July 12, 2006

Joe Wilson Outed Plame's Name

When all is said and done, all the hyperbole has been set aside, and all the conspiracy theories debunked, it comes down to this little tidbit written by Bob Novak:

I learned Valerie Plame's name from Joe Wilson's entry in Who's Who in America

Joe Wilson's Who's Who bio outed his wife's name after an unnamed primary source accidentally revealed information about her role. Karl Rove and the CIA's own Public Information Officer Bill Harlow merely confirmed what Novak already knew.

I don't care too much about the whole Plamegate/Fitzmas bit, though I have read along with it, and this anti-climax is simply hilarious in its non-scandal.

No laws were broken in Plame's name going to press. Not even a tiny one. An inadvertent slip of a position was cross-referenced with publicly available information that Wilson and Plame were stupid and vain enough to volunteer.

This wasn't a grand conspiracy. This was Spies Like Us.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 12, 2006 08:44 AM | TrackBack

So where is the rush from the left to apologize for all of the vitriol aimed at us? Cyrus? matt a? Anybody?

What is even scarier in all of this is that Fitz showed up with waivers in hand from all three of Novak's sources - the primary (UGO), Harlow, and Rove. IOW - Fitz knew a month or so into the investigation who the leaker was, and knew that he wasn't going to be charging anybody with the leak as there was no illegal "outing". So what the heck has he been investigating since then? He's spent a lot of our money and I think he should be held accountable. And since he knew the names before Libby even went in front of the GJ (Libby had been interviewed by the FBI twice at that point in time), it looks more and more like Fitz structured Libby's GJ appearances as PERJURY TRAPS. Some ethics there.

Posted by: Specter at July 12, 2006 09:50 AM

Yes, Fitzgerald had to have known very early on that there was no violation of the Agent Identities Protections Act or any other national security law, and what is more, once Fitzgerald educated himself about the legal requirements of the Agent Identities Protection Act, would know that Plume was not covered -- she was not "covert" under the statute as she did not have a foreign posting within the required statutory period, agency efforts were not made to conceal a non-existent "covert" status and the there was no knowlege of a non-existent "covert" status by the alleged leaker.

I have been writing for sometime that what Fitzgerald did with the investigation was wrong, that he should have closed up shop 60 days into it. But he didn't. He spent millions of dollars on something that legally was much to do about nothing.

At this point, justice would be well served for Libby to win his perjury trial. Differing recollections among Libby and media individuals such as Russert are not prime stuff for a perjury case, and Fitzgerald acknowledged as much when announcing the Libby indictment when Fitzgerald said the case was drawing "fine distinctions." Fitzgerald still justified such a case, he said then, because of the context of the national security interests involved. But ever since, Fitzgerald has been fighting to keep out of the trial the contextual facts of the case, saying that they are irrelevant. Baloney. Libby has the lawyer in Ted Welles who can win the case, and I for one hope he does. Fitzgerald is a smooth talking prosecutor, but if you focus on what he does, then you can understand my view that Fitzgerald has not acted ethically and has not acted responsibly.

Posted by: Phil Byler at July 12, 2006 11:10 AM

Spectre - Sorry to keep you waiting. I sometimes wonder why CY even bothers to link to actual stories that undercut him. From Novak's article,

"In my sworn testimony, I said what I have contended in my columns and on television: Joe Wilson's wife's role in instituting her husband's mission was revealed to me in the middle of a long interview with an official who I have previously said was not a political gunslinger. After the federal investigation was announced, he told me through a third party that the disclosure was inadvertent on his part."

Novak didn't learn of Plume's CIA connection or role in the trip thru who's who but from the primary leak. Of course Joe Wilson is in Who's Who, he was a US ambassador and it wasn't a secret that Plume was his wife, her role in the CIA was.

So why doesn't the primary source come forward?

The only reason I can think of why nobody was prosecuted for this is because a) no evidence exists that would convict someone ie the perfect crime (lack of evidence does not mean that no laws were broken, only that it can't be proven they were) or b)the primary source is either Bush or Chenney who by executive order (or someone else who has been given this power by executive order) can disclose classified info when ever they like (in essence declassifying it on the spot) and it isn't illegal.

If her CIA role wasn't considered classified, then there would have never been an investigation about a leak as Ashcraft I'm sure would have been told this before assigning it to Fitz.

As far as holding Fitz accountable for the waste, I'm all for it when we do the same to Ken Starr.

Posted by: matt a at July 12, 2006 11:48 AM

matt a, you were the know-it-all in school that failed tests because you couldn't read the instructions,aren't you?

What part of this didn't you understand?

Joe Wilson’s Who's Who bio outed his wife's name after an unnamed primary source accidentally revealed information about her role. Karl Rove and the CIA's own Public Information Officer Bill Harlow merely confirmed what Novak already knew.

RIF, junior.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at July 12, 2006 12:22 PM

1. Joe Wilson secretly goes to Niger and investigates.
2. Joe Wilson comes back and writes a scathing, anti-Bush editorial in the NYT about his secret trip, basically calling Bush a liar.
3. Bush administration says, “Who sent that guy?”
4. Novak asks the same question and investigates.
5. According to Novak, his unidentified source inadvertently mentioned that Wilson's wife was involved in the selection process to send him to Niger and that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA.
6. Novak confirms that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA.
7. Novak looked up Joe Wilson in "Who's Who" and learned that his wife’s name was Valerie Plame.
8. Novak publishes his column.
9. Wilson goes nuts.
10. NYT goes nuts.
11. Dems go nuts.
12. Nuts go nuts.
13. 2 ½ year investigation into “illegally leaking” Plame name.
14. One (1) indictment. Not even about the leak.
15. Novak “released” by prosecutor, free to talk.
16. Prosecutor had name of original source from the beginning – didn’t indict.
17. Prosecutor never has specifically said that the “leak” actually broke the law.
18. During Libby indictment, only crime was perjury to a grand jury and lying to the FBI – nothing about the actual leak.

Was exposure of Plame a crime or not? Why does the public not have an absolute definitive answer yet? (Sorry Joe, your opinion doesn’t count)
If it was a crime, where are the charges? It’s been almost three (3) years now.
If it wasn’t a crime, why isn’t the investigation closed yet?

Why indeed.

Posted by: SouthernRoots at July 12, 2006 12:26 PM


Nope never failed a test. Sorry, I can't relate. I was the guy who corrected the teachers in high school because they were too lazy to get their facts right and just decided to make stuff up. Quoting yourself doesn't make it true. I understand EXACTLY what you said in your blog. However, Joe Wilson never kept his marriage a secret or who he was married to. You can't "out" the fact you are married. Its public knowledge documented at some court house obtainable by any Freedom of Information request. But its truly amazing somehow that its Wilson's fault because someone "inadvertently" let it slip out during a interview that it was Wilson's wife working in the CIA that had a hand in sending him to Niger.

SouthernRoot - Don't forget about Wilson writing a report that basically stated the Niger/Uranium thing was completely bogus which was promptly ignored by the administration in their rush to get the "facts" out.

If you want to blame anyone for this whole mess, blame the administration. If they had been straight forward in the beginning and explained themselves, this ordeal would have been over a long time ago. How many months ago was it that Karl Rove, Libby, VP, etc all categorically denied having ANY involvement with the Novak column or the outing of Plame? And now we know of at least 3 sources (really only 2). This, of course, ignores Bob Woodruff who claims as many as 20 sources for how he knows.

If you act like you have something to hide, people tend to think you have something to they say, trying to hide the crime is worse than the crime itself...

Posted by: matt a at July 12, 2006 01:10 PM

The difference between Ken Starr's investigaiton and Patrick Fitzgerald's is that there was quite a bit of illegality uncovered by Ken Starr's investigation, whereas Patrick Fitzgerlad's was legally much to do about nothing.

Posted by: Phil Byler at July 12, 2006 03:38 PM

matt a,

Don't forget about Wilson writing a report that basically stated the Niger/Uranium thing was completely bogus which was promptly ignored by the administration in their rush to get the "facts" out.

Test failed. Wilson never wrote a report. In fact he was debriefed at home after the trip by CIA agents with his wife present at the time. They took what he said and wrote up a report. In his debrief:

Wilson reported that he had met with Niger's former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki, who said that in June 1999 he was asked to meet with a delegation from Iraq to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between the two countries. Based on what Wilson told them, CIA analysts wrote an intelligence report saying former Prime Minister Mayki "interpreted 'expanding commercial relations' to mean that the (Iraqi) delegation wanted to discuss uranium yellowcake sales." In fact, the Intelligence Committee report said that "for most analysts" Wilson's trip to Niger "lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal."

This is well known information. I guess you did not study.

From the SSSC:

He (the intelligence officer) said he judged that the most important fact in the report was that the Nigerian officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Nigerian Prime Minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium, because this provided some confirmation of foreign government service reporting.

In fact - the delegation from Iraq was headed by a former weapons guy from Iraq. Add to that the only real export from Niger is uranium. Hmmmm?

Well...I will agree with Joe that no sale was made, but that is not what Bush claimed is it? Would you like me to quote the 16 words to you? There were other sources of information besides Wilson, but being the BMOC he is he decided that he was the one and only.

matt a - have you even read SSSC and Butler reports? Joe Wilson claimed in the press to have debunked the forged Nigerian documents before our government had even see them. How did he do that?

Watch Novak tonight. You missed what he said - he claimed that Plame's role was discussed by UGO. After that he looked up Joey boy in Who's who and found her name. He called CIA and asked the press rep Harlow if she worked there. Harlow said yes. Now - if she was covert, or being actively protected by CIA, Harlow would not have even known who she was. Yet he seemed to be able to look her up in the directory and give Novak an answer. Sorry - all your dreams of Fitzmas just turned into a lump of coal....

Posted by: Specter at July 12, 2006 04:32 PM

To add on to what Phil Byler said, from this website:

Number of charges brought by Ken Starr in the Whitewater probe -- 19

Number of convictions resulting from Ken Starr's probe -- 14

Number of imprisonments resulting from Ken Starr's probe -- 8

Number of confidential FBI files procured by the Clinton White House -- 900 - 1500

Number of confidential FBI files Nixon aide Charles Colson went to prison for having in his possession -- 1

Matt A - I didn't forget about what Joe "reported", a bi-partisan Senate committee report debunked his statements
here :

Wilson's assertions -- both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information -- were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report.

The panel found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson's assertions and even the government's previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address.

You’re stuck on the premise that Joe Wilson was totally truthful. I believe that he was an extremely partisan hack who has been much less than truthful in his accusations against the administration.

Posted by: SouthernRoots at July 12, 2006 04:51 PM

Novak was great on Special Report. Time for the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy Mongers to go home. Done deal.

Posted by: Specter at July 12, 2006 05:59 PM

Does it not bother anyone that Bush said he would punish, roll heads, and piss down the necks of any leakers in the White House, only to learn it was his closests colleagues and the investigation suggests he was the source himself? What does it take to disturb the sexless wonders?

Posted by: Johnny at July 12, 2006 06:16 PM

What are you talking about Johnny-boy? Are you delusional? What part of the investigation points to Bush? Seriously - you are grasping at straws.

Posted by: Specter at July 12, 2006 11:35 PM

How then, to explain a previous comment by Novack, in Newsday: ""I didn't dig it out, it was given to me. They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it."

so Novack is telling two opposing tales. One, clearly, must be a lie.

Posted by: george 3rd at July 13, 2006 03:52 AM

If her CIA role wasn't considered classified, then there would have never been an investigation about a leak as Ashcraft I'm sure would have been told this before assigning it to Fitz.

This is irrelevant.

Vast sums of money have to be wasted to prove to morons that there is not a coverup going on. Even then the most crazed of the moonbats won't believe the results anyway.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 13, 2006 04:32 AM

Sorry, for some reason my home ISP won't pull up CY's website so let me respond:

Spectre - I apologize for being too literal in my words, how about "Wilson reported back"? I'm sorry for trying to interject reality into your conspiracy-riddled timeline...

I know about Bush's 16 words. I know about the reports. The Senate basically cleared the analysts from being responsible for jumping to conclusions on what "expanding commercial relations" meant in context to other intelligence.

So call Wilson a partisian hack, ohhh. Imagine a political appointee (that's what ambassadors are) being partisian. Republican SOP 101 is attack the messenger.

The fact is that Wilson caught the administration in a big fat "oops". It was embarassing and so the administration did what it always does, attack the individual representing a threat (see McCain in '00 campaign in SC). #3 in your timeline says it all - Bush says "who sent this guy?" not, "Is this right?" "Did we come to the wrong conclusion?" Nope, first thing was to figure out who had the tenacity to investigate the white house's conclusions...So yes, lets go after all the inconsistencies because he must be a liar and a hack and have an agenda and a wife in the CIA...

bottom line - 1 day after his NYT editorial went out, the white house retracted the 16 word statement. 1 day. From

On July 7, the day after Wilson's original Times article, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer took back the 16 words, calling them "incorrect:"

4 days later:

[On July 11]...CIA Director George Tenet took personal responsibility for the appearance of the 16 words in Bush's speech:

Tenet: These 16 words should never have been included in the text written
for the President.

Tenet said the CIA had viewed the original British intelligence reports as "inconclusive," and had "expressed reservations" to the British.

So Tenet admitted that the CIA thought the uranium deal was inconclusive and the words should NEVER have been in the speech.

When do you think the White House would have admitted to this "gaff" if Wilson's NYT article hadn't run?

Posted by: matt a at July 13, 2006 08:33 AM

You see matt a,

You just aren't up to snuff. Test failed again. Joe Lied. Explain to me how he "debunked" the Niger Forgeries before anybody in our government had seen them. Just how did he do that - unless of course he wrote them - but I don't think he is stupid enough to do that.

The 16 words were there in SOTU. So what? There were other countries and intelligence agencies that reported the same thing. That is all Bush said. Italy, Britain, France among others. There was reason to believe that "Hussein was seeking quantities of uranium from Africa." So where is the lie? Just because Joe was upset that nobody paid attention to his little itty-bitty piece of the pie? And the left - you included - jumped all over that. Must be nice to be led around by the nose by such a great man.

As to Novak - they gave it to me statement. Well...they did! UGO told him that Joe Wilson's wife who worked at CIA suggested Joey boy for the trip. That happened. She did. Fact. It was given to him. Did he really have to "dig" to pick up who's who and look up her name? You guys are really reaching here.

matt a - gotta laugh when you accuse me of conspiracy mongering. WTF - what is it that you have been doing for the last 3 years by saying there was this huge conspirace to get "Joe". You just sound foolish.

Face it. Investigation is over. Fitz knew in early January who the leaker was and did not choose to pursue any charges. Why? No law was broken. Get over it. Done deal. Only thing left to clear up now is how Fitz is gonna pay us back for all the money he spent when he already knew no law had been broken.

Posted by: Specter at July 13, 2006 09:03 AM

BTW matt a - The 16 words were not based on the forgeries. That is in SSSC which you have assured us you read (yea right). Some day you may figure this out, but I am not very hopeful.

Gotta love it though - the guy who broke the story says he saw NO ATTEMPT TO OUT PLAME. NO CONSPIRACY. LOL. Time to get your knickers untwisted leftists.

Posted by: Specter at July 13, 2006 09:05 AM

Spectre - we agree, there is no hope for you.

I would respond indepth but its obvious you are either skipping over all the big words or just reading what you want to see.

Long live the kool-aid...

Posted by: matt a at July 13, 2006 02:18 PM