Sep 05 2006
David Corn is just not the brightest bulb in the liberal media box of truly dim bulbs. From his direct sources of Valerie and Joe Wilson, he has been the one to actually leak the most classified details about Valerie Plame’s CIA role to the general public. Everytime Corn tries to frame the White House he exposes classified information. He did it when he first cried “Wolf” when claiming Novak outed a WMD expert in Plame, and that she had at one time been covert. While it is big deal to note someone works at the CIA, it is abhorent to expose their actual focus and history. Corn’s leaks have been 100 fold more damaging and risky than anything supposedly leaked to Novak and Woodward and other reporters.
Corn does some more leaking today (from the logical sources Joe and Val) and further violates the law – while actually making the case that Valerie Plame herself was concerned with Saddam Hussein obtaining yellow cake from Niger! Just like Joe Wilson’s report actually reinforced concerns about Saddam, so too does Corn’s leaks now. Here is the leak – with classified details about Valerie Wilson’s job and efforts:
the officers of the agency’s Joint Task Force on Iraq–part of the Counterproliferation Division of the agency’s clandestine Directorate of Operations–were frantically toiling away in the basement, mounting espionage operations to gather information on the WMD programs Iraq might have. The JTFI was trying to find evidence that would back up the White House’s assertion that Iraq was a WMD danger. Its chief of operations was a career undercover officer named Valerie Wilson.
Valerie Wilson was no analyst or paper-pusher. She was an operations officer working on a top priority of the Bush Administration.
After two years of training to be a covert case officer, she served a stint on the Greece desk, according to Fred Rustmann, a former CIA official who supervised her then. Next she was posted to Athens and posed as a State Department employee. … In the early 1990s, she became what’s known as a nonofficial cover officer.
In 1997 she returned to CIA headquarters and joined the Counterproliferation Division. (About this time, she moved in with Joseph Wilson; they later married.) She was eventually given a choice: North Korea or Iraq. She selected the latter.
Come the spring of 2001, she was in the CPD’s modest Iraq branch. But that summer–before 9/11–word came down from the brass: We’re ramping up on Iraq. Her unit was expanded and renamed the Joint Task Force on Iraq. Within months of 9/11, the JTFI grew to fifty or so employees. Valerie Wilson was placed in charge of its operations group.
While much of this is in conflict with testimony under oath which resulted in the Senate Iraq report, what Corn is doing is highly illegal. You NEVER expose sources, methods, locations and results of intelligence efforts. Corn, and his sources, should never have confirmed her status as a NOC – never. They should never had exposed her use of a State Department job in Greece as cover to recruit sources in Europe (now all her contacts are in serious trouble). They should never have exposed results of intelligence investigations. Corn just did in spades what he and the left said was illegal and claimed Libby did – something Libby has never been charged with.
But what is interesting is Corn puts Valerie Plame at the center of a lot of huge questions marks. Why Plame, Joe and Corn decided to gamble all on this round of exposure and more wild claims is a mystery. They may find they have made a serious mistake. The fact is Plame was in the Iraqi group at the CIA when she sent her husband to Niger in 1999. My guess is she was the lead for the CIA group since she took the lead in the Joint Iraqi Group in 2001 – which for those who do not know about government “groups” implies she led a group composed of representatives from across the intelligence community. To lead the joint task force meant she in all likilihood led the precursor CIA team.
What does that mean? Simple. In 1999 Plame’s CIA group was so concerned about two Iraq visits to Niger, as well as a visit by nuke Black Market leader AQ Khan, that she sent her husband to help work things out. It also means, if there was a CIA staged coup d’etat in Niger, she was involved if not the orchestrator of it. It also means the CIA safe that held the Niger forgeries for months from Oct 2002 to January 2003 was probably in Val’s division and maybe in a safe under her supervision! So Valerie, head of the Joint Iraq Task Force, twice sent her husband to Niger within a span of 3 years because of Iraq contacts with Niger. BTW, being a Joint Task Force Lead meant she had the clout to send her husband. It also means when she introduced Joe to another joint intel team as a candidate to go to Niger, it was a given he would go. That is why the Senate report notes everyone except the CIA (Val?) opposed sending Joe to Niger – so he went anyway!
Clearly there were warning signs about Iraq and WMDs. Corn can claim the defectors coming out were unbelievable, but that does not equate to meaning ALL intelligence sources were invalid!
This is were Corn is playing outside his league and is being fed misinformation because he is the useful idiot he is. This is another classic diversionary story. Say the defectors were useless, imply all intel was useless. But it is a truly weak one. Corn says the defectors were not believable, and then assumes, or never bothers to admit, Iraqi defectors are not the only source of intel. AQ Khan, the Pakistani nuke expert, and a top Hussein emissary made their way to Niger in 1999, and you don’t need Iraqi defectors to give you that information. So why did Plame send Joe to Niger twice if there were minimal concerns????
Mac Ranger has been saying a roque CIA element may have been playing games in Niger. I will go so far as to say a CIA group may have been playing politics in Niger , putting in place a government they could trust and shape more than the old regime. What the real answer is evidentally is going to come out – since Val and Joe cannot seem to keep national secrets anymore. Their greed is getting the best of them. Now they will say anything for book royalties and a civil suite case. Wonder if the get a take of the Issikoff-Corn book sales?
Addendum: BTW, if Val was the head of the Joint Iraq Task Force for the Intel Community (IC), then she would be the one who would know all about forged Niger documents that purported to indicate a yellow cake sale to Iraq sometime during the previous five years (since dates on the documents span many years and governments). So now we have a clear and obvious source for Joe Wilsons unambiguous knowledge regarding details related to those same forgeries. Recall Wilson’s premise in his Op-Ed and his anonymous leaks prior was the claim the Bush administration used those forged documents, knowingly, to take the country to war. He was highly knowledgeable about classified details on those documents until the Senate declassified WHEN those documents supposedly fell into the CIA’s (read Valerie’s) hands. Wilson went to Niger during the period indicated on some of the documents, which where handed to Val’s group in the CIA in Oct (6 months after Joe’s visit) and then disappeared until they magically ended up in the hands of the IAEA. Coincidence? Nope.
Update: More Corn fudging and Clintonesque misdirections:
Her aim, she told colleagues, was to put in time as an administrator–to rise up a notch or two–and then return to secret operations. But with her cover blown, she could never be undercover again.
To the casual reader it seems Val is saying she wanted to go back undercover. Actually it says no such thing, It says she wanted to go into administration (where Mary McCarthy worked) not handling any classified information but managing people, money, etc. She wanted to rise a few pay grades because the SES levels were probably only open to management and not operators. SES’s could go ‘back’ to handling intelligence data and conclusions. But note how Corn conflates the cover being blown with not being able to go back to OPERATIONS! She of course could go back to operations. Once she worked at Langley she was all but done on the undercover NOC stuff. Is Corn being stupid or clever here?