Plame Hearing Is A Joke

Discussion in 'Politics' started by red states rule, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    The liberal media is living down to all expectations. Playing the victim card for the CIA paper pusher and carrying the water for the Bush hating left


    Evening Newscasts on Plame's Testimony: 'Impeach Bush' and No Mention of Armitage
    Posted by Brent Baker on March 16, 2007 - 21:51.
    The three broadcast network evening newscasts were similar Friday night in featuring full stories on Valerie Plame's testimony before the House Government Reform Committee, including video of Plame with a woman behind her wearing a pink “Impeach Bush” T-shirt -- ABC even caught a moment when the woman was making the “shame” sign with her fingers (see screen shot to right) -- and not mentioning Richard Armitage, the former Deputy Secretary of State who was the source for columnist Robert Novak's reporting of her name. CBS's Gloria Borger, remarkably, concluded her report by listing every big name involved but Armitage's: “When asked whether she'd gotten an apology from the President, the Vice President, Karl Rove or Scooter Libby, she said no.”

    But there were differences. Only NBC Nightly News led with Plame as fill-in anchor Campbell Brown announced: “The CIA operative at the heart of a scandal tells Congress the Bush administration blew her cover and wrecked her career.” NBC's Chip Reid uniquely highlighted how Plame contributed to Al Gore's 2000 campaign and that she conceded “I am a Democrat.” While CBS's Borger concluded with a missing apology to her, ABC's David Kerley ended his piece by noting how Plame is taking advantage of her situation: “While Plame may have lost the undercover job she loved, the blown cover is allowing her to find a new career. She signed a book deal for more than $1 million. And oh, about all those ingredients for a Hollywood movie, there will be one of those, as well.”

    ABC's World News opened with the impact of the storm in theNortheast followed by how more troops are being added to the “surge” in Iraq, then arrived at Plame.

    Katie Couric led the March 16 CBS Evening News with how Alberto Gonzales is “on his way out. Sources tell CBS News it's just a matter of time now before the Attorney General gets fired.” She then ran an interview with ousted U.S. attorney of New Mexico, David Iglesias, before going to Borger's report on Plame. Couric teased the Plame story:


    “Also tonight, former CIA operative Valerie Plame goes public. She says the Bush administration blew her cover and ruined her career.”
    Couric set up Borger's subsequent report:

    “Meanwhile, we've been hearing about her for years, today we heard from her. Valerie Plame, the former CIA operative, testified on Capitol Hill. She accused the Bush administration of ruining her CIA career by leaking her name for political reasons.”
    Campbell Brown led the NBC Nightly News:

    “Good evening. She has been the object of fascination, the woman in the middle of a Washington scandal and Valerie Plame Wilson, the outed CIA officer, has never before spoken so extensively about what has happened to her until today. She arrived on Capitol Hill surrounded by photographers to tell Members of Congress that her career as a CIA undercover officer was brought to an end when Bush administration officials revealed her true identity.”
    Reporter Chip Reid uniquely highlighted this exchange:

    Valerie Plame: “My exposure arose from purely political motives.”

    Chip Reid: “But some Republicans today questioned her motives. Some have noted her husband campaigned for John Kerry and that she contributed to Al Gore.”

    Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, R-Georgia: “Would you say you're a Democrat or a Republican?”

    Plame: “Yes, Congressman, I am a Democrat.”

    http://newsbusters.org/node/11476
     
  2. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    Plame On!
    Let's get into the Plame hearing conducted by Rep. Waxman today.

    Matt Apuzzo of the AP deserves the props we gave him - this story seems to hit the key controversies and presents both sides. Here we go:

    (1) Was Valerie involved in sending Joe?

    "I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him. There was no nepotism involved. I did not have the authority," she said.

    That conflicts with senior officials at the CIA and State Department, who testified during Libby's trial that Plame recommended Wilson for the trip.

    Yes, it does conflict - here is Grenier of the CIA, as liveblogged by Joyner and Wheeler.

    Or here is Special Counsel Fitzgerald's indictment, point 7. And let's note that I am setting to one side the State Department people who also thought Ms. Wilson was behind the trip because they may have been misinformed.

    Finally, John Podhoretz provides a funny bit of testimony telling us that, although she did not recommend her hubby for the 2002 Niger trip, Ms. Wilson went to her boss accompanied by the man who did, talked to her hubby about the assignment, and wrote the recommending email. She also (per the SSCI) had recommended her hubby for his 1999 trip to Niger. So please pardon our confusion about her obvious non-involvement here. (And how will this be treated in the movie? Will Val be dragged into her boss's office at gunpoint? Or depending on how they want to position the film, the producer could have the CIA waterboard her into giving up her husband's name - good looking woman, bondage, water everywhere... just thinking out loud and trying to help. TGIF.)

    (2) Was Ms. Plame covert?

    From Matt Apuzzo:

    Plame also repeatedly described herself as a covert operative, a term that has multiple meanings. Plame said she worked undercover and traveled abroad on secret missions for the CIA.

    But the word "covert" also has a legal definition requiring recent foreign service and active efforts to keep someone's identity secret. Critics of Fitzgerald's investigation said Plame did not meet that definition for several reasons and said that's why nobody was charged with the leak.

    Also, none of the witnesses who testified at Libby's trial said it was clear that Plame's job was classified. However, Fitzgerald said flatly at the courthouse after the verdict that Plame's job was classified.

    ...

    Plame said she wasn't a lawyer and didn't know what her legal status was but said it shouldn't have mattered to the officials who learned her identity.

    "They all knew that I worked with the CIA," Plame said. "They might not have known what my status was but that alone - the fact that I worked for the CIA - should have put up a red flag."

    She didn't know her legal status? She's so covert that not even she knows if she is legally covert! And we are more than three years into this. Oh, my - well, I don't know her status either. Maybe they call her the wind. (But they call the wind Mariah...)

    The WaPo was OK on this issue this morning as well:

    In the CIA's eyes, the revelation of Plame's name in any context, whether she was stationed here or abroad, gave away a national security secret that could have dangerous repercussions. When Novak's column unmasking her as a CIA operative was published on July 14, 2003, the CIA general counsel's office automatically sent a routine report to the Justice Department that there had been an unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

    As part of normal procedures, the agency made a preliminary damage assessment and then sent a required follow-up report to Justice. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft decided to open a criminal investigation but three months later recused himself because the probe led into the White House. Patrick J. Fitgerald, the U.S. attorney for northern Illinois, became special counsel and began to investigate "the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity."

    In February 2004, after reviewing what the FBI had, Fitzgerald widened his investigation to include "any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure," plus any efforts to obstruct the probe.

    * * *

    Some news stories created initial confusion over Plame's status by suggesting that disclosure of her name and employment may have violated the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. That law, passed in response to disclosure of the names of CIA officers serving overseas by former CIA employee Philip Agee, made it a crime to disclose the names of "covert agents," which the act narrowly defined as those serving overseas or who had served as such in the previous five years.

    "Covert agent" is not a label actually used within the agency for its employees, according to former senior CIA officials. Plame, who joined the agency right out of Pennsylvania State University, underwent rigorous spycraft training to become an officer in the Directorate of Operations. (The term "agent" in the CIA is only applied to foreign nationals recruited to spy in support of U.S. interests.)

    It is funny watching CREW try to lower the bar:

    Plame's testimony today "will be very forceful and clear, and there won't be any question what classified means," said Anne Weismann, chief counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington...

    No, there probably won't be any questions about "classified", since the key question is whether she was "covert" under the statute.

    Let give some props to Rep. Tom Davis:

    Rep. Tom Davis, the ranking Republican on the committee, said, "No process can be adopted to protect classified information that no one knows is classified. This looks to me more like a CIA problem than a White House problem."

    Well, if this was a good day for the Wilso-philes, what would a bad day look like? I guess we need to see how the WaPo, Times, and LA Times spin it. But keep hope alive! The press did join in the suit arguing that their was no underlying crime, so there is at least a chance that some of the editors and reporters have apprised themselves of the issues. But forget about the columnists.

    We Grade The Times:

    (1) Was Valerie involved in sending Joe? Their coverage:

    Ms. Wilson told the committee that, despite what has been written and said repeatedly, she did not recommend her husband for the trip to Africa. In fact, she said, she had unhappy visions “of myself at bedtime with a couple of two-year-olds” to handle alone if her husband went overseas. (The Wilsons have young twins.)

    “I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him, there was no nepotism involved,” she said. “I did not have the authority.”

    Ms. Wilson said she did sound out her husband about the trip after she was asked to do so, but that her husband was picked for the trip because of his background in Africa.

    Nothing mentioning the trial testimony or the indictment.

    Grade: F

    (2) Was Ms. Plame covert? The closeet they come to acknowledging a controversy is this:

    Soon afterward, Ms. Wilson was unmasked by Mr. Novak. That incident led to an investigation to find who had leaked her name, possibly in violation of the law.

    Grade: Are you kidding? F.

    And under "Random Noise" we will note this:

    Administration critics have long asserted that Ms. Wilson’s name was leaked to intimidate others who differed with the White House.

    Administration critics have long asserted many things. But did the Libby trial provide evidence that intimidating critics (or punishing Wilson) was the motive?

    Just for instance, Richard Armitage of State leaked the Plame info to both Bob Woodward and Bob Novak. Would a reasonable reader conclude from the transcript that he was hoping to intimidate critics?

    Did Karl Rove hope to intimidate critics by saying "I heard that, too" to Bob Novak (who was confirming the story he got from Armitage)?

    Here is what Walter Pincus speculated about the motive of Ari Fleischer, who Pincus has said was his source:

    I wrote my October story because I did not think the person who spoke to me was committing a criminal act, but only practicing damage control by trying to get me to stop writing about Wilson.

    Well. If the new Times policy is to free-associate and print random speculation, they might try telling their readers that:

    (a) Joe Wilson's critics think that his wife was involved, in some fashion, in sending him to Niger. As Libby said in his grand jury testimony, the implication is that Wilson is not an impartial judge of the White House - CIA intel dispute, a point on which the press should have picked up.

    (b) Valerie Wilson did not have "covert" status as defined by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. A reasonable special counsel would have at least disclosed that to the court and clarified that he was simply looking for perjury charges before having a reporter locked up for 85 days.

    Hey, it has been asserted - we meet the Times standard.

    http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2007/03/plame_on.html
     
  3. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    Blonde Faith
    By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, March 16, 2007 4:20 PM PST

    Political Theater: The congressional testimony of Valerie Plame, the 'spy' who became a Vanity Fair cover girl, was staged to embarrass the Bush White House. It actually completed Plame's exposure as a fraud.

    When all was said and done, the least preposterous sight at Friday's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing could be found in the audience: namely, the woman dressed in hot pink who kept standing up behind Plame during her testimony to show the television viewers her 'Impeach Bush' T-shirt.

    Plame: Politics and publicity.
    That woman was a lot more honest about what was taking place than Mrs. Joseph Wilson, who looked like the cat who ate the canary when Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland asked her whether she and her husband are Democrats.

    After giving her husband's Republican family background, she said: 'I would say he's a Democrat.' As for herself, she conceded: 'Yes . . . I am a Democrat.'

    As if we all didn't know.

    Plame's 'cover' as a CIA employee was so secret she was listed in her husband's 'Who's Who in America' entry. Her cover was 'blown' in 2003 by then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Armitage was never charged with a crime, because she was no longer a covert agent. So special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald instead went after Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, for his bad memory.

    Plame's fellow Democrats, led by committee Chairman Henry Waxman of California, spent much of their time waving at the cameras a new version of the Clinton administration's 'Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy' flowchart. The chart featured a big, black box labeled 'UNKNOWN,' representing the mysterious personage who told Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney about Plame.

    Gee, the republic must be in mortal danger if someone is giving CIA secrets to the vice president and a senior presidential adviser.

    Plame repeatedly answered questions about her official status at the CIA with an unconvincing 'I'm not a lawyer.'

    Then she claimed that the smoking-gun e-mail she sent to her superiors recommending that her husband be sent to Niger — after which he wrote a New York Times op-ed questioning Iraq's pursuit of nuclear material in Africa — was taken 'out of context.'

    Far from being a 'covert agent,' Plame and her husband are a politically motivated PR partnership. She's negotiating a book deal for her life story, titled 'Fair Game,' for which Simon & Schuster has reportedly paid her a $1 million advance. She appeared with Wilson on the cover of Vanity Fair just months after being 'outed.'

    Just why was Plame, who listed her CIA cover company as her employer when she gave to Al Gore's campaign, riding a desk in Langley, Va.? The Washington Times' Bill Gertz has reported that U.S. officials said her identity was first disclosed to Russia by a Moscow spy in the mid-1990s. She returned to the U.S. in 1994 because the CIA suspected her cover was blown by turncoat Aldrich Ames.

    By placing Plame under the hot spotlights, Democrats have unwittingly caused her story to melt before the public.

    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=258936799316774
     
  4. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    This such a joke. Lost the undercover job she loved? She'd been pulled from the field and was riding a desk at CIA Headquarters for several years. Longer as a matter of fact, than the normal amount of time for maintaining a cover after being pulled from the field.

    Nice to see my tax dollars being blown over such bullshit as this.:rolleyes:
     
  5. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    She outed herself

    Blonde Faith
    By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

    Political Theater: The congressional testimony of Valerie Plame, the 'spy' who became a Vanity Fair cover girl, was staged to embarrass the Bush White House. It actually completed Plame's exposure as a fraud.

    When all was said and done, the least preposterous sight at Friday's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing could be found in the audience: namely, the woman dressed in hot pink who kept standing up behind Plame during her testimony to show the television viewers her 'Impeach Bush' T-shirt.

    Plame: Politics and publicity.
    That woman was a lot more honest about what was taking place than Mrs. Joseph Wilson, who looked like the cat who ate the canary when Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland asked her whether she and her husband are Democrats.

    After giving her husband's Republican family background, she said: 'I would say he's a Democrat.' As for herself, she conceded: 'Yes . . . I am a Democrat.'

    As if we all didn't know.

    Plame's 'cover' as a CIA employee was so secret she was listed in her husband's 'Who's Who in America' entry. Her cover was 'blown' in 2003 by then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Armitage was never charged with a crime, because she was no longer a covert agent. So special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald instead went after Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, for his bad memory.

    Plame's fellow Democrats, led by committee Chairman Henry Waxman of California, spent much of their time waving at the cameras a new version of the Clinton administration's 'Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy' flowchart. The chart featured a big, black box labeled 'UNKNOWN,' representing the mysterious personage who told Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney about Plame.

    Gee, the republic must be in mortal danger if someone is giving CIA secrets to the vice president and a senior presidential adviser.

    Plame repeatedly answered questions about her official status at the CIA with an unconvincing 'I'm not a lawyer.'

    Then she claimed that the smoking-gun e-mail she sent to her superiors recommending that her husband be sent to Niger — after which he wrote a New York Times op-ed questioning Iraq's pursuit of nuclear material in Africa — was taken 'out of context.'

    Far from being a 'covert agent,' Plame and her husband are a politically motivated PR partnership. She's negotiating a book deal for her life story, titled 'Fair Game,' for which Simon & Schuster has reportedly paid her a $1 million advance. She appeared with Wilson on the cover of Vanity Fair just months after being 'outed.'

    Just why was Plame, who listed her CIA cover company as her employer when she gave to Al Gore's campaign, riding a desk in Langley, Va.? The Washington Times' Bill Gertz has reported that U.S. officials said her identity was first disclosed to Russia by a Moscow spy in the mid-1990s. She returned to the U.S. in 1994 because the CIA suspected her cover was blown by turncoat Aldrich Ames.

    By placing Plame under the hot spotlights, Democrats have unwittingly caused her story to melt before the public
     
  6. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    I'd say driving in and out of the front gate of CIA Headqarters on a daily basis pretty-much did the job if anything. Unless anyone wants to believe no intelligence agencies would think to watch the front gate to see who comes and goes.:cuckoo:
     
  7. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    It seems the liberal media and the libs do not count that as a give away to her employment
     
  8. Gunny
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    Nor the Republicans bright enough to use such an obvious common-sense argument as one means of refuting the charges.

    Make no mistake, I think the allegations are a joke, and the Dems involved exercising their witch hunting skills. At teh same time, I'm just sick of Republicans who will neither defend themselves against obvious bullshit accusation, nor other Republicans.
     
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  9. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    We need a Patton like figure to go to DC and kick the Republicans in the ass

    While we have our disagreements - I would support you for the job
     
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  10. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    Holt Lets Wilson Walk on Wife's Role in Sending Him to Niger
    Posted by Mark Finkelstein on March 17, 2007 - 11:09.
    For his level-headed professionalism, Lester Holt is on my [admittedly short] list of MSM faves. But while Holt did hit former Ambassador [to Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe] Joseph Wilson with one tough question on this morning's "Today," he let Valerie Plame's husband hijack the beginning of the interview, lobbed him numerous softballs, and failed to challenge Wilson on his blatant misrepresentation of Plame's role in sending him to Niger.

    View video here.

    In the set-up piece preceding the interview, "Today" aired a clip of Rep. Lynn Westmoreland [R-Georgia] asking Plame, during yesterday's congressional hearing, whether she was a Republican or a Democrat. For the record, Plame sardonically acknowledged that she was indeed a Dem.

    When the interview began at 7:15 AM EDT, and before Holt could get off a question, Wilson launched into an attack on Westmoreland for having posed that question to Plame, and extolled his own and Plame's record of bi-partisan public service. When Holt eventually gained control, he did hit Wilson with the following question, the only challenging one of the dialogue:

    LESTER HOLT: "Ambassador, your wife did say, and made it clear she considers herself a victim of political assassination, or at least being used politically in this case. Would her testimony, and the fact that she has a book coming out soon, the fact that you have been so outspoken, could that also be described as a form of political retaliation?"

    JOE WILSON: "You're suggesting that somehow Valerie and I are engaged in political retaliation?"

    HOLT: "I'm not suggesting, I'm asking the question."

    WILSON: "I would remind you, yeah, I would remind you of course that everything I said in my article has proven true. There was no substance to the assertion that Saddam had attempted to purchase uranium from Iraq [sic]. With respect to Valerie's book [NB: for which she has reportedly received a $2.5 million advance], that's still hung up in negotiations with the CIA. And with respect to her testimony, she was invited [NB: by committee chairman and friendly fellow Dem Henry Waxman, D-Calif.] to testify before Congress. It is totally appropriate to respond positively to such an invitation."

    Holt didn't challenge Wilson on his assertion that there was "no substance to the assertion" that Saddam had sought yellow-cake from Niger. Others, including Christopher Hitchens, say otherwise, as in this Slate article, Sorry everyone, but Iraq did go uranium shopping in Niger.

    Later, Wilson asserted that in her testimony Plame had debunked the "lie" that "she was responsible for suggesting or sending me to Niger." Holt again failed to challenge Wilson on his very dubious assertion. Consider this WaPo article, which flatly states:

    "Former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, dispatched by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq sought to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program with uranium from Africa, was specifically recommended for the mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly."

    Holt then served this one up on a platter: "Ambassador Wilson, do you expect to get an apology from the White House? Would you like to get an apology from the White House?"

    WILSON [managing to take a swipe at both President Bush and his parents]: "You know, I don't, frankly, and I'm disappointed in that because I thought they raised people more correctly than that down in Texas."

    Finally, Holt failed to react when Wilson made a controversial claim regarding former presidential press secretary Scott McLellan.

    HOLT: "Have you had a conversation with anyone from the White House subsequent to all this?"

    WILSON: "No. I did run into Scott McLellan in the green room at a different station, and we commiserated on the fact that we both had been lied to by this White House."

    Not Lester's finest journalistic hour. As for Wilson, a combination of anger and preening egotism does not wear well.


    http://newsbusters.org/node/11479
     

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