“I’m not a lawyer.” – Plame’s Covert Cover

The liberal media keeps saying that the investigation is about a covert CIA operative that was allegedly outed by the Bush Administration, however this article shows that is is really about an alleged covert CIA operative. As the article points out, Plame and Fitzgerald have yet to prove that Plame was “Covert”.

Fitzgerald was unable to prove that Libby knew Plame was a “covert”, either in
court or when he discussed her with reporters. Valerie Plame can’t prove it
either.In 1982, Congress passed the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. This
law makes it a federal crime to knowingly reveal the identity of a CIA agent who
has conducted covert roles overseas within five years of the disclosure. To
violate this law, the person who disclosed the agent’s identity must have been
aware that the agent was “covert” at the time of the disclosure.Additionally, in
order to prosecute anyone who discloses the identity of a covert agent it is
imperative that the government prove she was indeed “covert.”At this point, no
one, least of all Fitzgerald, has done this.

Even Plame herself does not know if she was qualified as a “Covert” operative.

When she testified to the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform
Ranking Member of the committee Rep. Tom Davis (R.-Va.) asked Plame, “The
Intelligence Identities Protection Act makes it a crime to knowingly disclose
the identity of a covert agent, which has a specific definition under the act.
Did anyone ever tell you that you were so designated?”Wilson didn’t give a
straight answer. She told Davis, “I’m not a lawyer.”To clarify, Davis asked,
“What I’m asking is, for purposes of the act — and maybe this just never
occurred to you or anybody else at the time — but did anybody say that you were
so designated under the act or was this just after it came to pass?”“No, no one
told me that,” Plame replied.

Now just to clarify:

Washington lawyer Victoria Toensing, former chief counsel or the Senate
Intelligence Committee and former deputy assistant attorney general in the
Reagan administration testified to the committee shortly after Plame. Toensing
said the definition of “covert” wasn’t as simple as Plame said it was…The act
defines a “covert” agent as one whose undercover status is classified, has been
assigned to foreign duties within the past five years, and which the government
has made a concerted effort to conceal the identity. As Toensing explained in a
January 2005 column, “This requirement does not mean jetting to Berlin or Taipei
for a week’s work. It means permanent assignment in a foreign country. Since
Plame had been living in Washington for some time when the July 2003 column was
published, and was working at a desk job in Langley (a no-no for a person with a
need for cover), there is a serious legal question as to whether she qualifies
as ‘covert.’”

The article goes into more of the hearing, all said, there is no evidence showing that Plame was a “Covert” operative at the time she was “outed” to the media. There is also no evidence of intent. In all of Plame’s testimony and great speachs about the need to protect the identity of covert operatives, she has only exuded her personal feelings/opinions and dislike for the Bush Administration.
How much time and money has been wasted on this case to date? Has anything from the Plame investigation done anything to improve national security or protect covert operatives? How much longer will this drag out and deter lawmakers from doing their job and getting back to more important buisiness?

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The Biggest Threat to Airline Security

The biggest threat to American safety lies not in the terrorists, but rather the employees that work at the airlines and the obvious security holes in the current system. These are some examples of the flaw in the current system from the past year, that have made the news. How many have not made the news?
Newark Airport, 9/11/2006, Guiseppe Gervasio, a Continental employee allowed a “relative” to bypass all security procedures. Now this is shocking that this person would have the nerve to to this on the 5th anniversary of 9/11, however what is even more shocking is that it was done at Newark Airport where United Flight 93, was hijacked. This was the plane they thought was heading to Washington, possibly the White House. The original story to this was published in the Star Ledger, however has been removed/archived since then. My biggest question is why was Gervasio not arrested and charged with a federal crime? Secondly how many other people had Gervasio allowed to bypass security? If there are no laws about this, then why not?

Aviation Daily’s brief

STRANGE, BUT TRUE AIRPORT NEWS

It’s OK – he’s related to me by marriage.  This is the excuse made by a worker at Newark Liberty International Airport who used his airport ID badge — which is considered a federal credential — to get his brother-in-law past TSA security at Terminal C, according to the Star-Ledger.  Guiseppe Gervasio’s little stunt caused the terminal to be shut down for more than two hours.  And did I mention that he did this on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks?  His badge was confiscated and the incident is being investigated by his employer, Continental Airlines.

Continental Airlines News

Exactly five years after terrorists got past security at Newark Liberty International Airport, authorities shut down a section of Terminal C yesterday morning when a Continental Airlines employee allowed a relative to bypass a checkpoint, officials said.

The incident began at about 7:40 a.m. when the worker, Guiseppe Gervasio, used his airport identification swipe card to open an access door to bring his brother-in-law to a secure gate area, authorities said. The relative then tried to board a flight without a boarding pass, but was stopped by a gate agent, authorities said.

Port Authority police immediately confiscated Gervasio’s ID card, said Marc La Vorgna, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.

“It’s the most aggressive step we can take,” he said.

The breach came on the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when terrorists gained access to four commercial planes by passing through security checkpoints at three airports, including Newark. United Airlines Flight 93, en route from Newark to San Francisco, crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pa., after passengers tried to retake the plane from terrorists.

Ann Davis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, said yesterday’s breach delayed eight departing Continental flights after authorities closed part of the terminal at about 9:20 a.m.

Police and bomb-sniffing dogs made a sweep of the area, which was reopened at 10:15 a.m., she said.

After bypassing security, Gervasio’s brother-in-law, who was not identified, tried to get onto a flight to Orlando, Fla., without a boarding pass, Davis said.

He then “admitted to the gate agent that a relative worked for Continental and escorted him through a Terminal C access door, thereby circumventing the screening process,” Davis said. The gate agent immediately notified authorities, she said.

“Every airport and airline employee plays a critical role in maintaining the security of the airport and upholding the regulations designed to prevent another catastrophic event,” Davis said. “Helping a traveler circumvent security, on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 of all days, not only violates federal security directives, but brazenly disregards the innumerable strides TSA and its airport and airline partners have made in the last five years.”

Davis said Continental faces possible disciplinary action because of the breach.

She described Gervasio as a “load planner,” who is responsible for ensuring that weight is properly distributed on an aircraft before takeoff. The Port Authority took no action against Gervasio’s brother-in-law.

David Messing, a Continental spokesman, said the airline is investigating the incident. He did not release any additional information about Gervasio, including how long he has worked for the airline.

“We have strict procedures that our employees must adhere to,” said Messing.

Gervasio faces possible disciplinary action “based on the outcome of our investigation,” he said.

More recently in Orlando Florida Thomas Munoz, a Comair employee has been arresed for allowing a duffle bag full of guns and drugs to bypass airport security. Zabdiel Santiago-Balague, Munoz’s alleged accomplice is also under arrest and other arrests are possible.

In both of these cases employees of airlines have used there card access to allow situations where terrorists could have hijacked more planes and killed more Americans. It appears the only reason that Munoz and Santiago-Balague were arrested is because there were guns involved. However in both cases the same threat to the safety of Americans was prevailent and the laws need to change to allow prosecution of those that bypass or allow the bypassing of security measures.

However our liberal Congress does not feel this is necessary as they are trying to implement restrictions on the TSA that will leave Americans exposed to the terrorist threat every time they go to the airport.