A Real Leak of CIA Identities

Clarice Feldman
Under the media radar but of far greater significance than the Plame case is the John Adams Project matter where defense counsel leaked the identities of CIA interrogatories to detainees at Gitmo. We now learn that Patrick Fitzgerald has been put in charge of the investigation and this time Victoria Toensing who drafted the IIPA (Intelligence Identities Protection Act) says the Act may well apply.  

Covertly taken photos of CIA interrogators that were shown by defense attorneys to al Qaeda inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison represent a more serious security breach than the 2003 outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, the agency's former general counsel said Wednesday.

John Rizzo, who was the agency's top attorney until December, said in an interview that he initially requested the Justice Department and CIA investigation into the compromise of CIA interrogators' identities after photographs of the officers were found in the cell of one al Qaeda terrorist in Cuba .

"Well I think this is far more serious than Valerie Plame," Mr. Rizzo said after a breakfast speech. "That was clearly illegal, outing a covert officer. I am not downplaying that. But this is far more serious."

"This was not leaked to a columnist," he added. "These were pictures of undercover people who were involved in the interrogations program given for identification purposes to the 9/11 [terrorists]."

[snip]

Mr. McKeon, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he has been pushing the Obama administration to brief the full committee on the investigation, which will now take place next week.[snip]

The IIPA requires the prosecutor to prove that the leaker knowingly disclosed the identity of a CIA covert officer. Victoria Toensing, a former chief counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence who helped co-author the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, said the government never proved that Bush administration officials knew beforehand that Mrs. Plame was a covert CIA officer.

By contrast, she said from what she could gather with regard to the current investigation into the detainee attorneys, the law she helped write would apply.

"In this case, these were exactly the kind of people we were trying to protect under the act," Mrs. Toensing said, referring to the CIA interrogators.
Under the media radar but of far greater significance than the Plame case is the John Adams Project matter where defense counsel leaked the identities of CIA interrogatories to detainees at Gitmo. We now learn that Patrick Fitzgerald has been put in charge of the investigation and this time Victoria Toensing who drafted the IIPA (Intelligence Identities Protection Act) says the Act may well apply.  

Covertly taken photos of CIA interrogators that were shown by defense attorneys to al Qaeda inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison represent a more serious security breach than the 2003 outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, the agency's former general counsel said Wednesday.

John Rizzo, who was the agency's top attorney until December, said in an interview that he initially requested the Justice Department and CIA investigation into the compromise of CIA interrogators' identities after photographs of the officers were found in the cell of one al Qaeda terrorist in Cuba .

"Well I think this is far more serious than Valerie Plame," Mr. Rizzo said after a breakfast speech. "That was clearly illegal, outing a covert officer. I am not downplaying that. But this is far more serious."

"This was not leaked to a columnist," he added. "These were pictures of undercover people who were involved in the interrogations program given for identification purposes to the 9/11 [terrorists]."

[snip]

Mr. McKeon, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he has been pushing the Obama administration to brief the full committee on the investigation, which will now take place next week.[snip]

The IIPA requires the prosecutor to prove that the leaker knowingly disclosed the identity of a CIA covert officer. Victoria Toensing, a former chief counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence who helped co-author the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, said the government never proved that Bush administration officials knew beforehand that Mrs. Plame was a covert CIA officer.

By contrast, she said from what she could gather with regard to the current investigation into the detainee attorneys, the law she helped write would apply.

"In this case, these were exactly the kind of people we were trying to protect under the act," Mrs. Toensing said, referring to the CIA interrogators.