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This Is What Traitors Looks Like
Friday-Sunday, March 16-18, 2007
Oversight of a CIA Outing
Have you ever noticed that CIA agents don't write books or make television appearances while they are active agents? Have you similarly noticed that these same agents don't take bows when their do their jobs or on an assignment's completion? Of course you haven't. Unlike the other members of law enforcement, CIA operatives don't come out for accolades. They can't. CIA operatives are our spies around the world and their work not only puts their own lives in jeopardy, but their spouse's, their children's, their friends and those who help them, wittingly or unwittingly, in their missions. In the case of Valerie Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joe Wilson, she was running a "brass plate" company, Brewster-Jennings, in a clandestine, undercover operation to track and discover Weapons of Mass Destruction, including those which may have been in the possession of Saddam Hussein.
"President George W. Bush's father, the former President Bush, said, and I quote, 'I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who expose the names of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors'"
-Rep. Henry Waxman (REPUBLICAN-CA), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing, during the CIA Identity Leak Case's opening statement
The statute states wither knowingly or with negligence, one cannot release the name of a covert operative. You may argue the former, but there is no doubt as to the latter.
WAXMAN: Today, we'll be asking three questions. One, how did such a serious violation of our national security occur?
MADMAN: It was simple revenge... simple retribution focused on the wife of a man who had the temerity to tell the truth. We have seen it all before. The Bushies don't get their way and - BOOM - someone is discredited, fired or forced to retire. They called Paul O'Neill, the former Treasury secretary a liar and he was proven right. They attempted to discredit Richard Clarke, the former terrorism czar, and he was proven right. They "retired" former Army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki who told us all that Iraq would take an army well in excess of 400,000 troops to win the peace. Boy, was he ever right!
WAXMAN: Two, did the White House take the appropriate investigative and disciplinary steps after the breach occurred?
MADMAN: The White House took only steps to cover their own asses after the breech occurred. In fact, the only noise they made was to get their Fox News mouthpieces (and other Neo-Con has-been's and wanna-be's) to discredit Wilson, Plame and anyone who told the truth regarding the whole affair. We now know that Ms. Plame wasn't only a covert operative, but that her position was to find those who would harm America in the form of terrorism. She was on the front lines in the fight to find WMD's and her position meant nothing to the Bushies.
WAXMAN: And three, what changes in White House procedures are necessary to prevent future violations of our national security from occurring?
MADMAN: Well, since they're still denying everything; and since it appears that they're going to block Karl "The Traitor" Rove from testifying, under oath, in front of either a Senate of House committee (or both), we know their future policies are the same as their policies in Iraq: Just "stay the course."
"I have been advised by the CIA and that even now, after all that has happened, I cannot disclose the full nature, scope and character of Ms. Wilson's service to our nation without causing serious damage to our national security interests.
"But General Hayden and the CIA have cleared these following comments for today's hearing.
"During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover. Her employment status with the CIA was classified information, prohibited from disclosure under Executive Order 12958.
"At the time of the publication of Robert Novak's column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson's CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information.
"Ms. Wilson served in senior management positions at the CIA, in which she oversaw the work for other CIA employees and she attained the level of GS-14, Step 6, under the federal pay scale.
"Ms. Wilson worked on some of the most sensitive and highly secretive matters handled by the CIA.
"Ms. Wilson served at various times overseas for the CIA."
In a time when our federal government is trying to get a new type of agent to work in our intelligence community, they decided to betray exactly the type of agent they state they are looking for. Valerie Plame was betrayed and so were we, the American people. Since the beginning of the new democratic majority in congress, we have seen hearings and much has come to light. It has to continue no matter where it leads.
The Congress mustn't allow the Bushies to classify everything they do as an "executive privilege". More need to come to light to make this opaque administration become transparent. Our freedoms. liberties and Constitution are at stake. If this all leads to the impeachment of VP Cheney and President Bush, then so be it.
With the new Democratic majority in the Senate, the new chairman of its Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy (DEMOCRAT-VT) will seek to call upon the Bushies to tell their stories... under oath of course.
"I want testimony under oath. I am sick and tired of getting half-truths on this,"
Some of you will remember Senator Leahy as the man who was cursed at on the Senate floor by Dick Cheney.
"Go F--- Yourself."
-Cheney to Leachy on the floor of the Senate
I guess it's better than a caning. (See the caning of Senator Charles Sumner by Rep. Preston Brooks, 1856.)
We all want to know what is going on; what has gone on; and what the future holds. And the only way we'll find out is if we allow oversight to take its rightful place in Washington.
"It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover,"
It isn't irony, it's criminal activity, plain and simple.
BOMBSHELL: White House Security Chief Reveals -- No Probe of Plame Leak There
From E&P http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003559300:
Dr. James Knodell, director of the Office of Security at the White House, told a congressional committee today that he was aware of no internal investigation or report into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.
The White House had first opposed Knodell testifying but after a threat of a subpoena from the committee yesterday he was allowed to appear today.
Knodell has testified that those who had participated in the leaking of classified information were required to attest to this and he was aware that no one, including Karl Rove, had done that.
He said that he had started at the White House in August 2004, a year after the leak, but his records show no evidence of a probe or report there: "I have no knowledge of any investigation in my office," he said.
Rep. Waxman recalled that President Bush had promised a full internal probe. Knodell repeated that no probe took place, as far as he knew, and was not happening today.
Braving the Philly Ice and Cold
Here's a report of yesterday's 3-mile walk down snowy and slippery Germantown Avenue to the rally in Vernon Park. I wish the event had been postponed a week, since spectators were almost nonexistent, the turnout far less than expected, tables were sparse, and the marching bands couldn't manage the snow. But--we owe applause to the African-American man with a clarinet and his Euro-American walking companion with a drum, who made excellent marching music all the way, despite frozen fingers! The over 550 that had been predicted were down to about 150, but that number was larger than I'd expected since I was unable to get my car out of a block of ice and couldn't get to where the march began. Fortunately I live only 1 1/2 blocks from Germantown Avenue, so I trudged (very carefully) through un-scooped slushy, slippery, icy sidewalks out to the intersection and waited for the march to get to me, then joined it. Germantown Avenue was very skiddy underneath the slush. My back quickly went out trying to keep balance and I ended up on the bus following the marchers. The first photo was taken through the bus's front window.
Sadly, I recognized most of the people who were there, at least the older ones. We'd hoped to be joined by many new people, passers-by--but only a few were outdoors on such a cold, blustery day. Bereaved mother Celeste Zappala marched with a group from her UM church. The Granny Peace Brigade marched (and sang at the rally), Code Pink was there, many religious groups. A friend and myself represented Tikkun Community. UUs came from my church, Restoration and from the Germantown Society, and the Germantown people carried a huge banner with a message of peace.
Despite the low turnout, the rally speakers and singers were well received. There were a number of young people, including high school student speakers protesting the death and fear caused by the Iraq war and handgun trafficking, both of which are a terrible menace to Philadelphia's low-income communities. One of the organizers of Neighborhood Networks, Philly's clean government citizens' group, made a rousing antiwar speech that got a lot of applause. Veterans were represented. I brought the DV-VFA flag and noted 4 of us from Delaware Valley Veterans for America, 3 from Veterans for Peace, and a Vietnam veteran who spoke. Others from my veterans' group went down to DC and/or Fort Bragg, and at least 3 planned to attend a major protest on Baltimore Pike. I hope the weather didn't prevent that.
A VFP veteran was supposed to speak on handgun control but unfortunately didn't get there. Probably because of the ice storm. I spoke briefly, told the story of Wilfred Owen's death in WWI only 7 days before the Armistice, that his parents were on their way to the Armistice celebration in their town when they were met by the tragic telegram--then recited a few lines from two of Owen's poems. I was encountered afterward by several people who were amazed at the power of his words and wanted to know how they could obtain them. Anyone with Internet access can locate these antiwar poems on the Web by Googling Wilfred Owen's name and the keyword "war".
Remember that there are other local actions Monday evening--vigils mourning the war's exact 4th anniversary. Ours will be at the corner of Cresheim Valley Road and Germantown Avenue--and there are many others around the country.
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