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Is Alan Foley the Senior CIA Officer? And Why the Answer Matters to the Niger Forgery Case

There’s still one identity in Libby’s indictment that is totally obscure–the Senior CIA Officer mentioned in Paragraph 7 (PDF; see, I’m very slowly working my way through this thing today, paragraph by paragraph).

7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson’s trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.

I think guesses that this is Fred Fleitz are totally wrong. With all due respect to Steve Clemons’ much greater knowledge of Washington bureaucracy than me, it’d be a stretch to consider Fleitz a senior CIA officer. Consider, for example, that Alan Foley (PDF), the Director of WINPAC, didn’t even know what Fleitz did at WINPAC when Bolton came asking for him.

Mr. Foley: I think he [Fleitz] worked in WINPAC. But, you remember,WINPAC was put together early in the Administration, and I think Fredwas with the Nonproliferation Center, one of the — John Lauder’s oldorganization — and we were all, sort of, reorganized into one groupthen. That’s what I remember. But I couldn’t tell you where Fredexactly worked at the time. (7)

So he couldn’t be all that senior.

There are some other possibilities: Tenet, McLaughlin, James Pavitt (head of the DO). Tenet, McLaughlin definitely testified; I believe Pavitt did so as well. But I doubt any would say precisely what this person said to Libby, that "Plame was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson." Indeed, Pavitt almost certainly wouldn’t have said that, since DO seems to be sure Plame wasn’t responsible for sending Wilson.

I’m going to make a suggestion I’ve not seen mentioned elsewhere. I think Alan Foley is this senior CIA officer mentioned in this passage. And I think it’s relevant to the larger question of the Niger forgeries.

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.