“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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