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Monday, February 06, 2006

And the Award for Shamelessly Repeating What Ever Bullshit the GOP Shovels Your Way Goes To...

No, not Larry Johnson:
Some of the Bush apologists, such as Byron York of the National Review, are still insisting that Plame's covert status is in doubt and that no damage was done by seizing on a paragraph in a recent letter from Patrick Fitzgerald to Scooter Libby's attorneys. In a December 14, 2005, letter to Fitzgerald, Libby's lawyers asked for "Any assessment done of the damage (if any) caused by the disclosure of Valerie Wilson's status as a CIA employee" in a December 14, 2005 letter to Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's response stated, "A formal assessment has not been done of the damage caused by the disclosure of Valerie Wilson's status as a CIA employee, and thus we possess no such document."

This much I do know. The CIA, as matter of standard operating procedure, conducted a preliminary damage assessment once Valerie's identity was publicly compromised. Human intelligence assets who had worked under Valerie's direction were damaged. Their lives were put at risk (I don't know if anyone died) and their ability to serve as clandestine assets reporting to the United States was destroyed. Remember, Valerie was working on projects to identify terrorists and criminals who were trying to procure weapons of mass destruction. Part of this information was the basis for the referral to the Justice Department in September 2003 to investigate this as a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Although the CIA has not completed a formal written report that is available to outsiders, such as the House or Senate Intelligence Committees, it has done a damage assessment.

Other material contained in Tatel's review of the case contains the following substantive nuggets:
Vice President Cheney told Scooter Libby that Valerie Plame worked at the CIA's Counter Proliferation Division in mid-June 2003.
Both Cheney and Libby, by virtue of their longstanding work with CIA and on national security issues, knew that CPD was an intelligence collector and not an analytical shop. They also have had enough experience with intelligence matters to know that the vast majority of folks involved with intelligence collection are undercover.
But how about:

Andrea Mitchell:
I happen to have been told that the actual damage assessment as to whether people were put in jeopardy on this case did not indicate that there was real damage in this specific instance.
Bob Woodward:
They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that [former ambassador] Joe Wilson's wife [Plame] was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage.
And king of the Yellow Elephants, Tucker Carlson:
In fact, as NBC's Andrea Mitchell has reported, an internal CIA investigation found that Plame's outing caused no discernible damage to anyone.
Say it with me: liars.