Friday, October 03, 2003

The snowball effect

For those conservatives who've been dismissing the Exposure Scandal because, so you've deduced, Valerie Plame wasn't a covert operative (it looks like Misters Reynolds, Robbins, Luskin, Sullivan, Limbaugh and Hannity have commented to this effect), I point you to this:

The leak of a CIA operative's name has also exposed the identity of a CIA front company, potentially expanding the damage caused by the original disclosure, Bush administration officials said yesterday.

The company's identity, Brewster-Jennings & Associates, became public because it appeared in Federal Election Commission records on a form filled out in 1999 by Valerie Plame, the case officer at the center of the controversy, when she contributed $1,000 to Al Gore's presidential primary campaign.

Robert Novak, the guy who started all of this by "outing" Plame over the objections of the CIA is such an idiot that (according to Atrios) he tried to smear her today for donating $1,000 to Gore while listing a "fictitious employer." He then went on to say that it was illegal for her to list such an employer. Well, dumbass, it's probably not illegal if you're a covert agent and the CIA doesn't want people to know that you work for them.

Now we have to wonder how many people can be connected to Brewster-Jennings -- and therefore outed as CIA agents -- through other forms of documentation. How many careers have been ruined? How many agents and contacts have been compromised? It's time for conservatives to admit that this was a huge, huge mistake that has far reaching consequences for our national security.

If I were the leaker, I'd be thinking plea deal right now. Oh wait. Ashcroft said that prosecutors "must charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offenses that are supported by the facts." For once, I agree with him.

Update: Billmon's pissed too. He's got more on the "fake" company.

Update: Novak:

On the same day in 1999 that retired diplomat Joseph Wilson was returned $1,000 of $2,000 he contributed to Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore a month earlier because it exceeded the federal limit, his CIA-employee wife gave $1,000 to Gore using a fictitious identification for herself.

In making her April 22, 1999, contribution, Valerie E. Wilson identified herself as an "analyst" with "Brewster-Jennings & Associates." No such firm is listed anywhere, but the late Brewster Jennings was president of Socony-Vacuum oil company a half-century ago. Any CIA employee working under "non-official cover" always is listed with a real firm, but never an imaginary one.

The White House's political gaming and Bob Novak's lack of foresight are making us all less safe. Bastards.

Again, see Billmon. The "imaginary" company isn't so "imaginary" after all.


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