10:22 AM, Apr 9, 2014 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
My review of former top CIA lawyer John Rizzo’s book Company Man appears in the current issue of this magazine. A friend in a high place who read the review pointed out to me that the book adds something significant to our understanding of the Valerie Plame, Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, Judith Miller, Robert Novak imbroglio.
Rizzo is evidently the first CIA official—and he was a high ranking one—to go on the record to acknowledge that the leak to columnist Robert Novak of the fact that Valerie Plame was a CIA employee, thereby blowing her undercover status, was not exactly a blow to America’s intelligence collection efforts.
Here is what Rizzo writes about the sequence of events following the agency’s mandatory report to the Justice Department about the breach:
On the scale of such things, the Plame leak, while deplorable, was negligible in terms of harm to national security. I fully expected Justice to treat it the way it treated 99 percent of our crimes reports, which is to say little or do nothing.
Based on the assessment we made, the Plame leak appeared to be a most unlikely candidate for a full-blown Justice/FBI investigation. There was no evidence indicating that any CIA source or operation—or Plame herself, for that matter—was placed in jeopardy as a result of the “outing.” And it appeared that dozens if not hundreds of people knew she was an Agency employee.
At the time, Rizzo advised his boss, CIA director George Tenet, “that there was no way Justice/FBI would devote time and resources to pursue an investigation. Not after having witnessed Justice over the years repeatedly take passes on truly damaging leaks that had far smaller pools of potential suspects.” Obviously, he was very wrong.
What accounts for his error? Rizzo explains that he calculated—or miscalculated—that:
a marginally harmful leak such as the Plame disclosure wouldn’t be prosecuted simply because of the partisan political pressure being applied at the time by opponents of Bush administration policies in Iraq. The crimes reporting process had never been trivialized and distorted like that in all my years at the CIA.
Those are damning words from someone who knows whereof he speaks. For those swept up in the Plame investigation, who spent time in jail, whose reputations were besmirched and whose careers were derailed, they come a decade too late.
12:03 PM, Apr 3, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with A.B. Stoddard and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
Hosted by Michael Graham.5:45 PM, Apr 2, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on the Benghazi testimony in Congress by former acting CIA Director Michael Morrell.
1:50 PM, Apr 2, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Former CIA deputy director Mike Morell, who also served a stint as acting director of Langley, is testifying before House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today. The hearing focuses on the Obama administration’s response to the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
3:02 PM, Mar 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
NBC reporter Chuck Todd shouted a question to President Obama about whether he still has confidence in the CIA director. The president refused to answer the question.
Via the pool report:
How the CIA’s No. 2 misled CongressMar 3, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 24 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, then acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, gave an account of his role on Benghazi that was often misleading and sometimes deliberately false.
ADVANCE article from the March 3, 2014 issue.4:12 PM, Feb 20, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, former deputy director and twice acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, provided an account of his role on Benghazi that was often highly misleading and at times deliberately false.
Feb 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 21 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
For five years, the Obama administration has touted its success in the war against al Qaeda. In formal addresses, daily press briefings, and campaign speeches top administration officials have celebrated the “decimation” of al Qaeda and predicted its imminent extinction.
Dec 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 16 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Truth to tell, The Scrapbook has gotten as good a laugh as anyone out of the saga of John C. Beale, the retired Environmental Protection Agency official—Princeton grad, onetime deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation, congressionally certified expert on global warming—who has been sentenced to 32 months in prison for stealing nearly a million dollars from the federal government.
1:02 AM, Nov 14, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Two former CIA officials who fought in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, were asked to sign additional nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) more than six months after those attacks. The two officials, who will testify Thursday before a subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, were presented the nondisclosure agreements during a memorial service in May at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, honoring Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, two of the CIA-affiliated personnel who died during those attacks.
The NSA in Europe. Nov 11, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 09 • By REUEL MARC GERECHT
It is often remarked that espionage is the second-oldest profession. Written records from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Iran suggest that spying and civilization sprang up together. In antiquity, spies could be the hidden bureaucrats of tyranny or good governance (a ruler needed to know whether a satrap was cheating the crown and its subjects) or, less often, camouflaged itinerants writing home about the machinations of rival city-states, empires, or barbarian tribes. In modern times, espionage went Orwellian, becoming primarily a tool to buttress police states.
11:12 AM, Sep 11, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
On September 3, 2013, CIA director John Brennan sent a letter to House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers responding to questions about CIA-affiliated personnel who were on the ground during the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. The letter is below:
1:00 AM, Sep 11, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
One year after the terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, the survivors may finally begin to talk.
10:54 AM, Aug 21, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Various sites are reporting that the CIA has finally come clean about its role in the 1953 coup that overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq. Monday, on the sixtieth anniversary of the coup, the National Security Archive published on its website The Battle for Iran, a report prepared in the mid-1970s by an in-house CIA historian.
9:48 AM, Aug 19, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Even with all eyes turned toward Egypt and the increasingly violent rifts pulling that society apart, the region’s active civil war in Syria burns on. Last Thursday, the two-and-a half-year-long conflict touched neighboring Lebanon, again, when a bomb detonated in the Hezbollah-held southern suburbs of Beirut killing 27 people and wounding hundreds.