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Anybody starting to think this CIA agent outing is a huge(26 posts)

Anybody starting to think this CIA agent outing is a hugezman994
Oct 6, 2003 7:25 AM
problem for Bush admin?

I just read the Time article and I'm finally realizing the far reaching implications (I admit I'm a little slow).

Now the foreign intelligence agencies know about this lady. They will start tracing her actions to identify other potential agents. Once they identify these other agents they will take action against them and continue the cycle.

This leak could seriously harm our intelligence community (and some think it was already below average). All this to get back at a small player in the overall scheme of things.
of course it is - just imagine what the rabid neo-consMJ
Oct 6, 2003 7:57 AM
would have done to Clinton or a Democrat if they'd been responsible or even associated with the outing of an agent - particularly post 9/11
Depends on who takes the fall for it.OldEdScott
Oct 6, 2003 8:21 AM
Normally, I'd figure the Bushies would get some poor relatively insignificant sap (Rove's administrative assistant or someone -- someone PLAUSIBLE but not key to the success of the Thousand Year -- WHOOPS, caught myself just in time! -- of the ADMINISTRATION to step up and be all sad and say, I did this terrible thing, and my Boss had NO IDEA ...

The problem is, if it's a lie and he's just taking the fall for a big fish, at least seven journalists are going to know it. And even though they're obliged to protect their sources, I believe they could ethically step up and say NAW, he's not the guy. Pretty sure one or more of them would, anyway.

So the Bushies have their noogies in a vise on this one, I believe.
Seven journalists?moneyman
Oct 6, 2003 8:30 AM
How's that?

It wasn't just Novak that the name wasOldEdScott
Oct 6, 2003 9:11 AM
leaked to by a 'senior' official. There are six others (or is it five? -- I've never been clear if it's Novak plus six, or six including Novak). Reporters for NBC, Time and Newsday, for sure, had similar conversations. I'm not sure about the others, but the figure six is always cited.

Of course, this is in the biased, yellow, lying media. (There you go, Steam, saved you some typing).
That's what I thought. However...moneyman
Oct 6, 2003 9:21 AM
I found it interesting what Novak said regarding this:

During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: ''Oh, you know about it.'' The published report that somebody in the White House failed to plant this story with six reporters and finally found me as a willing pawn is simply untrue.

Full text of the column from 10/1/03 can be found at

Of course you could dismiss Novak as a shill for the neocons, but I don't know how far that would go.

Politics is a contact sport.

That's what's so interesting about this.OldEdScott
Oct 6, 2003 9:40 AM
It's almost impossible to untangle the string of motives/intentions. Clearly, if six or seven reporters got the same leak, there was a conscious intent to leak it. I think what Novak is denying here is the 'willing pawn' statement, not that six others got it.

On its face, it's a little weird that NOVAK is the one who ran with it. But Novak is NO friend of the neo-cons, and in fact is way over on the other side of the ideological divide splitting conservatism these days.

Using Lenin's maxim of asking 'Who benefits?' in trying to parse this out, you just go in circles. Dumocrats benefit, but no Dumocrats were involved. It's hard to imagine the Bushies' making this kind of mistake, though not impossible. The risk seems to far outweigh the reward.

I'm tending to think there's a faction in the White House dismayed at the wild neo-con ideological turn the Junta has taken, who decided to play this card as a threat of their OWN.

What we may be seeing is this White House devouring itself. Wouldn't be the first White House that did so, Dumocrat or Republican.
So how does that fitmoneyman
Oct 6, 2003 10:43 AM
With your statements about the "Senior Administration Official" having a very specific meaning (ala Rove, et. al.) and Novak describing his conversation with the Senior Administration Official "...who is no partisan gunslinger."?

Not trying to trip you up, which is really quite difficult, but wanting to understand from your political operative's POV.

Well, it doesn't fit perfectly, but it'sOldEdScott
Oct 6, 2003 10:57 AM
all I can come up with. This whole situation is just murky as hell. I'm not alone in scratching my head and saying, "What the HELL ...? Hmmmm. This makes no sense, but MAYBE ..." We're all guessing.

The best prooof I have that there WAS a deliberate intent to leak the name is the fact that it was told to multiple reporters. THAT doesn't happen by accident.

Maybe I could give a pass, based on Novaks 'offhand remark ... no partisan gunslinger' characterization. Those little offhand remarks do sometimes happen (though rarely; every goddman word that passes a politico's mouth is weighed carefully when speaking to any reporter, let alone a nationally syndicated columnist). But it's simply not believeable that, for some odd reason, 'offhand remarks' naming a CIA operative were gushing from the White House to multiple reporters, absent intent. No freakin possible way.

What the intent WAS, is the question. And I honestly can't figure it. We (Dumocrats) are calling it retaliation etc and that's as good an hypothesis as any, but it still doesn't make perfect sense. I'm coming to the suspicion that this is inside, Byzantine, White House/Repub/Right Wing infighting, but that's just a rank guess on my part too.
Best comment you've said yet...No_sprint
Oct 6, 2003 11:18 AM
"we're all guessing"
a little bit retaliation....rufus
Oct 6, 2003 11:39 AM
a lot of warning that anyone else thinking of going the same route better think twice if he didn't want his life, family, etc., dealt with in the same manner. there's a lot of dirt in washington that could be scraped up on just about anyone, i'm sure. and even if not, just the accusations often time are enough to ruin careers.

as to why novak, the word(alledgedly)is that this isn't the first time novak was the recipient of some inside info from karl rove. something about how the elder bush was squeezing him out of his campaign in texas in favor of some other guy, so rove leaked info about the other guy that portrayed him in a bad light. once you've got contacts in the press willing to carry your water, it seems likely to use them again when needed.

perhaps novak wasn't one of the six reporters called on the phone. perhaps he just happened to be meeting with this "senior administration official" when this was all going down, and so was cut into the loop then. perhaps he simply got a call to set up this meeting, where he eventually got the info.
Dangerous game though.OldEdScott
Oct 6, 2003 11:48 AM
At the 'senior' level, everyone knows (or should know) that outing a CIA operative is illegal. They would also know (or should know) that someone with a king-hell axe to grind is going to want to out THEM for doing it.

It's just nonsensical. Only very, very arrogant people would even THINK about doing it this way.

Arrogant? Hmmmmm.

Never mind.
yes, but simple defense: "i didn't know".rufus
Oct 6, 2003 11:57 AM
the law states that for it to be a crime, the person doing the outing must know that it's a crime. hard to disprove a claim of ignorance.
"I don't recall" has been proven to work real well... nmNo_sprint
Oct 6, 2003 12:54 PM
It's the "Big One"MR_GRUMPY
Oct 6, 2003 8:59 AM
I was reading an article, this weekend that said the Wilson's wife wasn't just a desk jockey. It said that her "job" as a weapons consultant was just a cover for other activities. It also mentioned that she was the best shot with an AK-47 in her CIA training. I'm not sure if that is standard training for desk work.
Time will tell if she was a "real" agent or not, but Bush just might have stepped into the big one, this time.
Considering that one of our Presidents committedNo_sprint
Oct 6, 2003 9:40 AM
perjury and thus undermined one of the most critical pillars of our entire civilization and didn't bring himself crumbling down although impeached and didn't bring our entire country to it's knees, it would be silly to think this situation would do anything like that either.
yeah right - a blowjob and national securityMJ
Oct 7, 2003 3:21 AM
are of course directly comparable

whatever you think about Clinton's blowjob (and you should be upset after wasting tens of millions of taxpayers money to find - er wait for it - that consenting adults lie about their sex lives especially when already married...) you've gotta acknowledge the outing of a CIA agent was out of line

you rabid neo-cons get more upset over a little bump and grind than the outing of an agent at a time when national security is (apparently - according to you folk) so dire...

looks like an own goal to me
Your inability to see the forest thru the trees...No_sprint
Oct 7, 2003 6:55 AM
and to see an issue thru your blind eyes is so typical of the mass and ignorant public. It is those such as yourself that are precisely why I say, this situation won't do a thing.

Perjury is perjury and it is indeed one of the most critical pillars of our entire society. It should have meant jail time, big time.

Neo-con? Me? LOL Sorry, I don't even know what a neo-con is.
maybe perjuryMJ
Oct 7, 2003 7:09 AM
should be extended to Bush over his WMD's claims?
Why is perjury so hard for liberals to understand?TJeanloz
Oct 7, 2003 7:52 AM
Bush WASN'T under oath. Clinton was. How hard is that to understand.

People lie about sex all the time. True. Generally not in sworn depositions though.

We expect politicians to lie (or at least bend the truth) in speaches. We don't expect anybody to lie in court. Politicians are not above the law.
that's beautifulMJ
Oct 7, 2003 7:56 AM
I'm filling up

do you really want to start talking about the legality of Bush & Co's actions in office?

I think we all know who comes off better on this point... and - wait for it - it ain't Bush
I don't knowTJeanloz
Oct 7, 2003 8:03 AM
I don't know what the legal situation is with the Bush administration. I wouldn't be opposed to a special prosecutor to look into it. I'm sure there have been several violations of obscure laws that I know little or nothing about - including the possible recent "outing" of a CIA agent. But none of that has been put into the court system, and I'm not close enough to it to pass judgement.

I do know that Clinton committed perjury. I saw it on national T.V. I also know that perjury is against the law. I also know that Mr. Clinton was a lawyer - so he knew it was against the law.

As my boss likes to say, never do anything that you would be embarrassed to recount on the witness stand, because it might come to that. Someday, Bush might be on that stand, but until then, I'm not going to jump to some conclusion.
Why are degrees of perjury so hard for cons to understand?OldEdScott
Oct 7, 2003 8:08 AM
OK, OK, sure, I'm a Commie moral relativist. Just get over that.

But even Blind Lady Justice allows for degrees of severity in EVERY crime. Murder is murder, but not everyone fries. There are -- and this is not a Red libertine concept, but a legal one -- mitigating factors that can and properly should be considered in deciding whether it's a big-deal Crime or a small-deal one.

You (not you, TJ, the generic Clinton-Bash You, or maybe Steam) can holler 'Clinton committed perjury, Clinton committed perjury, Clinton committed perjury!!' like a parrott on speed for the next 50 years if you want. Fact is, perjury about a sexual indiscretion SIMPLY IS less of a crime than perjury that, say, puts a CIA operative's life at risk. And -- steady now -- I would even say it's less of a REAL crime than putting a CIA operative's life at risk even if you're NOT under oath when you do it. (I'd even say it's less of a REAL crime than initiating military action overseas on false and misleading pretenses, ho, ho...)

George Bush drove drunk, likely used cocaine, and has certainly exceeded the speed limit a time or two in his life. Those are CRIMES. Are they big ones? Naw. But if I wanted to, I could gobble nine hits of Crank and babbble 'Bush broke the law, Bush broke the law, Bush broke the law!! till I have no saliva left and my eyes roll back in my head. Wouldn't mean a damn thing, and neither does this Clinton 'perjury' business.

I would agree with you,TJeanloz
Oct 7, 2003 8:18 AM
There are degrees of murder, and they're all bad.

There are degrees of perjury, and they're all bad.

One issue I have with the whole discussion is the "it's not as bad as" argument. A felony is a felony.

Another issue I have is that it is certain that Clinton committed perjury, right? Anybody disputing that?

Is it certain that Bush knowingly lied about Saddam's WMD capabilities? I don't think it is.

Is it certain that Bush (himself, not Rove et. al) outed, or condoned the outing of a CIA agent? I don't think it is.

Lastly, I hold Clinton to a higher standard for perjury because he is a lawyer, just as I hold Martha Stewart to a higher standard in her insider-trading because she was an NASD member. These are occurrances where ignorance of the law could not possibly have existed; both knowingly, and purposely committed felonies.
I need a new supply of Speed. I can't keep up. nmOldEdScott
Oct 7, 2003 8:26 AM
re: Anybody starting to think this CIA agent outing is a huge128
Oct 6, 2003 10:29 AM