May 15, 2012

"So the Obama administration... deliberately put the life of a British agent in jeopardy... someone who had infiltrated al Qaeda."

A much more serious breach of security than the case of Valerie Plame that everyone once cared so deeply about.

74 comments:

X said...

a real agent, not someone bragging over mimosas to David Corn and outing themselves.

Fen said...

A much more serious breach of security than the case of Valerie Plame that everyone once cared so deeply about.

[....]

[crickets]

I keeptelling you - Fen's Law.

Matthew Sablan said...

Eh, it was a risk worth taking for the politically minded. Political algebra always solves for V, no matter what.

V = Vote.

Christopher in MA said...

I expect garage will come by any minute to tell us it's all Walker's fault.

Or Alpha will swing by with a foam-flecked rant about some GOP kerfuffle no one's ever heard of.

Any "SQUIRREL!" in a storm. . .

madAsHell said...

"I killed Osama Bin Laden...er....um...and I stopped the underwear bomber."

"Vote for me! I'm tough on terror."

I smell desperation.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Obama really hates the Brits doesn't he?

damikesc said...

So our capacity to gather Intel is crippled since nobody can trust the Reside to not blab it. He had zero right to even mention it and another allynis screwed.

Wonder if Cameron still loves Obama now.

traditionalguy said...

The best aid and comfort Obama can give to Al Qaeda is to help in exposing the enemy agents inside.

Iran is now openly bragging that Obama has abandoned Israel.

The evidence mounts that Obama is a fifthe columnist Muslim. Who knew?

Christy said...

I'm wondering if British Intelligence will begin to share less?

virgil xenophon said...

I miss Ritmo. I'm sure he would have a deep cultural explanation (i.e., complete justification and atonement) for all this latest example of hypocritical perfidy.

Rliyen said...

My God, this is like a bad MP skit.

Okay, let's not bicker and argue about who outed who. I just want everyone to know that I, Obama Most Exalted, stopped another undie bomber. In a very real, and legal binding, sense.

JAL said...

Remember -- this is the administration led by a man who sees only faceless composite people.

That spy the Brits had? Meh. That was no spy. With a life. Maybe family.

That was a composite.

(That's also why socialism and communism and any other ism that devalues individuals is evil. The individual is always expendable in their worldview.)

MadisonMan said...

A classic example of "reporting". The web equivalent of Yellow Journalism.

Link to a website that has links to news stories that include a lot of ambiguities, and then add a couple of sentences to fan the flames and promote web hits.

The only thing certain in this story, as far as I can tell, is that the Brits got someone to infiltrate AQAP -- that's huge, and the loss of that asset is huge -- that may have helped to pinpoint drones and to expose an underwear plot. And that the story may have emerged too early. People can speculate all they want on the rest, and drive up their traffic/webhits.

JAL said...

Christy said...I'm wondering if British Intelligence will begin to share less?

Yes.

Quayle said...

As a distinguished recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama detests covert operations.

He much prefers hellfire missiles from a drone.

edutcher said...

Lessee now, Joe Wilson wanted to see Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.

Do we get the same for Dictator Zero?

Maybe work it around so it's a charge of treason?

Darrell said...

The Democrats have been traitors to this Nation since Ted Kennedy was handing notes to Soviet diplomats describing how the Democrats were going to neutralize Ronald Reagan. Fuck 'em all.

Marxists in British intelligence are used to giving tips to the Guardian that cause international operations to implode. Perhaps there is a lesson for them now that the shoe is on the other foot.

PaulV said...

RITMO has been laid off due to poor fund raising by democrats.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Remember -- this is the administration led by a man who sees only faceless composite people.

Little pawns to be moved around on the board. Used and sacrificed to further the needs of the all powerful Oz....I mean Obama.

Faceless, meaningless out of the context of how they can be used and manipulated.

Start a race war to get votes. So what if people are killed and beaten by the mobs stirred up by racial hatred. Pit people against each other in envy and greed. Kill the 1%. Ruin small businesses and drive the large ones out of the country. All faceless pawns in the game of power by a man who sees only himself as the center of the universe.

We. Are. So. Screwed.

HA HA HA said...

Valerie Plame was a part of the same social circle as the editors of the NYT and WaPo. Her husband was a wealthy, powerful Democrat. She mattered.

This unnamed UK intelligence asset is just a stage prop. Nobody who matters knows him or cares. He doesn't get invited to the right parties in DC. He's not a person. He's an... asset. Or was, whatever.

Furthermore, as Stanley Fish would be happy to explain to you, you should do whatever benefits your side, right or wrong, as long as your feel like your side is generally in the right. "My country against the world, right or wrong" is evil xenophobic nationalism. "My party against the world, right or wrong" is the very pinnacle of ethics. Because sometimes good countries do bad things, but that can't be true of parties, especially if you take care to cover the bad things up.

It's laughable to call this hypocrisy, because it is nothing of the kind. To a progressive, the two cases are utterly dissimilar.

36fsfiend said...

What is the agent's name?

Peter said...

Here is what I don't understand. Most lefties reside in the bigger cities. Bigger cities are the primary targets of Jihadi attacks. After all, there aren't enough people out here in Resume Speed, Texas to make an attack worthwhile, plus we'd shoot their asses off if we got half a chance.

With all that, why are us conservatives for actually killing the bad guys while libs want to give them their day in court, festooned with lawyers?

Scott M said...

With all that, why are us conservatives for actually killing the bad guys while libs want to give them their day in court, festooned with lawyers?

Simple. Americans dead at the hands of those SOB's piss me off and I want to prevent them at just about all costs.

Darrell said...

What is the agent's name?

al-Qaeda knows. And that's the point. Plus they know all who gave him recommendations.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What is the agent's name?

You want his address too? Pictures of his house. A Google Earth photo. Mapquest directions How about the location and photos of his wife and children. Maybe some photos of the undercover agent so his identity will be forever compromised?

tim in vermont said...

"Link to a website that has links to news stories that include a lot of ambiguities, and then add a couple of sentences to fan the flames and promote web hits." - MadisonMan

I am sure the left made a similar sober analysis of the "Plame Affair."

Actually, I am sure they didn't. Just as the fact that the details came out show their was a leak on this, a leak harmful to civilian aviation security throughout the West. Cui Bono? To borrow a phrase from the kind of air tight steel trap sort of thinking we get from the Left.

This is very instructional to learn the kinds of arguments you guys think are persuasive for next time an R is elected and so automatically considered illegitimate by the Left.

36fsfiend said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"You want his address too? Pictures of his house. A Google Earth photo. Mapquest directions How about the location and photos of his wife and children. Maybe some photos of the undercover agent so his identity will be forever compromised?"

Why not? We got all kinds of info about Plame.

Scott M said...

Why not? We got all kinds of info about Plame.

And you think this is equivalent? That's a yes or no question to you. Saying "Althouse seems to think so" or some such won't cut it.

36fsfiend said...

Scott M said...

“And you think this is equivalent? That's a yes or no question to you. Saying "Althouse seems to think so" or some such won't cut it.”

Ann stated this incident was a much more serious breach of security than the case of Valerie Plame that everyone once cared so deeply about.

How do we know this? How many covert operatives were killed after Plame’s identity was revealed?

MadisonMan said...

I am sure the left made a similar sober analysis of the "Plame Affair."

It's fairly easy to search Althouse.

I made lots of comments here, for example. I think I was sober. Drunk blogging is so not me.

Althouse was not blogging when Plame was outed.

Balfegor said...

Re: MadisonMan:

The only thing certain in this story, as far as I can tell, is that the Brits got someone to infiltrate AQAP -- that's huge, and the loss of that asset is huge -- that may have helped to pinpoint drones and to expose an underwear plot. And that the story may have emerged too early.

I think that -- the leak -- is the news here. If you follow through the links, it's U.S. officials blaming a leak for the timing:

Officials say the intelligence operation was revealed prematurely because of a media report.

Authorities say they wanted to keep the undercover operation going but were forced to cut it short because of news reports in the U.S. that revealed the operation.

There's a lot of quotations of former intelligence officials calling the leaks "despicable" etc. But nothing on-record from anyone within either CIA or MI6 (which is proper). Nothing has come out that clearly fingers administration operatives for the leak, but the timing and cui bono make one extremely suspicious.

Scott M said...

How do we know this? How many covert operatives were killed after Plame’s identity was revealed?

I read the article. I'm asking you pointedly. Is it equivalent or not?

Matthew Sablan said...

"How many covert operatives were killed after Plame’s identity was revealed?"

According to Bob Woodward, people were embarrassed. That was it. Also, they couldn't talk about it at dinner parties any more.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

the case of Valerie Plame that everyone once cared so deeply about.

Who is this everyone of which you speak?

Nathan Alexander said...

Thank you, 36fiends and Madison Man, for providing the liberal's final bs defense, the epistemological doubt question.

Because how do we really know for sure what really happened? And until we have personal, indisputable knowledge and have held the paper in our hands and/or seen the life fade from their eyes, we can't be completely, totally, absolutely sure.*

*Full disclosure: this standard is only applied to Democrats, liberals, progressives, socialists, or Marxists. If a conservative, Republican, Christian, libertarian, free market activist (or other Enemy of the People) is or can be implicated, then it is okay to believe the worst BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY, or "where there's smoke, there's fire", or "appearance of impropriety" principle. Remember, these last three standards of evidence must never be applied to Democrats, liberals, progressives, socialists, or Marxists.

Bruce Hayden said...

Valerie Plame was a part of the same social circle as the editors of the NYT and WaPo. Her husband was a wealthy, powerful Democrat. She mattered.

I still have a hard time believing that the Dems managed to pull that off. Plame's husband goes on one of those Sunday talk shows or something as an expert on foreign policy to rip Bush. Big visibility nationally. Ok, who is this guy. Well, rumor is that that his beautiful wife is a spy working at the CIA. Oh really? And, now Scooter Libby, top aid of hated VP Cheney is a convicted felon, despite never having really done anything wrong.

So, instead of the aid to the VP going down through the appointment of a special prosecutor who trapped him into perjury when he couldn't remember, we have instead an AG who makes all his decisions politically (and likely racially), who is sandbagging Congress over Fast and Furious, and is about to be charged with contempt. And, meanwhile, instead of trying to find out who outed this real agent (unlike Plame who sat a desk at Langley). This is what AG Holder should be investigating (along with super-Dem John Corzine), instead of Sheriff Joe for investigating the President's bona fides and making his prisoners wear pink and live in tents.

36fsfiend said...

Scott M said...

"I read the article. I'm asking you pointedly. Is it equivalent or not?"

Again, Ann stated this incident was a much more serious breach of security than the case of Valerie Plame."

How do we know this to be true?

Balfegor said...

That said, one hopes that whoever leaked this is going to get punished severely. Government officials have boasted of their ability to track who journalists talk to:

"I was told in a rather cocky manner" by a national security representative, Ms. Dalglish recalled, that "the Risen subpoena is one of the last you'll see."

She continued, paraphrasing the official: "We don't need to ask who you're talking to. We know.
"

Ha ha.

Bruce Hayden said...

Who is this everyone of which you speak?

The Dem A-list, or maybe B-list cocktail circuit in Washington, D.C. The Wilsons were well known members, which meant that whenever her name came up, in the press or with the big name Dems, they would all say, oh, you mean Valerie - she is so beautiful, and Joe, her husband is such a great guy. What a great couple. This is horrible.

36fsfiend said...

Matthew Sablan said...

"According to Bob Woodward, people were embarrassed. That was it. Also, they couldn't talk about it at dinner parties any more."

Not sure Bob Woodward would know about covert operatives being killed.

Matthew Sablan said...

"How do we know this to be true?"

-- Because there are reports that people could die, as opposed to had their feelings hurt. Did you even read the blog?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I read the article. I'm asking you pointedly. Is it equivalent or not?..."

36 is another partisan hack. Outing covert agents and launching undeclared wars are fine as long as its done by a Democrat.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Not sure Bob Woodward would know about covert operatives being killed."

-- Armitage told him about Plame, probably would tell him other stuff too. Also, pretty much everyone from the CIA who has been free to talk about it has said it was an inconvenience at most. Do you pay attention to the things you talk about? This is common knowledge.

Scott M said...

How do we know this to be true?

I apologize, numbernoun. It's my fault for forgetting that you cannot answer a straight question with a straight answer.

Balfegor said...

Re: 36fsfiend:

How do we know this to be true?

We can engage in hypotheticals, but in terms of what's known to the public, we already have concrete statements that (a) a specific long-running operation had to be terminated because of this leak, and (b) the individuals's life was put in danger. We didn't have any of that after Colin Powell's deputy leaked Plame's name, just hypotheticals.

So we don't know. But the weight of public evidence is all on one side.

36fsfiend said...

Matthew Sablan said...

"-- Armitage told him about Plame, probably would tell him other stuff too. Also, pretty much everyone from the CIA who has been free to talk about it has said it was an inconvenience at most. Do you pay attention to the things you talk about? This is common knowledge."

If there were other covert operatives involved, by law they cannot talk about them.

36fsfiend said...

Scott M,

You're the one not answering the question.

Matthew Sablan said...

36 -- They said that it was not harmed. Not only that, Plame's identity was well known before Armitage blabbed. There is no reason to believe she was doing significant covert work.

Yet, you seem to insist on talking about this instead of the fact that the Obama administration is so full of leaks that we harmed valuable intelligence assets (a running theme in the administration).

Plame is old, and not really important, news. If you think Plame was bad, then you have to acknowledge this is even worse. Unless there are phantom agents whose cover was blown that the media -- in an age where everyone was leaking to them to harm the administration -- somehow missed it and could only find people saying: "Yeah... not much really happened," even when that was not a popular (or lucrative) thing to say. A tell-all book about one person hurt by the Plame leak would make someone a hero overnight, and rich. Yet, no one bit.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If there were other covert operatives involved, by law they cannot talk about them."

-- Didn't stop Armitage, Plame or her husband before hand.

Bruce Hayden said...

Balfegor - this leak business is going to be interesting. In the past, the press was pretty much immune when it came to leaks. Think Woodward and Bernstein and the Pentagon Papers. Think of how that would have played out under the Obama Administration. They would have been subpoenaed, and their sources demanded. No "deep throat". Etc.

But, what goes around, comes around, and the Obama Administration has built precedent that there is no real press shield law from the FBI. So, just wait until the next time that the Republicans are in power, and something important to national defense is leaked, and watch the NYT and WaPo scream like stuck pigs, when their reporters are forced by this precedent to give up their sources. It may not be this election, but will come in the next couple, when a Republican retakes the White House.

36fsfiend said...

Balfegor said...

"So we don't know."

Thank you.

Matthew Sablan said...

Bruce: The White House has been very, very harsh on whistle blowers. They've fired two or three IGs as well for not finding in their favor. Another thing that a Republican administration could not have gotten away with.

Balfegor said...

Re: Matthew Sablan:

Yet, you seem to insist on talking about this instead of the fact that the Obama administration is so full of leaks that we harmed valuable intelligence assets (a running theme in the administration).

Actually, one welcome trend in the Obama administration is that they have been ferocious about prosecuting government officials who leak to the press:

That does not seem to be the view of the Obama administration, which has brought more prosecutions against current or former government officials for providing classified information to the media than every previous administration combined.

36fsfiend said...

Matthew Sablan said...

"Yet, you seem to insist on talking about this instead of the fact that the Obama administration is so full of leaks that we harmed valuable intelligence assets (a running theme in the administration)."

Who in the Obama administration leaked the information?

Matthew Sablan said...

We don't know for sure, but we have plenty of evidence, that all points in one direction, overwhelmingly so, in fact. But, alas, you can't be 100% certain because it would be inconvenient to have to admit the ball was dropped during this particular football spiking.

MadisonMan said...

@Nathan, my comment was more on the business side of blogging -- on how to generate hits.

Don't be credulous when a website tells you what you want to read.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Who in the Obama administration leaked the information?"

-- Sounds like a job for a special prosecutor, which I'm game for. Good luck seeing one actually happen. They started the one on Plame for less.

Matthew Sablan said...

Which, if you really want the truth, you should be game for. If you think that the media and the government are lying, and that the leak did not originate with intelligence officials in the administration, then a special prosecutor will clear their names and find how our intelligence has been compromised. If it did not come from the administration, that's an even bigger story.

So, if it wasn't the administration or the intelligence community (one in the same, mind you), who do you think leaked it? And, mind you, convinced ABC and others to say it was the administration.

Pastafarian said...

From the article:

"The double-agent hadn’t been recruited and placed by the CIA, but by British intelligence, who also managed the operation. In fact, the Americans had only recently been made aware of the joint British-Saudi effort."

I remember Jim Spice, I think, dropping by with the sneering comment "Thanks George Bush!" when news of this foiled plot first came out -- implying that this was another great victory for Obama and we conservative commenters just couldn't give him credit for his mad terrorist-bustin' skillz.

I'm sure the fact that this was a British operation that Obama wasn't even aware of will get lots of play in the media.

Pastafarian said...

MadMan: "Don't be credulous when a website tells you what you want to read."

I'm waiting for your alternative explanation. If this wasn't leaked by the Obama administration, then who leaked it? Was there anyone else who stood to gain from such a leak, other than POTUS or AQ (but I repeat myself)?

Careful, MadMan. Your "centrist" mask is slipping. You need to nudge it just a bit to the right. When you have to criticize sourcing on something like this...it reminds one of the left's propensity for demanding to know the credentials of someone making an argument, rather than examining the argument itself.

EDH said...

Romney needs to come out and say unlike the Osama raid, my administration would never do this.

Balfegor said...

Re: Pastafarian:

I'm waiting for your alternative explanation. If this wasn't leaked by the Obama administration, then who leaked it? Was there anyone else who stood to gain from such a leak, other than POTUS or AQ (but I repeat myself)?

Well, there's an assumption that the leak was deliberate built in there. The innocent explanation here is incompetence -- some junior official or administration man inadvertently let key facts slip to a journalist over drinks or something, the administration (somehow) wasn't able to pressure the media into killing the story the way they've done in the past, so they decided to make lemonade out of the lemons.

Bruce Hayden said...

Bruce: The White House has been very, very harsh on whistle blowers. They've fired two or three IGs as well for not finding in their favor. Another thing that a Republican administration could not have gotten away with.

Which may be part of the reason that the DoJ IG does not seem to have worked very hard to uncover who authorized Fast and Furious, and who knew of the operation. Rather, she seems to be running interference for her old boss, AG Holder (she used to work for him, and did so closely, when he was USA for DC).

Michael The Magnificent said...

Now all they have to do is somehow pin this on Scooter Libby. Then it'll be Bush's fault.

damikesc said...

"The double-agent hadn’t been recruited and placed by the CIA, but by British intelligence, who also managed the operation. In fact, the Americans had only recently been made aware of the joint British-Saudi effort."

Well, we could blame THEM for trusting us.

"You know I can't keep a secret, baby" - Barack Obama

The Crack Emcee said...

Valerie Plame was a bullshit story - a total lie - and you guys bought it, hook-line-and sinker, leading to what we have today.

Really, if it was me having made so many foolish mistakes - all based on misinformation - I would be so ashamed I wouldn't be capable of showing my face in public.

But Democrats LOVE showing their faces in public.

They also loved being the KKK so what am I saying,...?

Nevermind,...

MadisonMan said...

The real crime, Pastaman, would be if my cynical mask slipped.

DADvocate said...

Geesh. What's the big deal? If it helps Obama get re-elected, what's a few dead secret agents? Get your priorities in order, guys.

jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jim said...

At first glance, this looks like some system blowback from the Kafkaesque nightmare of hypercomplexity that is the present US intel structure.

DHS has been an unmitigated disaster for America's real strategic security, for reasons that have nothing to do with all the money being wasted on scanning children & seniors or confiscating nail-files & jugs of fruit-juice.

President Obama has (shamefully) done little if anything to improve the swamp of noise & redundancy that he inherited from Bush, & in the current Keystone Kops context of far too many many listeners who largely avoid sharing whatever they hear, individual covert ops can easily be compromised despite what should've been clear basic input between two nations.

Saying the exposure of one operative in one terrorist cell is more serious than Libby, Novak et al outing Plame doesn't pass the laugh test.

Plame was a long-time CIA counterterrorism operative, directly responsible for cultivating & monitoring inside sources covertly seeking out attempts by terrorists to get things like bioweapons, nuke precursors, suitcase nukes & nerve gas throughout the Middle East, & her outing simultaneously killed any further input from multiple such arteries of information vital to US national security, in most cases permanently.

Additionally, note that Plame's outing was not a slip-up but pure political dirty pool. The person inside the Obama Administration who exposed the British operative to needless danger should either resign or be fired, & Americans have every right to demand an independant investigation if this action does not ensue ... recall that in contrast, Bush summarily pardoned "Scooter" Libby with a shrug & a grin, acting as if the malicious compromising of Mid-East couterterrorism intel was mere fraternity hijinx - & that despite many indications that the impetus for Plame's criminal outing originated within the Executive branch at the top levels, no further investigations, indictments or convictions occurred.

george said...

Just a reminder that there was also a leak recently giving away the fact that the Israelis were negotiating for basing rights nearer Iran. That leak in particular was beneficial to Obama's desire to see action put off until after the election.

When Bush was in office we saw leaks that were meant to undermine him. Now the leaks seem aimed at bolstering Obama. It is not hard to imagine them coming from the same people in our intelligence agencies or being the result of the same rotten culture. Fellow travelers are always more dedicated to the cause than they are to their country.

raf said...

1)Scooter Libby was not pardoned.

2)The leak came out of the State Department, not the White House.

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse,

yet another case where it was coear in 2008 that John McCain would have been better as the guardian of US secrets, interests and allies.

He, resident of a POW camp, son and grandson of Admirals, understands that:

Lose lips, sink ships....

ken in sc said...

Libby was not pardoned. His sentence was commuted. He should have been pardoned.