Friday, July 15, 2005


What is at the heart of the Plame affair

Now that it is known that Karl Rove found out about Valerie Plame from a journalist and then spoke about that to a journalist, who heard it from ......well, we don't know that yet, but according to many of the different reports I've heard, it doesn't matter - it wasn't any secret anyway.

Then because Wilson just can't stand prosperity he gets on CNN and pretty much destroys the whole case by admitting his wife wasn't - and hadn't been for a while - a "covert operative" in the legal sense, thus no law was broken.

So where do we go from here?

If you have been following my posts you know I have this idea that this story from the beginning was not about the leak, but about a far greater story - one that almost seems like a Tom Clancy novel.

I've been on the phone all day to some old Army buds in Virginia (I'll let you guess), and I spoke to them "in the clear", so as to get what they were hearing "around the shop".

Here is what I'm gathering so far.

Back before the Iraq war, around 2002 there was a lot of scurrying around the CIA - specifically with those ops and other senior members who had a concern about the Administration's seeming march to war. They were not sold on "Regime Change", instead opting for more intel, sanctions, warnings, etc.

This is what Howard Fineman, as well as other writers and experts wrote about this as well. In short, there was some "bad vibes" between the Bush Administration and the CIA.

Now here is what isn't so clear. What, if any was Valerie Plame's involvement? That is, other than the known fact that she recommended her husband, Mr. Wilson - a known Administration critic - to go to Niger to investigate the claims that Saddam was after Nuclear materials. A report that Valerie Plame called "a crazy report..(sic)" As Fineman said in his article:

"What did Valerie Plame think of the seriousness of Saddam’s WMD capability? Sooner or later, we’ll find out—because it bears on what Wilson probably thought before he ever got to Niger to ask questions."

The real question is, why did she recommend her husband, who despite what has been reported, wasn't totally qualified for the job? Just Nepotism? Doing 'hubby' a favor - you know, "make me famous!" or was it some other reason.

Over at Captain's Quarters Blog, the Captain asks the quesion like this:

"Plame didn't just make an off-hand suggestion and then play hostess once. She repeatedly suggested Wilson for the job, wrote a memorandum requesting him for the mission, and then delivered the assignment to Wilson herself.

All this begs the question: why was Plame so set on using her husband for the job? Wilson told the SSIC that she had characterized the initial report of Iraq-Niger contacts as "crazy". After Wilson returned, he reported that the Iraqis had indeed tried to start trade talks in secret with Niger, and that the Nigerian PM believed that to be an effort to get yellowcake uranium. However, after the invasion of Iraq, Wilson started leaking a warped version to journalists such as Walter Pincus, also described in the SSIC report and determined to be false.

It looks like Plame wanted a specific result from the Niger investigation, and she selected the man who she felt would guarantee it."

This is where I find Howard Fineman's point interesting:

"What did Valerie Plame think of the seriousness of Saddam’s WMD capability? Sooner or later, we’ll find out—because it bears on what Wilson probably thought before he ever got to Niger to ask questions."Yeah, I think at this point we'd all like to know.

At this point, let me paint a picture for a minute, you know, throw some things out for thought:

"What IF there was a plot around 2002, within the CIA to discredit the report, and so ward the administration off it's war plan? We don't know. But it is strange that Valerie (who was a WMD expert), recommended her husband.

Well, if it was a 'plot' the plan didn't work, as we know the Administraton discounted much (if not all) the report, and invades Iraq anyway.

Just to digress a minute, the rejection of the report sort of blows "The Bush Administration cooked up intelligence", theory. The reason I say that is because it was Wilson himself who said that he was sent at the request of the Vice President, which of course wasn't true - and for good reason.

Why would Cheney want a known critic of the administration's position on Iraq policies to go on the trip when they knew what his predictable results would be? It would be then more than suspicious if that were the case, and then discount the data. It just doesn't make sense.

So with the "musing" done, I'll give you my "crazy" view of what might have happened .

Let's say that Valerie Plame was specifically involved (or recruited) in a plot to discredit the "yellow cake" report. She recommends her husband - possibly even briefing him on the results they desire and Wilson goes and comes back according to the Script. He says, "No yellow cake".

But the "plan" doesn't work.

So as the "storm" of controversy explodes over the lack of WMD, and the CIA comes under scrutiny, another plan is hatched. A delay tactic is lauched and Joesph Wilson again takes the point.

He writes a book, does interviews on TV talk shows, just to say "I told you so!" "They ignored my report"..."See?"

Then the Senate Intelligence Report comes out and Wilson is exposed as a liar.

So he's taken off the table (and John Kerry's website), and vanishes. In the meantime comes Robert Novak, his column and the famous leak of Valerie Plame's identity. Outraged democrats get the FBI to look into it, and then the CIA asks for an investigation. The President appoints a special prosecutor to look into it.

Then this week, as Rove becomes implicated, Wilson suddenly resurfaces, demanding Rove's head. Interestingly certain Democrats - namely Charles Schumer come forward with him, as well as other anti-war Senators and Congress members.

Then, just as quickly the NY Times basically clears Rove, and at the same time Wilson has talked too long and reveals (what we already knew) about his wife's true status with the CIA, he disappers again.

Now were are we?

Better yet - where is Valerie? A year ago she was all over the place, in Vanity Fair, etc. Today - no where to be found - at least not in print or on TV. No statement, nothing....curious.

So that's where I'm coming from at this point. More than a leak, and possibly a little treason involved. The further question at this point is what if any involvement were some members of our Government were involved? Again, I'm not accusing, but I find it intesting that Charles Schumer has turned up twice. Once to ask the FBI for an investigation and yesterday with Wilson. It's just curious.

Now with my crazy theory making over, the fact is that we simply aren't going to know everything until Fitzgerald finishes his investigation, which quite frankly because of it's length belies the fact that what he is finding is more than just what he started out to find.

Until then, I'm looking into my angle - you know, digging, scratching, shaking the bushes. I'll keep you updated.

Note: If you haven't already checked it out, go over to Captain's Quarters Blog and check out Ed. undressing of Mr. Wilson - bookmark it!

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