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Newest GOP talking point

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Republican hack Joseph di Genova is now saying on TV that the indictment "proves" that no one in the White House knew Valerie Plame was an undercover agent so they've been exonerated.


1. You know someone is CIA.

2. You know people have no idea that this person is CIA - that's per se, since Scooter was intentionally trying to LET people know. If he thought people already knew, he wouldn't have been trying to spread the word.

3. You also know that you have no idea WHAT this person's status is - covert or overt agent.

4. You know that you have no way of KNOWING whether this person might actually be a covert agent since even if you think she's overt, she might actually be covert because that's the way these kind of sneaky things work in the world of spies.

5. So Scooter and Rove did not know for sure whether Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA agent, yet they outed her anyway. What di Genova seems to be saying, and any other Bush defenders would be saying, is that it's okay to out a CIA agent so long as you make super duper sure that you DON'T find out that agent's status, overt or covert.

So long as you don't do your due diligence, so long as you don't try to find out whether this agent might be an undercover agent and that your blowing her cover might seriously damage national security, so long as you do NOTHING of the kind to try to find out if what you're about to do may literally kill people, then there's no problem at all in your doing it.

In other words, if you want to out CIA agents and risk the lives of countless Americans while our country is at war, just make sure you don't inquire first as to whether it might be a problem. So long as you're negligent, you're a Republican hero.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I've worked with a lot of CIA agents from my time working on arms control issues in the Senate, to my stint with the US embassy in Argentina, and beyond. I had security clearances way beyond top secret. The cardinal rule is that you do NOT tell ANYONE that they're CIA, regardless of their status. And if you aren't sure about their status, you sure as hell don't tell anyone that they're CIA. Scooter Libby and Karl Rove have lived in this town long enough to know that loose lips sink ships, especially when talking about CIA agents. To suggest that somehow they simply made an oopsie is an insult to everyone who has ever put their lives on the line for our country.


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