By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer 16 minutes agoI'll be remembering this name.
Valerie Plame put a glamorous face and a personal story to Democrats' criticism of the Bush administration Friday, telling a House committee that White House and State Department officials "carelessly and recklessly" blew her CIA cover in a politically motivated smear of her husband.Meow. A "glamorous face" huh. Ever hear a male giving testimony described as "handsome" or "dashing"?
Plame, the operative at the center of the leak scandal that resulted in last week's criminal conviction of a former top White House official, created more of a stir by her presence on Capitol Hill than by her testimony.Once again, no value beyond "creating a stir". Guess this hack is a Republican. She's glamorous and of not other real value other than as a museum piece apparently.
She revealed little new information about the case, which sparked a federal investigation and brought perjury and obstruction of justice convictions of Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. No one has been charged with leaking her identity.How does a musuem piece spark a federal investigation into perjury of the chief of staff to the Vice President? No, she only spoke about the facts around the CIA doing a damage report after she was outed, and the impact on her being outed, and the possible national security implications on being outed, the work she'd done that went down the drain, and the fact that she was, indeed, covert. And how about a little context? No one was charged with leaking her identity because a key witness acted as a firewall against those who leaked? Or that those who leaked were given immunity, thus it was a real crime that was committed at the highest levels of government?
Still, Plame's appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was a moment of political theater that dramatized Democrats' drive to use their control of Congress to expose what they see as White House efforts to intimidate dissenters.Ah yes, nothing but political theatre. It's all political. Has nothing to do with crimes, corruption or *gasp* national security!
Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., the panel's chairman, called Plame a victim in a White House drive to discredit her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, for publicly disputing President Bush's assertion that Saddam Hussein was on the brink of acquiring a nuclear bomb.Please, don't dwell too long on any of the substance ... back to the "blonde" and "craned necks".
"I find that troubling, that in the zeal for their political positioning that there (is) a lot of collateral damage around, including a war that didn't have to be fought," Waxman said.
News cameras whirred and spectators craned their necks to catch a glimpse of Plame as the blond former operative took her place alone at the witness table for her 90 minutes of testimony.
Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, the committee's senior Republican, called the session a partisan hearing that would do little to illuminate how Plame's identity came to be exposed or how such disclosures could be prevented.How about a mention right here that IT'S THEIR FREAKING JOBS TO EITHER KNOW OR FIND OUT BEFORE OPENING THEIR PIEHOLES, AND THAT EVEN INADVERTENT REVELATION IS A CRIME!
"It's a terrible thing that any CIA operative would be outed," Davis said. But "there's no evidence here that the people that were outing this and pursuing this had knowledge of the covert status."
Plame repeatedly described herself as a covert operative, a term that has multiple meanings. Plame said she worked undercover and traveled abroad on secret missions for the CIA.Did you not read your own previous paragraph? She did travel overseas on covert missions. And who are the critics that say she didn't meet the "definition"? (hint, they all have "R" in front of their names). So tell us hack, what is the definition covert? From your reporting knowledge, do you think she meets the definition? Everyone else does .... except of course White House defenders .... oh and Barney.
But the word "covert" also has a legal definition requiring recent foreign service by the person and active efforts to keep his or her identity secret. Critics of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation said Plame did not meet that definition for several reasons and that was why nobody was charged with the leak.
Plame said she did not select her husband for a CIA fact-finding trip to Niger. Wilson later wrote in a newspaper column that his trip debunked the administration's prewar intelligence that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium from Africa.Ahhhh. Is this not news? I know it's not information like what's in Anna Nicole's medicine cabinet, but isn't it relevant that the horses mouth testifies under oath that she did NOT recommend her husband? Doesn't that at least suggest to you that someone is at least misinformed, if not lying?
"I did not recommend him. I did not suggest him. There was no nepotism involved. I did not have the authority," she said.
That conflicts with senior officials at the CIA and State Department, who testified during Libby's trial and told Congress that Plame recommended Wilson for the trip.
James Knodell, director of the White House security office, did testify that there had been no internal investigation into the leak, and no disciplinary action against those involved.Good stenography. What's it mean? Does the reporter think it's relevant that there's never been a White House investigation into the leaking to the press of the name of a CIA covert operative who was investigating Saddams "weapons of mass destruction"?
Friday's hearing showed the intense interest in Plame, who drew autograph-seekers and camera-toting congressional aides to a hearing on an otherwise quiet morning.And finally? Back to the star power. Swallow that kool aid, sucking in the statement by the biggest Republican nutbar on the panel who's key question to Plame was, "What political party do you belong to?"
Even a member of Congress confessed to being a bit star-struck.
"If I seem a little nervous, I've never questioned a spy before," Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (news, bio, voting record), R-Ga. said. "I was here during the steroid hearings, too, and I don't think any of those baseball stars got this kind of media attention that you're getting today."
I'm a very lucky person with every allergy known to man but still happy to be enjoying a wonderful life living in the best place in the world!