What’s the big deal with that Bush-CIA scandal???

Discussion in 'Politics' started by m&m&m, Oct 7, 2003.

  1. m&m&m


    What’s the big deal with that Bush-CIA scandal? How can it possibly hurt somebody? After Iraq nobody believes Bush’s administration anyway.
    By the way, you cannot say the same about previous administration. I asked all of my girlfriends and they ALL said – oral sex is not sex.
  2. reminds me of clerks...

    men and women seem to disagree strongly on this one. :D
  3. This is a fascinating story. It shows the lengths the media will go to try to create a scandal. Unfortunately, the public has shown zero interest in this story.

    The facts are pretty simple. This former Clinton-appointed ambassador to Gabon was sent on a mission to Niger to check out the yellowcake story. Apparently, all he did was go there and ask a few government officials if they had sold yellowcake to Saddam. Of course, they said no. He came back and said the story was bs, despite the fact that some Iraqi officials had gone to Niger on a "trade mission", and even though Niger has nothing else to sell except maybe sweet potatoes. Then he went public, publishing a NYT op-ed piece, going on the interview shows etc, and generally doing all he could to embarrass the administration.

    It came out that Wilson worked for a saudi-funded group that had done its best to oppose the war. He was on record against the war before his trip. Someone asked the obvious question: who picked this guy, with his obvious biases, for this sensitive mission? Enter Robert Novak. A consummate Washington insider, Novak has contacts within the national security agencies that go back 30 years. He easily found out that Wilson had been promoted for the Niger mission by his wife, who happens to work for the CIA. She, as well as her husband, apparently was a democrat activist who had contributed to the Gore campaign.

    Novak reported this very relevant fact back in July. Someone at Langley cried foul, and the Justice referral was set in motion.

    I doubt Novak got the original leak from the White House. I'm guessing this was payback from someone at CIA who resented the Wilsons' manipulation of the system. The real scandal here is how did an Agency employee manage to put her husband on a sensitive mission when he was totally conflicted at best, and possibly serving the interests of his Saudi patrons? What did George Tenet know and when did he know it? Can Bush get the CIA under control or will it continue to undercut his Presidency?

    It is sad commentary on this administration's political skills that they have been put on the defensive by this made-up scandal.
  4. word around washington is that novak's source was scooter libby. i saw novak on "meet the press" this weekend.... he was not at his best. he said that his source mentioned this cia operative matter of factly and that it wasn't a big deal. but then he says he will go to jail to protect his source..... he needs to get his story right...if it isn't a big deal then come clean or go to jail. btw, i am a very conservative independent...i even voted for Bush. but i don't care who outed Plame...they need to go to jail, bottomline.....as far as novak goes, i usually agree with the man...i just think he was wrong this time...
  5. msfe


    Anatomy of a scandal

    The fallout from the outing of a CIA agent could prove to be extremely damaging to George Bush's presidency, writes Julian Borger

    Tuesday October 7, 2003

    In The Recruit, a Hollywood film earlier this year about CIA folk, there is a discussion among the agency's trainers of who, if any, of that year's intake of eager recruits would make the grade of NOC - the crème de la crème who take the deepest undercover, most dangerous jobs.

    Most of the film was inevitably a fanciful romp, but that little detail from the spying trade turns out to be true. NOCs exist. The initials stand for "non-official cover", which means that such agents do not pose as diplomats or government officers in more conventional roles.

    They operate outside the embassies, in the roles of businessmen, or students or tourists, and so do not have diplomatic cover if they are caught. Valerie Plame, the woman at the centre of Washington's scandal of the moment, is an NOC and a specialist in weapons of mass destruction. At least she was, until she was outed by a conservative columnist, Robert Novak, on a tip from "two senior administration officials".

    In their eyes, Plame had the poor taste to be married to Joseph Wilson, a retired ambassador who had blown the whistle on at least one of the White House's spurious claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

    The naming of Plame, and the consequent ruin of her career, was intended either as a deterrent to other would-be whistleblowers, or simple revenge, or both. It was also a serious crime, now being investigated by the FBI, carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years.

    Those are the basics this particular story. The irony is that the real scandal, the falsification of "intelligence" about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, is far more serious.

    But in a sense it is too big. There are too many people involved and they are too important to be "caught". The idea that the nation was tricked into backing the war is also possibly too much for many Americans to come to grips with right now while they are still in a patriotic post-September 11 frame of mind.

    There has been little of the sense of outrage that has inflamed public life in Britain for much of this year. But the sense of disillusion is clearly corroding its way into the president's ratings.

    White House scandals tend to have their beginnings at a smaller, more human level. Watergate began with a little-noticed burglary; Whitewater, with an Arkansas land deal, "progressing" to furtive Oval Office encounters with an intern. So it is with Wilsongate, although the issues at the heart of this scandal are a good deal more serious than real estate sales or oral sex.

    Plame posed as a consultant for a little known energy firm called Brewster Jennings & Associates, which the world now knows is a CIA front company. So any and every foreign intelligence service will presumably be carrying out a search of any contacts its citizens have had with Valerie Plame and-or Brewster, Jennings & Associates. That is bad news for the CIA's witting and unwitting foreign contacts, who will now be under suspicion as spies.

    It is also bad news for Washington's attempts to track weapons of mass destruction around the world, having failed to find them in Iraq. Undercover forays into the murky world of arms deals and supposedly civilian nuclear contracts are a more subtle and almost certainly a more efficient way of finding them than an invasion.

    White House staff had until Tuesday this week to hand over any relevant email or correspondence over the affair while investigators are going over the phone logs. Meanwhile, the administration is in denial mode. At least, it is denying that Karl Rove, the president's political brain, and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's top lieutenant, are guilty of leaking classified information.

    But the White House is not saying these two senior fix-it men did not have conversations about Plame. I understand that Rove talked about Plame with at least two of the six journalists known to have been tipped off about the identity of Wilson's wife. According to Wilson, he told one of those journalists that Plame was "fair game". There are also unconfirmed rumours about Libby's involvement.

    The White House's main line of defence seems to that even if these two senior officials had conversations with journalists about Plame, either they did not know that Plame was undercover and therefore did not deliberately expose her, or that they got involved after Bob Novak had already published his story, in which case the name was in the public arena. The fact that they were encouraging journalists to write about Plame may then be slimy, but it is not technically illegal.

    Yes, the president that promised to "restore honour and integrity" to the White House is retreating to the thickets of legal technicalities. As one administration staffer commented wryly to a Washington journalist "I did not have conversations with that man".

    That is a line with unmistakable syntax for anyone who has covered Washington sleaze. It evokes Clinton's most infamous denial: "I did not have sex with that woman." Clinton was falling back on definitions of sex (in his lawyer's mind, oral sex was not intercourse and therefore not sex, narrowly defined). This White House will apparently make a stand on the definitions of "reveal" and "classified".

    One possibility is that the original leakers to Novak may be lower level, and may even work outside the White House, in which case the Bush team will be able to sack them and move on. But for all its reluctance, the administration may end up having to name a special prosecutor to lay the case to rest once and for all. Otherwise the Democrats will be able to scream whitewash through the election campaign.

    All the evidence suggests that Americans outside Washington do not care all that much about the details of this complex scandal, but they did not care much about Whitewater either and the case nevertheless imparted an air of tawdriness on the Clinton White House for years before Clinton himself added some real sleaze.

    So although it may not be fatal, Wilsongate will not just stick to the Bush administration, it will also remove a patch of political Teflon, and after a president loses that, he has to fight much harder for his future.
  6. hey!!!:eek:

    get the story straight. This is America. :cool:

    We (republican sleezballs) spent 50 million dollars trying to impeach teflon Bill for getting a "bj" from the fatso.:D :D ummm lest not forget the infamous definition of the word IS:D :D

    Toady, the moron spineless democrats, are going after a cia bs story.
    These dimwits should be frying dumya's ass on a fraud for war, unnecessary dead, possible involvement with 9/11 and definite involvement with Arabs and Carlyle group.:eek:

    Frankly, both sides are not that much different, their sole purpose is to loot the treasury and payback their benefactors, taxpayers get the shaft Yeahhhh Babyyyyy:D :D :D
  7. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=3&u=/ap/20031007/ap_on_go_pr_wh/cia_leak_117

    "This is a town where a lot of people leak, and I've constantly expressed my displeasure with leaks, particularly of classified information," Bush said. "I hope we can get this investigation done in a thorough way, as quickly as possible."

    "This is a very serious allegation that has been made," McClellan said. "It is a criminal matter being investigated by the Department of Justice, and no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the president of the United States."

    --- So revealing classified information is not a crime in America? Better tell that to the CEO's of companies who don't want company secrets getting out into the open.
  8. The column by Julian Borger is a fair representation of the left's desperate desire to turn this from Washington cocktail party material into their wet dream, a special prosecutor get the president chase. The fact that no one gives a damn matters little to the leftwing media. Apparently the facts don't either.

    I've seen no proof this woman was anything other than an analyst. Now suddenly we are breathlessly told she is the sort of deep cover secret agent they make movies about. It seems very unlikely to me that an Ambassador's wife would be a deep cover agent. Maybe if she is so deep cover she should stay out of political fights. Her husband is a self-admitted publicity seeking liberal activist. He was a terrible choice to send on the supposed Niger fact-finding mission. Why was he sent? That should be the story, not whether someone leaked an Agency employees identity. If she conspired to have him chosen, she should be fired. Any problems she faces now are self-inflicted wounds.

    I also find it fascinating that a bunchof liberal Democrats are suddenly VERY concerned about leaking CIA secrets and endangering CIA assets. These same congressmen have been leaking secrets for 30 years, and doing their best to lionize those who betray classified material. Ever hear of the Pentagon Papers? Name one liberal who was upset about any CIA leak before this. Bottom line is this was a highly politicized exercise from the get go, Novak saw through it and blew it open, but the administration is too dim-witted to turn it to their advantage.
  9. (From a recent borowitzreport.com newsletter)


    White House Denies Leaking Denial

    An unnamed White House source last night vigorously denied leaking classified information about a CIA operative, sending the White House scrambling to identify the source of the leaked denial.

    The unnamed source leaked a strongly worded denial of the previous leak in phone conversations with over two hundred newspaper columnists across the country.

    "We are not in the business of leaking information," the unnamed source said.

    Ben Trimble, a political columnist for the Canton (OH) Star-Ledger, attempted to STAR-69 the call in order to identify the source of the leaked denial, but to no avail.

    "It wouldn't disclose the phone number or the location," Mr. Trimble said. "That kind of made me think it was Cheney."

    At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan said that the Administration would launch a "full investigation" to determine the source of the leaked denials.

    "If someone is out there denying leaks, that is very serious business," Mr. McClellan said. "Denying leaks is my job."

    But moments after Mr. McClellan spoke, columnists received a new round of anonymous phone calls, this time denying that the White House had been the source of the earlier denials.

    As the number of anonymous leaks from the White House mounts to a dozen or more a day, newspaper columnists are increasingly signing up for the Federal "do not call" list to keep unnamed White House sources from bothering them at home.

    "The first couple of leaks I didn't mind," said the Star-Ledger's Trimble. "But these guys keep calling me at dinnertime."
  10. msfe


    Conyers Calls For Rove's Resignation

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative John Conyers, Jr., the Ranking Member, on the House Judiciary Committee sent the following letter to Senior White House Advisor, Karl Rove, asking for his resignation:

    Tuesday 07 October 2003

    Dear Mr. Rove:
    I write to ask you to resign from the White House staff. Recent press reports have indicated that, while you may or may not have been the source of the Robert Novak column which revealed the status and name of a covert operative, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, you were involved in a subsequent effort to push this classified information to other reporters and give it even wider currency. This itself may be a federal crime, but regardless of that fact, your actions are morally indefensible. In my view, it is shameful and unethical that an Administration that promised to govern with "honor and integrity" and "change the tone" in Washington has now engaged in an orchestrated campaign to smear and intimidate truth-telling critics, placing them in possible physical harm and impairing the efforts and operations of the CIA.

    Recent reports indicate that you told the journalist, Chris Matthews, and perhaps others, that Mr. Wilson's wife and her undercover status were "fair game." Evan Thomas and Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, Oct. 13, 2003. Since these initial allegations have arisen, neither the White House nor your office have denied your involvement in furthering the leak. Repeated press inquiries into this matter have been rebuffed with technical jargon and narrow legalisms, instead of broader ethical issues. Indeed, in the same article it appears a White House source acknowledged that you contacted Matthews and other journalists, indicating that "it was reasonable to discuss who sent Wilson to Niger."

    It should be noted that these actions may well have violated 18 U.S.C. ¤ 793, which prohibits the willful or grossly negligent distribution of national defense information that could possibly be used against the United States. The law states that even if you lawfully knew of Mr. Wilson's wife's status, you were obliged to come forward and report the press leak to the proper authorities - not inflame the situation by encouraging further dissemination. 18 U.S.C. ¤ 793(f). Larger than whether any one statute can be read to find criminal responsibility is the issue of whether officials of your stature will be allowed to use their influence to intimidate whistle-blowers.

    Over three decades ago, our nation was scarred by an Administration that would stop at nothing to smear and intimidate its critics. I do not believe the Nation will countenance a repeat of such activities. For your role in this campaign, I would ask that you resign immediately.


    John Conyers, Jr.
    Ranking Minority Member

    cc: The Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
    Committee on the Judiciary
    #10     Oct 8, 2003