valarie and Joe Wilson have young twins. My impression was she worked out of headquarters for a while after her twins were born.
Knodell is pathetic. Another treasonous lout. Do they even have to blackmail him to prevent him from investigating? Or does he just suffer blind fealty to this culture of corruption? Who is it who tried to quiet Eleanor Holmes Norton when she pointedly asked him what exactly he does in his position. I wouldn't be surprised if he was responsible for singling out the Denver Three as part of his "security" responsibilities.

Toensing is a lemming. That she has any credibility remains a complete mystery. She bobs and weaves, but she sounds as bright as bush when she does so.

Did the "Off The Record" Club push Armitage into action to cover Grossman's earlier leak (overheard by Sibel Edmonds during her brief tenure at FBI) to divert from the larger conspiracy? Man, that'd make this a damn f-ed up, small world.

So many angles in play. Further convergence of seemingly divergent paths. As a bit of a newcomer to this process, it's a bit overwhelming to keep track of the layers of complicity.

Anyhow, isn't Lukery's post one hell of a mindf**k?
If Sibel Edmonds is telling the truth, this is magnitudes worse than Watergate. I hope everyone here reads the article from daily kos in your #4. Let's pray she is called to hearings and relieved of the gag order Bush/Cheney placed on her testimony.

This is the first I heard that AIPAC and the ATC were connected. Now it begins to make sense to me.
Cannon, I wrote you when this first started and told you my best friend was covert and when Plame's name got press, spies were scattered from all their assignments. All spies took wings and moved..... the entire US spying operation was stymied .Connections and lines of information were totally blown. No one knows what is recovered and what is not. Lives were most assuredly lost over the leak of ONE NAME> any covert name.......
The leaking of any covert officer's name endangers everyone connected with the agency and everyone connected in any way to anyone with connections at the agency.
To think no WH investigation was done is more than alarming and I sincerely hope if anyone in DC cares about this country that they now realize Cheney and Bush are systematically taking it apart....
Also.... all CIA employees are subject to work at headquarters at times. They do debriefings there. They have update workshops there , etc. They all spend time at Langley.... nothing unusual there at all.
well, now i'll never be able to come up for air, what with all these various sibel and lukery posts to catch up on. don't get me wrong; eternally grateful.

but, i stand corrected here, as lukery had suggested when i speculated that outing plame was as much about outing brewster-jennings as it was wilson. it appears that that company had to be shut down in 2001 (i think that's the right year) because marc grossman (him again, as ever) had already outed the front company within the criminal circuit. meaning, he'd squealed to the wmd traffickers that they were under surveillance.

after that, the front company was rendered 'inoperative', as they say, and that is most likely why and when plame had to be 'relocated', both in person and in role. although i do think her maternity leave might have been timed then, too; who know which came first? hey, honey, my front company just got outed; good time to make babies as ever!

i now recall having read this some time ago, and should have considered that when i posted my speculations. however, i still stand by my speculation that her role as director of the counter-terrorism unit's joint task force on iraq did NOT escape cheney's awareness. i wish someone yesterday had asked her if she had encountered cheney in one of his unprecedented visits to langley, and if she had felt at all intimidated to sex up the data.

in any case, we should all be doing what lukery suggests, and encouraging everyone we know to do the same, and call our congressional reps, as well as waxman's and conyers' offices to get sibel back up on the hill for testimony, under oath.

does a lawyer out there know if the gag order gets trumped by congressional hearings? i have little doubt that it doesn't, but wouldn't that be nice?

and gosh, would that not be an interesting opportunity for edmonds to risk jail - as ellsberg and the old nytimes did - and use the safety of the congress to tell all?

not that i'd encourage anyone to risk the wrath of this ruthless and vindictive administration in such a way; jail would seem the least of her worries.

finally, does anyoe know just how you can actually view the entire hearings from yesterday? i can't seem to find them on cspan; thanks.
sofla said...

I do not like Toensing, but after viewing her testimony, I thought she made a credible witness and had good points.

If nothing else, as she explained the legislative history and intent of the act (along with its unusual requirements to prove the mens rea, a very high bar unless it is some critic like Philip Agee or somebody in full cry against the agency or its agents), it became clear why Fitzpatrick didn't have much of a case under the anti-disclosure act. He wouldn't have been able to prove the person did it knowing it would damage the national security interests of the country AND EXPLICITLY FOR THAT PURPOSE.

That would take either a Perry Mason style defendant confession, or another insider ratting them out, neither of which were about to happen.

And another fact that had slipped my attention (maybe because it was never covered in detail) was that the CIA criminal referral to DOJ was NOT on the basis of that identities non-disclosure act, but on a far more mild 'classified secrets' basis. That was interesting, as I'd thought the very CIA DOJ referral was proof positive that Plame was covert all by itself. Not exactly right, evidently.
Whenever we jot down the initials CIA or speak “see eye A” confidently and “knowingly”, we should keep in mind that it is a bit like jotting down USA or FBI or any other acronym that is simply a veneer or a wrapping paper folded around a very large (humungous in size), box, filled with many other smaller boxes. In other words the CIA is not any one thing, but many things.
More importantly, the CIA was born with Reinhard Gehlen..Hitlers chief of intelligence on the Eastern front in his war against the rest of the civilized world, as midwife. Gehlen was the midwife along with Allen Dulles, (who engineered the cover up of Kennedy's murder because he (Kennedy) was determined to scatter the CIA to the four winds, (whereupon he got scattered) as the “illegitimate” child was spawned outside the will of Congress by an executive order signed by Truman (who later regretted it but the deed was done) and Americas (or America's step child gushed forth in 1947. A few years later after the child had suckled the “ vipers milk”, Gehlen was returned to Germany so he could enlarge the web overseas as the head of the new German version of the CIA where he called forth all his old friends, lurking in the shadows, to return to service for the Reich. That is the biggest box under the wrappings but remember there are many many more boxes that make up the contents of the CIA (corporations intelligence agency).
Other boxes have other assignments and duties to perform and their duties are competely separate, well intentioned, and completely unattached to the original “Nazi" box which has grown much much larger since then with "off the shelf..stand alone".. private businesses of all kinds.
There really are no links now between the big box..the nazi one, and the rest of the boxes. In other words the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.
So whenever thinking about the CIA think hermetically sealed boxes that stand alone and are completely separated from the other left handed boxes like VP..Valerie Plane, and the many other well intentioned employees that are highly skilled, idealistic recruits, that are doing their jobs diligently and who have an entirely different agenda than the founders box, now grown huge and global.
Do you see or Not See?
after actually seeing Valerie on my TV set I can hardly wait to see her Plaboy,,Oh boy
Er, Sofla, the name is Fitgerald. That's your first givaway. Also, all Toensing was doing was gumming up irrelevant information "in good faith of course." Not to mention Fitz's case was about perjury and obstruction of justice - at which I may point out - he did an awesome job. He won.

And Plame was covert.

Looks like the OVP sand has hit more people in the eyes than previously known! You too Sofla. Luckily, you guys are still the minority.

You've given nothing but misinformation. Just for fun, take your comments to FireDogLake and see how well you are received there. Ha. That would be fun. I'll wait.
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