Roger Aronoff says that in connection with the Plame case(s) we may finally get to the bottom of the CIA's role in this faux scandal.
Plame, who has sued Cheney, Karl Rove, Libby and Armitage for destroying her career, and now the CIA and Director of National Intelligence over the contents of her forthcoming book, has some explaining of her own to do. Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri has released a document that appears to contradict a statement she made under oath before a Congressional committee. Sen. Bond said, according to USA Today, that she "should explain the 'differences' in her various accounts of how her husband was sent to the African nation of Niger in 2002 to investigate reports Iraq was trying to buy uranium there." Byron York has summarized this on the National Review website. In a new Senate Intelligence Committee report on its investigation into prewar intelligence, Bond has submitted "additional views" in which he makes a strong case that Ms. Wilson may have lied under oath before a House committee last March when she unequivocally denied having played any role in picking Joseph Wilson for a fact-finding trip to Niger.
All of this adds to the mystery. If she lied, why? Was she just protecting herself? Or is she protecting somebody else--perhaps several others--at the CIA?
If Plame lied under oath about her role in sending her husband on the CIA mission, then that means that what or who she is protecting is very serious indeed. This case, rightly or wrongly, will forever be linked to the larger question of whether we were lied or misled into the war to topple Saddam Hussein and liberate Iraq. That's why it is so important that it is played out until the end, because this debate will resonate for many years to come.
Here are some other questions for whoever cares:
(1) Why did the CIA approve Waxman's statement that Plame was "covert" knowing full well that the agency's definition is not the statutory (Intelligence Identity Protection Act) definition?
(2) Why has the agency 's general counsel been unable to respond to Congressman Hoekstra's request for an opinion as whether Plame was covered by the IIPA?
(3) If she wasn't, what possibly could have been in the still classified referral letter to the Department of Justice which should have established that she was?
(4) Was Plame's status even classified information? The agency has said that is was, but as JOM commentor cathyf notes:
"the CIA doesn't actually claim that Plame's status was ever classified under EO 13292. According to Waxman, they claimed classification under EO12958. Which, of course, was no longer in force after Mar 25, 2003."