Good article today by Jed Babbin about the CIA’s continuing disinformation campaign:
The CIA’s disinformation campaign against President Bush — headlined in the Wilson/Plame affair — is more jujitsu than karate. Instead of applying your own force to defeat your opponent, you turn his energy and momentum against him and bring him down. The CIA, as much or more than the State Department, didn’t support President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. And to discredit that decision, it appears the CIA first chose an unspeakably unqualified political activist for a sham intelligence mission, structured it so that the results would be utterly public, and then — when the activist resumed his publicity-hound activity — demanded and achieved a high-profile criminal investigation into White House activities that resulted, so far, in the indictment of the Vice President’s chief of staff.
It’s time for the Justice Department — or, better yet, for the Senate Intelligence Committee — to investigate the Wilson/Plame sham. Not only was the Wilson mission to Niger a sham, but the CIA’s demand for an investigation of Robert Novak’s outing of Valerie Plame may itself have been a criminal act.
Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely (USA, ret.) is one of Fox’s senior military analysts. Gen. Vallely confirmed to me that nearly a year before Robert Novak’s July 2003 column revealed Valerie Plame as a CIA employee, former Clinton Ambassador Joe Wilson told Vallely and his wife, Muffin, that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. This revelation, published last week on John Batchelor’s ABC talk show (and repeated Monday night on John’s show), blew more holes into Joe Wilson’s tattered credibility and raises important questions about the CIA’s actions. (Fox’s Judge Andrew Napolitano had said on the air that a FNC colleague had told him of Plame’s CIA employment; Vallely didn’t recall being Napolitano’s source.)
Wilson’s reactions to Vallely’s assertion bespeak panic and meltdown. After Vallely’s assertion on the Batchelor show (subsequently republished on World Net Daily), Wilson’s lawyer both called and e-mailed Vallely threatening legal action if he didn’t withdraw the assertion. The e-mail, which Vallely sent me, included Wilson’s e-mail to his lawyer. Wilson, in a message to his lawyer dated November 5 at 5:11 p.m., said, “This is slanderous. I never appeared on tv before at least July 2002 and only saw him maybe twice in the green room at Fox. Vallely is a retired general and this is a bald faced lie. Can we sue? This is not he said/he said, since I never laid eyes on him till several months after he alleges I spoke to him about my wife. Joe.” But the threat of legal action against Vallely isn’t serious. Neither Wilson nor Plame want to testify in open court under oath.
[…]Regardless of who started the mission, the CIA responded to the Novak column by sending a classified criminal referral — the allegation of criminal conduct requesting a formal investigation — to the Justice Department. When it did so, it had to have known that Plame’s status was not covert (as defined in the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982) and probably knew ” it is an intelligence organization, after all ” that Wilson had blabbed his wife’s identity around town. Why, then, was the criminal referral made? Who approved it? Such actions had to be approved at least by the CIA general counsel and probably by CIA Director Tenet or at least his deputy, McLauglin. Why did they do that knowing what they must have known?
The December 30, 2003 letter from Deputy Attorney General Paul Comey appointing Patrick Fitzgerald special prosecutor, says, in part: “I hereby delegate to you all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department’s investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee’s identity” What was the allegation? If it were made falsely — say with the knowledge that Plame’s identity wasn’t covert or had become public — the person who made the referral may have committed a serious crime.
[…]The American people need this matter investigated forthwith, and not — God help us — by yet another special counsel. The Senate Intelligence Committee should, immediately, investigate and cause the following questions to be answered publicly as soon as possible:
1) What precisely does the CIA criminal referral that started the Fitzgerald investigation say? It should be declassified and published;
2) Who approved the criminal referral and why?
3) Was Pavitt the person who approved the Wilson mission? Who else approved the mission and how it was to be performed?
4) Why did they choose Wilson instead of someone qualified?
5) Why wasn’t Wilson required to sign a confidentiality agreement?
6) Were his various op-eds vetted at CIA?
7) Who else, beside Vallely and his wife, knew Plame was a CIA employee, when did they know it and from whom?
8) Who was Bob Novak’s source? Was it Wilson? Pavitt? Someone else at CIA?
Also, on a side note, you can find all the documents you need to prove that Plame was not a covert agent when her name was first uttered here. This is the motion filed by 36 MSM organizations arguing that no crime had been committed because Valerie Plame’s identity had previously been disclosed to both the Russians and the Cubans.