RUSH: What a propaganda fest. I know a lot of you people have been watching the appearance of Valerie Plame-Wilson before this Henry Waxman propaganda committee, upset at the Republicans because their questions seem inept. What you have to understand is that there were ground rules set, and none of the questions that are meaningful could be asked. Tom Davis expressed that frustration at the end of his side’s time. Let me look here. Byron York, National Review Online, has a list of ten questions that he thinks Plame should be asked, but the ground rules were such that she couldn’t be asked anything — and even at that, the fact that she’s not entirely honest was fairly well demonstrated today.
RUSH: Valerie Plame today, in her opening statement before the Waxman propaganda committee, insisted time and time again that she was ‘covert.’ This is something that nobody has known up ’til now. The jurors in the Libby trial were not allowed to know; the judge said he didn’t know. She didn’t prove today that she was covert, and in fact under some good questioning by Tom Davis from Virginia, had to admit that the Intelligence Identities Protection Act did not apply to her. It would have if she were covert. They’re playing word games here with ‘covert’ and ‘undercover,’ but the one big question here that I have, ladies and gentlemen, to Valerie Plame and to Patrick Fitzgerald is this: If she was covert, why in the world didn’t Fitzgerald prosecute on that basis? Because if she was covert, it would have triggered the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, because that act makes it a crime to ‘knowingly disclose the identity of a covert agent.’
Nobody established today that anybody in the White House knew what her status was. In fact, she said, “I don’t even think they’re aiming at me. I think they’re trying to discredit my lovable husband, Joe.” She admitted that she went to Democrat Party strategery sessions and meetings but, “I only went there as a spouse.” She was asked what her husband’s party affiliation is — and we all know he’s a sixties liberal retread. “Well, he comes from a very deeply rooted Republican family, but he is a Democrat.”
“Now, what are you?”
“I don’t see what that has to do with anything. Oh, gosh, I can’t answer that. Okay, I’m a Democrat.”
Thus forcing ‘Nostrilitis’ Waxman to say, “It doesn’t matter what party.”
The hell it doesn’t! The whole Democrat Party has been oriented toward discrediting everything about the war with Iraq and the administration’s decision to go there!
Now, here is why, ladies and gentlemen, Patrick Fitzgerald did not prosecute anybody on the leak of Valerie Plame’s name. Even though she’s insisting all day this morning that she was covert, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of specific intent to harm the United States or help another country. The evidence is virtually nonexistent that Libby intended any such thing, nor is there any evidence that anybody intended any such thing. On the covert agent ID act, the government would have had an even tougher case since, for example, it’s a defense if the agent’s ID was previously known by the government itself — and there are indications that Plame was blown to the Cubans and the Russians before the events of 2002. So even though she’s out there maintaining that she was covert and that her life was destroyed and all of these people were placed in danger, if the independent counsel was looking for anything, he would have loved to be able to go after this. He would have loved to believe to nail Cheney or anybody on the violation of this act. He couldn’t find any proof beyond a reasonable doubt of specific intent to harm the United States or help another country on the part of anybody who mentioned her name.
There was one name also that suspiciously did not come up today so far in these hearings, and that name is Richard Armitage. Richard Armitage is the leaker. The one name that was mentioned more often than anybody else’s was Robert Novak’s. Now, Novak, he was a little ticked. They took a break on the Fox News Channel from the coverage right after her opening statement, and Novak said, “I’m incredulous about something here. How in the world can she say she was covert when she was going to work at the CIA building, at the Langley headquarters every day?” She’d drop her little crumb crunchers off to skrool, and then she’d head over to CIA headquarters. Novak said, “How covert can you be if you’re going to work every day at the Agency? It’d be easy enough for somebody to follow you going there.” She was asked about that later on, by the way. She said, “Well, we all have training on how to detect tails, people tailing us. We have training on how to detect them. This is common knowledge for anybody in the CIA.”
She also said something else very interesting or curious to me. She made it a point in her opening statement to say, “My covert status was not widely known on the Georgetown cocktail circuit.” Was not widely known? That means it was narrowly known? It was partially known? I would think if you’re a CIA covert agent, no one would know. Yet her own husband listed her in Who’s Who. There are any number of people in the Washington cocktail circuit who did know, and that’s what I would like to know. She’s going to say she wasn’t ‘widely known’ as a covert agent on the cocktail circuit. Somebody ask her, “Well, who did know?” They had a chart up there, and they had all these names of people that know, with arrows going to all these different boxes with people’s names as to who knew what and who told who. There was like 20 names up there and different agencies and so forth. Of course the Democrats try to take that chart produced by the Republicans and make it look like it was a purposeful, willing effort to blow her cover and to ruin her career and so forth.
My question would be, “If this many people knew it, how in the world could you have been covert?” There was this one very interesting black box: Unknown. So apparently according to this chart there’s still someone out there who knew she was working at the CIA, and we don’t know who it is. At any rate, we’ve got some audio sound bites from this to illustrate the point. I’ll get to Byron York’s suggested questions. You have to understand, I can’t prove this — just like she can’t prove that she’s a covert agent. You know why she can’t prove it? Because she’s not allowed to say anything that is national security. So this is nothing but a propaganda fest aimed at the Bush administration. Just like she can’t prove she’s covert, I can’t prove this, but I wouldn’t doubt that Plame got together with the Democrats and planned a strategery here and all this. Because it’s plain as day what this is. It’s just more of the relentless assault (and we knew these things were coming, by the way) against the Bush administration. Hell, Dennis Kucinich today, in his questioning of Plame, brought up the fired US attorneys, General Shinseki! He used his question period specifically to make his anti-war case as a potential Democrat presidential candidate.
One other thing about this point that Robert Novak made, “How can she say she’s covert when she’s driving to the CIA headquarters every day?” Her answer was (summarized), “Well, congressman, we covert agents, why, we have training! Why, we’re trained to spot people that are tailing us. We’re taught to take evasive measures.” I don’t doubt that that’s true. I’m sure they all have such training. They’re CIA agents. But, as we all know, the training is probably far from foolproof. But what does it do? It teaches you how to notice whether you’re being followed. Okay, good. But isn’t there an ancillary point or an additional observation that someone brilliant like me could make? Yes, there is. If you’re being followed, it means they already know that you’re worth following.
If somebody was following Valerie Plame after she dropped the crumb crunchers off at school and then headed out to CIA headquarters in Langley, it means somebody knew who she was. She didn’t say this had happened. Novak’s making the point: how can she say she was covert when she’s routinely driving to the building in public every day? Her answer to it is: Well, we have training to spot that and evade it. Training obviously shows you how to shake the tail but it has nothing to do with what the person following you knows about you. He just knows enough to follow you, and she never asserted that she was being followed. I tell you what I’d do. Republicans ought to do this. They can’t do this because they don’t run the committee, but I would subpoena the Washington cocktail circuit. If Valerie Plame is out there saying it wasn’t ‘widely known that she was in the CIA on the Georgetown cocktail circuit,’ it means it was narrowly known. So subpoena them. They were using alcohol — that’s what a cocktail is, a cocktail is an adult beverage, and adult beverage by definition one only adults can illegal assume. Subpoena the Georgetown cocktail circuit. Find out who it was that knew. Andrea Mitchell is certainly part of the Georgetown cocktail circuit.
RUSH: All right, a little more analysis here of Valerie Plame and her testimony. We’ll get to the audio sound bites of this. But just some of the thoughts that I jotted down here as I was listening to this. Waxman kept saying she was a covert CIA employee. We have no evidence of this. Waxman made the point here, “We can’t delve into it.” They had restrictions, of course, under ‘national security.’ CIA won’t let a whole bunch of things be asked here. But, you know, she served as a covert officer. She didn’t say when. I started at that point to ask to myself how much she coordinated with the Democrats in this hearing. Of course, I asked and answered moments ago: “If she was covert, why was there not a charge against somebody who leaked her name?” They’re playing word games with ‘covert’ and ‘undercover.’
Undercover is probably the question, and that’s a description that she doesn’t want to deal with. There was a Republican that asked a couple of good questions. He wanted to know why she went to a Democrat policy meeting with her husband. She said because she was a spouse. She then said she had no involvement in sending her husband to Niger. The Senate intelligence committee says just the exact opposite. In fact, her story was that a junior person whose name she doesn’t remember had a message on her desk from somebody calling from the VP’s office. Another colleague just happened to be walking by her desk, and that colleague suggested her husband. This sounds like the screwiest operation in the CIA you can imagine.
RUSH: I want to go over, I want to review this point one more time, because it was a Democrat who asked her the question: “It’s been out there, Ms. Plame, Ms. Wilson that your husband was recommended for the trip by you,” and she perked up, and said, “I’m glad I’m under oath, and I really can’t wait to answer this question, because I want to put this in context.” The story that she told ends up — I mean you have to conclude that the three Republicans, well, the whole Senate intelligence committee report was a lie because the Senate intelligence committee report was that she did recommend her husband. She’s calling those people liars.
The story she told to explain how this happened was she that was minding her own business one day and somebody near her at a desk got a call from somebody in the White House. A junior person, whose name she doesn’t remember, had a message on her desk from somebody calling from the vice president’s office. At that point, another colleague happened to be walking by Plame’s desk, and this colleague suggested her husband and asked her to write an e-mail to this effect, and that e-mail is what caused the out-of-context conclusions to be drawn about all this. So if we are to believe this, she’s at her desk in there doing her covert work. The vice president’s office calls a junior assistant sitting next to her and says something about Saddam and yellow cake and Niger. The junior person mentions it to Ms. Plame, and just at that moment, another colleague happens to be walking by her desk, “What’s going on here?”
“Well, I just got a call from the White House office. Penny over here, the junior assistant, just got a call.”
The colleague says, “Wow, Valerie! Could you ask your husband when you get home tonight?”
This is what she actually said!
“Could you ask your husband if he’d be willing to do this?”
“Oh, of course I would.”
So it came from her area of the CIA, but it was not prompted by her. That strains credulity, ladies and gentlemen. She went on to say that she was passive. In fact, in a brilliant piece of testimony, she said, ‘Actually I wasn’t excited about this, congressman, because we just had the two-year-old twins, and the thought of being home alone for all that time with two-year-old twins, I don’t know that I was in favor of my husband going to Niger,’ and of course all the women in the background in the picture of the camera view were laughing and shaking and nodding their heads as if to say, ‘Oh, yeah. She couldn’t possibly have wanted her husband to go.’ So some of this was just… In fact, they’re going to make a movie of this as you know. She ought to play herself. She’s a great actress. She’s an absolutely fabulous actress.
She also talked about the unprecedented number of times that the vice president came to the CIA, and she said, “That was intimidating.” It was intimidating. Now, the CIA briefer who testified in the hearings specifically testified that people at the CIA were not intimidated and did not feel that way. The Senate intelligence committee and various investigations also found that no one said they were intimidated with the vice president showing up. So what if they were? He’s going up there to find out what they know. The vice president personally cared about it. He wasn’t sending an emissary, didn’t send Libby. He went up there personally to find out what was going on. Who cares if they’re intimidated by the arrival of the vice president? Anyway, she says they were, and everybody else says that they weren’t. Now, there are other things here. That basically sums it up. Let me go to the audio sound bites. This is a good one. Tom Davis had this exchange with Valerie Plame Wilson.
DAVIS: 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?
PLAME: I’m not a lawyer.
DAVIS: That’s why I asked if they told you. I’m not asking for your interpretation.
PLAME: No. No. But I was covert. I did travel overseas on secret missions within the last five years.
DAVIS: I’m not arguing with that. 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 fact?
PLAME: No. No one told me that, and —
DAVIS: How about after the disclosure?
PLAME: Pardon me?
DAVIS: How about after the disclosure? Did anyone then say, “Gee, you were designated under the act. This should not have happened.’ Did anybody at the CIA tell you at that point?
RUSH: So she’s forced to admit there that she was not covered by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. We know that she wasn’t or Fitzgerald would have prosecuted somebody on it. She wasn’t. That’s why her use of the word ‘covert’ all day today is strategic and misleading. So it was time for Henry Waxman to try to cover some of the damage here. He said, “I’d like to ask you to forget for a moment that he was talking about you. Imagine that he was talking about another undercover agent working on sensitive issues, and that undercover agent, that undercover agent’s life was on the line. Do you have a reaction to that?”
PLAME: Absolutely. This happened to me, but I like to think I would feel just as passionately had it happened to any of my former colleagues at the CIA.
WAXMAN: Is there any circumstance that you can think of, that would justify leaking of name of an undercover agent?
PLAME: No, congressman.
RUSH: Oh, of course not! How about a double agent who’s been caught? Aldrich Ames comes to mind. At any rate, ladies and gentlemen, it’s all pooh-pooh. She wasn’t covert, and she wasn’t covered by the act. It’s going to be real interesting. Victoria Toensing, who helped write that act, is going to be a witness this afternoon and it will be fascinating to see what she does with Plame’s testimony. One final question. This is Representative Elijah Cummings. He said, “Can we clarify one crucial point, whether you worked undercover for the CIA? You said that your position was covert, but I’ve heard others say that you weren’t covert. In fact, one of the witnesses who will testify a little bit later, Victoria Toensing, says, ‘Plame was not covert. She worked at CIA headquarters and had not been stationed abroad within five years.’ I know there are restrictions on what you can say today, because we placed them on you, but is Ms. Toensing’s statement correct?”
PLAME: I know I’m here under oath and I’m here to say that I was a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, just like a general is a general whether he is in the field in Iraq or Afghanistan. When he comes back to the Pentagon, he’s still a general. In the same way, covert operations officers who are serving in the field, when they rotate back for a temporary assignment in Washington, they, too, are still covert.
RUSH: Temporary assignment? What? When they rotate back for a temporary assignment? She wasn’t rotated back on a temporary assignment! She came back from wherever she was, and that was that. I guess it’s sort of like her husband is no longer an ambassador, is still called an ambassador. “I’m always going to be covert, congressman. I’m always going to be covert.”
“No, you’re not. You’ve been outed.”
“I don’t care. I’m still covert. I want to be covert, got it? I’m going to be covert or I’ll call Mrs. Clinton, the testicle lockbox.”
Here’s David talking to us on the New York State Thruway. David, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush, how you doing?
RUSH: Just fine, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: Great. Let me talk to a police officer coming up to my car. Valerie Plame’s not covert if she’s working at Langley. I worked for the CIA for seven years, and when she’s overseas she’s covert, but when you’re working at headquarters every day, you are not. (To police officer: ‘I’m making a phone call sir. That’s all. Yes, sir. Yeah.’)
RUSH: Let me ask you a question, David — and don’t take this personally, but anybody can call here and say that they’re anybody or anything.
CALLER: I understand that, sir.
RUSH: But how can you talk about what happened at the CIA? You’re former. What gives you the right to talk about things there without clearing it with headquarters?
CALLER: Other than — well, I haven’t worked for them for quite some time. I was administration for seven years. I worked overseas most of that time, and any agent, any employee of CIA that goes overseas is ‘covert,’ but when they rotate back to the states and work every day at Langley, that covert status is no longer in effect.
RUSH: Wait a minute. She just said that once you’re covert, you’re always covert, even when you rotate back.
CALLER: No. Like you said, anybody can follow anybody. All you gotta do is sit outside the gates and watch people walk in. That blows covert status.
RUSH: I would think so. Whether you’re a CIA or not, this sounds sensible to me.
CALLER: Absolutely. She’s lying out her teeth to promote this Democratic agenda that they’re working on.
RUSH: Yeah, there’s no question about that. Look, David, I appreciate the call. Thanks el mucho. A little Spanish lingo there.