Saturday, October 22, 2005

Right-Wing Myths About The Leak Investigation

With a little commentary from us.

Patrick Fitzgerald hasn’t even concluded his investigation, but the right-wing is already spinning the truth in anticipation of indictments. This document provides the facts to set the record straight.

 

CLAIM — FITZGERALD WAS SUPPOSED TO BE INVESTIGATING THE INTELLIGENCE IDENTITIES PROTECTION ACT (IIDA): “On July 30, the CIA referred to the justice department, the leaking of Valerie Wilson or Valerie Plame’s name, for investigation under the — what’s it called? (Brit Hume: “Foreign Intelligence and Identities Act, very odd name”) There’s almost no chance I think that Rove or Libby are going to be prosecuted for violating that act.” [Bill Kristol, Fox News Sunday, 10/16/05] There is also a law against disseminating classified information, for whatever reason (and certainly for political reasons, like covering up an even bigger crime.) When people lie to investigators and grand juries, consciously leave out inconvenient facts, etc., there is a loss of the presumption of innocence. Besides, everyone who works for the administration was required to sign an oath stating that they would not do so. 

FACT – THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DELEGATION TO FITZGERALD DIDN’T MENTION THE IIDA: “By the authority vested in the Attorney General by law, including 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, and 515, and in my capacity as Acting Attorney General pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 508, I hereby delegate to you all the authority of the Attorney General with respect to the Department’s investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a CIA employee’s identity, and I direct you to exercise that authority as Special Counsel independent of the supervision or control of any officer of the Department.” [Letter from James B. Comey, Acting Attorney General, to Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney, 12/30/03Fitz has been given very broad authority to go where the evidence takes him, including to the original crime; intentionally trying to deceive the American people and their elected officials in Congress into supporting an ill-advised, illegal and amoral war in Iraq, with lies about mushroom clouds. The White House Iraq Group was nothing more than a White House propaganda machine, formed for the sole purpose of disseminating disinformation to the American public, which I believe is illegal. 

FACT – FITZGERALD WAS GIVEN THE SAME AUTHORITY AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PROSECUTE ANY VIOLATION OF THE LAW: “The Department, in appointing Special Counsel Fitzgerald under “other law”, has afforded him independence by delegating all of the Attorney General’s authority with respect to the investigation and instructing him to exercise that authority independent of the control of any officer of the Department.” [GAO, 12/30/04]

FACT – THE CIA REFERRAL TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DIDN’T MENTION THE IIDA: ” But the CIA’s initial “crimes report” to the Justice Department requesting the leak probe never mentioned that law, says a former government official who requested anonymity because of the confidential material involved. Fitzgerald may be looking at other laws barring the disclosure of classified info or the possibility that current or former White House aides made false statements or obstructed justice.” [Newsweek, 8/1/05] "False statements is a likely charge, along with obstruction, given that most WH. officials spoke with FBI investigators while Ashcroft was still in charge of the investigation, and Rove and others had every reason to believe that the investigation would fizzle under Ashcroft's direction. (I still wonder what Chuck Schumer really said to Ashcroft that convinced him to recuse himself.)  

*****

    CLAIM – FITZGERALD IS A “RUNAWAY PROSECUTOR”: “I think it shows the danger of runaway prosecutors…you have is a system that essentially creates a crime in the search of a nonexistent crime. And that looks unjust to me.” [Charles Krauthammer, Fox News Sunday, 10/9/05] After years of Ken Starr, I think that Fitzgerald pales in comparison, when it comes to runaway prosecutors. They are still investigation Cisneros after all these years. Krauthammer is a fool. Care to count the leaks out of Starr's office and that of Fitzgerald, Chuckie?

    FACT – BUSH SAID FITZGERALD WAS CONDUCTING A “VERY DIGNIFIED INVESTIGATION”: “The special prosecutor is conducting a very serious investigation - he’s doing it in a very dignified way.” [President Bush, 10/11/05] Georgie seems to be trying to brown-nose Fitzgerald, which is an old habit of his.

    *****

      CLAIM — LEAKING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION IS NO BIG DEAL: “In today’s Washington, as has been true for decades, classified information is leaked by many different players in any given policy fight in the government.” [Weekly Standard, 10/24/05] Oh yes, it is a big deal, and all of you yahoos are about to find that out, the hard way. You cannot decriminalize treason, especially in a time of war, as you people are ever reminding us this is.

      FACT – GEORGE H.W. BUSH SAID EXPOSING AN UNDERCOVER CIA AGENT WAS “THE MOST INSIDIOUS OF CRIMES”: “I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the name of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors.” [George H.W. Bush, Speech at CIA, 4/26/99; VideoThis is one of the reasons I believe that Georgie has known about this shady little scheme from the get-go. Poppy fired old Karl for doing just this kind of thing, though not nearly with the same consequences. Junior is aware of that. He is also more in league with Karl when it comes to dirty tricks and schemes of all kinds. That is one of the ties that bind these two together.

      *****

        CLAIM – VALERIE WILSON WASN’T AN UNDERCOVER AGENT: “Now, look, Fitzgerald has had two years, two years to answer a simple question, and that is, was the law violated by someone having willfully exposed a CI — an undercover CIA agent? Now, we know that wasn’t true. The, Valerie Plame wasn’t even an undercover agent at the time.” [Fred Barnes, Fox News, 10/15/05] Barnes, you are a freakin' idiot. Valerie Plame was in more danger than a regular under-cover officer, in that she was a NOC, which means she had no-official cover or protection from our government when she was assigned overseas. She had no black passport. She was on her own.

        FACT – CIA SAYS WILSON WAS UNDERCOVER: “But within the C.I.A., the exposure of Ms. Plame is now considered an even greater instance of treachery. Ms. Plame, a specialist in non-conventional weapons who worked overseas, had ‘nonofficial cover,’ and was what in C.I.A. parlance is called a Noc, the most difficult kind of false identity for the agency to create.” [New York Times, 10/5/03] This outing did not only put Mrs. Wilson and her family at risk, but everyone she ever spoke with overseas, her "assets" so to speak and wrecked a CIA front company it probably took years and millions to set up.

        *****

          CLAIM – THE LEAK INVESTIGATION REPRESENTS THE CRIMINALIZATION OF POLITICS: “I am worried about what happens to the administration if Rove is indicted. I think it’s the criminalization of politics that’s really gotten totally out of hand.” [Bill Kristol, Fox News , 10/14/05] What the hell do you think politics is, Bill? When people commit crimes for political reasons, that does not mean that politics has been criminalized. It means that we are sick and tried of crooked politicians who, apparently, believe they can do any damn thing they please and that the thoughts of the people mean nothing. Well, do you want to bet on that, Bill.

          FACT – BUSH SAID THE LEAK WAS A CRIME: And, you know, there’s a lot of leaking in Washington, D.C. It’s a town famous for it. And if this helps stop leaks of — this investigation in finding the truth, it will not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked — and this is a serious charge, by the way. We’re talking about a criminal action, but also hopefully will help set a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop, as well. And so I look forward to finding the truth. [President Bush, 10/6/03] Odd, the leaking from the White House continues to this day.

          *****

            CLAIM – PERJURY AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE ARE “TECHNICALITIES”: “Don`t you sort of feel a little bad that your side is winning on essentially what is a technicality?” [Tucker Carlson, MSNBC, 10/7/05] That sure isn't what they thought while they were investigating Clinton for everything they could think of for 6 of his 8 years in office. As I recall, the flag was falling because Clinton lied about an extramarital sexual liaison in a civil suit. No one died as a result of that lie. The world did not despise the United States because of that lie. The U.S. did not lose every ounce of credibility in the world because of Clinton's sexual character defects. I doubt seriously that our security as a nation was effected either. Bush and Cheney, however, brought us  another whole can of rattlesnakes, didn't they?  

            FACT – PERJURY IS A FELONY: [Anyone who] is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. [U.S. Code]

            FACT – OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE IS A FELONY: “Whoever willfully endeavors by means of bribery to obstruct, delay, or prevent the communication of information relating to a violation of any criminal statute of the United States by any person to a criminal investigator shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.” [U.S. Code]

            *****

              CLAIM — JOE WILSON LIED ABOUT EVERYTHING: “[V]irtually everything Joseph Wilson said publicly about his trip, from its origins to his conclusions, was false.” [Weekly Standard, 10/24/05]

              FACT – WILSON CONCLUDED IRAQ INTELLIGENCE NUCLEAR WAS EXAGGERATED: “I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.” [Wilson, NYTimes, 7/6/03]

              FACT – N.I.E. CONTAINED CLAIM THAT URANIUM EVIDENCE WAS “HIGHLY DUBIOUS”: The N.I.E. “noted reports that Iraq was trying to acquire uranium in Africa but included a warning from the State Department that the reports were ‘highly dubious.’” [NYT, 7/19/03]

              FACT - THREE SEPARATE REPORTS CONCLUDED INTELLIGENCE ON URANIUM WAS WEAK: In addition to Wilson’s claims, former US Ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, and her staff had already concluded the intelligence was false by the time he arrived in the country. Four-Star Marine Gen. Carlton W. Fulford Jr. met with Niger president in February 2002 to check the security of the country’s uranium. Fulford reported that he was “convinced it was not an issue,” and passed his findings to Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. [Washington Post, 7/15/03; NYT, 7/6/03]

              FACT – FINAL WMD REPORT COMMISSIONED BY BUSH FOUND NO URANIUM WAS SOUGHT BY IRAQ: The final Iraq Survey Group report concluded, “ISG has uncovered no information to support allegations of Iraqi pursuit of uranium from abroad in the post-Operation Desert Storm era.” [Comprehensive Report of the Special Adviser to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD, 9/30/04]

              *****

              CLAIM – WILSON LIED ABOUT HIS TRIP TO NIGER: Former Rove deputy Ken Mehlman: “What Joe Wilson alleged was that the vice president, then he said the CIA director sent him to Niger.” [CNN, 7/12/05]

              FACT – WILSON NEVER SAID CHENEY PERSONALLY SENT HIM TO NIGER:
              Bloomberg reported, “Wilson never said that Cheney sent him, only that the vice president’s office had questions about an intelligence report that referred to the sale of uranium yellowcake to Iraq from Niger. Wilson, in his New York Times article, said CIA officials were informed of Cheney’s questions. ‘The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president’s office,’ Wilson wrote.” [Bloomberg, 7/14/05]

              *****

                CLAIM – ADMINISTRATION WAS CORRECTING A FALSE REPORT: Mehlman: “He tried to discourage a reporter from writing a story that was false. He said it would be false. He said, ‘You shouldn’t write it.’ And the reporter wrote it anyway, even though it turned out to be false. I think what Karl Rove was saying was right; what Joe Wilson was saying was wrong.” [CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports, 7/12/05] Ken Mehlman is a known liar, who will say anything...it doesn't matter. This is a complete lie. He seems to believe that if you tell a lie often enough it will be true. (He also lies much faster when he knows his party is in big trouble, telling the same lie over and over at top speed (until the host of the show finally shuts him up), causing him to sound like some kind of hyper-programmed R2D2 being, whose speech circuitry has shorted out.

                FACT – WILSON’S CLAIMS HAVE HELD UP IN THE FACE OF FIRE:
                Bloomberg recently reported, “Two-year old assertions by former ambassador Joseph Wilson regarding Iraq and uranium, which lie at the heart of the controversy over who at the White House identified a covert U.S. operative, have held up in the face of attacks by supporters of presidential adviser Karl Rove.” [Bloomberg, 7/14/05]

                http://thinkprogress.org/leak-rebuttal

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