Sunday, February 05, 2006

Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald Determined Valerie Plame Was A Covert Agent

Remember back in the summer and fall when the cable news shows were doing all of those stories about the Plamegate case and they had a bunch of wingnut extraordinaires on to claim no crime was actually committed in the CIA leak case because Valerie Plame Wilson wasn't a covert agent?

Apparently Patrick Fitzgerald looked into the question of whether Plame was covert or not and decided in the affirmative. Isikoff from Newsweek has the story (via Atrios and Firedoglake):

Feb. 13, 2006 issue - Newly released court papers could put holes in the defense of Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, in the Valerie Plame leak case. Lawyers for Libby, and White House allies, have repeatedly questioned whether Plame, the wife of White House critic Joe Wilson, really had covert status when she was outed to the media in July 2003. But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done "covert work overseas" on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA "was making specific efforts to conceal" her identity, according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion. (A CIA spokesman at the time is quoted as saying Plame was "unlikely" to take further trips overseas, though.) Fitzgerald concluded he could not charge Libby for violating a 1982 law banning the outing of a covert CIA agent; apparently he lacked proof Libby was aware of her covert status when he talked about her three times with New York Times reporter Judith Miller. Fitzgerald did consider charging Libby with violating the so-called Espionage Act, which prohibits the disclosure of "national defense information," the papers show; he ended up indicting Libby for lying about when and from whom he learned about Plame.

The new papers show Libby testified he was told about Plame by Cheney "in an off sort of curiosity sort of fashion" in mid-June—before he talked about her with Miller and Time magazine's Matt Cooper. Libby's trial has been put off until January 2007, keeping Cheney off the witness stand until after the elections. A spokeswoman for Libby's lawyers declined to comment on Plame's status.

As both Atrios and Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake note, it sure would be nice to have those same liars (e.g., Victoria Toensing and Joe Di Genova) from the summer and fall who were claiming Plame was covert back on the cable shows now to say " bad..."

But of course that isn't going to happen, is it?

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