CIA spooked about indictments?

There are two very odd stories in the news today.  The Associated Press and Reuters are both reporting that all their previous stories on Scooter Libby and  Karl Rove could be wrong.

Reuters just wrote that  three separate CIA accusers are suddenly backing off. They now say that, well,  maybe Libby  didn't know that Valerie Plame was undercover, and therefore he couldn't have deliberately exposed her identity.

'Plame, Wilson's wife, never worked for WINPAC, which is on the overt side of the CIA. [WINPAC is an analytical unit on unconventional weapons — ed.].  She worked on the CIA's secret side, the directorate of operations, according to three people familiar with her work for the spy agency.

The three all spoke on condition of anonymity, citing Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's ongoing grand jury investigation into the leak of Plame's identity in 2003.'

Well, if you really believe that Ms. Plame has been undercover in the last several years, you also have to believe that the CIA allows their spooks to pose for full—page cover photos for Vanity Fair, wearing dark glasses and a head scarf, and sitting in an ancient sports car next to their publicity—hungry, Bush—hating husbands. That magazine spread was right out of a bad spy movie from the Fifties.

The idea that Plame has been doing undercover work in recent years is a joke. Spooks just don't out themselves in national magazines.  Much more likely, the long—out—of—date "undercover" claim was resurrected to attack the White House. It also protected the high—ranking CIA officers who splashed leak after leak to destroy George W. Bush in the last election.  Unfortunately for them, Bush won.

Now follow this like a bloodhound. Why are we suddenly hearing from the AP and Reuters that Karl Rove could be innocent? For months we've been expecting to see him on TV in handcuffs.  Could this new leak—to—deny—all—the—prior—leaks have anything to do with the fact that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald may be issuing  indictments tomorrow?

According to several sources, the upper ranks of the CIA have been waging a ferocious war on the Administration, much deadlier than their half—hearted efforts to catch bin Laden. The Plame—Wilson fiasco looks like a long partisan battle in that war. If Rove could be nailed as a leaker, he'd be dead and gone. Bush and Cheney might be next in line. The Democrats would have a party all night, and the CIA brass would heave a sigh of relief. Their jobs would be safe. 

On the other hand, if Rove is cleared, his accusers could be in trouble all of a sudden. As long as the Special Prosecutor is investigating, Rove's accusers are protected by whisteblower laws. But if Fitzgerald closes up shop, they face three grave  dangers.

First, if they have lied about Plame's undercover status, they could be prosecuted for setting up Karl Rove. Patrick Fitzgerald could make a referral to the Justice Department.

Second, if Rove and Libby do come out on top free and clear, their accusers might find themselves with career—breaking assignments to Outer Mongolia.

Finally, since this crowd has been leaking national security secrets for years, in violation of the law, they could be fired. 

Those are the possibilities they are facing today.

The double story from AP and Reuters could be one of those famous CYA moves. Honest, these good folks were just outraged ——— outraged ——— that the White House would leak a real secret agent's name.  Well, OK, maybe they just made a mistake about that. Nobody's perfect.

Everything now depends on the Grand Jury. If Rove is indicted, whether guilty or not, his accusers will be protected as whistleblowers. But if he and Libby are cleared, it could be  guillotine time at Langley.

Somebody must be getting nervous out there.

James Lewis   10 18 05

There are two very odd stories in the news today.  The Associated Press and Reuters are both reporting that all their previous stories on Scooter Libby and  Karl Rove could be wrong.

Reuters just wrote that  three separate CIA accusers are suddenly backing off. They now say that, well,  maybe Libby  didn't know that Valerie Plame was undercover, and therefore he couldn't have deliberately exposed her identity.

'Plame, Wilson's wife, never worked for WINPAC, which is on the overt side of the CIA. [WINPAC is an analytical unit on unconventional weapons — ed.].  She worked on the CIA's secret side, the directorate of operations, according to three people familiar with her work for the spy agency.

The three all spoke on condition of anonymity, citing Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's ongoing grand jury investigation into the leak of Plame's identity in 2003.'

Well, if you really believe that Ms. Plame has been undercover in the last several years, you also have to believe that the CIA allows their spooks to pose for full—page cover photos for Vanity Fair, wearing dark glasses and a head scarf, and sitting in an ancient sports car next to their publicity—hungry, Bush—hating husbands. That magazine spread was right out of a bad spy movie from the Fifties.

The idea that Plame has been doing undercover work in recent years is a joke. Spooks just don't out themselves in national magazines.  Much more likely, the long—out—of—date "undercover" claim was resurrected to attack the White House. It also protected the high—ranking CIA officers who splashed leak after leak to destroy George W. Bush in the last election.  Unfortunately for them, Bush won.

Now follow this like a bloodhound. Why are we suddenly hearing from the AP and Reuters that Karl Rove could be innocent? For months we've been expecting to see him on TV in handcuffs.  Could this new leak—to—deny—all—the—prior—leaks have anything to do with the fact that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald may be issuing  indictments tomorrow?

According to several sources, the upper ranks of the CIA have been waging a ferocious war on the Administration, much deadlier than their half—hearted efforts to catch bin Laden. The Plame—Wilson fiasco looks like a long partisan battle in that war. If Rove could be nailed as a leaker, he'd be dead and gone. Bush and Cheney might be next in line. The Democrats would have a party all night, and the CIA brass would heave a sigh of relief. Their jobs would be safe. 

On the other hand, if Rove is cleared, his accusers could be in trouble all of a sudden. As long as the Special Prosecutor is investigating, Rove's accusers are protected by whisteblower laws. But if Fitzgerald closes up shop, they face three grave  dangers.

First, if they have lied about Plame's undercover status, they could be prosecuted for setting up Karl Rove. Patrick Fitzgerald could make a referral to the Justice Department.

Second, if Rove and Libby do come out on top free and clear, their accusers might find themselves with career—breaking assignments to Outer Mongolia.

Finally, since this crowd has been leaking national security secrets for years, in violation of the law, they could be fired. 

Those are the possibilities they are facing today.

The double story from AP and Reuters could be one of those famous CYA moves. Honest, these good folks were just outraged ——— outraged ——— that the White House would leak a real secret agent's name.  Well, OK, maybe they just made a mistake about that. Nobody's perfect.

Everything now depends on the Grand Jury. If Rove is indicted, whether guilty or not, his accusers will be protected as whistleblowers. But if he and Libby are cleared, it could be  guillotine time at Langley.

Somebody must be getting nervous out there.

James Lewis   10 18 05