Ok, now this is hilarious. The CIA desk jockey was asked to testify to Congress about a four year old story in which the Special Prosecutor found no crime, other then perjury unrelated to the crime he was investigating. What should this tell us about the new leadership in Congress?
Former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson told a congressional committee Friday that she believes she was outed in 2003 for "purely political reasons."
Plame, whose outing triggered a federal investigation, said she always knew her identity could be discovered by foreign governments but said she was surprised to be identified by her own government.
"My name and identity were carelessly and recklessly abused by senior official in White House and State Department," Plame testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "I could no longer perform the work for which I had been highly trained."
So her husband outed her for political reasons? Richard Armitage outed her for political reasons? Is this what she is saying? Because we all know who did the outing, and I would have to agree, it was most definitely for political reasons.
It was done to bring down the Bush administration in 2004. They crossed their fingers and threw everything they had at Bush in the hopes that Kerry would be the next President. Thankfully the American people saw through their obvious ploys.
Oh, and take a look at this article by Walter Pincus at the WaPo. Check out how he begins the thing:
She has been silent nearly four years.
Oh really? So all the press releases, the book, the book signings, magazine interviews, etc…is staying silent?
As I have been known to say…..
No media bias here.
And take a look at these jaw droppers from The Corner:
Henry Waxman, who is chairing the hearing into the revelation of Valerie Plame Wilson’s name, just quietly slipped in that "the President" was among the people who leaked her name.
Plame included that line in her testimony a few minutes ago. A former CIA officer emails me:
The covert status of CIA officers should not be known AT ALL to non-cleared persons or to ANY ONE on the "Georgetown cocktail circuit."
Will someone on the panel think to ask her to name those few on the Georgetown cocktail circuit who were aware of her covert status? And to ask how they became aware of that? From hints that she and Wilson provided, perhaps?
Valerie Plame Wilson has been testifying for an hour, and while it appears on a chart, the name of Richard Armitage — the actual person who actually leaked her identity to Robert Novak (and, a month earlier, to Bob Woodward) — has yet to be spoken. Scooter Libby’s name? Ten times.
Valerie Plame Wilson complained that Dick Cheney — the elected vice president of the United States — made an "unprecedented number of visits" to the CIA in the run-up to the Iraq war. She’s right. It’s shocking. Evidently, Cheney actually listened to the CIA.
And this has to be the most hilarious words uttered by Plame in quite some time:
This is what Valerie Plame Wilson just said about her husband’s trip: "I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him, I did not have the authority." An officer serving under her was upset to have received an inquiry from the vice president’s office about yellowcake from Niger and evidently, while she was comforting that junior officer, some guy walked by her office and suggested her husband should go to Niger to check it out.
She said she was ambivalent about the idea because she didn’t want to have to put her 2 year-old twins to bed by herself at night. Still, she and the guy who had just happened to walk by then went to her supervisor.
Supervisor: Well, when you go home this evening, would you ask your husband to come in.
Then her supervisor asked her to write an e-mail about the idea. She did so. That e-mail, she said, was the basis for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence claim that she had been responsible for sending her husband to Niger for the CIA.
In other words, she didn’t recommend him or suggest him. Rather, it was a guy who walked by.
Ok, now I have to say it. I have interviewed many criminal suspects after committing a crime and this defense is a common one. "it wasn’t me you see….it was the other guy and I just happened to be standing at the cash register as he took the money out, you see?"
Oh, I’m not saying she is a criminal…I would never say that.
A CIA desk jockey actively working with a core group of intelligence agents to bring down the Presidents campaign for a second term isn’t a crime……is it?
In other news, secret decoder rings were used at this hearing:
Valerie Plame, whose CIA career ended when columnist Robert Novak blew her cover in July 2003, today testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee whose members will receive a special secret decoder ring so they can understand her without revealing sensitive intel in a public forum.
Ms. Plame (aka Valerie Wilson) lived such a secret life that when she and her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson, appeared in a photo spread in Vanity Fair magazine, she was compelled by CIA covert spy protocol to wear dark sunglasses.
The former agent will speak in a top-secret cipher language. Committee members will break the encryption as she speaks using the secret decoder device.
Gotta love Ott!
Ok, who in the hell is that standing in the back of the room?
UPDATE II 1200hrs PST
At least the WaPo had a few unbiased nuggets in their otherwise horrible reporting:
"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.
She has really screwed herself over on this one.
Question. Was she sworn in today?
Oh, by the way, here is a blast from the past in the form of the Senate’s Prewar Intelligence Report:
Some CPD officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador’s wife "offered up his name" and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from the former ambassador’s wife says, "my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity." This was just one day before CPD sent a cable REDACTED requesting concurrence with CPD’s idea to send the former ambassador to Niger and requesting any additional information from the foreign government service on their uranium reports. The former ambassador’s wife told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA and told him "there’s this crazy report" on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq.
The former ambassador had traveled previously to Niger on the CIA’s behalf REDACTED. The former ambassador was selected for the 1999 trip after his wife mentioned to her supervisors that her husband was planning a business trip to Niger in the near future and might be willing to use his contacts in the region REDACTED. Because the former ambassador did not uncover any information about REDACTED during this visit to Niger, CPD did not distribute an intelligence report on the visit.
And this testimony from Robert Grenier, a 27 year employee of the CIA, as reported by Outside The Beltway:
He called “Kevin” at the counter-proliferation division (the #2 guy) and neither he nor the chief were available. He talked to someone else and left a message for Kevin. He got a response “probably within a couple of hours.” It was from someone he did not know but was “fully knowledgeable about what had happened.” He got confirmation that CIA had sent Wilson to investigate Niger uranium and went into some detail about the mission. Conveyed that State, Office of VP, and Defense had all “expressed interest” in the issue.
That person “mentioned” that Wilson’s wife worked in the division and was the impetus behind the trip. “I am certain the individual did not tell me the name, only that it was Amb Wilson’s wife.”
Additionally we get this idiotic response from the desk jockey: (via Just One Minute)
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."
Which Tom Maguire takes apart:
She didn’t know her legal status? She’s so covert that not even she knows if she is covert! Oh, my – well, I don’t know her status either. Maybe they call her the wind. (But they call the wind Maria…)
This is the Valerie Plame comedy hour I tell ya.