The Hill: Albert Eisele: CIA leak chimera
"If Joe diGenova is right, and I suspect he is, the federal investigation into the disclosure of the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame should never have happened.
“My views are stronger than ever,” the former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia said Monday when asked about the white-hot controversy that has sent a New York Times reporter to jail, changed the rules of investigative journalism and now threatens to envelop the White House in a major crisis. “This investigation never should have started because it’s apparent that no crime was ever committed.”
It was exactly two years ago tomorrow that syndicated columnist Robert Novak triggered the investigation when he first publicly identified Plame as “an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction.”
Novak cited “two administration officials” who told him Ms. Plame was married to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whom the CIA dispatched to Africa in February 2002 to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein was buying uranium from Niger. Novak reported that Wilson was sent there at the suggestion of his wife, who worked in the nonproliferation unit at the CIA.
Novak’s column appeared shortly after Wilson wrote an op-ed column in the Times charging that the Bush administration sought to build a case for invading Iraq by falsely claiming that Saddam was seeking uranium to reconstitute his nuclear-weapons program.
Subsequent reporting by the Times’ Judith Miller and Time magazine’s Matthew Cooper made them — but not Novak — the targets of a grand-jury investigation and sent Miller to jail last week after she refused to disclose her sources, even though she had not written anything. Cooper avoided jail because Time turned over his notes to the special prosecutor in the case, Patrick Fitzgerald, and Cooper’s source — now known to be Karl Rove — released him from his pledge of confidentiality.
DiGenova, who served as an independent counsel investigating alleged misuse of passport information by the Clinton administration and now is in private practice with his wife, former Justice Department official Victoria Toensing, lays most of the blame for this explosive controversy on the CIA.
“I believe the agency didn’t properly protect [Plame’s] identify because they didn’t want to and clearly didn’t try,” he said. “To think that journalists are being put through this is crazy. Where we are now is absolutely absurd.”
DiGenova says he hasn’t changed his mind from what he told me in March, when we had a long conversation just before I left for a reporting trip to Iraq. He pointed out that the statute that protects the identity of covert agents “has a very high standard for prosecution.
“The only way an investigation can begin is if the agency swears — swears — that it took every conceivable step to protect this person’s identity.”
For example, the CIA had to answer 11 specific questions about what steps it took to protect the identity of a covert agent. But diGenova questions whether some of the information the CIA provided the Justice Department on those 11 questions “was materially false.”
In addition, he pointed out that the CIA paid for Wilson’s trip, didn’t ask him to sign a confidentiality agreement, didn’t object to his writing the op-ed article in the Times and allowed him to conduct TV interviews and to appear in a photo with his wife in Vanity Fair, he noted.
“The CIA isn’t stupid,” he said. “They wanted this story out. I’m raising the question: Did the CIA mislead Fitzgerald?”
The answer to that question may be the biggest story of the summer.
While every pundit (instant and otherwise), are speculating that Fitzgerald is looking at what Rove said and whether or not someone in the agency leaked info, the fact is that no leak occured. No matter what people are saying, Valerie simply doesn't fit the bill.
I believe, and from what I gather from ears at "the office", the top of the "tent" is coming off this game, and rather quickly.
The proof of that is the re-emergence of key "ex-CIA ops" hanging around with Democrats and clogging up the airwaves. Why all this "increased activity?". Simple, The false Plame Leak was a decoy to throw the scent off the real culprits in the story, namely the rogue CIA ops who designed to undermine the War on Terror. Look for even more "leaks" and "ex-op" appearances to come - trust me on that.
As noted in this Article from American Thinker, the CIA is undergoing sweaping changes from Peter Goss, housecleaning at Langley:
"Porter Goss's new broom should also sweep away:
1) personnel who utterly failed to thwart critical technology theft by China during the Clinton years;
2) those who constantly undermine the war on terror;
3) the ones who make a regular habit of dropping media stinkbombs against the White House.
4) Finally, there is the faction that supported Saddam Hussein's hold on power, as Joe Wilson did.
It could be a bloodbath, and the Permanent Establishment knows it.
The farcical Plame/Wilson assault on Karl Rove is a shot across the bow of the White House. The spook bureaucracy is fighting for its perks, hand-in-hand with the Democrats and the media. This is exactly the same iron triangle that destroyed Richard Nixon."
For more on this charade, read here.
It's no wonder you see ex-agents, most of which come from the same CPD unit as Ms. Plame, coming out of the woodwork. They are trying to CYA. But it's a little bit too late.
I've got a feeling, and I think I'm right that Mr. Fitzgerald discovered early on that no criminal leak happened. Yet finding that I believe he has discovered a greater crime, with more far reaching affects than the discredited purposeful 'leak' instigated disgruntled rogue CIA ops.
Watch and see.
The Hill: Albert Eisele: CIA leak chimera