(Compare the above remarks [around the 1:08 time marker] to that of the video of Richard Armitage [below-right])
What a difference a sitting President makes. I wonder if my old (“old” – in years and history) nemesis thinks of this? We may never know. Anyhew, the Obama White House released a name mistakenly included in a list meant for the media. The Washington Examiner explains WHY this is relevant.
Valerie Plame doesn’t deny that blowing the cover of the CIA station chief in Afghanistan is a serious matter. It’s just that, discussing the issue at a Wednesday evening forum sponsored by The Atlantic, Plame seemed to view the outing of the CIA’s top spy on the front lines in the Afghan war as more of an embarrassment than an outrage.
“My understanding is … it was a military aide who compiled this list of those that were greeting the president when he came,” Plame said. “Colossally stupid, but I think it was inadvertent. It was an error … really stupid. The White House apparently has said that they’re going to do an investigation, and they’ll find someone who’s really embarrassed at the end of it.”
The leak, if that’s what it can be called, happened over the weekend as President Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan. In a routine email to the press, the administration included a name with the description “Chief of Station” after it — a clear reference to the ranking CIA official in Kabul. It’s hard to imagine a more sensitive assignment in a more dangerous place, and blowing the station chief’s cover — in an email to 6,000 reporters, no less — will surely have repercussions.
The White House quickly explained that a mistake had been made, but did not offer any details. Top officials announced that White House counsel Neil Eggleston, a veteran of many Washington investigations, will “look into” the matter. “It shouldn’t have happened,” deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told CNN on Tuesday. “We’re trying to understand why it happened. In fact, the chief of staff, Denis McDonough, asked the White House counsel to look into it, to figure out what happened and to make sure it won’t happen again.”
Many observers seem satisfied with the White House’s explanation that the incident was just a regrettable error. And that is indeed what it appears to be. But such assessments represent a remarkable change in tone from the discussion several years ago, when the George W. Bush administration leaked Valerie Plame’s identity as part of a bitter fight over the origin and direction of the Iraq war. Back then, it was quite common to hear the words “traitor” and “treason” used to describe top Bush officials involved in the controversy.
There’s no doubt the Bush officials deliberately revealed Plame’s CIA connection, if not her name, to the press. But the Plame leak could be characterized as inadvertent in one sense: the leakers, both in the State Department and the White House, did not know that Plame’s status at the CIA was classified when they mentioned her to reporters. That is why no one was ever charged with leaking her identity; they did not knowingly and deliberately reveal classified information. So in that sense it was all a mistake. Yes, it was inadvertent, colossally stupid, an embarrassment — but it was a mistake.
In fact… so relevant is this case, that Plame herself has hit the circuit (she and her husband gravitate towards press) saying there is no comparison. Hmmmm.
…This is a man [Colin Powell] who allowed the spending of millions of dollars in a witch-hunt of a law-enforcement investigation even while personally knowing that his own top aide had been the one who inadvertently leaked the name of a second-tier CIA agent with a dishonest and histrionic husband. One word from Colin Powell, and the “Valerie Plame” case would have come to an end with no prosecutions, but with a few days, maybe just one or two news cycles, of public admonishment of his office for its carelessness. But no… Powell remained silent, thus settling some score with vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and his boss, Vice President Richard Cheney — letting Libby twist in the wind for an alleged cover-up of a non-crime for which Libby himself wasn’t even responsible, but for which Powell’s aide Dick Armitage was culpable instead. (Libby was convicted on a highly dubious perjury charge, based on a years-old conversation with newsman Tim Russert that Russert remembered differently. This was the same Tim Russert whose own memory had been shown to be horrifically wrong in another major court case, but who suddenly was supposed to be perfectly inerrant. Meanwhile, famed newsman Bob Woodward produced notes that Woodward himself said might tend to support Libby’s recollection — but no matter.)…
The New York Daily News reports the following:
Valerie Plame chided the Obama White House for being “colossally stupid” in accidentally releasing the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul.
“What an error of huge proportions with tremendous consequences,” she said Wednesday on CNN.
But Plame, the CIA operative outed during George W. Bush’s administration, warned against those drawing a “false equivalency” between her situation and the recent press office mistake.
“Apparently some low-level either military and diplomatic officials put the name down on this list that was given to a reporter who submitted it as a pool report,” she said of the Obama failure, whereas “my name was intended to be leaked in retaliation against my husband, who was a fierce critic of the Bush administration and the Iraq War.”
State Department official Richard Armitage is believed to have been responsible for leaking Plame’s status as a covert operative to the press in 2003. Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby was convicted of obstructing the federal investigation into the disclosure but no individual was actually convicted of leaking the classified information that blew Plame’s cover.
Larry Elder discusses the Movie, “Fair Game,” and the real story of Joe Wilson & Valerie Plame:
Firstly, I want to than J. White (http://www.thevastconspiracy.com/), where the original audio file came from.
Secondly, while this is an old story and review of a 2010 movie, “Fair Game.” The White House’s recent outing of a CIA covert operative and how the media and White House reacted to it. Why? Because when the shoe was on the other foot, or more specifically, Bush’s foot, the media went MAD!
For more clear thinking like this from Larry Elder… I invite you to visit: http://www.larryelder.com/