It’s Official: Plame was Covert – So Federal Law Was Broken, But ‘Rule of Law’ Only Applies to Dems

From the beginning of the scandal around the outing of the CIA secret agent Valerie Plame by top White House officials, Bush’s spinners and GOP operatives have worked as hard as they could to create confusion about Wilson’s status as a covert agent. The desperation with which they have tried to muddy the waters about Wilson’s undercover status is a clue to how dangerous they consider this piece of information to be.

Now we see for certain what many of us have long suspected: For Republicans, the rule of law only applies to Democrats.

For starters, if the public believed Wilson was covert, the fact that her cover was blown by top White House officials, including Karl Rove and Scooter Libby — who was working under instructions from his boss, Vice Pres. Cheney — would be construed as unseemly, at the very least.

Of course, White House officials are restricted from revealing government secrets by their security clearances. But what had many top West Wingers concerned was the fact that there’s also a specific law, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA), that forbids government officials from revealing the identity of covert personnel. In fact, former White House spokesperson Ari Fletcher was so concerned that he may have run afoul of the IIPA that he sought, and was granted, immunity from prosecution before he testified.

When Valerie Wilson testified before a House committee in March, she said, under oath, that she was covert. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) also read a statement from Gen. Michael Hayden, the director of the CIA, that stated that Wilson was covert at the time she was outed. And yet, the White House and GOP operatives have continued to lie about Wilson’s status.

While it is doubtful that anything can stop them, there is finally official confirmation now from the special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald — writing in a recommendation for Scooter Libby’s sentencing for perjury related to the case — that Valerie Wilson was indeed covert:

The unclassified summary of Plame’s employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, “Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States.”

Former CIA agent Larry Johnson, who was a colleague of Wilson’s, says this confirmation of Wilson’s status bolsters the charge that Rove, Libby and others violated the IIPA when they revealed her identity to reporters:

Fitz makes the following points:
– Valerie Wilson was an operations officer working in the Counter Proliferation Division (CPD) of the Directorate of Operations and headed a unit that covered weapons proliferation issues concerning Iraq.
– While in CPD Valerie traveled overseas seven times to more than ten countries always, repeat always, undercover.
– Valerie was a covert officer on 14 July 2003, when Novak identified her as a CIA employee.
– The CIA was taking "affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."

Despite this development, there remains little or no chance that these White House officials will be held accountable for revealing Wilson’s identity — which is egregiously compounded by the fact that Wilson was a specialist in tracking black-market sales of weapons of mass destruction. We will probably never know what sources and counter-proliferation activities were compromised by the treasonous actions of Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby and Karl Rove.

At the very least, we are left to wonder why Karl Rove still has a security clearance for working at the White House.

It was just a decade ago that Republicans hounded the Clinton White House over every perceived and/or fabricated infraction.Their strategy was to hobble and render ineffective an American president proved unsuccessful, so they switched their focus to Pres. Clinton’s sex life, which led them to impeach him over a sex lie.

All the while they were leading the nation down the dangerous path toward overthrowing its duly and twice-elected government, they claimed they were only concerned with “the rule of law.” Now we see for certain what many of us have long suspected: For Republicans, the rule of law only applies to Democrats.

3 Comments

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  • MO
    May 31, 2007 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Once again proving that Dick Cheney and his cohorts are the terrorists we need to be concerned with. They are destroying America from within piece by piece and apparently there is nothing we can do to stop them.

  • Brujo Blanco
    June 20, 2007 - 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Valerie went by the name Plame. If she was covert why was this information withheld from the investigation? The law is specific it only covers covert individuals for five years from the termination of the covert status. The only information regarding Plame’s position was that she was an analyst which means she worked in an office at a desk. Her husband Joe Wilson provided false information during the inquiry and was not cited for that. He did not tell the truth on several critical matters.

    We don’t allow conservatives to post lies here unchallenged. The director of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden, confirms that Plame was covert. The special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, says in court filings she was covert. She ran a covert operation, an energy consultancy called Brewster Jennings, that in fact secretly tracked the black-market sales of weapons of mass destruction. She traveled abroad under cover as Valerie Plame, a principal at Brewster Jennings.

    Plame’s covert status was known to the investigation. Fitzgerald knew it from the very beginning. He didn’t make it public until the end, which he did at least in part because right-wing liars ranging from Rush Limbaugh to Victoria Toensing continued to try to muddy the water on this issue.

    But whether or not she was covert is irrelevant to the fact that, at the behest of the vice president of the United States, Scooter Libby lied repeatedly to a federal grand jury and to federal prosecutors. He did this to protect the vice president. If he goes to jail to protect Cheney, he deserves whatever happens to him there because Dick Cheney is no better than a traitor to this country.

    Here’s why: While undercover as an energy consultant, Valeris Plame dealt with secret agents for other governments who were helping the United States identify and stop terrorists and agents of rogue state governments who were attempting by chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons.

    When Republicans in the Bush administration blew her cover — which they did for petty revenge against her husband and with the hopes of silencing critics who dared to reveal that these same Republicans had lied to the people of the United states about their reasons for going to war — they put the lives of Plame’s contacts in jeopardy.

    We don’t know how many of these foreign agents — the good guys — lost their lives due to the revelation of Plame’s identity.

    It’s sad and sickening that conservatives put their loyalty to Dick Cheney and George Bush above their love for their country, which is evidenced here by this comment, in which the writer seeks to spread these lies about Plame rather than face the horrible fact of what their Dear Leaders have done to our national security.

    Conservatives should be ashamed but, of course, they are not.

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