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.
WHY DOESN'T JANE GET "IT"?
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":
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.
POPPY BUSH DOESN'T APPROVE OF JUNIOR'S NEOCON CABAL AND 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 the 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.
AN AMERICAN SPY WORKING ON WMD AND HER ENTIRE DIVISION WAS OUTED BY OTHER AMERICANS.
How can this not be espionage?
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.
The AIPAC 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?
YOUR WIFE WAS A NOC WHO WAS OUTED, DUDE.
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.
ALL OF THE LEGALITIES INVOLVED?
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.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT MEMO IS PRIMA FACIE PROOF OF PLAME'S 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.
From 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