Wilsons scam White House: Libby pays the price
The indictment of now-resigned vice-presidential aide, “Scooter” Libby, must be very confusing to “non-spooks.” So, let’s start with some definitions:
CIA Employee: Hundreds of employees report daily to the CIA campus at Langley, Virginia. They go and come through a gate observable to anyone. They stroll around the CIA campus, also observable from outside. Ever since 1993, when the Muslim terrorist, Mir Aimal Kasi, killed two CIA employees and wounded three more in a long line of cars waiting to be cleared onto the campus by security, the entry process for CIA employees has been speeded up. Because she works there, so-called covert agent, Valerie Plame Wilson, breezes in and out through the security gate. Like all who work on the CIA campus, she wears a CIA access badge hung around her neck. Ergo: to think those who wish us ill have not identified every person with such easy access to the Langley headquarters is, well… nuts.
Covert Agents: As discussed in a previous column, there is official cover and non-official cover (NOC). The former enjoy diplomatic immunity. If caught gathering intelligence, they can be declared persona non grata and sent home. Only the most inept foreign counterintelligence services do not know who they are. The NOCs, who usually pose as employees of some business enterprise, have no diplomatic immunity and, if caught, can be imprisoned or even executed. It is highly doubtful that a NOC agent ever visited the CIA headquarters. To do so, would be a colossal security breach.
Classified Position: The CIA prefers that outsiders not know who does what to whom inside the campus. While Mrs. Wilson may be working in a “classified” position, it would not be protected by the statutes that prompted the just-concluded grand jury. Moreover, it is widely known that the CIA has an office tracking the proliferation of WMD.
British intelligence reported Saddam Hussein sent agents to Niger looking to buy yellow-cake uranium. Valerie Plame Wilson works in the WMD tracking office. In 2002, when her boss was tasked to look into the British report, Mrs. Wilson suggested her husband, Joseph Wilson, who served as an ambassador under President Clinton and is a frequent financial contributor to Democrat coffers, as the person to be sent to Niger. That opens Mrs. Wilson to a charge of nepotism; however, that’s been virtually ignored by the Sinistra Media.
So, in February, 2002, Joseph Wilson occupies a hotel suite in Niger, invites some old contacts to come sip tea with him and talk about yellow-cake uranium. Wilson returned, filed an inconclusive report and, on July 6, 2003, writes an Op-Ed piece for The New York Times blasting the Bush Administration for using the British intelligence as one of the reasons for invading Iraq. (To this day, British intelligence stands by its earlier report.)
Thus, the John Kerry campaign adviser “outed” his already “outed” wife the moment his Op-Ed piece appeared. Foreign intelligence agencies look into the backgrounds of high-profile people like Joseph Wilson to determine their contacts which, of course, would include Mrs. Wilson. Duh. Also, Wilson is known to introduce her around the D.C. cocktail circuit as: his CIA wife. Double duh.
That’s why no one was indicted for “outing” Valerie Plame Wilson. All Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald could do (after two expensive years of investigation) was charge someone with giving false statements to the FBI and to the grand jury and, thereby, obstructing justice.
What Mr. Libby was trying to do is readily apparent. Reporters asked: How could the White House be so stupid to dispatch a known Bush enemy to Niger and who, subsequently, claimed Vice President Cheney conceived his Niger mission? So, Libby pieced the story together. But, apparently, Libby tripped up in explaining to the grand jury how he learned the truth and how he went about his responses to the reporters. Libby probably won’t be convicted of anything; however, his defense costs spell financial ruin.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist and a featured commentator for USA Today, spent several years overseas as an intelligence officer. Under a “cover” name, he is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2005. William Hamilton.