The Campaign For Honest Bobbleheads
The unclassified summary of Plame's employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."
Plame worked as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) in January 2002 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias — but always using cover — whether official or non-official (NOC) — with no ostensible relationship to the CIA." (emphasis mine)
Now, let's see. Who called this correctly? Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova, the Boris and Natasha of bobbleheads, who shilled their asinine fact-free "oh no, clearly not covert" bullshit on every talk show from here to China and back again? Nope. Wrong. Over and over again. Completely wrong. On cable teevee. In the WaPo. You name it. And did I mention they were wrong?
Oh wait…and to Congress.
Waxman: Ms. Toensing, I just only can say that we are pleased to accommodate the request of the Minority to have you as a witness and some of the statements you’ve made without any doubt and with great authority I understand may not be accurate so we’re going to check the information and we’re going to hold the record open to put in other things that might contradict some of what you had to say.
Oooopsie. Wonder if the time has elapsed to revise and extend Ms. Toensing's remarks to Rep. Waxman's committee? Sure hope not, because I hear a perjury charge can really set you back.
And so today, I'm calling for more honest bobbleheads. I don't think it is too much to ask that if people are going to sling information around like it is so much hash, that at the least they have some rudimentary knowledge of the veracity of its component ingredients. Otherwise, they could just be serving the general public a dish of crap, couldn't they? And, frankly, bobbleheads ought to be held to account as to whether or not the acid that comes dripping so blithely off their overly-whitened fangs is true or false.
And, in this particular case, I think every media organization which has allowed these two particular fact free partisans to sally forth and spew whatever filth they chose to spew about Valerie Plame Wilson and her role at the CIA need to do a couple of things — I agree with Amato on this: (1) apologize publicly to Valerie Plame Wilson and (2) issue a correction in a prominent place so that all of their readers and/or viewers will know that they allowed themselves to be used by false and maniplating fact free shills. Is that really too much to ask — that integrity be restored, if only for a moment, to the whole bobblehead process? (Fred Hiatt especially needs to answer for the Toensing op-ed that seemed awfully close to a jury nullification attempt, don't you think?)
I'd say that Toensing and DiGenova (and Mary Matalin and Barbara Comstock and all of Dick's other shrieking PR minions) should apologize as well. But, last I checked between the temperature and humidity outside today, hell hasn't frozen over yet.
Dan Froomkin has a great overview of the filing information to date and what it means. And Larry Johnson has much more, including a link to the PDF of Patrick Fitzgerald's filing on the matter, wherein Mr. Fitzgerald argues the following:
Particularly in a case such as this, where Mr. Libby was a high-ranking government official whose falsehoods were central to issues in a significant criminal investigation, it is important that this court impose a sentence that accurately reflects the value the judicial system places on truth-telling in criminal investigations….
He has expressed no remorse, no acceptance of responsibility, and no recognition that there is anything he should have done differently – either with respect to his false statements and testimony, or his role in providing reporters with classified information about Ms. Wilson's affiliation with the CIA.
Absolutely correct, and a sentiment that more folks in the Bush Administration and inside the Beltway in general would do well to internalize. And quickly. Those sorts of orchestrated, deliberate leaks and lies get people killed. And when they are coming from political officials to whom we entrust our national security secrets? That is doubly disturbing because they break faith with the public by their actions, and they put us at more risk in the process by betraying agents and assets who were working on nuclear weapons and other WMD proliferation for the safety of us all.
I talked earlier about sentencing arguments and whether bond will continue pending appeal and I stand by my thoughts that it is likely that Mr. Libby's bond will be revoked shortly after sentencing — he'll likely be given time to finish getting his affairs in order and be able to surrender on his own recognizance shortly after sentencing. And, based on Judge Walton's history, I'm expecting it to be closer to the requests made by Fitzgerald and his team than those requested by Wells, Jeffress and company. These things are often unpredictable, so there is no guarantee one way or the other, especially not having seen the contents of the presentence investigation. But, we'll see on June 5th, won't we?