Sunday, July 17, 2005

Let's Keep It Simple

It's About National Security...Stupid!!!



The public debate about the public disclosure of Valerie Plame has become lost in word parsing, factual accuracies of Joe Wilson's report, legal hair splitting and weasel wording, and who said what to whom. The Republican National committee has even issued a set of talking points to keep the debate and focus off what should be a central issue: what damage did this disclosure do to our national security.

Novak's disclosure, that Valerie Plame "is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction," started databases churning in every intelligence service over the globe. Just to make the work of our enemies easier, Novak subsequently published an article stating that Plame worked for Brewster-Jennings & Associates, which it turns out, was a CIA cover company.

Lost in the inside-the-beltway, eye-glazing analysis, by Sabbath Gasbags, talk radio pontificates, and access party hopping journalists, is what were the outcomes of these disclosures.

We know that Jennings Brewster is a cover company for the CIA, and now so do our enemies.

We know that JBA's cover was as an energy consulting firm with ties in the most volatile area of the globe, the middle east. One writer claims that BJA worked with ARAMCO, the Saudi-owned Arabian American Oil Company. We know that BJA agents worked on intelligence and operations surrounding weapons of mass destruction. We know that proliferation of WMDs is our greatest national security threat. We know that various terrorist groups are trying to get their hands on WMDs, including nuclear weapons and components.

We know that the CIA agents working under this cover did so with No Official Cover (NOC). They don't have the black diplomatic passports that provide many in the intelligence community with a get out of jail free card. NOC agents are subject to arrest, imprisonment, and even execution, when they are captured on foreign soil.

We know that the Justice Department launched the investigation at the request of the CIA. ""If she was not undercover, we would have no reason to file a criminal referral," the CIA official said."

The questions that need to be answered:

What missions were compromised as a result of this disclosure?

What, if any, increase in risks are we now facing from trafficking in WMDs? Were there active missions that were making it more difficult for our enemies to acquire WMDs?

What assets were lost due to this disclosure? Have agents or informants been arrested, deported, or executed? Were ties between BJA severed? What was the value lost by exposing BJA as a CIA cover?

When we get down to what's really at issue here, it's not about a political game. It's about the increased danger this political dirty trick put us, and the damage to our intelligence assets.

Related:

Naming agent endangers lives, experts decide

The Big Lie About Valerie Plame

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