Talk:Valerie Plame/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Ye plot Thickens

Bob Woodward says he knows the identity of Robert Novak’s original source in the Valerie Plame case and the source was not a White House employee. http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/13453213.htm —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.174.3.192 (talkcontribs) 06:21, 22 December 2005

RfC on this page and Plame Affair

I have started an RfC on this page and on Plame affair because the revert wars have not yet been resolved. I believe the main issues here have been addressed clearly on the Talk:Plame affair#csloat_recent_edits page and spelled out there. The stasis of this dispute lies in the question of whether Valerie Wilson was an undercover agent when she was outed (there are also some minor issues including spelling errors and such but this seems to be the main bone of contention). This issue is a non-issue: the CIA asked the Justice Dept for an investigation. The CIA is the only entity who can tell us whether or not she was covert -- it is their call. Newsday reported on July 22 2003 that at least two senior intelligence officials confirmed that Valerie Plame was an undercover agent. That is verifiable published evidence of this information. The fact is the Justice Dept is still investigating this - if she were not covert, there would be no investigation -- as I have pointed out over and over, all they have to do is call the CIA and ask. It is of course notable that there are some voices claiming otherwise, but the bottom line is it's the CIA's call whether or not she was covert. The other issues are explained on the talk page and even numbered for the convenience of those who would like to respond. Let us please settle these disputes in talk rather than through endless frustrating reverts.--csloat 08:55, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Apparently Mr j galt feels an edit war is more interesting than a discussion on what he wants to change. Clearly if common courtesy is impossible he is probably more willing to listen to an admin.--Nomen Nescio 22:41, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
User:Nescio is ignoring the discussion on this page and my efforts to restore NPOV and eliminate the anti-Bush POV. But then again, a review of his recent edits at International Criminal Court, Extraordinary rendition, State of emergency, War on Terrorism, Unitary Executive theory, Criticisms of the War on Terrorism, Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, etc. show that he is one of the leading anti-Bush POV pushers on wikipedia. Here is a recent comment of User:Nescio on the Police State talk page: Technically, when looking at actions taken by the current administration it comes close to the definition of a police state. Although I agree international organisations and politicians are unlikely to ever describe the US in this manner.[1] 'Nuff said. P.S. Thanks for welcoming a new user!--Mr j galt 01:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for sharing. But do explain how do you call the following policies: claiming the President can decide to interpret the law as he sees fit, wiretapping innocent US citizens, demanding surfing habits from search engines, denying habeas corpus, refuting the Geneva Conventions, torturing, invading a country on dubious and -at that time already suspected- incorrect presentation of intel, looking for loopholes regarding war crimes, rewriting of scientific articles, et cetera?

Second, you are not only discussing, you clearly feel the need to engage in an edit war too. If you could keep out the edit war it would be much more constructive.

Don't bother answering, anyone who has to make a point by ad hominem attacks is to busy with irrelevant issues to have the time for a discussion based upon logic and facts.--Nomen Nescio 02:23, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm asking everyone to stop the name calling and revert war and calm down. Can someone provide a short list of the specific issues that are under dispute here? --JWSchmidt 02:43, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


Yes there is a short list of the main issues on the Talk:Plame affair page. As far as the specific edits, we have two versions -- galt and ungalt. The main diffs are:
The galt version would like to change "Max Boot argues..." to "many argue..." without evidence of others who argue thus
The evidence has been presented numerous times, but Csloat wants to isolate on the obscure Max Boot. Here are the statements of others and they all belong in the article:
"And let's be honest about this. Mrs. Plame, Mrs. Wilson, had a desk job at Langley. She went back and forth every single day." -Columnist Michael Medved on Larry King Live on July 12, 2005.
"And I must say from a common sense standpoint, driving back and forth to work to the CIA headquarters, I don't know if that really qualifies as being, you know, covert." -Sen. Pat Roberts on CNN Late Edition, July 24, 2005.
"Well, they weren't taking affirmative measures to protect that identity. They gave her a desk job in Langley. You don't really have somebody deep undercover going back and forth to Langley, where people can see them." -Victoria Toensing, Fmr. Chief Counsel to Sen. Intelligence Committee, on a Fox News program with John Gibson, July 12, 2005.
"And also I think it is now a matter of established fact that Mrs. Plame was not a protected covert agent, and I don't think there's any meaningful investigation about that." -Former White House official Ed Rogers on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer on July 13, 2005.
"It certainly wouldn't be the first time that the CIA might have been overzealous in sort of maintaining the kind of top-secret definition on things longer than they needed to. You know, this was a job that the ambassador's wife had that she went to every day. It was a desk job. I think many people in Washington understood that her employment was at the CIA, and she went to that office every day."House majority whip Roy Blunt (R, Mo) on Face the Nation on July 17, 2005.--Mr j galt 16:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Looking over the above, it would be reasonable to make the change to "Some argue" instead of "Max Boot argues". However, it is not legitimate to erase the response to this.--csloat 16:12, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
The galt version would like to delete the response to Max Boot's column from Larry Johnson as well as deleting the link to the Newsday article that establishes that the CIA believed Plame to be covert.
Larry Johnson is not an authority on Plame's status. He has not worked at the CIA since 1989 and has no more credibility on this issue than any other private citizen (and probably a lot less given his outspoken opposition to Bush and the Iraq War). I have no problem including his response providing wiki readers know that he left the CIA in 1989.--Mr j galt 16:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
As a former CIA officer Johnson is aware of the procedures of the CIA, and certainly can speak to whether someone can drive to CIA HQ and still be covert. The claim should not just be deleted; if you have evidence countering this point, please present it.csloat 16:12, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
The galt version insists on the word "nonconventional" and ungalt version prefers the more common "non-conventional"
LOL! I could care less about this issue. Both are correct.--Mr j galt 16:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
No; "nonconventional" is incorrect. Grammar and spelling are important in an encyclopedia. If you could care less about this change, why do you insist on it? This is the problem with your revert war. Let's make changes one at a time and discuss each one.--csloat 16:12, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
The galt version includes the original research speculation that a reporter's words have not been backed up (in fact, he deletes the backup for this, whcih is the Newsday article mentioned above.)
There is no original research here. Csloat wants the reader to accept Elisabeth Bumiller's report without mentioning that she lists no source. Assuming she isn't just fabricating things like other NYT writers (see Jayson Blair), the reader should know that no source is listed. That she lists no source is not speculation. The article itself sufficiently supports that statement. --Mr j galt 16:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
If you can't find a source making the claim then it is original research. Generic slams against the NYT are not persuasive -- Jayson Blair aside, the paper is still far more credible than the speculation of a wikipedia editor.--csloat 16:12, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I think that covers it. Thanks!--csloat 03:07, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


If others agree to do the same, I will not revert again. Let's talk these things out.--Mr j galt 02:48, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, leave it as it is now!--Nomen Nescio 02:52, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I guess a truce here lasts for one minute. I agreed to not revert, but I knew others (such as Nomen Nescio) wouldn't comply. I won't break the 3RR rule, but I will definitely revert this current POV version by Nomen Nescio. --Mr j galt 02:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Clearly, you are only interested in bullying others so you get your way. You want the edits, so you have to explain! Leave it as it was before I made the comment here. I'll revert should you break your promise to stop the edit war, and warn you about the 3RR, which you are aware you are breaking. Once more, you disagree, so your version has to wait untill a compromise has been reached. Otherwise I will ask for protection by an admin!

Do not revert again!--Nomen Nescio 03:02, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

As we are cooling down Mr j galt maybe you could summarise your position, so we can continue discussing your problems with the article.--Nomen Nescio 03:09, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I highly doubt it will change your mind, but I will state the issue for others. A major point of controversy is whether Plame was covert. Numerous officials and commentators, including Sen. Pat Roberts and Victoria Toensing, Fmr. Chief Counsel to Sen. Intelligence Committee, have stated that it is very unlikely that a CIA employee commuting to the headquarters building each day would be a covert agent. The 3 POV pushers here keep attributing the comments to an obscure conservative columnist named Max Boot to diminish the credibility of the argument. They also attempt to refute that with a statement by publicity chaser/anti-Iraq war activist Larry C. Johnson, who claims that Plame "traveled overseas in 2003, 2002, and 2001, as part of her cover job. She met with folks who worked in the nuclear industry, cultivated sources, and managed spies. She was a national security asset until exposed by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby." The POV pushers here refuse to note that Johnson left the CIA in 1989 so he would have no way of knowing if Plame was undercover and what she would be doing if she was. Every story that says Plame was covert either quotes Johnson (named or unnamed) or includes no source.--Mr j galt 03:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
That of course is false and by now you should know it. The Newsday story quotes two current intelligence officials. The document that you cite directly from the CIA also includes this information, though you like to nitpick about the word "classified." This debate is being held over at Talk:Plame affair so you can see more of the responses to this nonsense over there. As for Plame's travels, you have not explained why you want to censor that information. Your name calling of Johnson is totally irrelevant here -- he has not been indicted seriously by anyone in any published source, and there has been no information suggesting he made any of this up. And, in fact, nobody has even made the suggestion that he might make this up except for you! If you have information suggesting otherwise, present it, but do not delete legitimate information. I tried to add a quote that further established that Plame driving to the office does not make her any less covert. You deleted it without substantive comment, insincerely attributing your reversion to the RfC process, even though that quote is not part of this discussion (until now).-csloat 02:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
No official source has ever said Plame was a covert agent when she was named by Robert Novack. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald at his press conference on the Libby indictment addressed the issue as follows:
QUESTION: Can you say whether or not you know whether Mr. Libby knew that Valerie Wilson's identity was covert and whether or not that was pivotal at all in your inability or your decision not to charge under the Intelligence Identity Protection Act?
FITZGERALD: Let me say two things. Number one, I am not speaking to whether or not Valerie Wilson was covert. And anything I say is not intended to say anything beyond this: that she was a CIA officer from January 1st, 2002, forward. I will confirm that her association with the CIA was classified at that time through July 2003. And all I'll say is that, look, we have not made any allegation that Mr. Libby knowingly, intentionally outed a covert agent. --Mr j galt 03:55, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
You can keep repeating this quote but that doesn't change what it says. The questioner does not ask whether she was covert or whether Fitzgerald thinks she was covert; it's clear the questioner believes she was (and I have said this over and over, and you have ignored this point over and over). Fitzgerald is not speaking to whether she was covert; he is speaking to whether Libby outed her knowingly, intentionally. He says at the very beginning of this press conference that she was outed and that her "cover was blown." That, umm, suggests that she had a cover, don't you think? And again this is all irrelevant since her status is established by the fact the CIA asked for the investigation and confirmed by two independent current intelligence officials who spoke with Newsday.--csloat 02:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Fitzgerald makes himself very clear: "anything I say is not intended to say anything beyond this: that she was a CIA officer from January 1st, 2002, forward. I will confirm that her association with the CIA was classified at that time through July 2003." He is telling people not to misunderstand or mistate his remarks (as you are trying to do here). You are again confusing the term "classified" with "covert." Revealing classified information without authorization can result in an official reprimand. Revealing the identity of covert agent would likely mean prison time. I know you so want Plame to be covert, but all signs suggest that she was not. No official source has said she was covert and no one has been charged with the crime of revealing the identity of a covert agent. Sorry for the letdown. --Mr j galt 03:38, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Blatantly, factually untrue. There is a strong reason to believe that Plame's status with the CIA was covert when Novak named her as a CIA agent working on WMD. Just as an example, in a letter to the GAO dated January 26, 2004, the following 'officials' described Plame's status as 'covert' 5 times. Assertions that 'all signs suggest that she was not' are unfounded.
We are writing to request that the General Accounting Office investigate whether the White House complied with important administrative requirements to safeguard classified information in the matter of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Specifically, we request that GAO determine whether (1) in the period before Ms. Plame's identity was leaked to the media, the White House followed the applicable administrative procedures for protecting information about Ms. Plame's covert identity and (2) in the period after Ms. Plame's identity was leaked to the media, the White House complied with administrative requirements to ensure that this security breach was investigated and remedial action taken.
Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
Tom Daschle Democratic Leader U.S. Senate
Henry A. Waxman Ranking Minority Member Committee on Government Reform U.S. House of Representatives
Joseph I. Lieberman Ranking Minority Member Committee on Governmental Affairs U.S. Senate
John Conyers, Jr. Ranking Minority Member, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives
John D. Rockefeller, IV Ranking Minority Member, Select Committee on Intelligence
The claim Plame was not covert is a familiar, but utterly unsubstantiated GOP talking point.
As Fitzgerald put it:
Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer. In July 2003, the fact that Valerie Wilson was a CIA officer was classified. Valerie Wilson's cover was blown in July 2003. The first sign of that cover being blown was when Mr. Novak published a column on July 14th, 2003.
And for IIPA to apply, the individual must be a 'covert agent':
(A) a present or retired officer or employee of an intelligence agency or a present or retired member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty with an intelligence agency--
(i) whose identity as such an officer, employee, or member is classified information, and
(ii) who is serving outside the United States or has within the last five years served outside the United States
And, as reported in MSNBC, she travelled overseas periodically:
Married to Bush administration critic and former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Plame was working at agency headquarters in Langley, Va., in 2003 when her CIA status was disclosed by conservative columnist Robert Novak....
Plame had served for many years at overseas postings for the CIA, and her employment remained classified when she took a headquarters desk job, traveling overseas periodically. [2]
But Fitzgerald was clear when he said he was not saying Plame met the standard of being covert:
"Let me say two things {...} I am not speaking [in this indictment] to whether or not Valerie Wilson was covert . . . And we have not made any allegation that Mr. Libby knowingly or intentionally outed a covert agent."
I'd say the issue is far from black-and-white, but on the face of the evidence it certainly appears Plame was someone whose identity the CIA sought to conceal, and who traveled overseas on assignment under such status in the past 5 years.
One more: Alberto Gonzales, Counsel to the President in September 2003, described Plame's status as 'undercover':
PLEASE READ: Important Message From Counsel's Office
We were informed last evening by the Department of Justice that it has opened an investigation into possible unauthorized disclosures concerning the identity of an undercover CIA employee. [3]
So it appears the White House seemed to believe the object of the investigation was a covert agent. --User:RyanFreisling @ 04:08, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Ryan is of course correct in bringing this letter up. Of course, Mr galt has never substantiated his theory about the difference between covert and undercover or between covert and classified. As I said, information is classified; people are not. Even Fitzgerald said plain as day that her "cover was blown" -- galt's selective quoting of Fitzgerald is a blatant attempt to mislead. And of course we have senior intelligence agents telling Newsday that she was undercover, a fact he has yet to respond to, even though that argument was made at the very beginning of this revert war a week or two ago.--csloat 04:12, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
The so-called Newsday "senior intelligence source" is no doubt publicity hound Larry Johnson who claims to know Plame's 2003 status even though he left the agency in 1989. I have no problem adding the Newsday source providing it is stated that the source is unnamed. Every article that says Plame was covert either quotes Larry Johnson, named or unnamed, or no source at all. I have no idea where Ryan Freisling has found evidence that says Plame "traveled overseas on assignment under such status in the past 5 years." Plame's husband did not mention the travel in his book, The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir. If it were true, it would be a major omission that would otherwise have a serious impact on the case. I will remind Mr. Freisling of the wikipedia policy against original research.--Mr j galt 04:34, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
It's Ms. Freisling, and the passage is cited. Here's another independent cite:
The spy allegedly outed by a White House leaker is an attractive blond with Bond-girl looks who ran overseas operations and recruited agents for the CIA, sources told the Daily News yesterday.
Two former senior intelligence officials confirmed that Valerie Plame, 40, is an operations officer in the spy agency's directorate of operations - the clandestine service.
Plame "ran intelligence operations overseas," said Vincent Cannistraro, former CIA counterterrorism operations chief. [4]
No original research here - just fact. No supposition, just fact. This is what we know was reported, and we need to exercise good judgment to write an article that relies only on fact. Details of a covert assignment are unlikely to be readily available, but your blanket dismissals fly in the face of the preponderance of evidence. -- User:RyanFreisling @ 04:37, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
But you said Plame "traveled overseas on assignment under such status in the past 5 years." The NY Daily News article only cites Vincent Cannistraro who left the agency in 1991 and, like Larry Johnson who left in 1989, he would have no knowledge of Plame's status from 1998 to 2003. Nothing in the NY Daily News article supports your claim that Plame "traveled overseas on assignment under such status in the past 5 years." I will remind you again of the wikipedia policy against original research. P.S. It's now apparent to me that the attempt to paint Plame as "covert" is just another Democratic Party talking point. --Mr j galt 05:01, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Will you give it up already? You are wrong. You have been proven wrong again and again. Do you have any citation from anyone impugning Cannistraro's or Johnson's knowledge of Plame? Did you just choose to ignore the MSNBC article that also made this point, like you keep selectively ignoring the Newsday article that clearly identified her as covert? Also, this is a new argument -- before you were saying she was not undercover at all; now you seem to admit she was undercover and you're only claiming she does not meet the travel requirement of the IIPA. Yet you do not deny that there is confirmation from several sources on her travel or her undercover status -- you just impugn Johnson and now Cannistraro as liars without any evidence whatsoever (and then you have the gall to remind Ryan about WP:NOR!!). Let me explain something: (1) if Plame did not travel this means she may not have been protected by the IIPA -- it does not mean that it might not have been a crime to blow her cover nor does it mean she was not under cover or covert. It just means she is not covert as per the statute, which is a different issue. (2) if Cannistraro and Johnson have been lying about this stuff, that's a pretty serious charge. You really need to establish motive here beyond "anti-Bush" or "anti-war". And since this is an encyclopedia, not a rumor mill, you will need to establish motive based on published confirmed knowledge, not bizarre innuendo.--csloat 05:16, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
One more point, that is affirmed by Ryan citing the Gonzales memo -- even the white house is not making the absurd claim that Plame was not under cover! Scooter Libby is not making it; Dick Cheney is not making it; Bush is not making it; the only people making it are known hacks!
By the way, I know you don't like Larry Johnson, mr. galt, but you should listen to this interview with warren olney about this from 7/14/05. You may change your mind about him being a liar if you actually listen to him speak. In particular, he makes clear why he would know about plame even though he left the CIA: "she went undercover the very day that we walked into the CIA together back in September of 1985." He makes several points very clearly and credibly; if this guy was lying about this stuff, someone credible would call him on it, and to date, nobody has. Whining that he wrote an article in 2001 that turned out to be wrong is not evidence that he is telling bold face lies about information that he sounds extremely credible and knowledgeable about. You keep blowing off him and now Cannistraro (and we should add Goodman, since he has also backed up a lot of these claims, as has Pat Lang and Jim Marcinkowski, all former intelligence officers) by implying that they are complete liars. You never establish a reason for any of them to lie. Wikipedia is not here for original research into whether credible, respected former intelligence employees are liars. If you don't have published sources backing up your innuendo please leave it out of the pages.-csloat 06:02, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
You might want to read the transcript of the Senate/House hearing - it includes statements like the following (from Marcinkowski) - "So we're left with one fundamental truth: The U.S. government exposed the identity of a covert operative." Almost everyone at the hearing says something similar. Are they all liars?--csloat 06:14, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Of course they do, this is Through the Looking-Glass country, where up is down, white is black, fact is fiction, spin is truth, et cetera.--Nomen Nescio 06:24, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Please Explain Why

Nomen Nescio and csloat repeatedly edit the article while insisting that I refrain from editing. Now that doesn't seem fair. Is this the wiki way or just another example of bullying?--Mr j galt 03:59, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

You are well aware that is incorrect, I ask all editors to refrain from making MAJOR changes, so when that happens I revert. You have not seen any new edits on my part. As for bullying, you clearly feel the need to continue your ad hominem attacks. It is getting tedious, irritating and I am about to call it quits. One more personal attack and I will ask JWSchmidt and Jacoplane to intervene once more.--Nomen Nescio 06:02, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
You reverted this article 4 times in two days. One shouldn't try to set rules for others that one doesn't keep himself. The issue is moot now that the page is protected.--Mr j galt 12:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)