July 5, 2007

"Welcome to your opinion, but not your own facts"

One of the disturbing themes coming out of the Libby disaster has been the right's talking point that Plame was not a covert agent and therefore there was no underlying crime. It is fair to point out that Libby was not charged with outing her, but it is not fair to say that she was not a covert agent and I really wish that conservatives would stop saying that. Even the CIA says that she was covert and traveled overseas "in an undercover capacity."
Fitzgerald Says Plame Was a Covert Agent: "A major theme of Libby’s defenders has been that, at the time of her outing, Valerie Wilson was little more than a desk analyst who was not covered by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act—the 1982 law making it a crime to disclose the identity of a covert officer. Fitzgerald was originally appointed to investigate whether this statute had been violated. But in two memos—and in a document entitled “Unclassified Summary of Valerie Wilson’s CIA Employment and Cover History”—Fitzgerald attempts to shoot down the idea that the agent's job was mostly analysis.

“It was clear from very early in the investigation that Ms. Wilson qualified under the relevant statute”—the Intelligence Identities Act—“as a covert agent whose identity had been disclosed by public officials, including Mr. Libby, to the press,” Fitzgerald wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed late last Friday night.

A spokeswoman for Libby’s defense team declined to comment, saying his lawyers will address the issue when they file their own sentencing memorandum with Judge Walton in the next few days.

In the “unclassified summary” of his memorandum which was based on information cleared by the CIA and became publicly available Tuesday, Fitzgerald provided new details about Wilson’s previously classified activities at the agency. In January 2002, she was working for the agency “as an operations officer” in the Directorate of Operations’s Counterproliferation Division (CPD) and serving as “chief” of a unit with responsibility for weapons-proliferation issues related to Iraq. In that capacity, he added, she traveled overseas in an undercover capacity."

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