Sunday, July 03, 2005

Rank (and Crank) Speculation 

The Rove Roundup for Sunday, July 3, 2004:

1) BuzzFlash is running an item from an anonymous, not to mention slightly gaga, source who supposedly "has direct access to a major television news network" (as do we, when we remember to pay the cable bill):
I have found out through my national television news sources that the PlameGate prosecutors have "informed" Karl Rove and his attorney that [they] are now seeking a "new inquiry" into just how Valerie Plame's name came to be leaked and "also" that whatever initial deal and/or deals were broached between their offices are now going to have to be put on hold!

Also, Bob Novak is claiming that he was NOT told by Karl Rove, Valerie Plame's name!!!???!!! Of course this represents an interesting turn of events in this matter. This Sunday, news executives were scurrying about like chickens with their heads lopped off trying to figure out just "how to spin" this breaking major news story! Apparently, most of the network television news organizations were aware of Rove's involvement as late as Friday night but were told to put a "hold" on it?
2.) Our eminent colleague Laura Rozen of War & Piece has a likely explanation for the above, and it's based, not surprisingly, on the splitting of a semantic hair:
Is "Wilson's wife" the same thing as "Valerie Plame"? Rove's attorney said Rove "never knowingly disclosed classified information" and that "he did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA." But did he tell Cooper that "Wilson got the job because his wife works for the CIA"?
3.) Our distinguished colleague Jeralyn Merrit of TalkLeft cites the DoJ manual to explain why special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may want both Matt Cooper and Judith Miller to testify:
The "two witness" rule, derived from common law, governs the proof required for a perjury conviction under Section 1621. Weiler v. United States, 323 U.S. 606, 609 (1945). The rule means that a perjury conviction may not rest solely on the uncorroborated testimony of one witness. United States v. Hammer, 271 U.S. 620, 626 (1926). The two witness rule, however, does not require two witnesses to every perjurious statement. The falsity of the perjurious statement may be established either by the testimony of two independent witnesses or by one witness and independent corroborating evidence that is inconsistent with the innocence of the accused. Weiler, 323 U.S. at 610. Also, the second witness need not fully corroborate the first, but must substantiate the other's testimony concerning the defendant's perjurious statement.
4.) Josh Marshall and Laura Rozen last year published a major investigative piece on the role of the Italian intelligence agency SISMI ("or elements within SISMI") in disseminating the forged Nigerian yellowcake documents at the heart of the Plame/Wilson affair. Now, says Marshall,
I've gotten hints or suggestions from several sources over the last month that new information is bubbling to the surface, not about who leaked Valerie Plame's identity, but who was behind the underlying caper that started the whole drama afoot in the first place: those phoney Niger uranium documents.
On a related note, our revered colleague Billmon has a useful yellowcake chronology that separates the earlier, more convincing forgeries from the later crude frauds:
The later Italian forgeries were obvious fakes -- so obvious you can only wonder about the true motives of those who tried to pass them off. Were they really designed to implicate Iraq? Or, as Seymour Hersh has suggested, were they deliberately planted in order to discredit the Cheney White House? . . . .

Sure. Why not. I long ago accepted the fact that we're all living in a bad sequel to The Bourne Identity. But what about the original Niger documents -- the ones the CIA and the DIA found so credible? Who created them? And what was their exact relationship to the SISMI, or MI6, or the CIA, or the Cheney White House?

Interesting questions, although I doubt any of us will ever know the full story. But the really intriguing question is this: Is there anybody out there armed with subpoena power -- like, say, the FBI or Patrick Fitzgerald -- who is trying to find out the full story?
As Billmon remarked in an earlier post, "If there are strands of evidence that tend to walk the responsibility for the production and/or disseminaton of those forged documents back to this side of the Atlantic, and if any of those strands lead towards the U.S. government, or 'an internal working group dealing with Iraq' . . . well, Rove (and others) might find that perjury charges are the least of their worries."

5.) If the above strikes you as somewhat Byzantine, you ain't seen nothin' yet. For a good time, hop over to From the Wilderness and read "Coup D'Etat: The Real Reason Tenet and Pavitt Resigned from the CIA on June 3rd and 4th," by Michael Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon. Building on the Sy Hersh hypothesis mentioned above, Ruppert looks into the [likely] nature of Valerie Plame's NOC work and finds evidence of a coordinated effort to depose the entire Bush regime before "a number of deepening crises" result in "global meltdown" -- in other words, an ongoing coup attempt, undertaken by the CIA in collaboration with (gird your loins!) Big Oil. We warn you in advance that the article is a year old, makes predictions that did not materialize, and quotes Wayne Madsen at length, but it is nonetheless a bravura piece of wild and woolly speculation, with more than a few shiny nuggets of underreported info:
Not only was Plame's cover blown, so was that of her cover company, Brewster, Jennings & Associates. With the public exposure of Plame, intelligence agencies all over the world started searching data bases for any references to her (TIME Magazine). Damage control was immediate, as the CIA asserted that her mission had been connected to weapons of mass destruction.

However, it was not long before stories from the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal tied Brewster, Jennings & Associates to energy, oil and the Saudi-owned Arabian American Oil Company, or ARAMCO. Brewster Jennings had been a founder of Mobil Oil company, one of Aramco's principal founders.

According to additional sources interviewed by Wayne Madsen, Brewster Jennings was, in fact, a well-established CIA proprietary company, linked for many years to ARAMCO. The demise of Brewster Jennings was also guaranteed the moment Plame was outed . . . .

According to an April 29, 2002 report in Britain's Guardian, ARAMCO constitutes 12% of the world's total oil production; a figure which has certainly increased as other countries have progressed deeper into irreversible decline.

ARAMCO is the largest oil group in the world, a state-owned Saudi company in partnership with four major US oil companies. Another one of Aramco’s partners is Chevron-Texaco which gave up one of its board members, Condoleezza Rice, when she became the National Security Advisor to George Bush. All of ARAMCO’s key decisions are made by the Saudi royal family while US oil expertise, personnel and technology keeps the cash coming in and the oil going out. ARAMCO operates, manages, and maintains virtually all Saudi oil fields – 25% of all the oil on the planet . . . .

Knowing all of this, there's really no good reason why the CIA should be too upset [about the outing], is there? It was only a long-term proprietary and deep-cover NOC - well established and consistently producing "take" from ARAMCO (and who knows what else in Saudi Arabia). It was destroyed with a motive of personal vengeance (there may have been other motives) by someone inside the White House.

From the CIA's point of view, at a time when Saudi Arabia is one of the three or four countries of highest interest to the US, the Plame operation was irreplaceable.
Thanks to James Wolcott and our esteemed colleagues Gordon and the Fixer at Alternate Brain for the link.

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