Monday, August 15, 2005


Since it's a slow news day, and since the media has allowed itself to become distracted by the new shiny object known as John Roberts, I think it's time to put the Valerie Plame situation back in the spotlight. So in a perfect world, here is a list of questions that I would like to have answered by this administration:

  1. What exactly did Karl Rove say to Matt Cooper of Time magazine, and what did Scooter Libby discuss with New York Times reporter Judith Miller during early July 2003?
  2. If Rove specifically referred Valerie Plame or Joe Wilson’s wife, why did he need to identify her, instead of just saying some mid-level staffer from the CIA sent him? And why did Rove not confirm with the CIA whether her identity was classified or not?
  3. Who saw the classified state department memo issued on July 7, 2003, that specifically named Plame, and whom did they inform about the contents of this memo?
  4. How did journalist Robert Novak learn of her identity, and what communication did he have with other members of the government?
  5. If Plame’s identification was not classified as some claim, why did Bush’s own Justice Department and the special prosecutor determine that the criminal referral from the CIA had merit? Why did 11 former CIA agents feel compelled to send a letter to Congress denouncing this claim? Further, why has former CIA agent Larry Johnson, a Republican, ripped this administration over its handling of the situation?
  6. Even if we assume that Joe Wilson is a hack and was sent to Niger by his wife (neither of which are true, but for argument’s sake we’ll say so), how does that justify the leak of her name to the press?
  7. Explain how this administration has cooperated with the investigation.
  8. Why did President Bush’s standards for dismissing anyone that leaked her name change? If the president’s standard now is that no one convicted of a felony can work in his administration, does that only apply to this case, or do previous convictions (Iran-Contragate for example) apply as well? Or do they receive grandfathered protection?
  9. Help us understand why White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan issued blanket denials that Rove and Scooter Libby were not involved in the leak. Did he know that they were involved and decide on his own to deny? Was McClellan told to deny that Rove and Libby were involved? Or was McClellan informed by the administration that Rove and Libby were not involved?
  10. Scott McClellan has refused to answer any queries on Rove or Libby’s involvement recently, citing that he cannot comment on an ongoing investigation. Then how was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales able to comment just two weeks ago that he did not have any knowledge of Ms. Plame and her role at the CIA? What is the administration’s exact position on commenting on this matter, and which one conflicted with its policy?
  11. Why did the CIA have to notify the Justice department four times that a criminal act may have been committed before launching an investigation? Why was former Attorney General John Ashcroft so reluctant to assign a special prosecutor to the case? Would it have anything to do with his close working relationship with Rove over the previous 20 years?
  12. Why, when the DOJ informed (at the time White House counsel) Gonzales was informed on the evening of Monday, September 29, 2003, to save all documents relating to the Plame situation, did they then tell him it was ok to wait until the next morning to inform the White House staff? Why did he then tell Andrew Card about this on that Monday evening before informing the staff? Whom did Card discuss this with during the 12 hour time period? And why should we believe that this 12 hour window is not in fact the ‘Plamegate’ version of the 18 minute gap in the Nixon tapes?
  13. Why did the Intelligence Committee not have time to investigate this issue, but yet it has time now to hold hearings on whether the CIA protects the cover of its agents strongly enough and the validity of the Fitzgerald investigation? Is Pat Roberts (Kansas senator, co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee) being ordered to convene these hearings by the administration?


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