Monday, September 09, 2019

Valerie Plame, why won't you talk about Larry Johnson?



Before we get to our main topic, I have to note something odd that happened in the city I call home. In a downtown Baltimore parking garage today, someone discovered a van carrying 1000 gallons of gasoline, Naturally, the surrounding area was evacuated. Details are sketchy at the moment. I'd love to know who owned that van and whether this stunt has any link to either Trump's upcoming visit or the anniversary of 9/11.

Frankly, I was surprised to learn that one can fit 1000 gallons in a van. I presume that we're talking about 100 ten-gallon gas containers. But who the hell is going to stand there and count the containers?

So much for the appetizer. Let's dig into our entree.

Valerie, Valerie... Above, I have embedded Valerie Plame's new ad for her congressional race. Gotta admit: It kicks ass. Great piece of cinema.

Of course, any decent person will feel infuriated by Trump's pardon of Scooter Libby. The full story of that bizarre decision has not yet been told.

But.

Valerie Plame needs to explain her linkage to "former" CIA man Larry Johnson, who functioned as her spokesman during the scandal. Johnson used his Plame connection to ingratiate himself with the left. He even delivered the Democratic Radio Response to the outing of Plame (which you can still find on YouTube).

Then he revealed his true colors as a far-right asshole. This American Prospect article from 2008 looks at the transition. The piece describes Johnson as a good friend and close associate of Valerie Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson.

Johnson's now-defunct site No Quarter was, arguably, the birthplace of Birtherism. He invented the Michelle Obama "Whitey" tape smear. Formerly a Hillary Clinton supporter, he turned against Hillary hard, using his site to spread every possible lie and fabrication about the Clintons. He accused John Kerry of rape. Johnson created the false story that GCHQ (Britain's NSA) wiretapped Trump -- a story which Trump himself endorsed. Currently, Johnson is a big supporter of Michael Flynn and a vehement hater of Jim Comey. In short and in sum, Larry Johnson is Alex Jones without the whimsy.

I want to like Valerie Plame, but she needs to explain her association with a creep like Johnson. That explanation better come fast and it had better be really goddamned convincing.

Otherwise, I am going to retreat to the standard lefty position that there's no such thing as a "former" spook. Back in the 1970s, we old-school lefties learned to distrust the Agency for any number of good reasons -- the Mosaddegh coup, the Arbenz coup, the Allende coup, reasons like that. And let's not mention the Great Unpleasantness of November 22, 1963.

I could go on and on -- hell, I could write a book. But there's no need to do so, since William Blum already did the job.

Don't forget that the CIA used the services of Cambridge Analytica. Don't forget that William Barr was always a CIA lawyer, even when he ostensibly moved into the private sector. As I've demonstrated in many previous posts, there are many indications that huge chunks of the American and UK intelligence communities are pro-Trump.

The word "spy" rhymes with "lie." Johnson proved to be a rat in sheep-dip. How do we know that Plame isn't playing the same game? She worked under cover for years. She lied to everyone around her, every hour of every day. Maybe she's lying now.
Comments:
First, I will attempt to rearrange some informational disparages.

On March 6, 2007, Scooter Libby was found guilty of lying about his role in the leak of Plame's identity, two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice. He was acquitted of a single count of lying to the FBI.

That conviction was imposed despite a really important fact ignored by Jim Comey's favorite Special Prosecutor, Pat Fitz.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage acknowledged Thursday [September 8, 2006] that he [Armitage] was the source who first revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to syndicated columnist Robert Novak back in 2003, touching off a federal investigation.

Second, your mention of the Obamas takes me to a strange news item whereby Barack and Michelle unsuccessfully sued a company under copyright law for using the name "Higher Ground Enterprises." The Obama company working with Netflix is called "Higher Ground Productions." Since I judge "higher ground" to exist in the real world as an ordinary expression, it seems to me that copyright protection is unavailable.

And then my mind snapped to "Higher Ground" becoming Michelle's presidential campaign slogan when she enters the race. Food for the mind.
 
(Tried to post this from mobile, but Blogger's UI is wonky; if it posted clearly the first time, feel free to kill this version.)

I only saw a headline about the truck, but my first thought was that it involved credit card fraud, not terrorism. Thieves often 'launder' stolen cards by using them to purchase gasoline, pumping it into massive tanks or bladders within vans or camouflaged trucks; the gas is later sold to less-than-scrupulous gas stations or fleet owners. Every now and then, a theft truck springs a leak or is involved in an accident, with predictable results. There are some nice photos of seized or blowed up real good dummy trucks here.
 
@maz. Thanks for the link to Brian Krebs. I’d missed that. Interesting look at the ways of the grifter or the crook.

Tom
 
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