December 16, 2005
For over a year, speculation has run rampant in the U.S.
media and in the blogosphere about the CIA leak investigation being conducted
by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
The thought-provoking questions asked by journalists and
bloggers alike are many and varied: Who, in addition to Scooter Libby and Karl
Rove, was involved in leaking the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame to the
media in order to punish her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, for his
refutation of President Bush's Niger uranium claim? What was the role of the
White House Iraq Group (WHIG) in peddling Plame's name to the media? Who forged
the Niger uranium documents? What secrets lay inside the eight redacted pages
of material in Circuit Judge David Tatel's decision to
overide his finding of a reporters' federal shield privilege "[w]ere
the leak at issue in this case less harmful to national security"? Was
Plame's role at the CIA as a weapons of mass destruction expert critical, as
old CIA hands like Larry Johnson contend, or was she just a paper pusher, as
the pro-Bush crowd proclaims?
Although many of these questions about the Fitzgerald
investigation have yet to be answered, a pair of little noticed but explosive
articles authored by Christopher Deliso of antiwar.com, "Plame, Pakistan a
Nuclear Turkey and the Necons" and "Lesser Neocons of
L'Affaire Plame", go a long way to solving the mystery of Valerie
Plame's mission at the agency and may henceforth reveal what likely lies in
those mysterious eight redacted pages of Tatel's.
According to Deliso's two sources, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and former FBI translator Sibel
Edmonds, the outing of Valerie Plame may have severely damaged a CIA operation
to monitor a nuclear black market faciliated by the shadowy but well-connected
Washington lobby group, the American
Turkish Council (ATC). (Those familiar with the Sibel Edmonds case will
know the ATC is the very same organization that the former FBI translator heard
on wiretaps in connection with various alleged illegal activities, some
connected to 9/11.) From Edmonds,
Deliso obtained the following admission: "Plame's undercover job
involved the organizations [the FBI had been investigating], the ATC (American-Turkish Council) and
the ATA (American-Turkish Association) . .
. the Brewster Jennings network was very active in Turkey and with the Turkish
community in the U.S. during the late 1990s, 2000, and 2001 . . . in places
like Chicago, Boston, and Paterson, N.J."
Such a stunning statement by the former FBI contract
linguist could be dismissed by those not familiar with the whistleblower's
well-established credibility were it not for the fact that Edmonds is, at least
in part, corroborated by Ambassador Joseph Wilson himself. In his book the Politics of Truth, Wilson recounts on
page 240 that he first met Valerie Plame in 1997, at a reception at the home of
the Turkish ambassador which Wilson attended to receive an award from -- you
guessed it -- the American Turkish
Council. Wilson, of course, never explains in his book what brought Valerie
Plame to attend this ATC-sponsored
event, but since it is public information that Plame was an undercover CIA
operative at the time, the simplest explanation is the most likely one: she was
there as part of her Brewster Jennings & Associates cover. Although U.S.
law prohibits the CIA from conducting espionage operations against U.S.
citizens on American soil, nothing would have prohibited Plame from attending
such an event in Washington.
These revelations about Plame's surveillance of the American
Turkish Council are significant because the ATC is connected to powerful neocons
like Richard Perle and Douglas Feith (and, to be fair, to powerful anti-Iraq
War activists like Brent Scowcroft and Joe Wilson.) And Edmonds implies that at
least some on the ATC neocon side of this scandal are heavily involved in the
nuclear black market: Feith and Perle, along with former Ambassador to Turkey
Marc Grossman, are fingered by Edmonds as figures of interest.
One only has to recall that Perle and Feith are close allies
of Scooter Libby, one of the original leakers of Plame's identity to the media,
to conclude that Libby may have had more than one motive in seeing Plame's
career and the whole Brewster Jennings operation destroyed. While several
Beltway journalists, including the liberal Richard Cohen of the Washington
Post, have tried to virtually chase Patrick Fitzgerald out of town by peddling
the GOP storyline that going after the Plame leaker(s) amounts to
"criminalizing politics," this new evidence suggests that the leak
may not have been done in the spirit of good, old fashioned Washington hardball
after all: A good case could now be made that outing Plame was an intentional act pepetrated to protect real criminal activity. Casting the
investigation in such a light may show that a violation of the Intelligence
Identities Protection Act could still be in play.
However much antiwar advocates might wish it, though, we
should not expect any of these links between the Sibel Edmonds and Valerie
Plame cases to come out in Fitzgerald's court filings any time soon. Ms.
Edmonds testimony in her own civil lawsuits has been quashed
by the Supreme Court, effectively making anything Edmonds knows a
"state secret". And Fitzgerald, as an employee of the U.S. Justice
Department, is unlikely to reveal the trail of nuclear secrets that leads from
the U.S. through Turkey to Pakistan.
However, there is still hope in getting the truth of the
Plame-Edmonds matter out to the public at-large and that hope lies with the
alternative media outlets. Besides, Deliso, a recent
interview of Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna may indicate at least one
other journalist is following the same Brewster Jennings trail. Alexandrovna
appears to be looking closely at Plamegate figure Marc Grossman, whom Edmonds
claims is "very important" in her own case.
of what transpires over the next few months in the twin sagas of the CIA agent
and the FBI translator, it now appears that those who have called the Plame
affair "Treasongate" may have been more right then they knew. While
U.S. troops are bogged down in Iraq, a country that had no weapons of mass
destruction and no ties to terrorism, some of the very architects of that same
illegal war may be implicated in the leaking of U.S. nuclear technology for
personal profit. If such shenanigans do not qualify as treason what does?
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