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A travesty of Justice, the revealing of Valerie Plame, as a covert spie

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A travesty of Justice, the revealing of Valerie Plame, as a covert spie

DanLM
First, let me make clear my position on this. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage should have been prosecuted and locked up. I wouldn't have cared if it was President Bush that released her name to the press, that person should have been prosecuted. The fact that the democratic party for all it's bluster and investigation only accomplished one thing. A glorified witch hunt and prosecution of Libby. For all their outrage about an agents life being put in danger, once they got their teeth into Libby. They never looked back. And even after Richard Armitage admitted that he was the one that released that information, they wouldn't press charges.

What does this tell our men and women that are covert agents? It doesn't matter if their cover is blown for political purposes. What does this tell us about the democratic party. They do not care one bit about the men and women that put their lives forward for this country. It's all about political gain for them. I seriously doubt the democrat's sincerity in their CONCERN for our soldiers in Iraq because of this instance. They have already shown that they are only after this president, and it doesn't matter that lives can be lost to achieve this goal. It's all about them reacquiring the office of president, and nothing else. It also makes you wonder if the democratic party even worries about the security of this nation if it interferes with their political gain.

A quote from Lindsay Moran's interview from newsweek: Former spy Lindsay Moran says the CIA remains a 'challenging' environment for women like Valerie Plame.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17632448/

What is the impact in the long run of the Plame case?
The fact that it happened is a loss to the agency?longtime covert operatives like Plame don't grow on trees?but, more importantly, it sets a dangerous precedent, suggesting that it's OK to "out" a CIA officer. So far, no one has been held accountable for that particular transgression.

This also shows how little integrity the press has. It's all about sales and their liberal agenda.

This is crap, pure utter crap. The prosecutor should be fired for not prosecuting the admitted offender of this CRIMINAL offence. The democratic party should be looked at with open eyes now that it is shown their bluster and outrage is purely false. And again, Richard Armitage should be locked up and have the key thrown away.

If this joke of an investigation would have charged and prosecuted Libby for perjury along with prosecuting Richard Armitage, I would have had no issue with this at all. At least it would have been shown that the democrats were serious about their convictions. This shows they are not. And this shows why they better prove themselves real damn soon, because I will shove this in any ones face that tells me that the democrats wouldn't have 3000 body bags if they would have been in office. Bull sh*t, there would be 3000 body bags because the only things they have any conviction for is taking over political power. And it doesn't matter who's life was put in jeopardy or lost to get it. Screw the democrats, where is the outrage that the person that released this information is still free.

I know, it's like their other convictions. It doesn't matter as long as the current president is run out of office. That and they still haven't shown the damn balls to stand up and fight against a president that they dislike. They are doing everything to look good without accomplishing a damn thing.

What a bunch of low life wuss's. We would be bowing to Mecca right now if the democrats were in office. And this case just proves my statement.

What else does this show me. I was wrong in hoping that the right person would be prosecuted in the this crime. I was hoping for all the bluster that the democrats were showing, that they would be true to their word and lock up the prick that released this woman's name. I was wrong, and I won't forget this error in my judgment.

Dan
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    AV .

    They are the ones that destroyed Valerie Plame's life in retaliation for her husband's public assertion that Saddam did not buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

    I have to agree that the investigation into the CIA leak case was a bust. There was no justice for Valerie Plame or any other covert agents that risk their lives for this country. Sure, Scooter Libby was found guilty of lying about it, but he wasn't the leaker. Richard Armitage should be prosecuted as the leaker. GWB said he would do that and then dropped it.

    The only thing the trial brought out is that the White House operates like a shadowy, secret cabal. Scooter Libby took the fall, but really, what did he have to gain by lying and who was he protecting? None other than **** Cheney.

    **** Cheney initiated the CIA leak because he didn't like that Joe Wilson publicly refuted that Saddam was trying to acquire materials for WMDs, the very basis for the Iraq war.

    I can't blame the Democrats for the sins of the Bush Administration. Team Bush has shown an arrogance of power that is absolutely scary. Its no wonder why they are reviled around the world.

    Democrats have proved they just don't want to deal with it. They're just waiting for the next election. The good thing is that Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson haven't dropped it. Thats the only way there will ever be the hope of justice.

    AV

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    DanLM

    They havent done ****. Simple as that.

    And as far as the republicans, they deserve the same disgust.

    If the vice president caused this, then he should be impeached and imprisoned. But the democrats, again have shown they don't even have the balls to take on an administration that they say is so wrong.

    The least this investigation should have done was offer amunity to the person that leaked this information to find out who put him up to it. The damn democrats 1). Wern't smart enough. 2). Didn't care 3). Didn't have the balls.


    The republicans, are just as bad. They are playing pure freakin politics, nothing more. Which is just as bad. They should lynch the pricks that did this and prove to everyone that they are willing to clean house to stay in power. They are a bunch of damn cowards also.

    My disgust with the democrats is that they claimed, ran on, and won this election by saying they would clean up washington. The only thing these pricks have shown is they are just as clueless as what the claim the republicans are. It shows that they have no guts for a fight, and even when the polls back them they still dont have the balls for a fight. They are cowards, it's as simple as that.

    If they feel so god dmn strongly about their position, then get some freaken balls and prove it. They haven't.

    Both party's have shown no regard for this agent or the possibility of her life. I don't care what you think about President Bush. He has a set of balls, and he is willing to back his beliefs. Nobody else has shown that willingness. And they are just as bad if not WORSE then this president for that reason. Why, you can't count on them to do is fight to win. The only thing you can count on them doing is looking good in the press, and nothing else.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    ...in your very first sentence.

    You said, ...the Republicans destroyed Valerie Plame's life in retaliation for her husband's public assertion that Saddam did not buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

    1. They did not destroy her life.

    2. She was not a "covert" agent.

    3. There was no retaliation motive.

    4. Richard Armitage , an opponent and critic of the Bush administration, was the "leaker". (The State Department, not the White House)

    Your mistake - You believe what you read in the press.

    Okay, that was FOUR counts of mistakes!

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    DanLM

    4. Richard Armitage , an opponent and critic of the Bush administration, was the "leaker". (The State Department, not the White House)


    I just thought he was a dumb a$$ state department official.

    Dan

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    AV .

    1. What is your definition of destroy? After the leak, she no longer has her job with the CIA. Depending on what she was involved in, her life and the lives of her family could be at risk. She was a dedicated public servant that didn't deserve this.

    2. She was a NOC but not a deep-cover agent. She was a spy and specialist in non-conventional weapons. Check out her career at wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_plame

    3. **** Cheney sought to discredit Joe Wilson's claims that Saddam did not buy yellowcake uranium from Niger so he instigated the leak. Why? Because Joe Wilson cast a shadow of doubt that Saddam was pursuing WMDs. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was unable or unwilling to pursue this further, but the Wilsons have filed a separate suit that could uncover the origin of why Valerie Plame's name was leaked through discovery. http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/iraq/wilsonlibby71306cmp.html

    4. Richard Armitage, the admitted leaker, is still part of the Bush Administration and should be prosecuted.

    Don't you think its curious that her name was leaked to the media after her husband's trip to Niger? Sounds like retaliation to me. Why wasn't Richard Armitage prosecuted as the leaker? Why would Scooter Libby perjure himself when he has nothing to gain?

    The Bush Administration's actions are highly questionable at best.

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    DanLM

    4. Richard Armitage, the admitted leaker, is still part of the Bush Administration and should be prosecuted.
    My opinion, it's a witch hunt. They didn't care by the time Richard Armitage admitted it. Which is the travesty here. This should have closed the book here, one way or another.

    Don't you think its curious that her name was leaked to the media after her husband's trip to Niger? Sounds like retaliation to me. Why wasn't Richard Armitage prosecuted as the leaker? Why would Scooter Libby perjure himself when he has nothing to gain?
    The article I posted from Newsweek flat out says that Richard Armitage didn't agree with the Bush policy in Iraq. I find it hard to believe he would be a part of the release of her name for the reason of discrediting her husband. Two points for this. 1). He is a part of the state department and went directly to his supervisor on this, then to the fbi. 2). The leadership of the state department at the time didn't agree with the Iraq war. This was under Powel's leadership.

    Bloody who to blame here, I have no freaken idea now. The repubicans should be screaming to the high heavens that the wrong person was prosecuted. The democrats should have backed up their high profile investigation and prosecuted the admitted leaker.

    Dan

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    AV .

    Richard Armitage leaks Valerie Plame's name by mistake and says he's sorry. Whoops. Scooter Libby perjures himself for reasons unknown and is facing jail time. It doesn't make any sense to me either.

    In the meantime, Valerie Plame is the loser. Libby knows better than to perjure himself, so I don't really care if he faces jail time, but you're right that there should be a prosecution of the admitted leaker. The case isn't closed yet.

    Was Valerie Plame covert or not? It depends on what article you read. It seems to me that her work was important enough to be considered that. There really was no need to reveal her name to sell newspapers.

    I hope she gets justice on her own.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    To the contrary, Valerie Plame is getting EXACTLY what she wanted. Moreover, she stands to reap millions in a couple of book deals, not to mention advancing her own (and her husbands) political agenda.

    And the ONLY thing Scooter Libby was found guilty of was not remembering the details of a conversation with Tim Russert. Perhaps it was Russert who was mistaken.

    I'd bet any amount of money that Scooter Libby will be acquitted on appeal. Not only was the trial, itself, terribly flawed, and not only should the charges never have been brought in the first place, but the whole investigation shouldn't have been conducted since the "crime" being investigated already had an admitter perpetrator.

    You are very naive' in this case, AV. You really don't know what you're talking about.

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    AV .

    Her career is ruined. She never intended to pursue a book deal or anything else. She was a dedicated government employee, looking at her very impressive resume. I'm sure she'll be better off now than she ever could have imagined. Good for her.

    Scooter Libby lied because he had something to cover up. He knows better than to do that, he's a lawyer. He had to though. Thats because he's the fall guy for the Administration. Its unfortunate. I think Patrick Fitzgerald really wanted the big fish, **** Cheney.

    I have to agree the trial was terribly flawed. Theres no justice for Valerie Plame. They didn't even prosecute the real leaker, **** Armitage.

    Tim Russert is not someone that would be mistaken about a conversation like that. No way.

    I'm far from naive, Max. This trial was a farce and the truth has yet to come out. I still think the real issue is, did **** Cheney seek to discredit Joe Wilson's findings on WMDs by outing his wife, Valerie Plame.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    You, yourself, admit that Richard Armatige was the leaker, not Libby, not Vice President Cheney. I doubt, however, you knew that before reading this discussion.

    Okay if you're not naive', then you do know all these things (at least you do now), and therefore you must be on a personal mission to continue this unwarranted vendetta against the White House.

    How would you like it if your husband was prosecuted for "misspeaking" about a conversation he had a couple of years ago while he was being "investigated" for a crime some other guy in another department in a different building committed? If he had no connection to this other guy? If he had no knowledge of the details of what this other guy did or why? And if this other guy was even an opponent of what your husband was doing? He was just so busy and wrapped-up in his job that he didn't recall all the details of some conversation? Okay, so he was mistaken about a conversation he had a couple of years ago with a reporter. Big friggin' deal! It had nothing to do with the other guy's alleged crime anyway! (alleged crime: to be a "crime" it must have been intentional, something that is very doubtful.)

    Yep, that's a political vendetta, alright. Armatige did not even commit a crime, but Libby does the time. And YOU still want the "big fish", **** Cheney, to fall.

    Plame was a "dedicated government employee"?, you say? Well, maybe Libby was just as "dedicated"! And what about Cheney? Do you not think he's been a dedicated public servant for years? For decades? This false image the Democrats and the media have painted of Cheney is disgusting. And you've apparently bought into it, lock, stock and barrell.

    From an early newspaper account:

    The defense says neither Libby nor the White House sought to retaliate against Wilson and that Libby misspoke to investigators looking into the disclosure because he was overwhelmed by a crush of national security and other matters. He has said he had no motive to lie about the details or timing of conversations with reporters.

    ".....overwhelmed by a crush of national security and other matters....." That is certainly believable. Do you disagree? You have no reason to doubt this, but you apparently do. Therefore, you're either naive' or have a vendetta you want to settle.

    You admit, I think Patrick Fitzgerald really wanted the big fish, **** Cheney. Why did he "want" him? For what? He KNEW Cheney wasn't the leaker either! But he still went after him. Why?

    All you are harping on is the Plame is a victim and that she was a dedicated government employee. What a silly and naive' thing to say! Are you suggesting that Libby and or Cheney are not?

    I'll tell you why Richard Armitage isn't being pursued by prosecutors for leaking Plame's name. It's because this whole investigation was never about prosecuting "the leaker" because of a "crime", it's only been about "prosecuting" those in the White House for whatever they could dig up. If you don't see this, you ARE naive'. You're just dead wrong on this, but you apparently have too much "emotional opinion" invested in it to made such an admission.

    Sorry, Valeria Plame IS NOT the victim, here. Scooter Libby is, and his family is -- AND the American public (people like you) who have been DUPED into believing something that's not even close to being true.

    By the way, did you know that.....

    .....a Senate Intelligence Committee report in 2004 discredited Joe Wilson and his "story" about his trip to Niger?

    .....both Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson are Democrat Party loyalists, even dining with Hillary Clinton?

    .....Valerie Plame contributed to the Al Gore campaign?

    .....Plame and Wilson were advisors to the John Kerry campaign?

    .....Valerie Plame ALSO "misspoke" in her sworn testimony?

    Stop being so naive' AV; Valerie Plame IS NOT a "victim".

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    maxwell edison

    AV, you said all of these things:

    What about the Republicans? They are the ones that destroyed Valerie Plame's life in retaliation for.....

    No they didn't (destroy her life), and no they didn't (in retaliation for anything).

    The only thing the trial brought out is that the White House operates like a shadowy, secret cabal..

    The WHITE HOUSE operates like a shadowy, secret cabal? Are you serious? How about the office that was investigating the White House for a "crime" it KNEW was not committed and/or was not committed by the White House?

    **** Cheney initiated the CIA leak because he didn't like....

    **** Cheney initiated NOTHING! Richard Armitage did, he DOES NOT work for Cheney, and he's an opponent of Cheney's.

    This whole message is DRIPPING with naivete

    http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=214728&messageID=2193368

    Geesh, AV, just admit you're wrong!

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    TonytheTiger

    It somehow doesn't seem quite right to use "[will] be better off now than she ever could have imagined." and "victim" in the same thought process.

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    maxwell edison

    .....I abhor even more the accusation of government shenanigans where none exist -- ESPECIALLY ones made by those engaging in such shenanigans themselves.

    Question: Who, in this case, is REALLY engaging in such shenanigans?

    Anyone who answers the White House, Bush, Cheney, Rove, Libby, the Republicans, etc, is an absolute fool.

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    AV .

    You said "Okay, so he was mistaken about a conversation he had a couple of years ago with a reporter. Big friggin' deal!"

    I say Scooter Libby is a lawyer. He knows the rules. He lied under oath. Thats not acceptable for anyone, and especially not the VP's Chief of Staff. If he didn't lie, nothing would have come out of this trial. He isn't above the law and has to be held accountable for his actions.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17479718/

    You said "Yep, that's a political vendetta, alright. Armatige did not even commit a crime, but Libby does the time. And YOU still want the "big fish", **** Cheney, to fall."

    I said " I think Patrick Fitzgerald really wanted the big fish, **** Cheney." I think the ultimate target of this investigation was to implicate **** Cheney as the mastermind in a smear campaign against Joe Wilson. Scooter Libby was the fall guy for the Administration, but he wouldn't have been if he didn't lie under oath.

    I think Valerie Plame was a government employee that was the victim of her husband's fight with the Bush Administration. Thats not acceptable. I don't care if she's a Democrat or eats lunch with Hilary Clinton everyday, she doesn't deserve to have her career ruined because of her husband's politics.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    If you really are sincere with what you say, you should also call for Valerie Plame to suffer the same fate as Scooter Libby. She did exactly the same thing -- under oath. You call it a lie, I call it being mistaken (worst case). Under your standards, however, Plame should be prosecuted for lying under oath.

    Nonetheless, I think you're blind. We'll just agree to disagree.

    Be prepared for a Libby dismissal, however, as a result of his appeal. Then, either the courts will prove you wrong, or you'll have to take your nonsensical reasoning to the next step by claiming a conspiracy or something.

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    DanLM

    The investigation was started due to a covert agent's name being leaked. Was she a covert agent? Not making that call after the last articles I read. BUT, Libby did not release this name to the press and was prosecuted and sentenced. The person that did release the name to the press. Never was charged, never was prosecuted, never was sentenced.

    We are arguing point's here about Libby, and starting to bypass the point here that the person that did release the name is free. I wish the bloody **** I knew of a way to raise this issue higher into the national press so that THIS travesty could be address. And then people could play their political games.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    .....what this is REALLY about.

    It is not, it never was, and it never will be about pursuing "justice" because somebody intentionally leaked the name of a covert CIA agent. (By the way, "intentionally" is the key word here, and since Armitage probably inadvertently let it "slip", there was no crime committed by anyone. That's why they won't -- and can't -- touch him.)

    What this is really about is to give the appearance of impropriety by the White House. It doesn't matter if they did or they didn't, and the details are unimportant. APPEARANCE is all that matters.

    This is just another battle in the war the Democrats are waging against the George W. Bush administration. It doesn't matter whether or not the "charges" are true, but let's make the charges long enough, let enough media pundits start talking about it, let the late-night guys make jokes about it, and presto, they have an instant scandal. Is it with or without merit? Who cares? The damage has already been done!

    And they're doing it again with the "issue" (more accurately, the non-issue) of firing eight (8) U.S. Attorneys. It doesn't matter that President Clinton fired all 93; and it doesn't matter that the president is within his right to do so; and it doesn't matter that ALL presidents have exercised such a right; but let's hit the president with yet another salvo of attacks and "create" yet another "scandal"

    Just when I beginning to think AV had some political sense about her, she had to ruin it by showing how gullible she is for buying into all the crap. She doesn't have a clue.

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    DanLM

    He was willing to release the documentation of all internal discussions, but that wasn't good enough. So, hey. Get bit, I'm not allowing my administration to go before another of your Kangaroo courts.

    ;o)

    dan

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    AV .

    Ok Max. I know you and I will never agree on this subject, so I'll respectfully agree to disagree. Valerie Plame will hopefully get justice from her civil suit, which includes the real leaker, **** Armitage. Whoops is just not acceptable for ruining her career.

    On the 8 fired US Attorneys though, I think the Dems are going out on a political limb because the President has the right to do that. It isn't a scandal or anything that warrants a Congressional investigation.

    I think the Dems want to give the impression that they are cleaning up Washington, but instead they are just wasting time on a non-event. I'm not impressed. I want to see them tackle the big issues like Iraq and immigration. Instead, they are just avoiding these issues with a dog and pony show.

    The Dems aren't showing that they have any answers and its pretty much what I expected from them. I hoped I was wrong but I wasn't.

    AV

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    DanLM

    2. She was not a "covert" agent.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/mccarthy/mccarthy200507180801.asp

    Here is an article that supports this. Basically it says that her cover was blown at least twice before, and not recently but at least 7 years before. This is supported by links to a brief that the media submitted to support that they broke no laws when they stated her status as a cia agent.

    Thus, the same media now stampeding on Rove has told a federal court that, to the contrary, they believe the CIA itself blew Plame's cover before Rove or anyone else in the Bush administration ever spoke to Novak about her. Of course, they don't contend the CIA did it on purpose or with malice. But neither did Rove ? who, unlike the CIA, appears neither to have known about nor disclosed Plame's classified status. Yet, although the Times and its cohort have a bull's eye on Rove's back, they are breathtakingly silent about an apparent CIA embarrassment ? one that seems to be just the type of juicy story they routinely covet.


    The media's brief, fairly short and extremely illuminating, is available here. The Times, which is currently spearheading the campaign against Rove and the Bush administration, encouraged its submission. It was joined by a "who's who" of the current Plame stokers, including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, AP, Newsweek, Reuters America, the Washington Post, the Tribune Company (which publishes the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun, among other papers), and the White House Correspondents (the organization which represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the executive branch).

    Actually, this is a seriously interesting article. Raises some valid points. What the media had to disclose to the prosecution or judge was not what they were reporting. Again, my assertion of a witch hunt. I have issue with some of the links not working in this article, the most important one being the link to the brief that was submitted by the media to the court.

    Let me say this again. 1). Who ever released this information should be prosecuted if she was still a covert agent. 2). The democrats showed how little they really care by not pursuing the actual person that released this information. Which shows they are not concerned about the security of this country, just the bashing of the Bush administration.
    3). The media is happily assisting them in this.

    Dan

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    AV .

    Why would the Bush Administration leak the name of this agent to the press? What was there to gain? It doesn't seem to me that it serves our country to have the name of any CIA operative leaked to the press.

    If you look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_plame, she was obviously involved in many covert roles prior to the leak.

    If it was ok to do, than why the big secret? Why the big cover up?

    Democrats are at fault too for letting this drop. If Richard Armitage is the leaker, than he should be prosecuted.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    This whole thing is nothing more than a political witch hunt. If you knew anything about this thing, you would know that Richard Armitage was anything but a "friend" of the White House. In fact, he was both a skeptic and opposed to the president's plans for Iraq.

    Moreover, Plame was not a "covert" agent. If she was, Armitage would have been indicted for violating that particular law. But he wasn't. Why do you think that is?

    There's more politics and/or the politics of personal destruction going on towards the Bush Administration than you can shake a stick at.

    But don't take my word for it. This whole thing started with a Robert Novak column. Why not take his word for it?

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/novak/288118,CST-EDT-NOVAK08.article

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14533384/site/newsweek

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/30/leak.armitage/index.html

    You need to dig a little deeper than what you read in the headlines. You're way off on this one, AV.

    The bigger question about this whole thing is why the real truth isn't being widely reported? You may not like President Bush, and that's really beside the point. But what forces are at work attempting to destroy an American presidency and grossly mislead the public in the process? You can despise President Bush for all I care, but that's the question you should really be concerned about.

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    DanLM

    The more obvious it is that things are being buried, and the public is not being told everything.

    What I am finding is right up there like your links Max, it's there for anyone to see. But, it's not front page news like the slander and convictions of the Bush administration.

    I truly feel that Richard Armitage should have been charged. Everything else that would occur would have been icing on the cake. But, it shows the democrats didn't wanted the truth as it really was. But, only the truth as they wanted it to be.

    What gets me is. The FBI investigated Armitage. They know he is the leak er. Why the bloody **** wasn't he charged. And to follow that up with another question. If the prosecution had the person that actually leaked this information, and did not press charges against him. What is their justification in pursing charges against other members of the administration. That smells badly of pure politics. And this is the justice department, who this president appointed.

    Dan

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    DanLM

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14533384/site/newsweek/page/2/

    Ya know, the more I read on this the more I think it's bs. So, he didn't mean to harm anyone. He did though, that's the point.

    Ok, here is my spin on that one.

    I'm sorry, I didn't know the gun was loaded when I pointed it at him and pulled the trigger. That's OK Dan, you didn't mean to hurt anyone. We will let you go.

    What a crock.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    If you read or heard the transcript of last week's Senate hearings, you know that the person who wrote the "covert" law testified that Plame was not covered under it. Moreover, Plame, herself, never suggested she was "covert".

    1. No law was broken.

    2. Fitzgerald investigated the White House anyway, looking for whatever he could find, even though HE KNEW it was Richard Armitage (from the Department of State and an opponent of Bush) who leaked the name, even though it wasn't a crime.

    3. Libby was found guilty of forgetting what he told and/or heard from Tim Russert and when. (Or Russert forgot those things.) Gee, somebody forgets the details a conversation. Big friggin' deal!

    This is, indeed, a travesty. And it stinks big time. The media and the Democrats are waging nothing but a witch hunt.

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    DanLM

    Even though she may not have been actively covert. Or have been moving from one job to another. In the cia's eyes, until her status was changed officially. She was covert. Thus, Richard A. should be prosecuted.

    Thats my whole point in this. I fully agree with you that this investigation is a sham, and always has been. Thus, the point of me starting this topic.

    uggg, it just ticks me off the more I read about it.

    Your comment about president bush not slinging it back. It's a very valid point. If he did, the Democrats wouldn't know what to do or how to react. Thay would basically dirty their shorts in shock. And I think he has very solid ground to look them in the eyes and tell them to shut up, and look to their own history for the basis of his decisions and actions they question.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    You asked, Why would the Bush Administration leak the name of this agent to the press?

    They didn't. Why can't you see that?

    You asked, "What was there to gain?"

    Nothing. That's one reason to believe they didn't do it.

    you said, "It doesn't seem to me that it serves our country to have the name of any CIA operative leaked to the press."

    Define "CIA Operative". And consider this. People have testified that Valerie Plame was not "covert". Moreover, isn't it interesting that nobody knows what it is she actually did for the CIA? If she was really "outed", why weren't her job specifics "outed" as well, or at least wondered about? The answer is, she was not "covert". She drove to CIA headquarters every day after she dropped her kids off at school.

    You asked, "If it was ok to do, than why the big secret? Why the big cover up?"

    Where is the REAL "cover up", AV? I assure you, it's not the Bush administration.

    You said, "Democrats are at fault too for letting this drop. If Richard Armitage is the leaker, than he should be prosecuted.

    Why don't you get a clue? You're smarter than that. If these things don't make sense to you, then you're barking up the wrong tree.

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    maxwell edison

    (Or anyone, for that matter.)

    Why do you believe the Bush Administration is capable of engaging in such a "smear campaign", but you refuse to believe that perhaps it's really the Democrats doing it?

    I'll freely admit, there's clearly a "smear campaign" going on here. The real question is by whom and why.

    And considering the fact that President Bush has yet to "retaliate" for any of the mud thrown at him by his opponents, why would he pick this one insignificant person? That's one thing that really pisses me off about President Bush. All of his political enemies are taking pot-shots at him, making all sorts of accusations, and so on, but he just stands there and takes it, never dishing any of it back.

    Why in the **** would he do it here? Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson are a couple of nobodies. Anyone with an ounce of sense will see this for what it really is -- a Democrat Party smear campaign.

    Okay, so the REAL questions: By whom and why?

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    maxwell edison

    .....for the claims and accusations you make. On a scale of 1-10, your level of understanding is not even a 1.

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    deepsand

    in another discussion, which gave credence to the claim that said leak was orchestrated by Cheney's office?

    I'm going to try to find that report in my archives.

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    maxwell edison

    .....Richard Armitage ADMITTED IT!

    Anything you post that implicates the Vice President's office will be pure speculation.

    But go ahead. You've already drawn your conclusion; now you're looking for the justification. What else is new?

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    deepsand

    by presuming that I've already reached one.

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    DanLM

    And I am unsure if I followed that discussion.

    Dan

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    deepsand

    If TR's search were worth the name, I'd easily be able to find the appropriate prior discussion, and quickly retrieve the report.

    I had hoped that max might be of some help in that regards, but seeing as he's so convinced that he already knows what I might say , he's obviously not going to make any effort in that direction.

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    deepsand

    GEOPOLITICAL INTELLIGENCE REPORT
    10.17.2005
    The Importance of the Plame Affair
    By George Friedman

    There are three rules concerning political scandal in the United States. First, every administration has scandals. Second, the party in opposition will always claim that there has never been an administration as corrupt as the one currently occupying the White House. Three, two is almost never true. It is going to be tough for any government to live up to the Grant or Harding administrations for financial corruption, or the Nixon and Lincoln administrations for political corruption -- for instance, was Lincoln's secretary of war really preparing a coup d'etat before the president's assassination? And *** scandals -- Clinton is not the gold standard. Harding was having *** with his mistress in the Oval Office -- and no discussion was possible over whether it was actually ***. Andrew Jackson's wife was unfairly accused of being a prostitute. Grover Cleveland had an illegitimate child. Let's not start on John F. Kennedy.

    Political scandal is the national sport -- the only unchanging spectator activity where a fine time is had by all, save the turkey who got caught this time. That is the fourth rule: Americans love a good scandal, and politicians usually manage to give them one. Thus, the Tom DeLay story is the epitome of national delight. Whether DeLay broke the law or the Texas prosecutor who claims he did is a Democratic hack out to make a name for himself matters little. A good time will be had by all, and in a few years no one will remember it. Does anyone remember Bert Lance or Richard Secord?

    As we discussed in previous weeks, scandals become geopolitically significant when they affect the ability of the president to conduct foreign policy. That has not yet happened to George W. Bush, but it might happen. There is, however, one maturing scandal that interests us in its own right: the Valerie Plame affair, in which Karl Rove, the most important adviser to the president, and I. Lewis Libby, the chief of staff to the vice president, apparently identified Plame as a CIA agent -- or at least did not vigorously deny that she was one when they were contacted by reporters. Given that this happened during a time of war, in which U.S. intelligence services are at the center of the war -- and are not as effective as the United States might wish -- the Plame affair needs to be examined and understood in its own right. Moreover, as an intelligence company, we have a particular interest in how intelligence matters are handled.

    The CIA is divided between the Directorate of Intelligence, which houses the analysts, and the Directorate of Operations, which houses the spies and the paramilitary forces. The spies are, in general, divided into two groups. There are those with official cover and those with non-official cover. Official cover means that the agent is working at the U.S. embassy in some country, acting as a cultural, agricultural or some other type of attach?, and is protected by diplomatic immunity. They carry out a variety of espionage functions, limited by the fact that most foreign intelligence services know who the CIA agents at the embassy are and, frankly, assume that everyone at the embassy is an agent. They are therefore followed, their home phones are tapped, and their maids deliver scraps of paper to the host government. This obviously limits the utility of these agents. Being seen with one of them automatically blows the cover of any potential recruits.

    Then there are those with non-official cover, the NOCs. These agents are the backbone of the American espionage system. A NOC does not have diplomatic cover. If captured, he has no protection. Indeed, as the saying goes, if something goes wrong, the CIA will deny it has ever heard of him. A NOC is under constant pressure when he is needed by the government and is on his own when things go wrong. That is understood going in by all NOCs.

    NOCs come into the program in different ways. Typically, they are recruited at an early age and shaped for the role they are going to play. Some may be tracked to follow China, and trained to be bankers based in Hong Kong. Others might work for an American engineering firm doing work in the Andes. Sometimes companies work with the CIA, knowingly permitting an agent to become an employee. In other circumstances, agents apply for and get jobs in foreign companies and work their way up the ladder, switching jobs as they go, moving closer and closer to a position of knowing the people who know what there is to know. Sometimes they receive financing to open a business in some foreign country, where over the course of their lives, they come to know and be trusted by more and more people. Ideally, the connection of these people to the U.S. intelligence apparatus is invisible. Or, if they can't be invisible due to something in their past and they still have to be used as NOCs, they develop an explanation for what they are doing that is so plausible that the idea that they are working for the CIA is dismissed or regarded as completely unlikely because it is so obvious. The complexity of the game is endless.

    These are the true covert operatives of the intelligence world. Embassy personnel might recruit a foreign agent through bribes or blackmail. But at some point, they must sit across from the recruit and show their cards: "I'm from the CIA and…." At that point, they are in the hands of the recruit. A NOC may never once need to do this. He may take decades building up trusting relationships with intelligence sources in which the source never once suspects that he is speaking to the CIA, and the NOC never once gives a hint as to who he actually is.

    It is an extraordinary life. On the one hand, NOCs may live well. The Number Two at a Latin American bank cannot be effective living on a U.S. government salary. NOCs get to live the role and frequently, as they climb higher in the target society, they live the good life. On the other hand, their real lives are a mystery to everyone. Frequently, their parents don't know what they really do, nor do their own children -- for their safety and the safety of the mission. The NOC may marry someone who cannot know who they really are. Sometimes they themselves forget who they are: It is an occupational disease and a form of madness. Being the best friend of a man whom you despise, and doing it for 20 years, is not easy. Some NOCs are recruited in mid-life and in mid-career. They spend less time in the madness, but they are less prepared for it as well. NOCs enter and leave the program in different ways -- sometimes under their real names, sometimes under completely fabricated ones. They share one thing: They live a lie on behalf of their country.

    The NOCs are the backbone of American intelligence and the ones who operate the best sources -- sources who don't know they are sources. When the CIA says that it needs five to 10 years to rebuild its network, what it is really saying is that it needs five to 10 years to recruit, deploy and begin to exploit its NOCs. The problem is not recruiting them -- the life sounds cool for many recent college graduates. The crisis of the NOC occurs when he approaches the most valuable years of service, in his late 30s or so. What sounded neat at 22 rapidly becomes a mind-shattering nightmare when their two lives collide at 40.

    There is an explicit and implicit contract between the United States and its NOCs. It has many parts, but there is one fundamental part: A NOC will never reveal that he is or was a NOC without special permission. When he does reveal it, he never gives specifics. The government also makes a guarantee -- it will never reveal the identity of a NOC under any circumstances and, in fact, will do everything to protect it. If you have lied to your closest friends for 30 years about who you are and why you talk to them, no government bureaucrat has the right to reveal your identity for you. Imagine if you had never told your children -- and never planned to tell your children -- that you worked for the CIA, and they suddenly read in the New York Times that you were someone other than they thought you were.

    There is more to this. When it is revealed that you were a NOC, foreign intelligence services begin combing back over your life, examining every relationship you had. Anyone you came into contact with becomes suspect. Sometimes, in some countries, becoming suspect can cost you your life. Revealing the identity of a NOC can be a matter of life and death -- frequently, of people no one has ever heard of or will ever hear of again.

    In short, a NOC owes things to his country, and his country owes things to the NOC. We have no idea what Valerie Plame told her family or friends about her work. It may be that she herself broke the rules, revealing that she once worked as a NOC. We can't know that, because we don't know whether she received authorization from the CIA to say things after her own identity was blown by others. She might have been irresponsible, or she might have engaged in damage control. We just don't know.

    What we do know is this. In the course of events, reporters contacted two senior officials in the White House -- Rove and Libby. Under the least-damaging scenario we have heard, the reporters already knew that Plame had worked as a NOC. Rove and Libby, at this point, were obligated to say, at the very least, that they could neither confirm nor deny the report. In fact, their duty would have been quite a bit more: Their job was to lie like crazy to mislead the reporters. Rove and Libby had top security clearances and were senior White House officials. It was their sworn duty, undertaken when they accepted their security clearance, to build a "bodyguard of lies" -- in Churchill's phrase -- around the truth concerning U.S. intelligence capabilities.

    Some would argue that if the reporters already knew her identity, the cat was out of the bag and Rove and Libby did nothing wrong. Others would argue that if Plame or her husband had publicly stated that she was a NOC, Rove and Libby were freed from their obligation. But the fact is that legally and ethically, nothing relieves them of the obligation to say nothing and attempt to deflect the inquiry. This is not about Valerie Plame, her husband or Time Magazine. The obligation exists for the uncounted number of NOCs still out in the field.

    Americans stay safe because of NOCs. They are the first line of defense. If the system works, they will be friends with Saudi citizens who are financing al Qaeda. The NOC system was said to have been badly handled under the Clinton administration -- this is the lack of humint that has been discussed since the 9-11 attacks. The United States paid for that. And that is what makes the Rove-Libby leak so stunning. The obligation they had was not only to Plame, but to every other NOC leading a double life who is in potentially grave danger.

    Imagine, if you will, working in Damascus as a NOC and reading that the president's chief adviser had confirmed the identity of a NOC. As you push into middle age, wondering what happened to your life, the sudden realization that your own government threatens your safety might convince you to resign and go home. That would cost the United States an agent it had spent decades developing. You don't just pop a new agent in his place. That NOC's resignation could leave the United States blind at a critical moment in a key place. Should it turn out that Rove and Libby not only failed to protect Plame's identity but deliberately leaked it, it would be a **** to the heart of U.S. intelligence. If just one critical NOC pulled out and the United States went blind in one location, the damage could be substantial. At the very least, it is a risk the United States should not have to incur.

    The New York Times and Time Magazine have defended not only the decision to publish Plame's name, but also have defended hiding the identity of those who told them her name. Their justification is the First Amendment. We will grant that they had the right to publish statements concerning Plame's role in U.S. intelligence; we cannot grant that they had an obligation to publish it. There is a huge gap between the right to publish and a requirement to publish. The concept of the public's right to know is a shield that can be used by the press to hide irresponsibility. An article on the NOC program conceivably might have been in the public interest, but it is hard to imagine how identifying a particular person as part of that program can be deemed as essential to an informed public.

    But even if we regard the press as unethical by our standards, their actions were not illegal. On the other hand, if Rove and Libby even mentioned the name of Valerie Plame in the context of being a CIA employee -- NOC or not -- on an unsecured line to a person without a security clearance or need to know, while the nation was waging war, that is the end of the story. It really doesn't matter why or whether there was a plan or anything. The minimal story -- that they talked about Plame with a reporter -- is the end of the matter.

    We can think of only one possible justification for this action: That it was done on the order of the president. The president has the authority to suspend or change security regulations if required by the national interest. The Plame affair would be cleared up if it turns out Rove and Libby were ordered to act as they did by the president. Perhaps the president is prevented by circumstances from coming forward and lifting the burden from Rove and Libby. If that is the case, it could cost him his right-hand man. But absent that explanation, it is difficult to justify the actions that were taken.

    Ultimately, the Plame affair points to a fundamental problem in intelligence. As those who have been in the field have told us, the biggest fear is that someone back in the home office will bring the operation down. Sometimes it will be a matter of state: sacrificing a knight for advantage on the chessboard. Sometimes it is a parochial political battle back home. Sometimes it is carelessness, stupidity or cruelty. This is when people die and lives are destroyed. But the real damage, if it happens often enough or no one seems to care, will be to the intelligence system. If the agent determines that his well-being is not a centerpiece of government policy, he won't remain an agent long.

    On a personal note, let me say this: one of the criticisms conservatives have of liberals is that they do not understand that we live in a dangerous world and, therefore, that they underestimate the effort needed to ensure national security. Liberals have questioned the utility and morality of espionage. Conservatives have been champions of national security and of the United States' overt and covert capabilities. Conservatives have condemned the atrophy of American intelligence capabilities. Whether the special prosecutor indicts or exonerates Rove and Libby legally doesn't matter. Valerie Plame was a soldier in service to the United States, unprotected by uniform or diplomatic immunity. I have no idea whether she served well or poorly, or violated regulations later. But she did serve. And thus, she and all the other NOCs were owed far more -- especially by a conservative administration -- than they got.

    Even if that debt wasn't owed to Plame, it remains in place for all the other spooks standing guard in dangerous places.

    This report may be distributed or republished with attribution to Strategic Forecasting, Inc. at www.stratfor.com .

    ? Copyright 2005 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.

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    Inkling

    Max summed it up nicely with his "Two (but really four) counts post".

    There was nothing illegal about "outing" Plame.

    Droolin - "...show they are willing to clean house to stay in power..."

    It would be nice to see some ethical behavior from either side...but you have to remember, this is the same George Bush that waited until AFTER the elections to get rid of Rumsfeld. I would expect a 6 year old to realize that firing Rummy before the elections would HELP the Republican cause. I admit, it's a pipe dream I share my friend.

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    DanLM

    Considering he had made the decision before the election, but waited to after.

    Dan

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    Michael Jay

    I think that you nailed it on the head.

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    JamesRL

    At the hearing, Waxman said that he had spoken with CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, who approved a statement Waxman read to the committee. ?During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover,? Waxman said. ?Her employment status with the CIA was classified information?At the time of the publication of Robert Novak?s column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson?s CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information.? A CIA spokesman later told National Review Online that Waxman?s characterization of the matter was ?entirely correct".

    And yes I read the part underneath where the author backtracks. Are you suggesting Waxman was lying?

    James

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    maxwell edison

    "...It was not clear from Mrs. Wilson?s testimony why the junior officer was upset. But as the young officer told her story, Mrs. Wilson continued, an element of chance intruded. ?As she was telling me what had just happened, someone passed by, another officer heard this. He knew that Joe had already ? my husband ? had already gone on some CIA missions previously to deal with other nuclear matters. And he suggested, ?Well, why don?t we send Joe??? That, Mrs. Wilson testified, was the beginning of her husband?s mission to Africa."

    OR

    "For those who followed the Senate investigation, the young-junior-officer story was not the only surprise in Mrs. Wilson?s House testimony. In addition to saying that her office received a call from the vice president?s office, Mrs. Wilson flatly denied playing a role in choosing her husband for the trip to Niger. ?I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him,? she testified. The Senate Intelligence Committee report, which concluded that she had indeed suggested her husband for the trip, was simply wrong, Mrs. Wilson testified. In particular, what she called a ?quick e-mail? describing her husband?s qualifications for the trip was ?taken out of context? by the committee to ?make it seem as though I had suggested or recommended him.?

    Did she or didn't she? That is the question.

    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fabrications
    Or to take objection against a sea of contradictions,
    And by opposing end them?

    (Sorry, I got carried away there.)

    Either way, she was not honest with least one of those statements (both made under oath).

    As far as Waxman, he's a partisan dolt. And his leading (her out of harms way) questions were painfully obvious. He wasn't there to drill her in a quest for the truth; he was there to help her navigate her way to his desired truth.

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    JamesRL

    That Plame was not a "covert" agent. Waxman read a statement approved by the head of the CIA thats says she was.

    I followed it with some interest, not jumping in because I had no "proof" only assertions.

    And I might ask a therefore what question. Not about the lying - I don't know if she did or did not, but if she did, then that is pretty serious.

    But if she did recommend her husband - therefore what? Does that mean she is fair game to be "outed" as CIA? Even if her life would not be in danger (analyst not operative) its the principle - if you are on the CIA's list of people who are NOT to be listed as part of the public record, what possible justification is there for outing them, unless they have been spying for the other side.

    If it was accidental, its a serious mistake. If it was done for partisan purposes then its an outrage.

    I have no comment on Waxman or Armitage or the other peripheral players.

    James

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    maxwell edison

    .....not the real story

    If you're calling Richard Armitage a "peripheral player", then you've neither read this whole discussion or followed the story beyond the headlines.

    Until you understand and acknowledge that, the rest of your comments are moot. And when (if) you do understand and acknowledge that, then they're irrelevant.

    Whether she was "covert", or "undercover", of "between assignments", or whatever is no more than a side-note, at least until you acknowledge the "real story".

    And the "therefore what" you asked about (But if she did recommend her husband - therefore what?), therefore, compare it to what Scooter Libby was indicted for, and treat them equal. If Libby gets slammed for a lapse in memory and/or contradiction in testimony, then so should Plame. It illustrates the double-standards being applied. It illustrates the partisan motives of the witch hunt targeting the white House (since the prosecutor KNEW the "lead" did not originate there). It illustrates this was no more than an empty accusation in search of evidence. And it illustrates the travesty of justice. It's terrible the way people like AV suggested that Plame's life was destroyed, but in reality it was Libby's life that was destroyed by the partisans in the Plame/Wilson camp.

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    DanLM

    I have no comment on Waxman or Armitage or the other peripheral players.

    Why not Armitage? He is the admitted leakier? That is the crime investigated. He is the guilty party? Why no comment on him? How can the person that performed the crime become a peripheral player?

    Dan

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    JamesRL

    Although I've read lots of things, and I admit freely I haven't read the entire thread from start to finish, I haven't read enough to make an intelligent comment.

    Though suggesting Armitage is peripheral was probably a mistake in my grammer - my intent was these two OR the peripherals, not or the Other peripherals.

    James

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    DanLM

    He admitted to being the person that leaked the information. If she was a covert spy, he should have been prosecuted. It is a criminal offense. Simple as that. By the fact that he wasn't even charged for a crime that was being investigated(who released her name to the press) shows to me that this is/was nothing but a joke from the beginning. If Libby was charged and prosecuted along with Richard Armitage, I would not even have started this post.

    To me, that shows that they were never interested in the guilty party UNLESS it was part of the administration white house staff.

    Which, again is b.s. Armitage SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROSECUTED. Then they can go on their which hunt, and I would have a leg to stand on.

    Dan

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    TonytheTiger

    on the state of mind. You can't very well be indicted for obstruction of justice if you weren't obstructing (what you believe would be) justice.

    As for perjury, couldn't she just borrow that famous phrase from President Clinton? :)

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    maxwell edison

    It's a travesty of justice. And I guess it's not a crime to obstruct a travesty of justice.

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    DanLM

    According to the true die hard Bush haters. You can't touch anything Clinton did, that's history. No matter if you explain to them that the same thing is occurring now, it doesn't count.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist that one. Sad thing is, I really didn't think Clinton was that bad of a President.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    .....guilty of gross and malicious misconduct, unabated political bias, or misrepresentation to the point of journalistic malpractice.

    Which is it?

    I'm absolutely dumfounded that the "real story" is not being widely reported. It's scandalous the way they are creating a "false scandal" and reporting on it. Look at the way people are buying into the malicious lies. When are people gonna' wake up?

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    TonytheTiger

    Freedom of the press.

    The freedom to let you know what they want you to know.

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    ProtiusX

    I had thought I had given up on this but I can only devote so much time to Exchange 2007 so here it goes.

    He couldn't have been prosecuted because he didn't out anyone. Valarie Plame WAS NOT UNDER COVER. The congress knows that. The Justice Department knows that and so does the communist news network. Does anyone care? Uh no. Valarie Plame was and still is an egocentric delusional democratic political hack who is wallowing in her 15 minutes of fame and ruining the lives of others while she does it. I say shame on her, her worthless husband, Chucky ( I can have it all my way) Schumer, Nancy (the grandma) Pelosi and the rest of those communistic rat bastards!

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    DanLM

    I read it that the CIA had not officially changed her status from under cover. With that said, she still was officially covert. EVEN though she walked in and out of the CIA via the front door.

    That said, the under secretary should have been prosecuted. That also said, it shows that nobody that both started that investigation or completed that investigation ever cared about the justice of it. It was a witch hunt, pure and simple from the press on down to the democrats.

    Chuckle, as much of a hard *** as I am ProtiusX.... Lol, even I don't call them Communists. Nim rods, num nuts, idiots, politically motivated fools that don't care about the security of this nation. Lol, but I never called them communists.

    roflmao, god am I going to get flamed for that last paragraph.

    Dan

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    AV .

    They are the ones that destroyed Valerie Plame's life in retaliation for her husband's public assertion that Saddam did not buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

    I have to agree that the investigation into the CIA leak case was a bust. There was no justice for Valerie Plame or any other covert agents that risk their lives for this country. Sure, Scooter Libby was found guilty of lying about it, but he wasn't the leaker. Richard Armitage should be prosecuted as the leaker. GWB said he would do that and then dropped it.

    The only thing the trial brought out is that the White House operates like a shadowy, secret cabal. Scooter Libby took the fall, but really, what did he have to gain by lying and who was he protecting? None other than **** Cheney.

    **** Cheney initiated the CIA leak because he didn't like that Joe Wilson publicly refuted that Saddam was trying to acquire materials for WMDs, the very basis for the Iraq war.

    I can't blame the Democrats for the sins of the Bush Administration. Team Bush has shown an arrogance of power that is absolutely scary. Its no wonder why they are reviled around the world.

    Democrats have proved they just don't want to deal with it. They're just waiting for the next election. The good thing is that Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson haven't dropped it. Thats the only way there will ever be the hope of justice.

    AV

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    DanLM

    They havent done ****. Simple as that.

    And as far as the republicans, they deserve the same disgust.

    If the vice president caused this, then he should be impeached and imprisoned. But the democrats, again have shown they don't even have the balls to take on an administration that they say is so wrong.

    The least this investigation should have done was offer amunity to the person that leaked this information to find out who put him up to it. The damn democrats 1). Wern't smart enough. 2). Didn't care 3). Didn't have the balls.


    The republicans, are just as bad. They are playing pure freakin politics, nothing more. Which is just as bad. They should lynch the pricks that did this and prove to everyone that they are willing to clean house to stay in power. They are a bunch of damn cowards also.

    My disgust with the democrats is that they claimed, ran on, and won this election by saying they would clean up washington. The only thing these pricks have shown is they are just as clueless as what the claim the republicans are. It shows that they have no guts for a fight, and even when the polls back them they still dont have the balls for a fight. They are cowards, it's as simple as that.

    If they feel so god dmn strongly about their position, then get some freaken balls and prove it. They haven't.

    Both party's have shown no regard for this agent or the possibility of her life. I don't care what you think about President Bush. He has a set of balls, and he is willing to back his beliefs. Nobody else has shown that willingness. And they are just as bad if not WORSE then this president for that reason. Why, you can't count on them to do is fight to win. The only thing you can count on them doing is looking good in the press, and nothing else.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    ...in your very first sentence.

    You said, ...the Republicans destroyed Valerie Plame's life in retaliation for her husband's public assertion that Saddam did not buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

    1. They did not destroy her life.

    2. She was not a "covert" agent.

    3. There was no retaliation motive.

    4. Richard Armitage , an opponent and critic of the Bush administration, was the "leaker". (The State Department, not the White House)

    Your mistake - You believe what you read in the press.

    Okay, that was FOUR counts of mistakes!

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    DanLM

    4. Richard Armitage , an opponent and critic of the Bush administration, was the "leaker". (The State Department, not the White House)


    I just thought he was a dumb a$$ state department official.

    Dan

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    AV .

    1. What is your definition of destroy? After the leak, she no longer has her job with the CIA. Depending on what she was involved in, her life and the lives of her family could be at risk. She was a dedicated public servant that didn't deserve this.

    2. She was a NOC but not a deep-cover agent. She was a spy and specialist in non-conventional weapons. Check out her career at wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_plame

    3. **** Cheney sought to discredit Joe Wilson's claims that Saddam did not buy yellowcake uranium from Niger so he instigated the leak. Why? Because Joe Wilson cast a shadow of doubt that Saddam was pursuing WMDs. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was unable or unwilling to pursue this further, but the Wilsons have filed a separate suit that could uncover the origin of why Valerie Plame's name was leaked through discovery. http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/iraq/wilsonlibby71306cmp.html

    4. Richard Armitage, the admitted leaker, is still part of the Bush Administration and should be prosecuted.

    Don't you think its curious that her name was leaked to the media after her husband's trip to Niger? Sounds like retaliation to me. Why wasn't Richard Armitage prosecuted as the leaker? Why would Scooter Libby perjure himself when he has nothing to gain?

    The Bush Administration's actions are highly questionable at best.

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    DanLM

    4. Richard Armitage, the admitted leaker, is still part of the Bush Administration and should be prosecuted.
    My opinion, it's a witch hunt. They didn't care by the time Richard Armitage admitted it. Which is the travesty here. This should have closed the book here, one way or another.

    Don't you think its curious that her name was leaked to the media after her husband's trip to Niger? Sounds like retaliation to me. Why wasn't Richard Armitage prosecuted as the leaker? Why would Scooter Libby perjure himself when he has nothing to gain?
    The article I posted from Newsweek flat out says that Richard Armitage didn't agree with the Bush policy in Iraq. I find it hard to believe he would be a part of the release of her name for the reason of discrediting her husband. Two points for this. 1). He is a part of the state department and went directly to his supervisor on this, then to the fbi. 2). The leadership of the state department at the time didn't agree with the Iraq war. This was under Powel's leadership.

    Bloody who to blame here, I have no freaken idea now. The repubicans should be screaming to the high heavens that the wrong person was prosecuted. The democrats should have backed up their high profile investigation and prosecuted the admitted leaker.

    Dan

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    AV .

    Richard Armitage leaks Valerie Plame's name by mistake and says he's sorry. Whoops. Scooter Libby perjures himself for reasons unknown and is facing jail time. It doesn't make any sense to me either.

    In the meantime, Valerie Plame is the loser. Libby knows better than to perjure himself, so I don't really care if he faces jail time, but you're right that there should be a prosecution of the admitted leaker. The case isn't closed yet.

    Was Valerie Plame covert or not? It depends on what article you read. It seems to me that her work was important enough to be considered that. There really was no need to reveal her name to sell newspapers.

    I hope she gets justice on her own.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    To the contrary, Valerie Plame is getting EXACTLY what she wanted. Moreover, she stands to reap millions in a couple of book deals, not to mention advancing her own (and her husbands) political agenda.

    And the ONLY thing Scooter Libby was found guilty of was not remembering the details of a conversation with Tim Russert. Perhaps it was Russert who was mistaken.

    I'd bet any amount of money that Scooter Libby will be acquitted on appeal. Not only was the trial, itself, terribly flawed, and not only should the charges never have been brought in the first place, but the whole investigation shouldn't have been conducted since the "crime" being investigated already had an admitter perpetrator.

    You are very naive' in this case, AV. You really don't know what you're talking about.

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    AV .

    Her career is ruined. She never intended to pursue a book deal or anything else. She was a dedicated government employee, looking at her very impressive resume. I'm sure she'll be better off now than she ever could have imagined. Good for her.

    Scooter Libby lied because he had something to cover up. He knows better than to do that, he's a lawyer. He had to though. Thats because he's the fall guy for the Administration. Its unfortunate. I think Patrick Fitzgerald really wanted the big fish, **** Cheney.

    I have to agree the trial was terribly flawed. Theres no justice for Valerie Plame. They didn't even prosecute the real leaker, **** Armitage.

    Tim Russert is not someone that would be mistaken about a conversation like that. No way.

    I'm far from naive, Max. This trial was a farce and the truth has yet to come out. I still think the real issue is, did **** Cheney seek to discredit Joe Wilson's findings on WMDs by outing his wife, Valerie Plame.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    You, yourself, admit that Richard Armatige was the leaker, not Libby, not Vice President Cheney. I doubt, however, you knew that before reading this discussion.

    Okay if you're not naive', then you do know all these things (at least you do now), and therefore you must be on a personal mission to continue this unwarranted vendetta against the White House.

    How would you like it if your husband was prosecuted for "misspeaking" about a conversation he had a couple of years ago while he was being "investigated" for a crime some other guy in another department in a different building committed? If he had no connection to this other guy? If he had no knowledge of the details of what this other guy did or why? And if this other guy was even an opponent of what your husband was doing? He was just so busy and wrapped-up in his job that he didn't recall all the details of some conversation? Okay, so he was mistaken about a conversation he had a couple of years ago with a reporter. Big friggin' deal! It had nothing to do with the other guy's alleged crime anyway! (alleged crime: to be a "crime" it must have been intentional, something that is very doubtful.)

    Yep, that's a political vendetta, alright. Armatige did not even commit a crime, but Libby does the time. And YOU still want the "big fish", **** Cheney, to fall.

    Plame was a "dedicated government employee"?, you say? Well, maybe Libby was just as "dedicated"! And what about Cheney? Do you not think he's been a dedicated public servant for years? For decades? This false image the Democrats and the media have painted of Cheney is disgusting. And you've apparently bought into it, lock, stock and barrell.

    From an early newspaper account:

    The defense says neither Libby nor the White House sought to retaliate against Wilson and that Libby misspoke to investigators looking into the disclosure because he was overwhelmed by a crush of national security and other matters. He has said he had no motive to lie about the details or timing of conversations with reporters.

    ".....overwhelmed by a crush of national security and other matters....." That is certainly believable. Do you disagree? You have no reason to doubt this, but you apparently do. Therefore, you're either naive' or have a vendetta you want to settle.

    You admit, I think Patrick Fitzgerald really wanted the big fish, **** Cheney. Why did he "want" him? For what? He KNEW Cheney wasn't the leaker either! But he still went after him. Why?

    All you are harping on is the Plame is a victim and that she was a dedicated government employee. What a silly and naive' thing to say! Are you suggesting that Libby and or Cheney are not?

    I'll tell you why Richard Armitage isn't being pursued by prosecutors for leaking Plame's name. It's because this whole investigation was never about prosecuting "the leaker" because of a "crime", it's only been about "prosecuting" those in the White House for whatever they could dig up. If you don't see this, you ARE naive'. You're just dead wrong on this, but you apparently have too much "emotional opinion" invested in it to made such an admission.

    Sorry, Valeria Plame IS NOT the victim, here. Scooter Libby is, and his family is -- AND the American public (people like you) who have been DUPED into believing something that's not even close to being true.

    By the way, did you know that.....

    .....a Senate Intelligence Committee report in 2004 discredited Joe Wilson and his "story" about his trip to Niger?

    .....both Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson are Democrat Party loyalists, even dining with Hillary Clinton?

    .....Valerie Plame contributed to the Al Gore campaign?

    .....Plame and Wilson were advisors to the John Kerry campaign?

    .....Valerie Plame ALSO "misspoke" in her sworn testimony?

    Stop being so naive' AV; Valerie Plame IS NOT a "victim".

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    maxwell edison

    AV, you said all of these things:

    What about the Republicans? They are the ones that destroyed Valerie Plame's life in retaliation for.....

    No they didn't (destroy her life), and no they didn't (in retaliation for anything).

    The only thing the trial brought out is that the White House operates like a shadowy, secret cabal..

    The WHITE HOUSE operates like a shadowy, secret cabal? Are you serious? How about the office that was investigating the White House for a "crime" it KNEW was not committed and/or was not committed by the White House?

    **** Cheney initiated the CIA leak because he didn't like....

    **** Cheney initiated NOTHING! Richard Armitage did, he DOES NOT work for Cheney, and he's an opponent of Cheney's.

    This whole message is DRIPPING with naivete

    http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=214728&messageID=2193368

    Geesh, AV, just admit you're wrong!

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    TonytheTiger

    It somehow doesn't seem quite right to use "[will] be better off now than she ever could have imagined." and "victim" in the same thought process.

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    maxwell edison

    .....I abhor even more the accusation of government shenanigans where none exist -- ESPECIALLY ones made by those engaging in such shenanigans themselves.

    Question: Who, in this case, is REALLY engaging in such shenanigans?

    Anyone who answers the White House, Bush, Cheney, Rove, Libby, the Republicans, etc, is an absolute fool.

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    AV .

    You said "Okay, so he was mistaken about a conversation he had a couple of years ago with a reporter. Big friggin' deal!"

    I say Scooter Libby is a lawyer. He knows the rules. He lied under oath. Thats not acceptable for anyone, and especially not the VP's Chief of Staff. If he didn't lie, nothing would have come out of this trial. He isn't above the law and has to be held accountable for his actions.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17479718/

    You said "Yep, that's a political vendetta, alright. Armatige did not even commit a crime, but Libby does the time. And YOU still want the "big fish", **** Cheney, to fall."

    I said " I think Patrick Fitzgerald really wanted the big fish, **** Cheney." I think the ultimate target of this investigation was to implicate **** Cheney as the mastermind in a smear campaign against Joe Wilson. Scooter Libby was the fall guy for the Administration, but he wouldn't have been if he didn't lie under oath.

    I think Valerie Plame was a government employee that was the victim of her husband's fight with the Bush Administration. Thats not acceptable. I don't care if she's a Democrat or eats lunch with Hilary Clinton everyday, she doesn't deserve to have her career ruined because of her husband's politics.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    If you really are sincere with what you say, you should also call for Valerie Plame to suffer the same fate as Scooter Libby. She did exactly the same thing -- under oath. You call it a lie, I call it being mistaken (worst case). Under your standards, however, Plame should be prosecuted for lying under oath.

    Nonetheless, I think you're blind. We'll just agree to disagree.

    Be prepared for a Libby dismissal, however, as a result of his appeal. Then, either the courts will prove you wrong, or you'll have to take your nonsensical reasoning to the next step by claiming a conspiracy or something.

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    DanLM

    The investigation was started due to a covert agent's name being leaked. Was she a covert agent? Not making that call after the last articles I read. BUT, Libby did not release this name to the press and was prosecuted and sentenced. The person that did release the name to the press. Never was charged, never was prosecuted, never was sentenced.

    We are arguing point's here about Libby, and starting to bypass the point here that the person that did release the name is free. I wish the bloody **** I knew of a way to raise this issue higher into the national press so that THIS travesty could be address. And then people could play their political games.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    .....what this is REALLY about.

    It is not, it never was, and it never will be about pursuing "justice" because somebody intentionally leaked the name of a covert CIA agent. (By the way, "intentionally" is the key word here, and since Armitage probably inadvertently let it "slip", there was no crime committed by anyone. That's why they won't -- and can't -- touch him.)

    What this is really about is to give the appearance of impropriety by the White House. It doesn't matter if they did or they didn't, and the details are unimportant. APPEARANCE is all that matters.

    This is just another battle in the war the Democrats are waging against the George W. Bush administration. It doesn't matter whether or not the "charges" are true, but let's make the charges long enough, let enough media pundits start talking about it, let the late-night guys make jokes about it, and presto, they have an instant scandal. Is it with or without merit? Who cares? The damage has already been done!

    And they're doing it again with the "issue" (more accurately, the non-issue) of firing eight (8) U.S. Attorneys. It doesn't matter that President Clinton fired all 93; and it doesn't matter that the president is within his right to do so; and it doesn't matter that ALL presidents have exercised such a right; but let's hit the president with yet another salvo of attacks and "create" yet another "scandal"

    Just when I beginning to think AV had some political sense about her, she had to ruin it by showing how gullible she is for buying into all the crap. She doesn't have a clue.

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    DanLM

    He was willing to release the documentation of all internal discussions, but that wasn't good enough. So, hey. Get bit, I'm not allowing my administration to go before another of your Kangaroo courts.

    ;o)

    dan

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    AV .

    Ok Max. I know you and I will never agree on this subject, so I'll respectfully agree to disagree. Valerie Plame will hopefully get justice from her civil suit, which includes the real leaker, **** Armitage. Whoops is just not acceptable for ruining her career.

    On the 8 fired US Attorneys though, I think the Dems are going out on a political limb because the President has the right to do that. It isn't a scandal or anything that warrants a Congressional investigation.

    I think the Dems want to give the impression that they are cleaning up Washington, but instead they are just wasting time on a non-event. I'm not impressed. I want to see them tackle the big issues like Iraq and immigration. Instead, they are just avoiding these issues with a dog and pony show.

    The Dems aren't showing that they have any answers and its pretty much what I expected from them. I hoped I was wrong but I wasn't.

    AV

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    DanLM

    2. She was not a "covert" agent.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/mccarthy/mccarthy200507180801.asp

    Here is an article that supports this. Basically it says that her cover was blown at least twice before, and not recently but at least 7 years before. This is supported by links to a brief that the media submitted to support that they broke no laws when they stated her status as a cia agent.

    Thus, the same media now stampeding on Rove has told a federal court that, to the contrary, they believe the CIA itself blew Plame's cover before Rove or anyone else in the Bush administration ever spoke to Novak about her. Of course, they don't contend the CIA did it on purpose or with malice. But neither did Rove ? who, unlike the CIA, appears neither to have known about nor disclosed Plame's classified status. Yet, although the Times and its cohort have a bull's eye on Rove's back, they are breathtakingly silent about an apparent CIA embarrassment ? one that seems to be just the type of juicy story they routinely covet.


    The media's brief, fairly short and extremely illuminating, is available here. The Times, which is currently spearheading the campaign against Rove and the Bush administration, encouraged its submission. It was joined by a "who's who" of the current Plame stokers, including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, AP, Newsweek, Reuters America, the Washington Post, the Tribune Company (which publishes the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun, among other papers), and the White House Correspondents (the organization which represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the executive branch).

    Actually, this is a seriously interesting article. Raises some valid points. What the media had to disclose to the prosecution or judge was not what they were reporting. Again, my assertion of a witch hunt. I have issue with some of the links not working in this article, the most important one being the link to the brief that was submitted by the media to the court.

    Let me say this again. 1). Who ever released this information should be prosecuted if she was still a covert agent. 2). The democrats showed how little they really care by not pursuing the actual person that released this information. Which shows they are not concerned about the security of this country, just the bashing of the Bush administration.
    3). The media is happily assisting them in this.

    Dan

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    AV .

    Why would the Bush Administration leak the name of this agent to the press? What was there to gain? It doesn't seem to me that it serves our country to have the name of any CIA operative leaked to the press.

    If you look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_plame, she was obviously involved in many covert roles prior to the leak.

    If it was ok to do, than why the big secret? Why the big cover up?

    Democrats are at fault too for letting this drop. If Richard Armitage is the leaker, than he should be prosecuted.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    This whole thing is nothing more than a political witch hunt. If you knew anything about this thing, you would know that Richard Armitage was anything but a "friend" of the White House. In fact, he was both a skeptic and opposed to the president's plans for Iraq.

    Moreover, Plame was not a "covert" agent. If she was, Armitage would have been indicted for violating that particular law. But he wasn't. Why do you think that is?

    There's more politics and/or the politics of personal destruction going on towards the Bush Administration than you can shake a stick at.

    But don't take my word for it. This whole thing started with a Robert Novak column. Why not take his word for it?

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/novak/288118,CST-EDT-NOVAK08.article

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14533384/site/newsweek

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/30/leak.armitage/index.html

    You need to dig a little deeper than what you read in the headlines. You're way off on this one, AV.

    The bigger question about this whole thing is why the real truth isn't being widely reported? You may not like President Bush, and that's really beside the point. But what forces are at work attempting to destroy an American presidency and grossly mislead the public in the process? You can despise President Bush for all I care, but that's the question you should really be concerned about.

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    DanLM

    The more obvious it is that things are being buried, and the public is not being told everything.

    What I am finding is right up there like your links Max, it's there for anyone to see. But, it's not front page news like the slander and convictions of the Bush administration.

    I truly feel that Richard Armitage should have been charged. Everything else that would occur would have been icing on the cake. But, it shows the democrats didn't wanted the truth as it really was. But, only the truth as they wanted it to be.

    What gets me is. The FBI investigated Armitage. They know he is the leak er. Why the bloody **** wasn't he charged. And to follow that up with another question. If the prosecution had the person that actually leaked this information, and did not press charges against him. What is their justification in pursing charges against other members of the administration. That smells badly of pure politics. And this is the justice department, who this president appointed.

    Dan

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    DanLM

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14533384/site/newsweek/page/2/

    Ya know, the more I read on this the more I think it's bs. So, he didn't mean to harm anyone. He did though, that's the point.

    Ok, here is my spin on that one.

    I'm sorry, I didn't know the gun was loaded when I pointed it at him and pulled the trigger. That's OK Dan, you didn't mean to hurt anyone. We will let you go.

    What a crock.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    If you read or heard the transcript of last week's Senate hearings, you know that the person who wrote the "covert" law testified that Plame was not covered under it. Moreover, Plame, herself, never suggested she was "covert".

    1. No law was broken.

    2. Fitzgerald investigated the White House anyway, looking for whatever he could find, even though HE KNEW it was Richard Armitage (from the Department of State and an opponent of Bush) who leaked the name, even though it wasn't a crime.

    3. Libby was found guilty of forgetting what he told and/or heard from Tim Russert and when. (Or Russert forgot those things.) Gee, somebody forgets the details a conversation. Big friggin' deal!

    This is, indeed, a travesty. And it stinks big time. The media and the Democrats are waging nothing but a witch hunt.

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    DanLM

    Even though she may not have been actively covert. Or have been moving from one job to another. In the cia's eyes, until her status was changed officially. She was covert. Thus, Richard A. should be prosecuted.

    Thats my whole point in this. I fully agree with you that this investigation is a sham, and always has been. Thus, the point of me starting this topic.

    uggg, it just ticks me off the more I read about it.

    Your comment about president bush not slinging it back. It's a very valid point. If he did, the Democrats wouldn't know what to do or how to react. Thay would basically dirty their shorts in shock. And I think he has very solid ground to look them in the eyes and tell them to shut up, and look to their own history for the basis of his decisions and actions they question.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    You asked, Why would the Bush Administration leak the name of this agent to the press?

    They didn't. Why can't you see that?

    You asked, "What was there to gain?"

    Nothing. That's one reason to believe they didn't do it.

    you said, "It doesn't seem to me that it serves our country to have the name of any CIA operative leaked to the press."

    Define "CIA Operative". And consider this. People have testified that Valerie Plame was not "covert". Moreover, isn't it interesting that nobody knows what it is she actually did for the CIA? If she was really "outed", why weren't her job specifics "outed" as well, or at least wondered about? The answer is, she was not "covert". She drove to CIA headquarters every day after she dropped her kids off at school.

    You asked, "If it was ok to do, than why the big secret? Why the big cover up?"

    Where is the REAL "cover up", AV? I assure you, it's not the Bush administration.

    You said, "Democrats are at fault too for letting this drop. If Richard Armitage is the leaker, than he should be prosecuted.

    Why don't you get a clue? You're smarter than that. If these things don't make sense to you, then you're barking up the wrong tree.

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    maxwell edison

    (Or anyone, for that matter.)

    Why do you believe the Bush Administration is capable of engaging in such a "smear campaign", but you refuse to believe that perhaps it's really the Democrats doing it?

    I'll freely admit, there's clearly a "smear campaign" going on here. The real question is by whom and why.

    And considering the fact that President Bush has yet to "retaliate" for any of the mud thrown at him by his opponents, why would he pick this one insignificant person? That's one thing that really pisses me off about President Bush. All of his political enemies are taking pot-shots at him, making all sorts of accusations, and so on, but he just stands there and takes it, never dishing any of it back.

    Why in the **** would he do it here? Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson are a couple of nobodies. Anyone with an ounce of sense will see this for what it really is -- a Democrat Party smear campaign.

    Okay, so the REAL questions: By whom and why?

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    maxwell edison

    .....for the claims and accusations you make. On a scale of 1-10, your level of understanding is not even a 1.

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    deepsand

    in another discussion, which gave credence to the claim that said leak was orchestrated by Cheney's office?

    I'm going to try to find that report in my archives.

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    maxwell edison

    .....Richard Armitage ADMITTED IT!

    Anything you post that implicates the Vice President's office will be pure speculation.

    But go ahead. You've already drawn your conclusion; now you're looking for the justification. What else is new?

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    deepsand

    by presuming that I've already reached one.

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    DanLM

    And I am unsure if I followed that discussion.

    Dan

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    deepsand

    If TR's search were worth the name, I'd easily be able to find the appropriate prior discussion, and quickly retrieve the report.

    I had hoped that max might be of some help in that regards, but seeing as he's so convinced that he already knows what I might say , he's obviously not going to make any effort in that direction.

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    deepsand

    GEOPOLITICAL INTELLIGENCE REPORT
    10.17.2005
    The Importance of the Plame Affair
    By George Friedman

    There are three rules concerning political scandal in the United States. First, every administration has scandals. Second, the party in opposition will always claim that there has never been an administration as corrupt as the one currently occupying the White House. Three, two is almost never true. It is going to be tough for any government to live up to the Grant or Harding administrations for financial corruption, or the Nixon and Lincoln administrations for political corruption -- for instance, was Lincoln's secretary of war really preparing a coup d'etat before the president's assassination? And *** scandals -- Clinton is not the gold standard. Harding was having *** with his mistress in the Oval Office -- and no discussion was possible over whether it was actually ***. Andrew Jackson's wife was unfairly accused of being a prostitute. Grover Cleveland had an illegitimate child. Let's not start on John F. Kennedy.

    Political scandal is the national sport -- the only unchanging spectator activity where a fine time is had by all, save the turkey who got caught this time. That is the fourth rule: Americans love a good scandal, and politicians usually manage to give them one. Thus, the Tom DeLay story is the epitome of national delight. Whether DeLay broke the law or the Texas prosecutor who claims he did is a Democratic hack out to make a name for himself matters little. A good time will be had by all, and in a few years no one will remember it. Does anyone remember Bert Lance or Richard Secord?

    As we discussed in previous weeks, scandals become geopolitically significant when they affect the ability of the president to conduct foreign policy. That has not yet happened to George W. Bush, but it might happen. There is, however, one maturing scandal that interests us in its own right: the Valerie Plame affair, in which Karl Rove, the most important adviser to the president, and I. Lewis Libby, the chief of staff to the vice president, apparently identified Plame as a CIA agent -- or at least did not vigorously deny that she was one when they were contacted by reporters. Given that this happened during a time of war, in which U.S. intelligence services are at the center of the war -- and are not as effective as the United States might wish -- the Plame affair needs to be examined and understood in its own right. Moreover, as an intelligence company, we have a particular interest in how intelligence matters are handled.

    The CIA is divided between the Directorate of Intelligence, which houses the analysts, and the Directorate of Operations, which houses the spies and the paramilitary forces. The spies are, in general, divided into two groups. There are those with official cover and those with non-official cover. Official cover means that the agent is working at the U.S. embassy in some country, acting as a cultural, agricultural or some other type of attach?, and is protected by diplomatic immunity. They carry out a variety of espionage functions, limited by the fact that most foreign intelligence services know who the CIA agents at the embassy are and, frankly, assume that everyone at the embassy is an agent. They are therefore followed, their home phones are tapped, and their maids deliver scraps of paper to the host government. This obviously limits the utility of these agents. Being seen with one of them automatically blows the cover of any potential recruits.

    Then there are those with non-official cover, the NOCs. These agents are the backbone of the American espionage system. A NOC does not have diplomatic cover. If captured, he has no protection. Indeed, as the saying goes, if something goes wrong, the CIA will deny it has ever heard of him. A NOC is under constant pressure when he is needed by the government and is on his own when things go wrong. That is understood going in by all NOCs.

    NOCs come into the program in different ways. Typically, they are recruited at an early age and shaped for the role they are going to play. Some may be tracked to follow China, and trained to be bankers based in Hong Kong. Others might work for an American engineering firm doing work in the Andes. Sometimes companies work with the CIA, knowingly permitting an agent to become an employee. In other circumstances, agents apply for and get jobs in foreign companies and work their way up the ladder, switching jobs as they go, moving closer and closer to a position of knowing the people who know what there is to know. Sometimes they receive financing to open a business in some foreign country, where over the course of their lives, they come to know and be trusted by more and more people. Ideally, the connection of these people to the U.S. intelligence apparatus is invisible. Or, if they can't be invisible due to something in their past and they still have to be used as NOCs, they develop an explanation for what they are doing that is so plausible that the idea that they are working for the CIA is dismissed or regarded as completely unlikely because it is so obvious. The complexity of the game is endless.

    These are the true covert operatives of the intelligence world. Embassy personnel might recruit a foreign agent through bribes or blackmail. But at some point, they must sit across from the recruit and show their cards: "I'm from the CIA and…." At that point, they are in the hands of the recruit. A NOC may never once need to do this. He may take decades building up trusting relationships with intelligence sources in which the source never once suspects that he is speaking to the CIA, and the NOC never once gives a hint as to who he actually is.

    It is an extraordinary life. On the one hand, NOCs may live well. The Number Two at a Latin American bank cannot be effective living on a U.S. government salary. NOCs get to live the role and frequently, as they climb higher in the target society, they live the good life. On the other hand, their real lives are a mystery to everyone. Frequently, their parents don't know what they really do, nor do their own children -- for their safety and the safety of the mission. The NOC may marry someone who cannot know who they really are. Sometimes they themselves forget who they are: It is an occupational disease and a form of madness. Being the best friend of a man whom you despise, and doing it for 20 years, is not easy. Some NOCs are recruited in mid-life and in mid-career. They spend less time in the madness, but they are less prepared for it as well. NOCs enter and leave the program in different ways -- sometimes under their real names, sometimes under completely fabricated ones. They share one thing: They live a lie on behalf of their country.

    The NOCs are the backbone of American intelligence and the ones who operate the best sources -- sources who don't know they are sources. When the CIA says that it needs five to 10 years to rebuild its network, what it is really saying is that it needs five to 10 years to recruit, deploy and begin to exploit its NOCs. The problem is not recruiting them -- the life sounds cool for many recent college graduates. The crisis of the NOC occurs when he approaches the most valuable years of service, in his late 30s or so. What sounded neat at 22 rapidly becomes a mind-shattering nightmare when their two lives collide at 40.

    There is an explicit and implicit contract between the United States and its NOCs. It has many parts, but there is one fundamental part: A NOC will never reveal that he is or was a NOC without special permission. When he does reveal it, he never gives specifics. The government also makes a guarantee -- it will never reveal the identity of a NOC under any circumstances and, in fact, will do everything to protect it. If you have lied to your closest friends for 30 years about who you are and why you talk to them, no government bureaucrat has the right to reveal your identity for you. Imagine if you had never told your children -- and never planned to tell your children -- that you worked for the CIA, and they suddenly read in the New York Times that you were someone other than they thought you were.

    There is more to this. When it is revealed that you were a NOC, foreign intelligence services begin combing back over your life, examining every relationship you had. Anyone you came into contact with becomes suspect. Sometimes, in some countries, becoming suspect can cost you your life. Revealing the identity of a NOC can be a matter of life and death -- frequently, of people no one has ever heard of or will ever hear of again.

    In short, a NOC owes things to his country, and his country owes things to the NOC. We have no idea what Valerie Plame told her family or friends about her work. It may be that she herself broke the rules, revealing that she once worked as a NOC. We can't know that, because we don't know whether she received authorization from the CIA to say things after her own identity was blown by others. She might have been irresponsible, or she might have engaged in damage control. We just don't know.

    What we do know is this. In the course of events, reporters contacted two senior officials in the White House -- Rove and Libby. Under the least-damaging scenario we have heard, the reporters already knew that Plame had worked as a NOC. Rove and Libby, at this point, were obligated to say, at the very least, that they could neither confirm nor deny the report. In fact, their duty would have been quite a bit more: Their job was to lie like crazy to mislead the reporters. Rove and Libby had top security clearances and were senior White House officials. It was their sworn duty, undertaken when they accepted their security clearance, to build a "bodyguard of lies" -- in Churchill's phrase -- around the truth concerning U.S. intelligence capabilities.

    Some would argue that if the reporters already knew her identity, the cat was out of the bag and Rove and Libby did nothing wrong. Others would argue that if Plame or her husband had publicly stated that she was a NOC, Rove and Libby were freed from their obligation. But the fact is that legally and ethically, nothing relieves them of the obligation to say nothing and attempt to deflect the inquiry. This is not about Valerie Plame, her husband or Time Magazine. The obligation exists for the uncounted number of NOCs still out in the field.

    Americans stay safe because of NOCs. They are the first line of defense. If the system works, they will be friends with Saudi citizens who are financing al Qaeda. The NOC system was said to have been badly handled under the Clinton administration -- this is the lack of humint that has been discussed since the 9-11 attacks. The United States paid for that. And that is what makes the Rove-Libby leak so stunning. The obligation they had was not only to Plame, but to every other NOC leading a double life who is in potentially grave danger.

    Imagine, if you will, working in Damascus as a NOC and reading that the president's chief adviser had confirmed the identity of a NOC. As you push into middle age, wondering what happened to your life, the sudden realization that your own government threatens your safety might convince you to resign and go home. That would cost the United States an agent it had spent decades developing. You don't just pop a new agent in his place. That NOC's resignation could leave the United States blind at a critical moment in a key place. Should it turn out that Rove and Libby not only failed to protect Plame's identity but deliberately leaked it, it would be a **** to the heart of U.S. intelligence. If just one critical NOC pulled out and the United States went blind in one location, the damage could be substantial. At the very least, it is a risk the United States should not have to incur.

    The New York Times and Time Magazine have defended not only the decision to publish Plame's name, but also have defended hiding the identity of those who told them her name. Their justification is the First Amendment. We will grant that they had the right to publish statements concerning Plame's role in U.S. intelligence; we cannot grant that they had an obligation to publish it. There is a huge gap between the right to publish and a requirement to publish. The concept of the public's right to know is a shield that can be used by the press to hide irresponsibility. An article on the NOC program conceivably might have been in the public interest, but it is hard to imagine how identifying a particular person as part of that program can be deemed as essential to an informed public.

    But even if we regard the press as unethical by our standards, their actions were not illegal. On the other hand, if Rove and Libby even mentioned the name of Valerie Plame in the context of being a CIA employee -- NOC or not -- on an unsecured line to a person without a security clearance or need to know, while the nation was waging war, that is the end of the story. It really doesn't matter why or whether there was a plan or anything. The minimal story -- that they talked about Plame with a reporter -- is the end of the matter.

    We can think of only one possible justification for this action: That it was done on the order of the president. The president has the authority to suspend or change security regulations if required by the national interest. The Plame affair would be cleared up if it turns out Rove and Libby were ordered to act as they did by the president. Perhaps the president is prevented by circumstances from coming forward and lifting the burden from Rove and Libby. If that is the case, it could cost him his right-hand man. But absent that explanation, it is difficult to justify the actions that were taken.

    Ultimately, the Plame affair points to a fundamental problem in intelligence. As those who have been in the field have told us, the biggest fear is that someone back in the home office will bring the operation down. Sometimes it will be a matter of state: sacrificing a knight for advantage on the chessboard. Sometimes it is a parochial political battle back home. Sometimes it is carelessness, stupidity or cruelty. This is when people die and lives are destroyed. But the real damage, if it happens often enough or no one seems to care, will be to the intelligence system. If the agent determines that his well-being is not a centerpiece of government policy, he won't remain an agent long.

    On a personal note, let me say this: one of the criticisms conservatives have of liberals is that they do not understand that we live in a dangerous world and, therefore, that they underestimate the effort needed to ensure national security. Liberals have questioned the utility and morality of espionage. Conservatives have been champions of national security and of the United States' overt and covert capabilities. Conservatives have condemned the atrophy of American intelligence capabilities. Whether the special prosecutor indicts or exonerates Rove and Libby legally doesn't matter. Valerie Plame was a soldier in service to the United States, unprotected by uniform or diplomatic immunity. I have no idea whether she served well or poorly, or violated regulations later. But she did serve. And thus, she and all the other NOCs were owed far more -- especially by a conservative administration -- than they got.

    Even if that debt wasn't owed to Plame, it remains in place for all the other spooks standing guard in dangerous places.

    This report may be distributed or republished with attribution to Strategic Forecasting, Inc. at www.stratfor.com .

    ? Copyright 2005 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.

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    Inkling

    Max summed it up nicely with his "Two (but really four) counts post".

    There was nothing illegal about "outing" Plame.

    Droolin - "...show they are willing to clean house to stay in power..."

    It would be nice to see some ethical behavior from either side...but you have to remember, this is the same George Bush that waited until AFTER the elections to get rid of Rumsfeld. I would expect a 6 year old to realize that firing Rummy before the elections would HELP the Republican cause. I admit, it's a pipe dream I share my friend.

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    DanLM

    Considering he had made the decision before the election, but waited to after.

    Dan

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    Michael Jay

    I think that you nailed it on the head.

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    JamesRL

    At the hearing, Waxman said that he had spoken with CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, who approved a statement Waxman read to the committee. ?During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover,? Waxman said. ?Her employment status with the CIA was classified information?At the time of the publication of Robert Novak?s column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson?s CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information.? A CIA spokesman later told National Review Online that Waxman?s characterization of the matter was ?entirely correct".

    And yes I read the part underneath where the author backtracks. Are you suggesting Waxman was lying?

    James

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    maxwell edison

    "...It was not clear from Mrs. Wilson?s testimony why the junior officer was upset. But as the young officer told her story, Mrs. Wilson continued, an element of chance intruded. ?As she was telling me what had just happened, someone passed by, another officer heard this. He knew that Joe had already ? my husband ? had already gone on some CIA missions previously to deal with other nuclear matters. And he suggested, ?Well, why don?t we send Joe??? That, Mrs. Wilson testified, was the beginning of her husband?s mission to Africa."

    OR

    "For those who followed the Senate investigation, the young-junior-officer story was not the only surprise in Mrs. Wilson?s House testimony. In addition to saying that her office received a call from the vice president?s office, Mrs. Wilson flatly denied playing a role in choosing her husband for the trip to Niger. ?I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him,? she testified. The Senate Intelligence Committee report, which concluded that she had indeed suggested her husband for the trip, was simply wrong, Mrs. Wilson testified. In particular, what she called a ?quick e-mail? describing her husband?s qualifications for the trip was ?taken out of context? by the committee to ?make it seem as though I had suggested or recommended him.?

    Did she or didn't she? That is the question.

    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fabrications
    Or to take objection against a sea of contradictions,
    And by opposing end them?

    (Sorry, I got carried away there.)

    Either way, she was not honest with least one of those statements (both made under oath).

    As far as Waxman, he's a partisan dolt. And his leading (her out of harms way) questions were painfully obvious. He wasn't there to drill her in a quest for the truth; he was there to help her navigate her way to his desired truth.

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    JamesRL

    That Plame was not a "covert" agent. Waxman read a statement approved by the head of the CIA thats says she was.

    I followed it with some interest, not jumping in because I had no "proof" only assertions.

    And I might ask a therefore what question. Not about the lying - I don't know if she did or did not, but if she did, then that is pretty serious.

    But if she did recommend her husband - therefore what? Does that mean she is fair game to be "outed" as CIA? Even if her life would not be in danger (analyst not operative) its the principle - if you are on the CIA's list of people who are NOT to be listed as part of the public record, what possible justification is there for outing them, unless they have been spying for the other side.

    If it was accidental, its a serious mistake. If it was done for partisan purposes then its an outrage.

    I have no comment on Waxman or Armitage or the other peripheral players.

    James

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    maxwell edison

    .....not the real story

    If you're calling Richard Armitage a "peripheral player", then you've neither read this whole discussion or followed the story beyond the headlines.

    Until you understand and acknowledge that, the rest of your comments are moot. And when (if) you do understand and acknowledge that, then they're irrelevant.

    Whether she was "covert", or "undercover", of "between assignments", or whatever is no more than a side-note, at least until you acknowledge the "real story".

    And the "therefore what" you asked about (But if she did recommend her husband - therefore what?), therefore, compare it to what Scooter Libby was indicted for, and treat them equal. If Libby gets slammed for a lapse in memory and/or contradiction in testimony, then so should Plame. It illustrates the double-standards being applied. It illustrates the partisan motives of the witch hunt targeting the white House (since the prosecutor KNEW the "lead" did not originate there). It illustrates this was no more than an empty accusation in search of evidence. And it illustrates the travesty of justice. It's terrible the way people like AV suggested that Plame's life was destroyed, but in reality it was Libby's life that was destroyed by the partisans in the Plame/Wilson camp.

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    DanLM

    I have no comment on Waxman or Armitage or the other peripheral players.

    Why not Armitage? He is the admitted leakier? That is the crime investigated. He is the guilty party? Why no comment on him? How can the person that performed the crime become a peripheral player?

    Dan

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    JamesRL

    Although I've read lots of things, and I admit freely I haven't read the entire thread from start to finish, I haven't read enough to make an intelligent comment.

    Though suggesting Armitage is peripheral was probably a mistake in my grammer - my intent was these two OR the peripherals, not or the Other peripherals.

    James

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    DanLM

    He admitted to being the person that leaked the information. If she was a covert spy, he should have been prosecuted. It is a criminal offense. Simple as that. By the fact that he wasn't even charged for a crime that was being investigated(who released her name to the press) shows to me that this is/was nothing but a joke from the beginning. If Libby was charged and prosecuted along with Richard Armitage, I would not even have started this post.

    To me, that shows that they were never interested in the guilty party UNLESS it was part of the administration white house staff.

    Which, again is b.s. Armitage SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROSECUTED. Then they can go on their which hunt, and I would have a leg to stand on.

    Dan

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    TonytheTiger

    on the state of mind. You can't very well be indicted for obstruction of justice if you weren't obstructing (what you believe would be) justice.

    As for perjury, couldn't she just borrow that famous phrase from President Clinton? :)

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    maxwell edison

    It's a travesty of justice. And I guess it's not a crime to obstruct a travesty of justice.

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    DanLM

    According to the true die hard Bush haters. You can't touch anything Clinton did, that's history. No matter if you explain to them that the same thing is occurring now, it doesn't count.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist that one. Sad thing is, I really didn't think Clinton was that bad of a President.

    Dan

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    maxwell edison

    .....guilty of gross and malicious misconduct, unabated political bias, or misrepresentation to the point of journalistic malpractice.

    Which is it?

    I'm absolutely dumfounded that the "real story" is not being widely reported. It's scandalous the way they are creating a "false scandal" and reporting on it. Look at the way people are buying into the malicious lies. When are people gonna' wake up?

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    TonytheTiger

    Freedom of the press.

    The freedom to let you know what they want you to know.

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    ProtiusX

    I had thought I had given up on this but I can only devote so much time to Exchange 2007 so here it goes.

    He couldn't have been prosecuted because he didn't out anyone. Valarie Plame WAS NOT UNDER COVER. The congress knows that. The Justice Department knows that and so does the communist news network. Does anyone care? Uh no. Valarie Plame was and still is an egocentric delusional democratic political hack who is wallowing in her 15 minutes of fame and ruining the lives of others while she does it. I say shame on her, her worthless husband, Chucky ( I can have it all my way) Schumer, Nancy (the grandma) Pelosi and the rest of those communistic rat bastards!

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    DanLM

    I read it that the CIA had not officially changed her status from under cover. With that said, she still was officially covert. EVEN though she walked in and out of the CIA via the front door.

    That said, the under secretary should have been prosecuted. That also said, it shows that nobody that both started that investigation or completed that investigation ever cared about the justice of it. It was a witch hunt, pure and simple from the press on down to the democrats.

    Chuckle, as much of a hard *** as I am ProtiusX.... Lol, even I don't call them Communists. Nim rods, num nuts, idiots, politically motivated fools that don't care about the security of this nation. Lol, but I never called them communists.

    roflmao, god am I going to get flamed for that last paragraph.

    Dan