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Waxman Hearing, Panel II — Part I

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

Panel number two is upcoming:  Mark Zaid and Victoria Toensing will be giving testimony.  Wondering who Mark Zaid is?  Well lookee here.   And Victoria Toensing?  Try reading here for starters.

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. 


1:45 pm ET: 

Mr. Zaid does classified legal matters as a day-today living.  He is going through the regs and rules for clearance standards — but the fact is that the real world and anecdotal experiences with this, as opposed to what is said on paper, is a big difference.  Implementation varies across the baord, agency to agency — there are numerous flaws within the system itself.  Discusses the significant inconsistencies that exist across agencies, how security investigations are initiated or handled, how these inconsistencies can cause problems for employees and others.   This is an area that cries out for vigorous Congressional oversight, to ensure accountability, efficiency and fairness from the Executive branch, no matter which party may be in power.

Ms. Toensing begins be talking about the IIPA, and Barry Goldwater.  The press vigorously opposed IIPA — said it would have a chilling effect.  Now discussing how they divided people to be prosecuted:  journalists and employees who had access to classified information.  Drafted the law in order to have an almost impossible standard to prosecute a journalist.  (CHS says:  Toensing brought her over-acting chops today, she's overplaying the maudlin tone and the air quotes.)

1:50 pm ET:

Toensing now asking whether the CIA has a list of covert agents that they could provide their spokesperson.  (CHS says:  because, you know, there's nothing less tempting than a typed up list of covert NOCs for someone to steal…does she listen to herself speak?)  Going over the litany of wingnut problems with the Wilsons that have been listed ad naseum, and goes on to attempt to toss off the blame for any disclosure on the CIA — trying to portray CIA issues as sloppy handling, but is now slinking away from the Valerie wasn't a NOC claim.

Rep. Davis begins the questioning by saying that there were apparently no crimes committed.  Have you ever seen a case get this much scrutiny?  Mr. Zaid says this has gotten more public scrutiny and publicity.  Ms. Toensing brings up Goldwater again, and says that usually there is not a prosecution of this sort of case.

Davis asks if the CIA isn't going to take appropriate precautions, then how can a prosecutor be expected to sort through this?  Toensing says if no one knows what is going on.  Toensing says not one person knew she was covert.  Waxman asks where exactly Toensing got that information — she says from the Libby trial.  (CHS says:  where, the question of covert status was off the table for extended discussion, under order of the trial judge.)

Davis trying to get to the CIA having culpibility for Novak publishing his column after being told by the spokesperson for the CIA telling him not to publish — because that may not be the CIA's "A Team."  Toensing babbling now about Armitage.

I'm going to start a fresh thread shortly.

Fresh thread now up.

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Waxman Hearing, Panel II -- Part II

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com