Wayne Madsen
Mon Jun 28, 2004 04:11

by Wayne Madsen

Copyright 2004, From The Wilderness Publications,

[In “Coup d’Etat” (FTW, June 8, 2004), Mike Ruppert showed that Valerie Plame was no ordinary CIA employee; her work was part of at least one productive and well-established information gathering operation. The administration’s schoolyard bully approach to management – sending Joe Wilson to Niger for confirmation of a fake story, then punishing him for bringing back the truth – has brought them the contempt of the only organization in the government whose hand is always free; its impunity almost limitless; its memory long. Thirty years ago Richard Nixon was sacrificed for many reasons, not least of which was his hubristic competition with the CIA. When he set up his own intelligence operation in the basement of the White House, he stirred the wrath of Dick Helms, who took a dim view of the reluctant challenger. With their Office of Special Plans, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have signed up for the same pissing contest that Nixon lost. Though the administration’s boy at Langley has stepped down (along with his second in command), the agency has fangs and claws beyond the reach of such personnel decisions from Human Resources.

The ironies of this drama continue to proliferate. Here’s one: Nixon’s homegrown spy coven was called “The Plumbers,” because its primary responsibility was to stop leaks. But Dubya finds himself spending an hour and ten minutes in the hot seat (next to his personal lawyer) because his people created a leak – the felonious kind.

Dick Cheney is the President of the Senate, on whose hallowed floor he has just told Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to “fuck off.” This regime is losing control of itself. The supra-governmental long-term plans that illegally drove them into office gave them a false sense of invulnerability. The money powers that make American presidencies had anointed Cheney and crew to run the country, so they could break as many rules, careers, laws, and heads as they chose – so long as they delivered the right number of barrels-per-day at the right price. They can’t. Having profligately wasted their political capital on torture, budgetary pork, and tax cuts, they have almost nothing left now that they’ve failed their sponsors.

In this latest report on the unfolding Plame investigation, Wayne Madsen shows what a long list of CIA people and projects have been compromised by the leak. John “Karl Rove” Doe and John “Dick Cheney” Doe seem to have no idea what kind of hibernating grizzly bear they’ve been jabbing at. They’ll find out now, because it just woke up. –JAH]

June 25, 2004 1600 PDT (FTW – Washington, DC. Well-placed U.S. government sources have revealed that the secret grand jury, led by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, will soon issue explosive indictments in the criminal investigation of who leaked the name of Valerie E. Plame, a CIA clandestine agent and wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson, to members of the media. On June 24, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald interviewed President Bush at the White House for 70 minutes, an indication that Fitzgerald's investigation is nearing completion and that indictments may be imminent. Bush was seated with his recently-hired criminal defense attorney, Jim Sharp, during the interview.

U.S. intelligence sources have also said that Fitzgerald's investigation has gone far beyond the mere leaking of Plame's name, itself a violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, but has expanded to look into the exposure of Plame's colleagues who worked under the cover of a CIA firm called Brewster, Jennings & Associates. The "brass plate" CIA proprietary had offices in Boston and Washington, DC. Active since 1994, Brewster-Jennings was instrumental in tracking the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and had agents or correspondents in a number of countries including Iraq, North Korea, Belarus, Russia, South Africa, Iran, Israel, China, Pakistan, Congo (Kinshasa), India, Taiwan, Libya, Syria, Serbia, and Malaysia. By releasing Valerie Plame’s name, other agents' non-official covers were blown and the lives of U.S. operatives within foreign governments and businesses may have been placed in danger. Therefore, Fitzgerald's investigation has reportedly been expanded to include the issue of whether members of the staffs of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, Cheney and Bush themselves, the National Security Council, and the Departments of Defense and State, may have violated more serious espionage laws.

In July 2003, the covert operations of Plame and her Brewster-Jennings colleagues were rolled up as a result of the White House leak to columnist Robert Novak and other journalists. Observers believe the White House was retaliating for the report by Wilson that the administration was incorrect when it stated that Iraq was shopping for "yellow cake" uranium in Niger. On behalf of the CIA, Wilson visited Niger prior to the Iraq war and determined that the administration's evidence was based on erroneous information and falsified documents.

The special prosecutor has been focusing on Bush, Cheney, presidential counselor Karl Rove, Cheney's chief of staff Lewis I. ("Scooter") Libby, Cheney assistants David Wurmser and John Hannah, and National Security Council officials Elliott Abrams and Stephen Hadley.

Recently, CIA Director George Tenet and Plame's ultimate boss, Deputy Director of Operations James Pavitt, suddenly resigned within hours of one another. Intelligence sources have said the two have been cooperating with Fitzgerald's investigation of the Plame/Brewster-Jennings leak and the damage to U.S. clandestine operations which globally track the flow of WMDs.

Sensitive CIA operations that were compromised by the leak included companies, government officials, and individuals associated with the nuclear smuggling network of Pakistan's chief nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. In addition, the identities of U.S. national and foreign agents working within the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, North Korea's nuclear laboratory in Yongbyon, Pakistan's Kahuta uranium enrichment plant, banks and export companies in Dubai, Islamabad, Moscow, Cape Town, Tel Aviv, Liechtenstein, Cyprus, and Kiev, and Kuala Lumpur, and government agencies in Libya, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Iran were severely compromised. The CIA has reportedly given Fitzgerald highly classified details on the damage done to the CIA's WMD tracking network.

According to Department of Justice insiders, the length of Fitzgerald's 70 minute interview of Bush was significant. Only one other prosecutor's interview of a sitting president lasted as long, that of Iran-contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh's questioning of the late Ronald Reagan. However, in that case, Walsh concluded after the interview that Reagan actually did not know what had transpired in his administration with respect to the scandal. Today’s officials may not be so fortunate.


LEAK-GATE: The White House Scandal

Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (50 U.S.C. 421 et seq.)
(governing disclosures that could expose confidential Government agents)

Bush Questioned at White House on CIA Leak
June 25, 2004
By DEB RIECHMANN / Associated Press Writer
The probe into who leaked the name of a CIA operative to a journalist moved to the highest level of government as federal investigators spent more than an hour with President Bush. "The leaking of classified information is a very serious matter," said...,0,1431809.story

Prosecutor speaks to Bush in CIA leak probe
June 25, 2004
By Tom Brune / Washington Bureau
A special prosecutor interviewed President George W. Bush for more than an hour in the Oval Office yesterday morning in the probe of who leaked the identity of a covert CIA operative to the news media, a White House spokesman said. Bush was questioned..,0,5890.story

Prosecutor speaks to Bush in leak probe
June 25, 2004
A special prosecutor interviewed President George W. Bush for more than an hour in the Oval Office Thursday morning in the probe of who leaked the identity of a covert CIA operative to the news media, a White House spokesman said. Bush was questioned for...,0,3748476.story

White House Lawyer Questioned in CIA Leak
June 18, 2004
By TERENCE HUNT / AP White House Correspondent
The White House's top lawyer was questioned by a federal grand jury Friday in the criminal investigation of who in the Bush administration leaked the name of a covert CIA operative last year. White House counsel Alberto Gonzales underwent questioning at..,0,4085316.story

The leak of a CIA operative's name has also exposed the identity of a CIA front company,

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

After the name of the company was broadcast yesterday, administration officials confirmed that it was a CIA front. They said the obscure and possibly defunct firm was listed as Plame's employer on her W-2 tax forms in 1999 when she was working undercover for the CIA. Plame's name was first published July 14 in a newspaper column by Robert D. Novak that quoted two senior administration officials. They were critical of her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, for his handling of a CIA mission that undercut President Bush's claim that Iraq had sought uranium from the African nation of Niger for possible use in developing nuclear weapons.

The Justice Department began a formal criminal investigation of the leak Sept. 26.

The inadvertent disclosure of the name of a business affiliated with the CIA underscores the potential damage to the agency and its operatives caused by the leak of Plame's identity. Intelligence officials have said that once Plame's job as an undercover operative was revealed, other agency secrets could be unraveled and her sources might be compromised or endangered.

A former diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said yesterday that every foreign intelligence service would run Plame's name through its databases within hours of its publication to determine if she had visited their country and to reconstruct her activities.

"That's why the agency is so sensitive about just publishing her name," the former diplomat said.

FEC rules require donors to list their employment. Plame used her married name, Valerie E. Wilson, and listed her employment as an "analyst" with Brewster-Jennings & Associates. The document establishes that Plame has worked undercover within the past five years. The time frame is one of the standards used in making determinations about whether a disclosure is a criminal violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

It could not be learned yesterday whether other CIA operatives were associated with Brewster-Jennings.

Also yesterday, the nearly 2,000 employees of the White House were given a Tuesday deadline to scour their files and computers for any records related to Wilson or contacts with journalists about Wilson. The broad order, in an e-mail from White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, directed them to retain records "that relate in any way to former U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, his trip to Niger in February 2002, or his wife's purported relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency."

White House employees received the e-mailed directive at 12:45 p.m., with an all-capitalized subject line saying, "Important Follow-Up Message From Counsel's Office." By 5 p.m. on Tuesday, employees must turn over copies of relevant electronic records, telephone records, message slips, phone logs, computer records, memos, and diaries and calendar entries.

The directive notes that lawyers in the counsel's office are attorneys for the president in his official capacity and that they cannot provide personal legal advice to employees.

For some officials, the task is a massive one. Some White House officials said they had numerous conversations with Wilson that had nothing to do with his wife, so the directive is seen as a heavy burden at a time when many of the president's aides already feel beleaguered.

Officials at the Pentagon and State Department also have been asked to retain records related to the case. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday: "We are doing our searches. . . . I'm not sure what they will be looking for or what they wish to contact us about, but we are anxious to be of all assistance to the inquiry."

Leak of Agent's Name Causes Exposure of CIA Front Firm

In another development, FBI agents yesterday began attempts to interview journalists who may have had conversations with government sources about Plame and Wilson. It was not clear how many journalists had been contacted. The FBI has interviewed Plame, ABC News reported.

Wilson and his wife have hired Washington lawyer Christopher Wolf to represent them in the matter.

The couple has directed him to take a preliminary look at claims they might be able to make against people they believe have impugned their character, a source said.

The name of the CIA front company was broadcast yesterday by Novak, the syndicated journalist who originally identified Plame. Novak, highlighting Wilson's ties to Democrats, said on CNN that Wilson's "wife, the CIA employee, gave $1,000 to Gore and she listed herself as an employee of Brewster-Jennings & Associates."

"There is no such firm, I'm convinced," he continued. "CIA people are not supposed to list themselves with fictitious firms if they're under a deep cover -- they're supposed to be real firms, or so I'm told. Sort of adds to the little mystery."

In fact, it appears the firm did exist, at least on paper. The Dun & Bradstreet database of company names lists a firm that is called both Brewster Jennings & Associates and Jennings Brewster & Associates.

The phone number in the listing is not in service, and the property manager at the address listed said there is no such company at the property, although records from 2000 were not available.

Wilson was originally listed as having given $2,000 to Gore during the primary campaign in 1999, but the donation, over the legal limit of $1,000, was "reattributed" so that Wilson and Plame each gave $1,000 to Gore. Wilson also gave $1,000 to the Bush primary campaign, but there is no donation listed from his wife.

Staff writers Dana Milbank, Susan Schmidt and Dana Priest, political researcher Brian Faler and researcher Lucy Shackelford contributed to this report.

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