Wilson Is Lying Again

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On CNN last weekend, Joe Wilson claimed Fitzgerald confirmed that his wife was covert.*

But nonetheless, there's now clear evidence that Mr. Rove was leaking classified information. Mr. Fitzgerald made it very clear: my wife was a covert officer at the time that these people were leaking her name.

Once again, Wilson is lying. What Fitzgerald actually said is:

I am not speaking to whether or not Valerie Wilson was covert. And anything I say is not intended to say anything beyond this: that she was a CIA officer from January 1st, 2002, forward.

I will confirm that her association with the CIA was classified at that time through July 2003. And all I'll say is that, look, we have not made any allegation that Mr. Libby knowingly, intentionally outed a covert agent.

Wilson's wife may, indeed, have been a covert agent. But Fitzgerald did not confirm that (probably because whether she is covert is classified, and if he could not bring a charge that anyone intentionally outed a covert agent, there's no reason to confirm whether she is covert).

This makes me think Wilson leaked classified information this weekend. Since Fitzgerald did not confirm his wife was covert, if she was covert, and if Wilson knew she was, then Wilson was revealing classified information himself. And doing it only to make an attack against his political enemies. That is, it seems that Wilson this weekend, "[talked to] journalists and leak[ed] national security information," the very thing he is accusing Rove of doing. Oops. (Not that this in any way helps Libby [or Rove, if he is indicted]. I am not defending Libby or Rove or anyone else, who should be fired if they leaked classified information, and go to jail if it was a crime to do so; rather, I am attacking Wilson, because he is being made into a saint, quite undeservingly.)

Not that this is the only incorrect interpretation of Fitzgerald's words. There are many. For example, many pundits have said Fitzgerald has shown there was no conspiracy to release classified information, which is false. Instead, has refused to comment on such things. There very well could be additional indictments coming, against Rove or even Cheney, for outing a covert agent.

And while those on the left are correct to point this out, it is also true that such an event is unlikely, despite their deepest hopes. Fitzgerald said:

OK, is the investigation finished? It's not over, but I'll tell you this: very rarely do you bring a charge in a case that's going to be tried and would you ever end a grand jury investigation.

I can tell you, the substantial bulk of the work in this investigation is concluded. This grand jury's term has expired by statute; it could not be extended. But it's in ordinary course to keep a grand jury open to consider other matters, and that's what we will be doing.

Basically: he does not expect more indictments, but they are possible. This is far different from those who say they expect more indictments, when Fitzgerald himself doesn't. But it is also not an affirmation that there was no conspiracy, let alone that charges won't be brought.

[* Important note: in the CNN.com transcript, after the word "clear" they put a period, and a new paragraph, making those two separate thoughts. The transcript makes it seem like Wilson is not saying that Fitzgerald said his wife was covert, but that Wilson himself is adding that information.

But the CNN rendering is wrong. If you watch the video (linked to on that page, about 2 minutes in), there is no additional pause between the words "clear" and "my wife" which would imply such a rendering in the transcript. It seemed absolutely clear to me the first and several subsequent times that I watched it that Wilson was saying that Fitzgerald said "my wife was a covert officer."

If the CNN.com transcript is the accurate rendering of Wilson's meaning (which I have no reason to suspect is true), then Wilson's words "Fitzgerald made it very clear" have to refer to "there's now clear evidence that Mr. Rove was leaking classified information" if not "my wife was a covert officer at the time that these people were leaking her name." But Fitzgerald explicitly disavowed that he was saying either of these things. So Wilson is lying either way. ] slashdot.org

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"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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