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Waxman Hearing Panel I — Part II

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Here's Waxman's committee hearing page.  Here are the witnesses:

  • Ms. Valerie Plame Wilson, former employee, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Dr. James Knodell, Director, Office of Security, The White House
  • Mr. Bill Leonard, Director, Information Security Oversight Office, National Archives and Records Administration
  • Mr. Mark Zaid, Attorney
  • Ms. Victoria Toensing, diGenova & Toensing, LLP

Feed the comments with updates, gang, and we'll try to send in some hearing room color for the main page post on fifteen minute intervals.

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"I don't have any knowledge of any investigation in my office of this matter."  Mr. Knodell, director of the WH Office of Security for the Executive Office of the President and Vice President.  And, in case you were wondering, Mr. Knodell is unaware of any action being taken whatsoever with regard to Mr. Rove's security clearance or otherwise.

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Rep. Watson:  Under the requirements of classified information handling, there ought to have been an investigation as to the disclosure of classified information.  Watson points out that Mr. Knodell has worked for this office since August 2004, and that there is still no knowledge as to how Rove found out about Valerie Plame Wilson's identity.  Has there been any investigation?  No.

12:55 pm ET: 

Rep. Van Hollen — get to the point that the WH would not run a collateral investigation.  So it is the policy of the WH to take no action, to not ask any question, to see if, at the very least, that the security clearance should not be revoked?  Mr. Knodell says no, an investigation should be done. 

VH asks:  why aren't you undertaking an investigation today?  This is all now publicly disclosed classified information.  You've said it is not the policy to look into an ongoing investigation.  This information is now public — why aren't you doing this today?  Mr. Knodell says he'll take this back tothe office and review it with "senior management."  VH asks:  So then it is the policy of the Wh not to undertake any internal investigation so long as there is any criminal investigation ongoing?  Knodell says he thinks so.  Leonard talks about the competing interest priorities in an investigative matter — competing interests in an administrative inquiry and criminal investigation.  (CHS notes:  he is correct here, because you don't want anything compromising the criminal investigation — but generally, you coordinate with the agency doing the investigation — in this case, it would have been the FBI — and I'm wondering if that was EVER even attempted?)

1:00 pm ET:

Rep. Tom Davis goes back to vouch the record that 5th Amendment privileges for people potentially under criminal investigation that could potentially thwart an internal administrative investigation, presumably, according to Davis.  Davis and Waxman are now going back and forth on the internal investigation issue — and the competing priorities and interests question.

Now onto Rep. Hodes. 

Pach reports from the hallway:  Valerie walking down the hall, and mobbed by photographers before she entered the elevator.

1:05 pm ET:

Hode is now getting into the NIE and the instadeclassification.  (CHS says:  boo yah!)  Leaking classified information is a crime — yes.  Getting into the Libby testimony regarding Cheney's authorization to disclose NIE portions to Judy Miller by the Vice President and President.

Hodes asks:  have you ever seen such selective classification before, in your experience in government?  No.  NIE was not formally declassified until July 18th — even though Libby claimed it was declassified on July 8th.  Does this raise questions for you?  (CHS says:  It does for me.  I'm just saying…) 

Hodes says:  Is it your testimony that the President could choose to selectively declassify the NIE portions for only three reporters, but that it could stay classified for everyone else?  The President's order allows for him to declassify on his own, according to Mr. Leonard.

On to Eleanor Holmes Norton, who is asking whether the security office can do independent investigations or whether they have to get a sign-off from someone to complete an investigation?  Knodell says he would report if he started one.

Fresh thread to complete questioning of this panel.

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Pachacutec

Pachacutec

Pachacutec did not, as is commonly believed, die in 1471. To escape the tragic sight of his successors screwing up the Inca Empire he’d built, he fled east into the Amazon rain forest, where he began chewing lots of funky roots to get higher than Hunter Thompson ever dared. Oddly, these roots gave him not only a killer buzz, but also prolonged his life beyond what any other mortal has known, excluding Novakula. Whatever his doubts of the utility of living long enough to see old friends pop up in museums as mummies, or witness the bizarrely compelling spectacle of Katherine Harris, he’s learned a thing or two along the way. For one thing, he’s learned the importance of not letting morons run a country, having watched the Inca Empire suffer many civil wars requiring the eventual ruler to gain support from the priests and the national military. He now works during fleeting sober moments to build a vibrant progressive movement sufficiently strong and sustainable to drive a pointed stake through the heart of American “conservatism” forever. He enjoys a gay marriage, classic jazz and roots for the New York Mets.

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