July 27, 2005

Frogmarch Watch

Man, they got nothing. Fox News is having to resort to looking at at Valerie Plame's 2004 political contributions to make their case that, ... well, what? You know, if I was a CIA agent and someone seeking elected office blew my cover, I'd borrow the money to donate the maximum to their opponent. Plame, otoh, bought some Springsteen tickets:

WASHINGTON Outed CIA spy Valerie Plame last fall gave a campaign contribution to go toward an anti-Bush fund-raising concert starring Bruce Springsteen, it was revealed Tuesday night.

... The $372 donation to the anti-Bush group America Coming Together (search), first reported by Time magazine's Web site, was made in Plame's married name of Valerie E. Wilson and covered two tickets. ...

And they're still trying to peddle the lie that she set up the trip and jump on a claimed discrepancy in the contribution form she filled out. Because if there's one thing everybody can agree on, it's that CIA employees should always tell you they work there.

The LA Times runs an editorial about operation coverup, putting some blame in Bush's lap for not having insisted on getting to the bottom of this right when it happened.

Though congressional Republicans are looking into holding hearings, it's clear that their concern is as sincere as ever. Indeed, this may just be a cover for expanding our secrecy laws, which would be completely at odds with their recent narrative that the CIA is much too concerned about keeping secrets as promulgated by Rep. Roy Blunt. Not that a little inconsistency has ever bothered them before.

Time writes about the Rove problem, and in among the fluff and filler used far too (dare I say it?) liberally throughout, there's this, emphasis mine:

... But while she may no longer have been a clandestine operative, she was still under protected status. A U.S. official told TIME that Plame was indeed considered covert for the purposes of the Intelligence Identities Protection law. And even if the leak was not illegal, intelligence officials argue, it is not defensible. "I'm beyond disgusted," a CIA official said last week. I am especially angry about the b_______ explanations that she is not a covert agent. That is an official status, and there are lots of people in this building who are on that status. It's not up to the Republican Party to determine when that status will end for an agent."

Whatever the damage to Plame, there remains the cost paid by the CIA generally. In the wake of the disclosure, foreign intelligence services were known to have retraced her steps and contacts to discover more about how the CIA operates in their countries. Outside of a James Bond movie, spies rarely steal secrets themselves; they recruit foreigners to do it for them. That often means bribing a government official to break his country's laws and pass state secrets to the CIA. "It becomes extremely hard if you're working overseas and recruiting [foreign] agents knowing that some sloth up in the Executive Branch for political reasons can reveal your identity," says Jim Marcinkowski, who served four years in the agency and is now the deputy city attorney for Royal Oak, Michigan "Certainly this kind of information travels around the world very quickly. And it raises the level of fear of coming in contact with the United States for any reason." ...

Now that all the cool kids are talking about it, too, Chris Matthews comments on what the CIA leak story means about the war on Iraq.

Finally, in complete disregard for the gravity of the situation, Will Durst has decided that treasongate should be a laughing matter: "... Yeah, boss? This is me, Scott. McClellan. You know, your press secretary? ... Listen, I got a problem here. Um, this thing is getting weird. I mean, the reporters won't get off the Karl Rove-Valerie Plame story. They're like rabid wolverines and I'm the wounded bunny. ..."

Posted by natasha at July 27, 2005 07:08 AM | Corruption & Graft | Technorati links |

Last night at Drinking Liberally, we were throwing out conspiracy theories for why the Karl Rove affair story is just getting air-time now. My current favorite is that having an affair will acquaint the 25% of Americans who only get their news from Hollywood Gossip shows with the man who is putting their lives in more danger.

Posted by: thehim at July 27, 2005 02:11 PM

FOXNEWS is quoting the NY Post...?!


Posted by: Darryl Pearce at July 27, 2005 03:27 PM


Posted by: hELEN wINTERS at July 30, 2005 09:53 AM