Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Plame Kerfuffle Round-up

Victoria Toensing in the WSJ's OpinionJournal asks "What did Patrick Fitzgerald know, and when did he know it?" - What a Load of Armitage:
What Mr. Fitzgerald knew, and chose to ignore, is troublesome. Despite what some CIA good ol' boys might have told Mr. Fitzgerald, he knew from the day he took office that the facts did not support a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act; therefore, there was no crime to investigate. Although he claimed in Mr. Libby's indictment that Ms. Plame's employment status was "classified," Mr. Fitzgerald refuses to provide the basis for that fact and, even if true, can point to no law that would be violated by revealing a "classified" (not covert) employment. It was this gap in the law that created the need to pass the act in the first place.

She also has questions for Armitage and Wilson as well:
Mr. Armitage also knew he had met with Bob Woodward on June 13, 2003, telling him about Mr. Wilson's wife's CIA employment and her role in her husband's trip to Niger. But when the FBI interviewed Mr. Armitage on Oct. 2, he admitted to the Novak conversation only, notably forgetting meeting with one of our country's premier investigative reporters. By attributing his longtime silence to Mr. Fitzgerald's request, Mr. Armitage must have forgotten Mr. Fitzgerald was not appointed until Dec. 30, 2003. If Mr. Armitage had come forward during those three months, there might never have been a special counsel.
Joseph Wilson. In July 2003, when he demanded an investigation of a White House cabal for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by "outing" his wife, Mr. Wilson knew Ms. Plame did not meet the factual requirements for covert status under the act. She was neither covert at the time of publication nor had a covert foreign assignment within five years. He acknowledged so in his book: "My move back to Washington [in June 1997] coincided with the return to D.C. of a woman named Valerie Plame." As the Senate negotiator for this 1982 act, I know a trip or two by Ms. Plame to a foreign country while assigned to Langley, where she worked in July 2003, is not considered a foreign assignment. I also know covert officers are not assigned to Langley.
David Corn was not happy with Ms. Toensing's charge that he was the first to reveal Valerie Plame's covert status, presumably based on information provided by her husband, Joe Wilson. Ms. Toensing replies in National Review - Hubris and Cliff May, who originally suggested that Corn exposed Plame's "covert" status backs her up with links to the primary documents in The Corner.