Feb 11 2007

Fedora On Plame

Published by at 2:38 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

Fedora over at Free Republic has posted an investigative tour de force regarding Valerie Plame. I just want to add some of my thoughts and insights to some of his commentary and guesses.

1.. What did Valerie Wilson aka Valerie Plame do at CIA?

…Isikoff and Corn state that following a maternity leave, Valerie Wilson returned to CPD in spring 2001 and was assigned to “CPD’s Iraq unit”, which they say became the “Joint Task Force on Iraq” (JTFI) in the wake of 9/11. They assert that at the time of Novak’s July 2003 column, Valerie Wilson was running the JTFI’s “operations group” and had begun filing paperwork to move from JTFI to a personnel management position and change her status from NOC to OC. Unfortunately the authors cite no on-the-record or official sources to substantiate this important information, attributing it to “confidential interviews with CIA sources” (424n; cf. 439n).

I have so far been unable to find any sources independent of Isikoff and Corn which discuss the JTFI. But the term “Joint Task Force” and the corresponding “JTF” component of the abbreviation suggest the phrase may be referring to CIA support of a military Joint Task Force (JTF), which is a force coordinating multiple military units in order to achieve a specific operational task. …

My own two cents on this, which I have said before, is this was an Intelligence Community (IC) JTF. JTF’s are not, to my understanding, limited to military actions. Take the JTF’s related to FBI work on terrorism in concert with local law enforcement. The “Joint” in JTF means across agencies, departments or government boundaries. It implies shared resources and budgets. In 2001, with no active ‘war’ in Iraq, it is probable the JTF Iraq was established to tear down the barriers and competition inside the fiefdoms of the IC and force DIA and CIA and NSA and NRO and many others to work together. The fact Valerie led this JTF is poassibly a testamnet to her ranking in the community. it must have been extremely high for someone this young. Or, it may have been decided this was to be led by the CIA and the lead CIA person at the time was Valerie. Saldy, the government works primarily in the latter mode.

3. What was the relationship between Plame, WINPAC, and the CPD?

…This would seem to place Plame in the DO. However, other sources have described Plame as working for the Weapons, Intelligence, Nonproliferation & Arms Control Center (WINPAC), which a September 2001 CIA organizational chart (DI Design Center/MPG 381234A1 9-01) lists under the DI (while showing no distinct “Counterproliferation Division” listed under the DO). Judith Miller’s notes on her July 2003 conversations with Scooter Libby describe Mrs. Wilson as working at WINPAC. Similarly, an October 2003 Los Angeles Times article by Doyle McManus and Bob Drogin stated that “Wilson’s wife works with Foley in the CIA’s Nonproliferation Center”; and a January 2004 Vanity Fair profile based on interviews with the Wilsons described WINPAC director Alan Foley as “Valerie Plame’s boss”. …

These need not be either/or questions but simply reflecting organizational changes over time. It takes the government months to years to make even simple, obvious boundary changes as people fight over turf and budget. The truth is an area like Iraq will have both DO and DI resources thrown onto it. And what may have began as an effort under WINPAC in DI could have later moved into DO as its charter or mix changed after 9-11, or after the invasion of Iraq. My guess is they are all accurate depending on what date you are discussing.

4. Was Plame covert?

As the above comments on Question 3 indicate, the data uncovered by researchers to date does not seem to provide sufficient information to state definitively whether or not Plame was covert. During the course of Libby’s trial, Judge Reggie Walton admitted that even he did not know if Plame was covert.

My two cents: Yes, until 1997 or 1998. At least actively. She clearly was not heading back into the field with her twins and her role as JTFI-lead. Which tells me she was transitioning off and not covered under the applicable laws on exposing covert agents. Moreover, if she did provide confirmation as a source to Wilson’s wild claims, as I suspect she did, then she exposed herself to the media. The real mind bender is does a NOC stop becoming a NOC when they are exposed or quit, or when the get around to filing the paperwork? The law will not look at the paperwork as the final determination. Intent over process.

5. Did Plame influence CIA’s decision to send her husband to Niger?

No need to go over the long discussion. The missing piece of this Valerie’s role has head of the JTFI. If she simply mention Joe Wilson as a option it would happen. The heads of these bodies carry a lot of weight. And since every other organization in the JTF (State, DoD, DIA, etc) opposed the idea it is clear she needed to use her chair position to go ahead on her own initiative. She DEFINITELY had a role in his selection, being redundant to the State and DoD parallel investigations. Her JTFI group did not need three teams there, but I can se Val telling the CIA they needed a role to save face!.

More later if time permits.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Fedora On Plame”

  1. dennisa says:

    Is the CIA going to be reimbursed by the Wilsons for Joe’s little junket to Niger? Is Wilson going to apologize for being a liar?

  2. Carol_Herman says:

    Woodward is going to be called.

    Does he know Libby? Given that we’re given the impression that the “DC Node” is a tight circle; isn’t it possible that Libby knows Woodward?

    Can’t Woodward then attest to INFORMATION rather than “leaking,” that he discussed with Libby? And, if the answer is YES. Isn’t it possible that Libby was truthful. Not cagey? And, the information was helpful?

    The Internet has the traffic to prove this story ain’t dead.

    While the NBC lawyers are sweating it out. They have to produce, for the judge, himself, the same stuff he has already seen. Andrea Mitchell’s notes and emails, that he saw before, in-camera. And, what if this stuff comes in to impeach Mitchell?

    Even if Mitchell doesn’t testify, Russert has to “clean up” his reputation. And, if the Howie Kurtz kiss fest was an example, that stuff only satisifies the “DC Node” people. That’s very alien to most Americans.

    We know, too, it took some time for CBS to learn that Thornburgh didn’t get them out of the woods. Men who never saw a typewriter, or typed. Tried to blow away something that didn’t exist in the 1970’s.

    Later? CBS had to toss their anchor, overboard, anyway.

    What’s the chance that the $5,000,000 a year “turkey,” can’t be replaced by a much cheaper bulb-baster?

    It used to be, that when critics panned a Broadway show, the producers knew they were gonna lose their investment. Now when the critics speak, who listens? The Internet has overtaken the “slow go” news cycle. Heck, they can no more turn around quickly, than an oil tanker discovering her path is set to be hit by a huge storm. Not exactly able to turn and get out of the way.