Monday, October 31, 2005

TREASONGATE: Is David Corn Feeling Fitzgerald's Heat?

Did David Corn publish intentionally misleading quotations from Fitzgerald's press conference?


report of August 19, 2005, "TREASONGATE: IN CAHOOTS -- How The White House, Wilson, Novak, Corn and Plame Conspired for Treason" accuses DC and JW of being part of a broad double agent conspiracy to out Plame and Brewster Jennings.

One of the most interesting aspects of that report concerns the fact that it was David Corn who was the first person in the media to out Plame's "covert" status as a CIA officer. Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 but it wasn't until two days later, July 16, 2003, that DC was the first person to publish that she was an undercover CIA agent working on WMD. His source may have been JW.

It was Clifford May at The National Review who first brought this to our attention in a July 2005 column. [Readers -- I am no fan of The National Review and their war propaganda, but a fact is a fact. May raised very legitimate questions which must be answered.]

From my report:

Clifford May's article,
Who Exposed Secret Agent Plame?published in National Review online, July 15th 2005, makes a strong case that, while Novak was the first person to expose "Wilson's wife", Corn is actually the journalist responsible for first publishing Plame's undercover/covert status:

"This just in: Bob Novak did not reveal that Valerie Plame was an undercover agent for the CIA.
Read— or reread — his column from July 14, 2003. All Novak reports is that the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson is 'an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction'...

So if Novak did not reveal that Valerie Plame was a secret agent, who did? The evidence strongly suggests it was none other than Joe Wilson himself. Let me walk you through the steps that lead to this conclusion.
The first reference to Plame being a secret agent appears in The Nation, in an article by DC published July 16, 2003, just two days after Novak’s column appeared. It carried this lead: 'Did Bush officials blow the cover of a U.S. intelligence officer working covertly in a field of vital importance to national security — and break the law — in order to strike at a Bush administration critic and intimidate others?'
On what basis could Corn 'assume' that Plame was not only working covertly but was actually a 'top-secret' operative? And where did Corn get the idea that Plame had been 'outed' in order to punish Wilson? That is not suggested by anything in the Novak column...

The likely answer: The allegation that someone in the administration leaked to Novak as a way to punish Wilson was made by Wilson — to Corn. But Corn, rather than quote Wilson, puts the idea forward as his own.

Corn’s article then goes on to provide specific details about Plame’s undercover work, her 'dicey and difficult mission of tracking parties trying to buy or sell weapons of mass destruction or WMD material.' But how does Corn know about that? From what source could he have learned it?"

Since Novak did not report that Plame was 'working covertly' how did Corn know that’s what she had been doing? Corn follows that assertion with a quote from Wilson saying, 'I will not answer questions about my wife.' Any reporter worth his salt would immediately wonder: Did Wilson indeed answer Corn’s questions about his wife — after Corn agreed not to quote his answers but to use them only on background?

Read the rest of Corn’s piece and it’s difficult to believe anything else. Corn names no other sources for the information he provides — and he provides much more information than Novak revealed...

May's report comes out on July 15, 2005. Citizenspook published our accusations on August 19, 2005. Buzz started to spread throughout the blogosphere about this theory.

Cut to Fitzgerald's press conference and the aftermath.

On the evening of October 28, 2005, DC published a
review of Fitzgerald's press conference for The Nation which was also published at Yahoo news. Pay close attention to the following passage:

Fitzgerald...did declare that "the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified...but it was not widely known outside the intelligence community" and that "her cover was blown" by the Novak column. (So much for the goofy right-wing conspiracy theory that I colluded with Joseph Wilson after the Novak column to out Valerie Wilson as an undercover CIA operative. If you don't know about that, don't ask.)

This is a blockbuster screwup by David Corn.

" 'her cover was blown' by the Novak column."

Fitz did not say that.

DC has twisted what Fitz said and that quote is false. Fitz never said "her cover was blown by the Novak column" which is what DC implies by his "selective" quotation marks.

If Fitz did say that, DC would appear to be off the hook, but Fitz said something much different than what DC has mislead his readers to believe. And this does not take a rocket scientist to understand.

Here's what Fitz said:

"Valerie Wilson's cover was blown in July 2003. The first sign of that cover being blown was when Mr. Novak published a column on July 14th, 2003."

Recall that Novak and DC both published in July 2003. Novak outed her identity as a CIA officer on July 14, but DC published that she was an undercover spy on July 16th. Had Fitz said that Valerie Plame/Wilson's cover was blown by the Novak column, DC would appear to be vindicated. But Fitzgerald chose his words very carefully:

"The first sign of that cover being blown was when Mr. Novak published a column on July 14th, 2003."

That's much different than what DC wrote in his column. Fitz was careful NOT to say that her cover was blown by Novak's article. The "first sign" of it being blown was Novak's article, but the second sign was DC's article two days later.

And Fitz clarifies things further a bit later when he states:

"That brings us to the fall of 2003. When it was clear that Valerie Wilson's cover had been blown, investigation began."

According to that statement by Fitz, it was not "clear" that her cover was blown until Fall 2003.

Is David Corn feeling the heat?:

"So much for the goofy right-wing conspiracy theory that I colluded with Joseph Wilson after the Novak column to out Valerie Wilson as an undercover CIA operative. If you don't know about that, don't ask."

What's goofy is the bumbling manner upon which David Corn attempts to sway public opinion while leaving himself wide open for charges of willful misquotation.

It's not a right wing conspiracy, David. Citizenspook is not a right wing blog, nor is it a left wing blog. It's an independent analysis of Treasongate. The National Review is certainly a right wing propaganda rag but that doesn't color the facts. It's a fact that Corn's column was the first to publish that Plame/Wilson was an undercover spy.

It's also a fact that his October 28, 2005, report of Fitzgerald's press conference terribly misquotes him in a manner which is intended to divert attention from those questioning Corn and Wilson's roles in this conspiracy.

Fitzgerald never said -- "her cover was blown by the Novak column". He said the Novak column was the "first sign" of her cover being blown. Nothing in that statement contradicts allegations that you outed her status as a NOC. On the contrary, Fitzgerald's statment clearly indicates that things are not as cut and dried as David Corbnn would like people to believe

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Fitz asked America to trust him yesterday. And he's earned our trust. The country and even the criminals are lucky to have this man at this moment in time. Turns out that Patrick "the bulldog" Fitzgerald is nothing more than a doe eyed fawn caught in the headlights...but they haven't blinded him.

The headlights of the world are focused right into the eyes a genuine pure soul. How many of that species are left on this filthy planet? Fitz took all the steam out of me. The venom is gone. I'm slightly ashamed of myself after listening to Fitzgerald and digesting his vibrations.

Make no doubt about it, Citizen Spook would have thrown the book at the Bush crime family (and even the reporters involved) for violating 18 USC 794 of The Espionage Act which has life in prison or the death penalty as the ultimate sentence.

And I could make a case. Indeed, I have made the case to many people.

If Fitz wanted to he could make a case as well. And this is why the Bush cabal are lucky to have Fitzgerald as the "umpire".

Fitz isn't out to "get" anybody. He wants the country to trust him to do the right thing. He is not an over zealous prosecutor. He's an honest working stiff who's trying to operate within the very letter of the law. He will not go one step beyond what he believes is fair to all the parties involved.

Fitz has ethics, and he's not afraid to use them.

I feel somewhat vindicated (are you listening Democratic Underground?) because it's obvious -- after going over the Fitz press conference -- and the indictment -- that the controlling law as far as Fitz is concerned is the Espionage Act.

Page 2 of the indictment lists 18 USC 793 as one of the laws relevant to the investigation, but page 2 doesn't mention the IIPA:

As a person with such clearances, LIBBY was obligated by applicable laws and regulations, including Title 18, United States Code, Section 793, and Executive Order 12958 (as modified by Executive Order 13292), not to disclose classified information to persons not authorized to receive such information, and otherwise to exercise proper care to safeguard classified information against unauthorized disclosure.

Later in the indictment, on page 9, he lists five laws as being relevant to his investigation, the IIPA, 18 USC 793 (improper disclosure of national defense information), 18 USC 1001 (false statements), 18 USC 1503 (obstruction of justice) and 18 USC 1623 (perjury).

And in the press conference he also mentions "793" specifically while not mentioning the IIPA by name although he certainly referred to it.

The "18 USC 1001" reference is very interesting because it also deals with fraud and this is relative to possible state court prosecutions under the felony murder rule. Please see my
report on that topic.

What is conspicuously absent from the indictment and the press conference is 18 USC 794. This is the law I would have thrown at them, but I'm not Fitz. And this is why the Bush criminals are lucky to have Fitz as prosecutor. He's not going to prosecute a law just because he can.

I was really upset for a little while yesterday. I couldn't understand how a prosecutor -- and this goes for the AIPAC indictments as well -- could prosecute under 18 USC 793 but not also use 18 USC 794 when the country is in "time of war". The only real difference between 793 and 794 is that 794 -- which allows the maximum sentence of life in prison or death -- is available when the country is at war.

It sure seems like we're at war, doesn't it? 2000 soldiers are dead, we're occupying a foreign land and we're fighting "the enemy". So why no mention of 18 USC 794, Fitz?

I think I know why. Because this war isn't "legal". Congress did not "declare war" and Fitzgerald believes in the law. So he's not going to bastardize the law by sanctioning the war. If Fitz brought indictments under 18 USC 794, essentially he would be making a quasi-political decision. In order to prosecute under 18 USC 794, a prosecutor must establish -- as one of the elements of the statute -- that the illegal release of national defense information happened "in time of war."

But Fitzgerald knows that this Iraq conflict is not a legally declared "war". It was not declared by Congress which is required by the Constitution, and it does not rise to the level necessary under the statute.

The statute was written in 1917. And at that time the Constitution was still in use (sarcasm laced with truth). The framers of the Espionage Act understood that "war" could not happen without an official "declaration of war" as was intended by the framers of the Constitution.

And this is why we are lucky to have Fitz as the captain of this ship right now. Nobody can say that Fitzgerald hasn't exercised prosecutorial restraint. Citizen Spook would have charged the bastards with 18 USC 794 and hung them on their own words, "We are at war." "I'm a war president."

You understand what I'm getting at?

Our man Fitz doesn't think like the rest of us. His vision of the law is pure. He knows, in his heart and mind, that without a Constitutional declaration of war, there is no way he can -- in good conscience -- prosecute under 18 USC 794.

A headline grabbing irrational prosecutor would have ignored this technicality and hung them on their own words and actions. And this is why Bush, the neocons, and the media better show this young man some respect. Could you imagine the prospect of those indicted attempting to convince the court that we were not "in time of war" after all they've said and done to convince the American people that we are at war as the body bags come home on a daily basis.


Fitzgerald's press conference yesterday was more than just an announcement about the Libby indictment. Although Fitz plays his cards close to the vest, if you read between the lines there is a ton of information available.

Yesterday, Fitz took the chance to basically make his opening statements for the coming prosecution of certain individuals under the Espionage Act (18 USC 793). The press conference was Fitzgerald's only chance to speak directly to the people about where he is taking this case.

18 USC 793 is a statute of the United States Code, federal law of the land. The statute has various elements which the prosecution must prove. Fitzgerald hit on each of those elements yesterday. This is what a prosecutor does in an opening statement. He discusses the elements of the statute and applies each element to the facts.

Fitz told us that there was a breach of national security when Plame's cover was blown. The indictment establishes that she worked in the CIA's counter proliferation division, the covert operations part of the CIA. (
Josh Marshall first pointed that out.)

Fitz established that the country was put in danger by the release of her name and that the release of her name was done intentionally.

He also established that her identity as a CIA officer was not known outside of the intelligence community.

Fitzgerald laid out each element of the statute and made the case to the USA that certain laws had been broken. I'd say he made the case for both 18 USC 793 and the IIPA, but it's obvious that 18 USC 793 has a much easier bar to clear.

18 USC 793 does not require that the leakers intended to hurt the country. This is a talking point I was hearing within minutes of the press conference having ended. On more than one program I heard the right wingnuts like Hannity and even some ill informed guest on Randi Rhodes' show playing the card that the IIPA and the Espionage Act are equally difficult to prosecute because of "the intent requirement". They were alleging that the Espionage Act requires the prosecutor prove that the leaker "intended to harm the country".

This is a lie. Please see the first Citizen Spook report
TREASONGATE: The Controlling Law - Big Trouble For The White House Staff for an in depth study of 18 USC 793. The short version goes like this:

18 USC 793 of The Espionage Act --

The statute only requires that the information leaked be related to the national defense and that the individual responsible for disclosing that information have a reasonable belief that the information could be used to the detriment of the USA.

This legal test is much easier to meet than the test put forth in the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Requirements for prosecution under 18 USC 793:

- information was intentionally leaked
- the information was related to the national defense
- the leaker had a reasonable belief the info "could" be used to harm the USA

"Could be used" is a much easier bar to clear than "would be used".

Now review Fitzgerald's press conference. He tells us that all of the elements of this statute were met regarding the leak of Plame's identity. I believe he's going to prosecute somebody under the Espionage Act.

He even defended the use of this law against critics. He made his case for prosecuting under 18 USC 793. He mentions it by name and was most candid while discussing the arguments people have raised against the use of this law. It's Fitzgerald's opinion that the law is fair when fairly applied.

As for the IIPA, he may bring indictments under that law as well, but he doesn't mention that law on page 2 of the indictment where he has drawn some conclusions. The indictment itself only mentions the IIPA on page 9 where he lists statutes his investigation was looking at. I don't know what Fitz will do with the IIPA, but the talking point you must be aware of goes like this:

"Fitzgerald was charged with investigating whether the Intelligence Identities Protection Act was violated."

That's a lie.
Comey's letters delegating authority to Fitzgerald empower him to investigate and prosecute "any federal criminal laws related to"...the outing of Valerie (Plame) Wilson. Fitzgerald's authority is not exclusive to any statute. In fact, it's ridiculous for people to even argue such a proposition. Prosecutors investigate behavior to see if "any crimes" have been broken. They do no investigate a statute. They investigate behavior.

Patrick Fitzgerald has shown a ton of restraint by not prosecuting under 18 USC 794. The Bush administration and the leakers are very fortunate that the man investigating them has great morals and more of an appreciation for America -- and its laws -- than they themselves possess.

Looking into Fitzgerald's eyes, you can't help but see the truth. Those who disparage his investigation, from the left or the right, are doing the man and the country wrong.

Fitzgerald ought to be nominated for the Supreme Court. If Bush has any sense of legacy or a "come to Jesus" moment in his soul... he would nominate Patrick Fitzgerald for SCOTUS.

Fitz has proven to the country that he is a man of principle, understanding and law.

Those responsible for the leak ought to come forward and plead guilty, take their punishment and thank heaven that Fitzgerald doesn't believe he can legally go after them under 18 USC 794.


I have no venom left. Fitzgerald kicked my ass yesterday. He made me believe in chivalry, honesty, love of country. I haven't felt so proud to be an American since I was a small child saying the Pledge of Allegiance in grammar school. I've been a jaded son of a bitch for many years, through Iran Contra, the Clinton crimes (and there were many) to the Bush neocon murderous's been very hard to feel proud of this country.

Fitzgerald is a national treasure.

18 USC 793 was violated and Fitz is coming after those who are guilty. The talk shows, newspapers and blogs will not change his mind at all. He is more ethical than the rest of us, has no political axe to grind, and is fully capable of handling whatever pressure comes his way.

Thank you, James Comey. And thank you President Bush for installing Fitz as US Attorney.

Like Fitzgerald said, "Let's all take a deep breathe."
The prosecutor deserves our faith. Let him do his job.

If you're guilty, plead guilty.
It's your best bet and what's best for the country.

Fitzgerald for SCOTUS. That would be one hell of an ending to this. It's Bush's only chance for a true legacy.

Citizenspook is now the unofficial FITZ FOR SCOTUS web blog.

God blessed America.

by Citizen Spook

I apologize to the
Firedoglake girls for my attitude over the last few days. I haven't acted like a gentleman. I believe in my analysis just the same, but my behavior in communicating it was less than pure. Fitzgerald made me feel dirty so I took a shower.

Friday, October 28, 2005

TREASONGATE: Bitchslapping the media


was on Larry King yesterday. Check out his unsourced spin. And I quote:

"And this is not even a firecracker, but it's true. They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that Joe Wilson's wife was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage. They did not have to pull anyone out undercover abroad. They didn't have to resettle anyone. There was no physical danger to anyone and there was just some embarrassment.

So people have kind of compared -- somebody was saying this was Aldridge Ames or Bob Hanson, big spies. This didn't cause damage."

Bob doesn't even need a source? What's his source? Who told him this? Nobody else has seen the "holy grail" of Treasongate documents -- a CIA damage report on the Plame/Brewster Jennings outing -- but Bob just does his little dance on the airwaves as if Deep Throat was tonguing his floppy ears again.

Bob Woodward, you're a fucking fraud, mate. A fucking fraud. He doesn't even front a source. Larry King let him get away with that?

Rumour cake makers.
Piss off, all of you. Your mates are going down.

And they say the blogs aren't really news? Woodward ought to work on a DC based graphic novel. Fiction master. He's full of shit.


WALTER PINCUS from The Washington Post for outing Brewster Jennings as a CIA front and risking the lives of all who were involved with it... My man ANTIARISTO just tied him up in little knots with his
Treachery From The Washington Post report (see yesterday's blog below).

I want to add a few comments on that:

- Pincus outed Brewster Jennings on October 3, 2003, almost three months after Plame's name and identity were leaked.

There's a pattern here that's interesting. First Novak outed Plame's name, but it was David Corn -- a few days later -- who outed her covert status.

Then on the same day -- October 3, 2003 -- Novak outed Brewster Jennings name, but Pincus outed BJ as a CIA front.

Pincus and others are trying to spin it that Brewster Jennings was outed when Plame listed them as her employer on a 1999 tax return. However...

- Brewster Jennings was a front "company". You can't be a CIA "front company" unless you're a company. Duh.

- The identity of Brewster Jennings as a "CIA asset" wasn't exposed until Pincus spilled it on Ocotber 3, 2003.

This was espionage which resulted in the exposure of a CIA asset working on WMD.

- Who were the "administration officials" that confirmed Brewster Jennings was a CIA front?

From the Ocotber 3, 2003 WAPO:

"After the name of the company was broadcast yesterday, administration officials confirmed that it was a CIA front. They said the obscure and possibly defunct firm was listed as Plame's employer on her W-2 tax forms in 1999 when she was working undercover for the CIA."

- Why are administration officials going to Walter Pincus with Plame's tax returns? And why is pincus publishing the identity of a CIA front company?

Isn't that an Espionage Act violation?

This is big, huge story.

The front company was supposed to be used by Plame as cover and that's why she listed it on her tax return. It was a FRONT.

The illegal use of this information by Pincus to out Brewster Jennings identity as a CIA asset was treason.

Go get them Fitz.

This is a big story. Nobody is reporting it but Citizenspook (via Antiaristo)

And you can be sure that when it does finally break out -- like the Espionage Act analysis and the Comey/GAO delegation of authority stories -- nobody in the MM and most in the main stream blogosphere will ignore that CS broke the news -- and more important -- that CS covers the legalities involved with pinpoint accuracy.

This blog has been way out in front educating the blogosphere on these issues and it pisses me off to see massive blogs misleading their readers as to the law.
CS has extensive, documented and thoroughly researched legal analysis painstakenly translated into a form of English non-lawyers can understand.

When attorneys who do not have the skills or passion for the law that I do attempt to give legal lessons by watering down the analysis they do a great disservice to their readers. Which leads me to:


Firedoglake is an ex-prosecutor and defense attorney who provides legal analysis which is sometimes interesting. But their most recent legal reporting has been defective, especially as it pertains specifically to some of my work on the "Felony Murder Rule" and the power of the federal Grand Jury.

A Firedoglake reader asked Red to comment about my report. Before I quote Red directly on their response to my report, let's take a look at Red's "Untying A Few Legal Knots" about how a "creative prosecutor" might conduct an investigation:

"In my experience, the people who complain about a prosecutor being creative are criminal defense attorneys and family members of the people indicted. In this case, it's GOP strategists, who haven't complained at all about the "creative" use of detaining people of interest for terrorism cases without any hearing, any legal representation or any due process for months. Ahem.

"Prosecutors are limited by the laws as written by Congress. However, if someone has broken a law, and is charged with that particular conduct, the prosecutor should not be castigated for charging the violation simply because other prosecutors are either too lazy, too uneducated, or too busy to use prosecutions for that law themselves -- even prosecutors sometimes get into a rut in terms of what they do and don't charge. A good prosecutor avails herself of all the laws, not just a select few." (Emphasis added.)

That's interesting, Red. Conider now my report on the Felony Murder Rule which makes the case for State court prosecutions of the Bush crime family for the murder of American soldiers resulting from the felony fraud perpetrated upon congress, the military and the American people in their bogus case for the Iraq War. State court convictions would be exempt from the Presidential pardon power, but Red fails to mention that aspect of things. Ahem?

Read my report for the full legal details, but the short version goes like this: all states have a felony murder rule which means that those who are involved in committing a felony can be prosecuted for murder if anybody gets killed as a result of the underlying felony. I thoroughly addressed every aspect of this procedure as well as jurisdictional issues in my report.

Here's what

Reddhead had to say about it:

Anon -- I think that would be a substantial stretch, given the budget constraints, overwork issues and enormous constitutional arguments that would have to be overcome, not to mention some questions on jurisdiction and immunity from prosecution issues. I think most state prosecutors would be reluctant, to be honest, and I don't see how it would be likely. It's an intriguing intellectual exercise, but not particularly practical from the small-town, real-world state prosecutor sort of perspective. At least, in my experience, anyway.ReddHedd

Homepage 10.26.05 - 11:18 am #

What a fucking hypocrite you are. Look how that statement contrasts with Red's comments about a "creative prosecutor".

Intriguing intellectual exercise?

2000 people are dead, Red. The pardon is going to be used. If SCOTUS allows that to happen, then the felony murder rule is the only chance these victims will have for justice.

Time contraints? Budget?

Who's fucking side are you on, FDL? I'm really starting to wonder.

Red provides no direct commentary about the legal aspects of my report and the various case law cited, just a blanket diss on the theory.

Red, I'll debate you and destroy you on this. Anytime, any blog.

Red also bumbled through an explanation of the federal grand jury recently but failed to mention anything about the power of the grand jury to present indictments on its own accord despite the prosecutor's wishes. And Red offers nothing about "run away grand juries" either.

If you want an in depth analysis of the federal Grand Jury's history and true power as the FOURTH BRANCH of the US Government, then read
Citizen Spook's Grand Jury report .... a must read for anybody who is seriously interested in educating their fellow citizens as to the best strategy for us to become the actual custodians of power over the Government of We The People.

BITCH SLAP #4: Those Who Are Saying Fitz Can't Prosecute on The Niger Documents.

Firedoglake gets another bitchslap -- albeit this is only part of a collective bitch slap -- for whining about the following NY Times article instead of doing something to counter its propaganda:

Can we just say the timing on this one is fucked? Just up from the
NYT, an article by Doug Jehl on the FBI counterintelligence case into the Niger documents:

The continuing inquiry into the source of the forged documents has been conducted separately from the investigation by the special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald into the leak case, which has to do with whether Bush administration officials committed crimes related to disclosing the identity of Mr. Wilson's wife, an undercover C.I.A. officer.

Law enforcement officials say they do not believe that the two issues are related.

I am so not happy about having THIS thrown at me just as I was getting ready for a good night's sleep before tomorrow's whatever-it-may-bring.

- Why doesn't Hamsher counter this spin by quoting the
UPI story which sources NATO officials who say Fitzgerald asked for and received, from Italian authorities, the dossier on the Niger documents?

Why is Jane Hamsher so worried about this report by the New York Times? Like they've been credible through the Treasongate festival? Didn't they report last week that Cheney was interviewed under oath when everybody and his pet fucking rock knew that wasn't the case. And then there's the Judy Miller fiasco.

And another point that the prestigious folk at Firedoglake have forgot to mention -- FITZGERALD WEARS TWO HATS.

- He's the US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
- He's the special prosecutor in the Plame affair.

If he finds illegal activity concerning the Niger documents, and for whatever reason such crimes do not fall within his delegation of authority as Special Prosecutor, there's no reason why he can't investigate those crimes while wearing his US Attorney hat. After all, FDL, that's what US Attorney's do.

They prosecute Federal crimes.

I hope this lifts your spirits, Jane.

But if it doesn't then have a look at
TREASONGATE: NIGER DOCUMENT FRAUD -- Wilson And Plame May Be On Fitzgerald's Radar For Treason Related To The Niger Document Conspiracy which discusses the most likely scenario which would allow Fitz to investigate and prosecute those involved with the Niger document fraud.

by Citizen Spoook

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

TREASONGATE: NIGER DOCUMENT FRAUD -- Wilson And Plame May Be On Fitzgerald's Radar For Treason Related To The Niger Document Conspiracy.

[UPDATE 10.28.05: Reader Brian Sipe provided an insight on how Fitz can be legally investigating the Niger document fraud. His analysis provides a relevant insight. So I've updated this report with Brian's comments in red.]

New analysis of pleadings filed by Fitzgerald has revealed that his investigation has been diverted towards the Niger document fraud.

Fitzgerald's District Court pleadings from June 2005 informed the court that the investigation was-- "for all practical purposes complete" -- back in "Fall 2004" except for the refusal of Cooper and Miller to cooperate.

Mark Kleiman is one of the few bloggers who mentioned the Espionage Act before I published my two part series on 18 USC 793 and 18 USC 794. So today, when I came across his October 23 2005 article, -- If you meet the Special Counsel on the Yellowcake Road, no-bill him. -- I was upset and confused by his allegation that Fitzgerald has no authority to investigate the Niger Document Fraud:

As against the GOP spin that he was appointed to look into violations of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, he has the original letter giving him "all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department's investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity" and a second letter written shortly thereafter specifying that his authority extends to any criminal attempt to frustrate that investigation.

But note that none of the documents on the site gives Fitzgerald any authority over the wider question of who made up and peddled the Nigerien yellowcake story, or the still wider question about how the administration hyped the threat of an Iraqi nuclear weapons acquisition program as part of its sales pitch for the war.

Apparently Frank Rich suggested on Meet the Press today that the case might go in that direction. Ain't gonna happen. Surely if Fitzgerald were moving that way, he would have asked for authority to do so, and would have added that request and the response to it to his webpage.

In the same article he debunks the "IIPA is controlling" neocon talking point... while also squashing Fitzgerald's authority to investigate the Niger document fraud. He even links to Comey's delegation letters as proof of his assertion. Although I was confused, I felt that Kleiman is a blogger who is trying to call it by the rule of law without any spin. Still, he hasn't analyzed the second letter correctly.

Comey's first letter authorizes Fitzgerald as follows:

"I hereby delegate to you all of the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department's investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity..."

Kleiman discusses
Comey's second letter to Fitzgerald, but he doesn't explain it properly. Kleiman wrote:

"...and a second letter written shortly thereafter specifying that his authority extends to any criminal attempt to frustrate that investigation."

That's not accurate. The first letter limited Fitzgerald's authority to the unauthorized disclosure of Plame's identity, but the
second letter expands that authority more than Kleiman gives it credit for. From the letter:

At your request, I am writing to clarify that my December 30, 2003, delegation to you of "all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department's investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee's identity" is plenary and includes the authority to investigate and prosecute violations of any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure, as well as federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, your investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses...

The key phrase is:

"any federal criminal laws related to the underlying alleged unauthorized disclosure"

Fitzgerald's authority extends to the violation of any federal criminal laws which are "related to the underlying...disclosure" of Plame and Brewster Jennings.

So how does the creation of the fraudulent Niger documents -- a clear violation of federal criminal law, certainly
18 USC 1001 among others -- fall under the investigation of the unauthorized exposure of Plame's identity?

The documents surfaced in October 2002. Novak's column outing Plame as a CIA employee was published on July 14, 2003. How could the Niger document fraud be relevant to Fitzgerald's investigation? Think hard about this.


unless....'s "related" to the disclosure of Plame's identity or the exposure of Brewster Jennings.

But Fitzgerald IS looking into the Niger fraud.

Kleiman's article includes two updates at the bottom of the original text. The first reads:

A reader points me to this
Josh Marshall post linking to a UPI story by Martin Walker reporting that "Fitzgerald's team of investigators has sought and obtained documentation on the forgeries from the Italian government" and inferring from that fact that "the CIA leak inquiry that threatens senior White House aides has now widened to include the forgery of documents on African uranium that started the investigation." Josh vouches for Walker's credibility, and I have no reason to doubt him.

But note that the inference doesn't follow from the fact, and is contradicted by Fitzgerald's terms of reference. Fitzgerald may well want to bring in the Yellowcake Road story to show motive for whatever crimes he charges, but the charges themselves will have to be limited to blowing Plame's cover and covering it up.

I don’t' agree with Kleiman here. The second Comey letter is pretty damn broad. If Fitzgerald can show that the creation of the fraudulent Niger documents -- or the use of them -- was related to the disclosure of Plame and Brewster Jennings, then Fitzgerald can prosecute the violation of any federal criminal laws involving the Niger documents.

I'll admit that Kleiman has a point about motive. If the exposure of Plame was done as motivation to bitch slap Joe Wilson, than the creation of the Niger documents -- which must have happened in late 2001 -- is barely related to the exposure of Plame and Brewster Jennings in July of 2003.

As much as I want to see the Niger fraud punished, I'm not sure Fitz can make it work on that basis. But if he's got something on them he should run with it and if it's powerful stuff the judges will give him a wide berth. And rightly so.

Now to the second update at Kleiman's blog:

Kevin Drum has a theory about the motivation for the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson, and that theory seems to fit the facts: the W.H.I.G. thought that Joseph Wilson had proof that the Yellowcake Road documents were forgeries before the 2003 State of the Union address." I still doubt that Fitzgerald has the authority to bring charges about the forgery, as opposed to the outing.

I disagree with both Kleiman and Drum. If the Bush syndicate thought Wilson had proof that the Niger documents were fraudulent and they outed Plame to intimidate him from speaking out, then I believe that would be sufficiently "related" to the disclosure of Plame's identity to allow Fitzgerald to prosecute. Kleiman is wrong.

But Wilson apparently isn't in possession of any other information other than what he reported in the Times Op Ed of July 6, 2003. He makes no such allegations and he's certainly not been shy about speaking up.

Furthermore, Drum's argument is a bit farfetched in that Wilson had already published his Op Ed -- spilling what he knew about the Niger deal on July 6, 2003. It's that same argument that keeps coming back, but makes no sense -- the Bush team bitch slapped Joe Wilson to get back at him.

If they were trying to intimidate Wilson... they were too late in doing the job. This don't fly. The motive isn't there for the Bush freaks to subject themselves to the ultimate terms of the Espionage Act -- life sentence or death sentence under 18 USC 794.

We know -- from
Fitzgerald's 75 page brief -- filed with the Court of Appeals -- that Fitzgerald was interested in the Niger documents and Wilson's trip to Niger. From the Fitz brief:

[page 15]

In the Op-ed piece, Wilson, a retired career State Department official, asserted that he had taken a trip to Niger at the request of the CIA in February 2002 to investigate allegations that yellowcake uranium had been sought or obtained by Iraq from Niger.

[page 19]

On September 13, 2004, the grand jury issued subpoenas to Cooper and Time seeking: “testimony and documents relating to conversations between Cooper and official source(s) prior to July 14, 2003, concerning in any way: former Ambassador Joseph Wilson; the 2002 trip by former Ambassador Wilson to Niger;

[page 73]

Specifically, the information sought is focused on testimony and documents related to communications occurring during a limited time period, which specifically concern former Ambassador Joseph Wilson; the 2002 trip by former Ambassador Wilson to Niger; Valerie Plame Wilson; or Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium. Given the limited scope of the information sought by the subpoenas and the general nature of the investigation, it is obvious that there is a real possibility that the information sought will be relevant and of substantial importance to the investigation, as required by § 50.10(f).

The key phrase in that passage is "of Iraqi efforts to obtain Uranium". It's interesting that Fitz lists Wilson's trip to Niger and Iraqi efforts to obtain Uranium as separate subjects of inquiry.

We also know that when the Court of Appeals decided against Cooper and Miller
the court's 83 page opinion contained eight redacted pages of evidence provided to the court by Fitzgerald. Judge Tatel stated:

Were the leak at issue in this case less harmful to national security or more vital to public debate, or had the special counsel failed to demonstrate the grand jury’s need for the reporters’ evidence, I might have supported the motion to quash.

[Please see the previous CS article,
Treasongate:Special Counsel's Showing Decides The Case"]

Also, let me throw in a comment directly from Fitzgerald taken from page 44 of the pleadings filed with the Court of Appeals:

If anything, the public’s interest is heightened in this case, because the crimes being investigated have national security implications, and the subjects of the investigation are government officials with access to sensitive government information.

It's very possible that Fitzgerald first looked into the Niger trip while developing motive for retaliation against Wilson. The pleadings certainly indicate that he was investigating that theory. From page 45:

Cooper and Time are being asked to identify a confidential source, given the nature of the relevant communications – namely, the alleged disclosure of sensitive government information for the purpose of political advantage or retaliation against a critic of the administration...

But I've stumbled onto something in Fitzgerald's District Court pleadings which I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere:

Fitzgerald filed the
"GOVERNMENT'S MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO JOINT MOTION FOR SCHEDULING CONFERENCE" with the US District Court in June 2005. And this memo cryptically implied that his investigation -- except for receiving the testimony of Cooper and Miller -- had been completed in "Fall 2004". From page 8:

The Special Counsel seeks to bring the ongoing investigation, which he began in December 2003, to as swift a conclusion as possible. By fall 2004, the Special Counsel's investigation was for all practical purposes complete except for the testimony of petitioners. (Emphasis added.)

Now consider that Fitzgerald has very recently requested the official dossier on the Niger forgeries from Italian authorities. From

NATO sources have confirmed to United Press International that Fitzgerald's team of investigators has sought and obtained documentation on the forgeries from the Italian government.

Fitzgerald's team has been given the full, and as yet unpublished report of the Italian parliamentary inquiry into the affair, which started when an Italian journalist obtained documents that appeared to show officials of the government of Niger helping to supply the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein with Yellowcake uranium.

So, knowing that Fitzgerald is digging into the Niger conspiracy, the question now becomes:

What theory of the case sufficiently relates the unauthorized disclosure of Plame's identity to the Niger fraud under Comey's specific delegation of authority?

[ANSWERED BY READER BRIAN SIPE: By outing Plame, the Bush Administration was trying to cover its tracks regarding the fake Niger documents and other bogus Iraq WMD intel that it foisted on Congress and the public. Therefore, the Plame outing was a crime that DIRECTLY RESULTED from previous high crimes. They are NOT unrelated incidents. They are part of the same CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY by the Bush Administration to lead America to war under false pretenses, which was an act of HIGH TREASON.

Therefore, Fitzgerald can act under his plenary authority to unravel the entire conspiracy of "related" crimes, which he seems to be doing...The crimes flowed in an unbroken chain. They are part of the same broad criminal conspiracy by the Bush Administration to lie to the public regarding the non-existent Iraqi WMD's ...

The Bush Administration tried to disguise its original treason by compounding it by outing a CIA employee... That's the "theory of the case" that allows Fitzgerald to go after the Niger document forgers.Brian Sipe 10.27.05 - 6:28 pm # ]

It wasn't Wilson who was getting close too exposing the villains of the Niger document fraud, but it might have been PLAME and her cohorts in BREWSTER JENNINGS.

Under this scenario, if the Bush syndicate had created the forgeries, pushed them into the world and used them to defraud Congress, the military and the people, then outing Plame and Brewster Jennings to stop the spooks from fingering them -- for lying about the grounds to go to war -- would certainly be sufficiently related under the terms of Fitzgerald's authority.

If you really think about, it's one of the most plausible scenarios which would allow Fitzgerald to aggressively investigate the Niger fraud. If this was the case, there's two possible conclusions:

- Plame was outed because she was getting too close to fingering the Niger document conspiracy making her and Wilson genuine victims of espionage.


- Plame outed the spooks getting close to the Niger documents to protect the Bush syndicate. Then they fabricated the outing of Plame to cover her ass -- making her and Wilson guilty of espionage.

Those are the only two scenarios I can imagine that would allow Fitzgerald -- under the specific powers delegated to him -- to aggressively prosecute those involved with creating and using the fraudulent Niger documents. There may be other scenarios, but I haven't thought of them yet.

If Plame was not guilty of espionage, and was a true victim in this, the facts would be different. Wilson's book would be different. His testimony before the Senate would have been different and Plame would have been forced to come forward and tell her story.

Furthermore, if Plame was truly a "victim" of this conspiracy, then her husband would be demanding prosecutions under the Espionage Act instead of being the main cheerleader for the applicability of the IIPA.

And why didn't Joe Wilson write his Op Ed before the soldiers were shipped off to the slaughter?

Think about the support he's garnered by speaking out against Bush's war. Had he stepped up to the plate before our soldiers were killed, before the war began, the war might never have been authorized and funded. In the face of Wilsons's allegations, Congress could not have approved the war resolution. All of the antiwar sentiment he's drummed up now would have been an extremely potent remedy to the solution of war.

He waited until the war began. 2000 soldiers later he wants to be a hero.

Something is rotten in the house of Wilson.

by Citizen Spook


TREASONGATE: CHALLENGE TO FIREDOGLAKE – Wilson Is In Cahoots With Bush Crime Family. Stop Kissing His Ass.

Citizen Spook is rather pissed off today. My favorite blog on Treasongate up until yesterday was Jane Hamsher's "Firedoglake".

I linked to Firedoglake earlier this week. That blog has been great fun, cool pictures, well written, insightful, and interesting legal analysis by Hamsher's colleague Reddhead as well. But yesterday Hamsher really pissed me off.


QUESTION: Why didn't Joe Wilson publish his OP ED, "What I Didn't Find in Africa" before our soldiers were sent off to Iraq? Why was Wilson sitting on this analysis before our soldiers were sent off to the slaughter? I'll answer that later, but it's the big question.

I truly thought Jane was a good candidate for understanding the "Joe Wilson is in cahoots with Bush crime family" scenario.

Boy was I wrong. Yesterday she implied that such thinking was from

Wingnutia may want to impugn Wilson shamelessly, but Poppy called him a "true American hero" and raised him to the rank of Ambassador for the skillful way he handled himself in the midst of a very delicate and dangerous situation during the first Iraq war.

She's falling right into the neocon trap that's been set from the start -- Poppy Bush doesn't approve of Junior's neocon cabal so now he's coming to the rescue.


It's Iran Contra all over again. W will feign ignorance, and who's going to argue with that? Poppy's pals will come in, Scowcroft et al are already sounding the trumpet. The new age neocon perps, Libby, Rove, Cheney and others indicted will make a deal where they resign and are pardoned. Then W will restock the liquor cabinet with Poppy's old school cronies who have been running the show all along.

Get ready for it blogosphere. It's going to be everywhere, just like the "anatomy of a smear" mantra Joe Wilson has been putting out. You know, the "let's bitch slap Joe Wilson and subject ourselves to the death penalty under the Espionage Act" crowd.

And Jane's drank t
smear Kool Aid big time:

"If Bush wasn't in on the "smear Wilson" campaign and didn't care about it, I have to believe he would've told Ari to put a sock in it and focus instead on all the great photo ops this current trip was affording him."

Jane has now moved to the town of Wingnutia. Wingnutia is the town that only houses two kind of folk:

- Those who have Aspen roots (co-conspirators with Bush CrimeCO)

- Those who truly believe Joe Wilson is a hero.

A few months ago I broke the Espionage Act to the blogosphere as the controlling law of Treasongate in a two part series on
18 USC 793 and 18 USC 794. Up until I published these articles, the MM and blogosphere was focused EXCLUSIVELY on the IIPA.

Firedoglake was right there with everybody else lapping it up from Joe Wilson and David Corn, the two cheerleaders who were charged by the Bush cabal with disseminating disinformation about the IIPA indicating that it was the controlling law.

But since Citizen Spook broke the news that the Espionage mandates:

- life in prison or death
- is easier to prosecute
- was the motivation for the ridiculous shift from GWOT to GSAVE

the whole world has caught up and the Espionage Act is in play everywhere.

Doesn't it bother you, Jane, that the man who is supposed to have been hurt the most by the outing of Plame -- her husband Joe Wilson-- was the main culprit in directing the world's attention to the IIPA?

In his book, interviews and newspaper articles, Wilson never once mentions the Espionage Act, although he did say that the outing of his wife was just like the outing of Aldrich Ames -- who was in fact prosecuted and sentenced to life -- under the Espionage Act. Yet Joe Wilson preferred to ignore that act which provides for a slam dunk conviction under these facts and instead he cleverly tied you and the rest of the country up with the minutiae of details necessary to find guilt under the complicated IIPA.

“Naming her this way would have compromised every operation, every relationship, every network with which she had been associated in her entire career. This is the stuff of Kim Philby and Aldrich Ames.”

That is a direct quote given by Joseph Wilson to David Corn for the infamous
report published on July 16, 2003, in The Nation wherein Corn exposed Plame's "undercover" status as a CIA officer.

"This is the stuff of...Aldrich Ames."

Now that the Espionage Act is squarely in play, doesn't it seem odd that Joe Wilson and David Corn were solely responsible for whoring the IIPA to the world as the controlling law?

Doesn't it seem odd that Wilson wrote in his book that he didn't think anybody at the White House would be prosecuted?

After all, Valerie was a NOC and she was outed.


How can this not be espionage?


Joe Wilson, how can this not be espionage?
David Corn, how can this not be espionage?

Both of them never even mentioned the Espionage Act in two fucking years of working this to the public.

Now the Espionage Act is on the tip of everybody's tongue, but not back in July 2003 and not until July 28, 2005 when Citizen Spook broke the story which was miraculously followed days later by indictments in the AIPAC investigation -- under what law?

Give that blog junkie a cigar -- The Espionage Act.

indictments returned by McNulty's grand jury came under 18 USC 793, The Espionage Act.

In Wilson's book, "The Politics of Truth", he tells us that David Corn was out in front of the pack by writing about the IIPA. From The Politics of Truth, page 4:

"David Corn, from The Nation magazine, had alerted me and later written the first article pointing out that the disclosure by way of the Novak article might have violated the 1982 IIPA. But whether illegal or not, it was still an unwelcome intrusion into my wife's private life..."

Whether illegal or not?


How could it not be illegal?

These people make me sick.

They really must believe they are invested with magical powers of hypnosis.

C'mon, Jane. You're not zoning in on this shtick? Really?

So David Corn was the first pawn used to disseminate the spin that the IIPA was the controlling law. And look at Wilson sew the subtle innuendo "whether it was illegal or not." On page 349 of TPOT, Wilson explains Corn's purpose:

"Corn then published a detailed exploration of the law to ensure that other journalists, as well as regular readers of The Nation, understood all of the legalities involved."

That's some damning evidence right there. Because we know that statement is a bold faced lie carefully designed to continue the illusion that the IIPA was the controlling law.


This is like, give me a damn break, it's so cheesy... Does anybody reading this actually believe Wilson and Corn were interested in educating people as to "all" of the legalities involved?

Wilson and Corn, pied pipers of the IIPA.

Wilson's book references the IIPA on pages; xxxviii-xxxix, xl, 4, 346, 349, 350-351, 358-360, 384-385, 388, 395-396, and 445. Do you know how many times 18 USC 793 and 794 are mentioned? None, nada, zero. Why do you think that is? Because Wilson never heard of these laws? No. This CIA couple know the law inside out.

And they know the carnage that outing Plame caused to the operations and operatives she was overseeing, people that trusted her whose lives were in her hands.

From page 446 of Wilson's book:

"We worry about our personal security, but there is little we can do."

You could have stayed off the over of Vanity Fair, that would have been a start, Joe.

Nobody dared publish a photo of Plame...until she posed with her husband for the January '04 issue of Vanity Fair. Wasn't it bad enough that her name got out, that her front company was exposed? Why would she follow through by mugging for the camera in Vanity Fair? Isn't that just putting her in more jeopardy? Isn't that making it even easier for enemy agents both here and in foreign lands to reconcile her likeness?

You'd think, out of respect for her fellow agents she'd lay low and stay out of the spotlight, but "Valerie was always a star in her profession". (page 446)

Now more than ever.

It's open season on the NOCS she supervised, the NOCS out there in the field gathering evidence on who?

Who do you think?

From page 447 of Wilson's book:

"We had assumed that on the day the Novak article appeared, every intelligence office in Washington, and probably all those around the world, were running Valerie's name through their databases. Foreign intelligence services would not attack us, but they might as well threaten any contacts Valerie might have made in their countries, and they would certainly be eager to unearth operations she might have been involved in.

International terrorist organizations were a different story, however. There was a history of international terrorists attacking exposed officers."

So they go on the cover of Vanity Fair like this was a bad episode of Jane Bond.

And Wilson goes on the Daily Show for jokes with Jon Stewart. From page 358:

"Jon was so humorous that I found myself laughing heartily right along with the audience..."

From page 384:

"An officer had been exposed, an act that threatened many intelligence professionals."

It's hilarious, isn't it, Mr. Wilson?

In "The CIA at War", by Ronald Kessler, the Vanity Fair photo was discussed on pages 344-345:

"Their claims to have been victimized by the Bush white house were destroyed when they agreed to be photographed sitting in their Jaguar for the January issue of Vanity Fair. Wilson claimed that the fact that his forty-year old wife wore sunglasses and a scarf disguised her. But anyone she dealt with overseas could clearly recognize her..."

" 'They risked undermining any possible prosecution by their public statements and appearances,' said John L. Martin who, as Chief of the Justice Department's counterespionage section, was in charge of supervising leak investigations. 'The scarf and the sunglasses worn in the Vanity Fair picture was a sham.' "

"In fact, the CIA never would have given permission to appear in a photograph. No doubt because of that, she never asked. Agency officials were stunned."

"...Not only had Wilson and Plame subverted their own posturing as victims of the Bush White House, they had undermined the integrity of the CIA's clandestine program to collect intelligence using covert officers. If a CIA officer took her duty to remain in a clandestine role so lightly it could make agents leery of risking their lives to provide intelligence to other CIA officers."

Wilson and Plame behaved as if they were trying to make the Bush administration's case for a defense to the IIPA.

Read that again.

I don't believe you read it again, so here it is in big bold print...

Wilson and Plame behaved as if they were trying to make the Bush administration's case for a defense to the IIPA.

By showing up in public as they have done, they lend credence to the Bush talking points which argue that Plame's status at the CIA was not covert and that blowing her cover was no big deal. Their gambit was based on the arrogant self belief they could trick the nation into believing its laws against espionage don't exist.

Under 18 USC 794, it doesn't matter if she was covert, it only matters whether her name and position were "related to the public defense". Don't forget that State Department memo though. The paragraph her name appeared in was marked "(S)" for secret, and according to a Bush Executive order, that meant her name and job were classified info.

The memo is prima facie proof of her status.


Wilson certainly can't claim ignorance of the law. He's issued detailed analysis of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, on the record, during a public Q&A at one of his glorious book signings, recorded by William Kaminsky, wherein Wilson discussed the intricacies of the IIPA and explained in great detail that convictions under that act were unlikely. He exhibited a great knowledge of that law while forwarding the diversionary spin started by his pal, David Corn.

Kaminsky's blog :

Meeting Joe Wilson (Part 1 of 2)

On Thursday night, the venerable and most definitely left-leaning Harvard Book Store held a lecture/question and answer session/book signing event with Ambassador Joseph Wilson...

First of all, Ambassador Wilson has every confidence in the dedication and prosecutorial skills of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald.

However, Wilson concedes a point many of the Administration's defenders make: it will be extremely hard to convict anyone of violating the most serious (and most often discussed) of the applicable laws, namely the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (United States Code, Title 50, Sections 421-426). Rather, Wilson thought that a prosecutor wanting a winnable case would have to settle for the weaker charge of disclosure of classified information (United States Code, Title 18, Section 798)...While technically disclosure of classified information can be a felony carrying the same maximum penalty of a fine and 10
years imprisonment as violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, it apparently can also be prosecuted as a misdemeanor charge, and this is what Wilson thought likely...

I guess it's a real good thing for the American people that Patrick Fitzgerald is the special prosecutor and not Joe Wilson.

More from Kaminsky,

Wilson offered two reasons for his pessimism:

1. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act explicitly says that it is a valid defense versus prosecution to claim an operative's identity has previously been revealed...

It is clear that the Administration's defenders intend to use this defense...

But anyways, when all is said and done, this isn't the main reason why Ambassador Wilson is pessimistic about the prospects of a successful prosecution under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Instead, his main reason is:

1. Right at its outset, the Act qualifies that disclosing a covert operative's identity is illegal only if it is done intentionally and in the knowledge that the government is still actively maintaining a cover for operative...

Wilson said he believed that anyone accused under the Act thus could successfully mount the defense that he or she knew only that Valerie Plame was employed by the CIA and not that the CIA actively maintained a cover (or covers) for her as a operative in the Clandestine Service who was active in the last 5 years.

Look at Wilson go. He's got that spin down pat. On the one hand, he's literally crying in public over the outing of his CIA wife, "If I could give you back your anonymity....", while on the other hand, he creates the Bush admin defense all in one gasp of legal puke. He exhibits a knowledge of various US Code as well as a perfect analysis of the IIPA, while steering the entire country away from the controlling law, 18 USC 794 and 793.

Have a look at Joe Wilson's book, "The Politics of Truth", and look for any mention of 18 USC 793 or 794. It's not there.

His book does start with a section called, "Anatomy Of A Smear". And that's the talking point. We've exposed it, but they're still holding on with their teeth.

The "smear" Kool aid.

It breaks my heart that Hamsher has bought into this bullshit, or "fucking bullshit" as she might say. Don't get me wrong, her dirty mouth is refreshing and I'm a huge "Natural Born Killers" fan. And this is why I give her the benefit of the doubt. I don't put Hamsher in the same zip code of Wingnutia as David Corn. Corn is an Aspen, Hamsher has simply been deceived.

The Espionage Act is spreading fear throughout the neocon land of Aspen and the wingnutia brigade has been given its Espionage talking points. The spin on the Espionage Act has been laughable, totally ridiculous. I'll take a microscope to some of the recent discussion from the Bush wingnuts about the Espionage Act in a follow up blog. But for now, let me leave you with the following two anomalies emanating from Joe Wilson's actions:

1. QUESTION: Why didn't Joe Wilson publish his OP ED, "What I Didn't Find in Africa" before our soldiers were sent off to Iraq?

Why was Wilson sitting on this analysis before our soldiers were sent off to the slaughter?

ANSWER: He would have developed the same devoted following he has now before the war started, and this would have seriously damaged the chances of the Iraq war resolution form being passed.

Wilson could ahave been a genuine hero and stopped the war by speaking up about what he didn't find in Africa before the troops were sent there to die.

2. How the hell can you give Wilson a pass as to his misleading statements given to Walter Pincus about the forged Niger documents?

Back on July 20, 2004, The Daily Howler did an excellent analysis of this issue and the Senate Intelligence Report it pertains to:

According to the Committee report, Wilson misstated to Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, in an interview for a 6/12/03 report—an interview conducted at a time when Wilson was still anonymous. According to the report, Wilson told Pincus that he had determined, as part of his trip, that the famous Niger documents were forged. The problem: Wilson had never seen these forged documents. Indeed, the documents weren’t even in US hands when he took his trip to Niger. According to the Committee report, Wilson “told Committee staff that he was the source” of the Pincus article. Here’s the way the Senate report recorded Wilson’s explanation for his apparent misstatement:

SENATE INTELLIGENCE REPORT (page 45): The former ambassador said that he may have “misspoken” to the reporter when he said he concluded the documents were “forged.” He also said he may have become confused about his own recollection after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in March 2003 that the names and dates on the documents were not correct and may have thought he had seen the names himself.

Since that idea is clownish and absurd on its face, one would surely want to hear Wilson’s fuller response to this allegation. Sadly, he only pretended to respond in his letter to the Committee; as anyone can see, he gives a groaning “non-response response.” He offers irrelevant, meandering points, basically noting that, on other occasions, he didn’t claim to have seen the forged documents. (Please note: In the letter, he never denies that he misstated this matter to Pincus.)

Liars get caught. Joe Wilson was trying to get caught. Wilson has been given the role of multitasking. The OP ED started the fire. Then he douses it with the IIPA. He lies to Pincus knowing he'll get busted which gives his Aspen cronies the ammunition to attack him.

THIS IS ALL SMOKE AND MIRRORS. Look over here at the IIPA. Look how tough it is to get a conviction. Look at all the different diversions we can hit you with.

But don't look behind this curtain, the one hiding the Espionage Act. No no no. Don't look over there, nothing to look at.

They failed and now they are really sweating. This was an elaborate game they were playing. Multi levels of deceit to expose Plame's network, Brewster Jennings etc. They were onto something big which had to be stopped. Outing Plame and BJ must have been the only way to make sure they were stopped.

Don't believe in double agents, Jane? C'mon. What world are you living in? Wingnutia. Sell your home there and move.

by Citizen Spook

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

TREASONGATE: THE FELONY MURDER RULE - The Iraq War Fraud Could Lead To State Court Prosecutions For Murder Of American Soldiers

Ordinarily, the President, as Commander In Chief, and his Executive Branch, could not be held legally responsible for the death of US soldiers on the battlefield. But if congressional, military and monetary support for the Iraq war was procured through a fraudulent criminal conspiracy, the Bush syndicate will have no protection from prosecution in state courts -- out of jurisdicitonal reach of the President's pardon power -- which is limited by the Constitution to federal crimes against the United States.

Fitzgerald's court filings appear to have zeroed in on, not just the leak fact pattern, but the Niger document fraud as well.

This is massive.

...the greatest criminal conspiracy in American history:

The fraudulent case to bring our country to war that took the life of 2000 soliders and lined the pockets of Bush's "base". Fact.

The Caryle Group is in the business of war. No war, no billion $ contracts, ch ching ching ching.

[Attention Frank Carlucci, or should we call you "the architect." Rome is a beautiful city. Carlucci, Ledeen and Armitage. Sounds like a law firm or a" consulting group"? I digress...not really.

a previous article, we discussed a possible exception where Presidential pardons for crimes against the "United States" might be voided. [Again, the President's pardon power does not extend to state court convictions.] Unfortunately, this exception depends on the House impeaching followed by convictions in the Senate.

It's not impossible that Congress will do the right thing, considering...

- The body bags mount up as the blood of our soldiers mixes in the streets of Baghdad with innocent Iraqi citizens.

-Delay is in trial.

-Frist is being investigated by the SEC.

-AIPAC Espionage Indictments Are Ongoing.

The climate is ripe.
And after Fitzgerald's category 9 indictment hurricane, our elected officials might actually be forced to do the right thing. We can only hope and pray it is so.

But even if the House and Senate lock down impeachment conviction and removal from office, the SCOTUS review is anybody's guess.

So let's not kid ourselves, the Presidential pardon power is not easy to nullify.

Still, despair not, justice has many faces.

The Presidential pardon power does not extend to criminal convictions in state courts.

Those are limited to "federal" crimes against the United States. The trick then, is to bring the T-gate offenders into state courts and convict them out of reach of the crony freedom factor pardon machine (...being tuned up as we speak).

I've been screaming for convictions under ****18 USC 793 and 794, the Espionage Act. But violations of the Espionage Act are not the only crimes that have been committed.

Justin Raimondo of discussed other laws Fitzgerald should be looking into:

There are plenty of violations of federal law to be found around the Niger uranium forgeries, and I expect Fitzgerald has found most if not all of them by now. When the president made his 2003 State of the Union address, and referred to Iraq's efforts to procure uranium in "an African country," the source of his allegation was a cache of documents that had been turned over to the American embassy in Rome under mysterious circumstances...

Whoever forged these documents and introduced them into the American intelligence stream is guilty of violating

[18 USC 1001]:

"Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully– (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."

And this law,

"If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."
18 USC 371]

The only problem I have with Raimondo's analysis is that it shouldn't be limited to whoever forged the Niger documents.

The laws quoted above also cover Government officials who knew the documents were fake but represented the evidence contained in the forgeries as being legitimate which thereby caused Congress to approve the war resolution and appropriations for the Iraq war.

We don't yet know who created the fraudulent Niger documents, but we do know that
Fitzgerald has been briefed on this issue by Italian authorities.

The laws cited above make it clear that both the "creation" and "use" of these documents was a felony.

The "cover up" of the documents' fraudulent nature was also a felony. Fraudulent statements about the veracity of the documents would also be a felony, i.e. Bush relying on them in his State of the Union address (the famous 16 words); and let's not forget Powell's reliance upon them at the UN as well as Condi's mushroom cloud speech.

If proved that government officials knew the documents were fraudulent then their criminal actions relating to such knowledge must be prosecuted.

It's undisputed that the Niger documents are frauds. But the truly wicked aspect of this tragedy, as it pertains to our legal analysis, is that the documents are BLATANTLY bogus.

BLATANTLY BOGUS....blatnatly bogus bogi bogushevits bogusly bogus. BLATANT TO the extreme so bogus they are laughably bogus so fake they are comically fake so bad they are OBVIOUSLY fake so FAKE they are obviously bogus. Did I mention that the Niger documents are utterly and completely bogus?

You understand...

The Nuralcubicle Blog has an interesting run down on the history of the documents:

"One letter, dated October 10, 2000 [The article’s editor at La Repubblica identifies this as the "memorandum of understanding" between Niger and Iraq] was signed with the name of Allele Habibou, a [Niger] Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, who had been out of office since 1989. Another letter [Editor’s note: dated 27 July 2000][...] had [...] a text with inaccuracies so egregious [...] that 'they could be spotted by someone using Google on the Internet."

And this from
The Cat Bird Seat

"How were the forgeries missed?...

[T]he discovery raises questions such as why the apparent forgeries were given to inspectors and why U.S. and British intelligence agents did not recognize that they were not authentic.

Sources said that one of the documents was a letter discussing the uranium deal supposedly signed by Niger President Tandja Mamadou. The sources described the signature as "childlike" and said that it clearly was not Mamadou's.

Another, written on paper from a 1980s military government in Niger, bears the date of October 2000 and the signature of a man who by then had not been foreign minister of Niger in 14 years, sources said."

The New Yorker Magazine quotes a CIA official who said, "Everybody knew at every step of the way that they were false—until they got to the Pentagon, where they were believed."

The Pentagon didn't believe any such thing. Nor did they ever believe that Al Queda was truly in cahoots with Saddam. Lies...

- No real Niger documents.
- No money trail showing a yellow cake deal.
- No deal between Iraq and Niger.
- No connection between Iraq and Al Queda.
- No WMD in Iraq.

2000 soldiers dead.
2000 soldiers never coming back.

Probably more than 100,000 Iraqi's are dead. Children have been slaughtered, their hands blown off, their parents exploding in front of them, toddlers eyes gauged out by shrapnel. We've all seen the pictures.

Am I being overly dramatic? I don't think so. The 16 words and Condi’s mushroom cloud were over dramatic. The bloody drama on the ground in Iraq really happened. The B-grade horror movie Bush screened for us about WMD was a lie...

- a criminal fraud under 18 USC 1001
- a criminal conspiracy to commit fraud under 18 USC 371.

The Felony Murder Rule.


The President's pardon authority is only applicable to crimes against the United States, not state court convictions. State Governors can pardon state convictions, but it's not as likely to happen... especially in blue states.

From Wikipedia:

The felony murder rule... is a legal doctrine according to which anyone who commits, or is found to be involved in, a serious crime (a felony), during which any person dies, is guilty of murder.This applies even if one does not personally or directly cause the person's death. For example, a getaway driver for an armed robbery can be convicted of murder if one of the robbers killed someone -- or got killed in some jurisdictions -- in the process of the robbery, even though the driver was not present at and did not expect the killing. In jurisdictions that also have the death penalty, felony murder usually qualifies as a capital crime...

To "qualify" for the felony murder rule, the felony must present a foreseeable danger to life, and the link between the underlying felony and the death must not be too remote. If the receiver of a forged check has a fatal allergic reaction to the ink, most courts will not hold the defendant guilty of murder.

There are two schools of thought concerning whose actions can cause the defendant to be guilty of felony murder. Jurisdictions that hold to the "agency theory" admit only deaths caused by the agents of the crime. Jurisdictions that use the "proximate cause theory" include any death, even if caused by a bystander or the police, provided that it would not have occurred but for the felony.

Apply the felony murder rule to the Niger forgeries:

The Bush administration makes a premeditated decision to fix the intelligence around the policy to scam war support from:

- the American people
- elected representatives
- the military

Congress votes to approve the war resolution and appropriations are granted to fund the war, all based on a fraudulent pack of lies.

Over 2000 soldiers are now dead.

The Niger documents have no credibility whatsoever and nobody in our intelligence divisions, State Department or the Pentagon ever really believed these were real.

How could they? They can read. The documents are a sick horrific joke.

Under 18 USC 1001 and 18 USC 371, the Bush administration is guilty of fraud and conspiracy to deceive the country, military and elected representatives into supporting the war with money and manpower.

Each of the 50 states has lost men and women because of this fraud. Many of those states use the "proximate cause theory" of the felony murder rule. Under the Niger fraud fact pattern, Bush administration officials who fraudulently made the case for war in Iraq had the direct intention of putting soldiers in peril knowing many would be killed in battle.

If they are guilty of felony fraud and conspiracy, district attorneys in those states which follow the "proximate cause theory" of the "felony murder rule" could indict those Bush administration officials who are guilty of violating 18 USC 1001 and 371 for the deaths of soldiers who were residents in each respective state.

Furthermore, each soldier's death is a different crime and no double jeopardy would apply from state to state because each death is a separate felony murder. If the neocons are found not guilty in one state, that does not stop any other state from bringing a separate indictment for the loss of their own residents.


Since the murders did not occur in any of the states, for a state court to have authority to prosecute Bush administration officials, each state would have to show that they have "State Criminal Jurisdiction" over the defendants. The controlling Supreme Court precedent for establishing "State Criminal Jurisdiction" is
STRASSHEIM v. DAILY, 221 U.S. 280 (1911).

The following
Michigan Bar Association publication discusses Oliver Wendell Holmes' decisive opinion in that case:


In 1911, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the opinion for the Supreme Court in Strassheim v Daily, a case that arose in Michigan and is still cited today as authority for the proposition that a state may exercise criminal jurisdiction over acts committed outside the territorial boundaries of a state. In Strassheim, the Supreme Court stated:

"[A]cts done outside a jurisdiction, but intended to produce and producing detrimental effects within it, justify a state in punishing the cause of the harm as if he had been present at the effect, if the state should succeed in getting him within its power."

To satisfy the minimum requirements for an exercise of criminal jurisdiction over out-of-state conduct, there must be (1) an act occurring outside the state, which is (2) intended to produce detrimental effects within the state, and (3) is the cause of detrimental effects within the state. Unlike the jurisdictional analysis in civil cases, the "minimum contacts" analysis does not apply when determining criminal jurisdiction. In criminal cases, the analysis focuses on the intent of the defendant and the effects within the forum state.

Under the Iraq war fact pattern, "the act" was the fraudulent use of fake intelligence by a conspiracy of neocons to "trick" Congress into approving the war resolution and providing appropriations for the war.

"The act" also caused thousands of patriotic young men and women to enlist in the military to protect their country.

"The act" was "intended" to produce the "detrimental effect" of taking soldiers form the states they were residing in and putting them on a battlefield in Iraq. Can you think of a more detrimental effect? The "fraud" to bring the country to war was "the cause of the detrimental effect".

"But for" the fraudulent intelligence conspiracy, the funds and other approval of our elected representatives would not have been granted. No money, no war, no deaths in Iraq. It's really a very simple analysis.

Many people are sitting in prison for convictions under the felony murder rule. It's not obscure. And being a rich white collar criminal neocon fascist millionaire hawk does not protect you from prosecution as far as the law is concerned.

Soldiers are dead from every state in the union.

The intelligence used to get them into Iraq, in this case the Niger documents and various ancillary intelligence, was clearly bogus, so bogus that anyone reading this and having no experience with WMD Intel knows beyond any doubt, not just that the Niger documents were bogus, but why they were bogus.

Our Pentagon, State Department and White House was duped?

Tell it to Fitz. Tell it to the jury. Get the f**k out of here. This is just insulting.

The officials in Niger who had the power to make the deal with Iraq were not the signatories to the fake memorandum. There was no money trail, and Niger didn't have the goods to begin with,
"it had all been pre-sold to Niger’s Japanese and European consortium partners."

This wasn't incompetence, it was malicious fraud.

We have 50 jurisdictions. We have 50 shots at justice. We can't let these crimes go unpunished or they will happen again.

2000 soldiers are dead. 2000 felony murders. 2000 trials in the states of this nation.

Presidential pardons are not available to convictions attained in these states.

Indictments under 18 USC 371, and 1001 are just as important (perhaps more so) as indictments under the Espionage Act because those indictments will lay the groundwork for state court "felony murder" prosecutions.

Pardons of the underlying federal felonies will not shield the perps from prosecution in the state courts.

Before you start to believe ****'s gone off the deep side here, I suggest you review the provisions of the Patriot Act which allow for prosecutions and the death penalty for those found guilty of nebulous forms of terrorism even though the so called "terrorists" don't intend to kill or even hurt anyone.

This was clipped from the
ACLU Web Site:

Even more troubling, the draft bill is not content to create fifteen new death penalties, but also contains language that sweeps in any violation of state or federal law that is committed under the definition of domestic or international terrorism contained in 18 U.S.C. § 2331. As a result, activities that (1) involve “acts dangerous to human life,” (2) are a violation of any state or federal law, and (3) are committed in order to influence government or the population by intimidation or coercion become death-penalty eligible if death results. Arguably, this definition could fit some protest activities, such as those used by Operation Rescue, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or Greenpeace. For example:

* If protesters at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, a military bombing range unpopular with local residents, cut a fence to trespass on the military’s bombing range, and a bomb killed one of the demonstrators, a prosecutor could charge the survivors with an eligible crime for which the sentence could be death.

* If Greenpeace activists attempted to block an oil tanker entering a port to protest the company’s safety record, and a member of the tanker’s crew drowned attempting to ward off the activists’ boat, the protesters could be charged with a crime for which the sentence could be death...

Under this provision, protesters could be charged with the death penalty as the result of a tragedy.

For every draconian repression these bastards have installed to make us more docile, there exists an equal and opposite opportunity to use their stuff against them.

It's very encouraging to see the Espionage Act take precedence over the IIPA in both the main stream media and blogospehere, and the fourth estate now seems up to speed on the plenary authority Fitzgerald wields over t-gate offenses.

Our next chore is to bring the felony murder rule to the attention of the blogosphere. This is best done by comparing it to the provisions of the Patriot Act which are cited above. It will be very hard for the neocons to attack this theory of prosecution since the relevant provisions of their precious Patriot Act were inherited directly from the felony murder rule concept.

There are 50 states.

50 shots at justice.

2000 felony murders.

Spread the law.


Analysis of Joe Wilson's statements and actions leading up to his July 2003 Op Ed piece. When put under the microscope, Wilson's actions are suspect.


Analysis of the coming Bush 41 influenced take over to "cleanse" 43's adminstration.

As selected members of the military industrial complex come in to faux "scold" the neocons and replace them, don't be fooled ( Scowcroft and Poppy).

It's fall now (i.e., time for some to take the fall.) And they turn (on each other) together because they're roots are connected.

They're playing to a script. We'll get you ready for the final act.