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Judith Miller Names Cheney Aide as CIA Leak Source

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New York Times reporter Judith Miller has been released after 12 weeks in the can for refusing to testify as to the identity of a confidential source in the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation.

She has now faced the grand jury and lawyers involved in the case say Miller named her source as I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. Libby had apparently spoken to the Vice President about how to deflect claims that Cheney himself was responsible for sending Plame’s husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, to Niger to investigate Saddam Hussein’s alleged attempts to acquire uranium. Cheney’s response was to emphasize that the CIA had send Wilson “on their own initiative.”

These new revelations do little to unravel the central mystery: Did anyone in the White House knowingly blow Plame’s cover?

We do know that two White House sources, Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby, mentioned that Plame suggested her husband for the mission and that she worked for the CIA. It is plausible to infer that Cheney told his chief of staff about the Plame-Wilson connection. The fact that both Rove and Cheney’s people were talking to reporters about Plame points to a generalized White House strategy to smear Wilson and discredit the damaging assertions he made in a 2003 New York Times editorial.

What we don’t know—and this will be the key to any prosecution that might follow in the wake of Plame’s outing—is whether any of the people involved knew she was a covert agent and deliberately blew her cover. This is the burden that the law requires.

Regardless of the law, however, President Bush has the means—if not the responsibility—to punish those responsible for divulging Plame’s CIA ties. Whether they did so knowingly, these people are responsible for compromising a covert CIA agent and jeopardizing all of the WMD work she had been involved in. How solid President Bush’s commitment to national security is will be determined by how he disciplines those responsible. Don’t hold your breath.

An interesting side note to this story is Judith Miller herself. Why, exactly, did she spent those 12 weeks in prison? According to the Times, the same deal that released Miller to testify against Libby has been on the table for some time. It has been suggested by Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post that she may have stayed in prison to transform herself “from a journalistic outcast (based on her gullible pre-war reporting) into a much-celebrated hero of press freedom.” I suppose that anyone eager to view Miller as the paragon of journalistic virtue should read what New York magazine had to say about her back in June of 2004.

I, for one, think she may have stayed for the food. If her prison was anything like Guantanamo (as has been shrilly pointed out by our elected representatives and Ann Coulter), she may have gotten used to dining on orange glazed chicken, fresh fruit crepes, steamed peas, and mushrooms and rice pilaf. I guess we’ll have to wait for her tell-all book to know for sure.

Originally published as Judith Miller Joins Plame Game

(parenthetical remarks)
Ed:LisaM

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About parenthetical

  • Les Slater

    Punish those that reveal CIA operatives?

    The CIA is nothing but a gang of thugs. We should celebrate the exposure of every one of them. This is one of the stupidities of the left, getting all bent out of shape by the outing of scum.

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    I’ll just let you expose them all.

    See ya’ in pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

  • Les Slater

    > I’ll just let you expose them all.

    I don’t know any CIA agents. At least I don’t think I do. If I did I wouldn’t be so dumb as to expose them directly. If I were aware of (suspect) a particular operation, I would point to it and condemn it. Let them expose themselves.

    There are three parts to my view.

    The CIA is nothing but a gang of thugs. They are up to no good.

    I am totally against any prosecution for the exposure of an agent. That goes for government figures, their staff or anyone else. I am for the abolishment of all such laws.

    I am appalled those progressives that should know better think they are doing good by insisting on prosecuting people they don’t like.

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    And what is your basis that the CIA is just a bunch of thugs?

  • Les Slater

    > And what is your basis that the CIA is just a bunch of thugs?

    Their record. It’s not just the CIA but many agencies that work on behalf of the U.S.’s imperialist aims.

  • http://sussfr.blogspot.com Matthew T. Sussman

    What examples do you have to prove that?

  • Les Slater

    > What examples do you have to prove that?

    Their mission has always been to bypass protocol, if you will, in order to affect U.S. foreign policy.

    Many murders of foreign leaders,coups, etc. have gone down. Do they take credit for them? Have they been behind all of them? Who knows, they don’t produce public documents detailing any of this. Their operations are guarded and highly classified.

    One would have to be naïve to believe that they are not involved in such.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Examples of CIA misconduct are easy to find, from Guatemala and Iran in 1954, to Chile in 1973, to Angola in the 1980s, to Afghanistan and Iraq today. However, this hardly proves any particular CIA operative “deserves” to be exposed to harm, nor does it prove the agency ought to be disbanded.

  • Nick Jones

    And don’t forget the CIA/Mafia partnership to assassinate Castro.

  • Les Slater

    > Examples of CIA misconduct…

    Misconduct? We’re not talking about errant children here. These are serious crimes. They were carrying policy of the U.S. government.

    > However, this hardly proves any particular CIA operative “deserves” to be exposed to harm,

    I don’t look at this from an individualistic perspective. I do not wish the organization any success. If they meet the fate they deserve, all the better. Any honest individual should quit before abetting any criminal activity, or suffering its consequences.

    > …nor does it prove the agency ought to be disbanded.

    Prove? Why should it have to proved? They are a criminal organization.

  • http://victoplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Stop and think, Les. Then formulate a coherent line of reasoning. Don’t rush to comment when you don’t have anything persuasive or well-researched to say.

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    Les, Read “The Very Best of Men.” It’s a great book on the founding and early years of the CIA. Fascinating stuff. It might also open your eyes to the fact that the Agency, like any government agency, is nether good nor bad. It has been put to terrible uses, true. Plame was not instigating coups, herself. Very few CIA operatives are. Their mission is much broader than I think you suppose.

  • Les Slater

    > Stop and think, Les. Then formulate a coherent line of reasoning. Don’t rush to comment when you don’t have anything persuasive or well-researched to say.

    I’m always thinking and very conscious of what I say.

    I didn’t think it would get as far as it did in this post.

    Persuasive? This goes against the grain of what most think. I was just trying to ferret out where others were coming from.

    I do think I have formulated a coherent line of reasoning. I’m not goin’ to quote volumes from the Church commission. Many of already know what the CIA is.

    It is popular these days to believe the U.S. has, or has ever had, good intentions. That’s a fiction. This hasn’t been so on an international scale since before 1898.

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    Les, may I ask if you are an American? Just curious.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Les, when you say things like “Why should it have to be proved?” and just expect everyone to believe your increasingly wild-eyed claims, you are merely damaging your own credibility, not doing any serious harm to the criminal activities you seek to oppose.

  • Les Slater

    > Plame was not instigating coups, herself.

    Maybe nothing she ever did was instrumental in a coup or preparations for a coup. That is beside the point. People like her, pretending to be other than what they are, or maybe, in addition to what they are, are acting as a conduit for information from the unwary. It is from the vast array of such persons acting on behalf of the CIA that does the harm, including coups.

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    That makes no sense at all.

  • Les Slater

    >> …nor does it prove the agency ought to be disbanded.

    > Prove? Why should it have to proved? They are a criminal organization.

    >> Les, when you say things like “Why should it have to be proved?”

    Once again, why does it have to be proved? How can it be proved?

    One must have agreement on what their role is in the world. That is beyond getting much agreement in this blog.

    >> and just expect everyone to believe your increasingly wild-eyed claims,

    I’m glad you appreciate my wild eyes.

    >> you are merely damaging your own credibility,

    Credibility is in they eye of the beholder. My main attempt in this blog is to be consistent. It is not every post that I can use Dave Nalle as a foil. I’m on my own here. No stupidities I can jump on either. No agreement either.

    >> not doing any serious harm to the criminal activities you seek to oppose.

    And why would I expect it might?

  • Les Slater

    > That makes no sense at all.

    What part makes no sense? I could explain.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Pretty much every part of what you’ve said here makes no sense at all, Les.

  • Les Slater

    > Maybe nothing she ever did was instrumental in a coup or preparations for a coup.

    Clear? Make sense? She may have never contributed to any coup.

    > That is beside the point.

    That’s clear enough. You may not agree.

    > People like her,

    There are hundred, thousands, I don’t know, that are working as agents, not always full time. Many of them profess to be journalists, academics, or whatever. They may or may not be what they profess but do have a CIA mission to gather information.

    > are acting as a conduit for information from the unwary.

    They pass whatever information the CIA has asked for, and / or just gossip. The people are not aware they are talking to the CIA.

    > It is from the vast array of such persons acting on behalf of the CIA that does the harm, including coups.

    The CIA sorts, categorizes and correlates this information to get a bigger and more strategic picture of a potential target. There may be no action taken but the information is kept.

    When the U.S. government calls on the CIA to act, that information is valuable. All the little players had a part in it. None are blameless.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    So basically, Les, your position is that the United States government ought to deliberately blind itself to large amounts of information about what is going on in the world. That doesn’t sound very persuasive to me.

  • Les Slater

    > So basically, Les, your position is that the United States government ought to deliberately blind itself to large amounts of information about what is going on in the world.

    I can tell you what is going on in the world. It’s in plain sight.

    The CIA has never been very good at knowing what’s hapening. They have always been more reactionary. They don’t see what they don’t want to see.

    > That doesn’t sound very persuasive to me.

    I didn’t expect it would.

    Their role has been more to find stooges that would go along with a coup.

    Venezuela is a good current example.