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Letter to RNC re Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney and the Case Against Scooter Libby
Thursday, 14 June 2007 10:35
by Larry C. Johnson

The following letter is signed by former CIA officers who have previously spoken out in support of Valerie Plame Wilson. We are concerned that the reaction to the Scooter Libby case by some Republicans undermines the rule of law. The letter, while highly critical of Thompson, Giuliani, and Romney, does praise former Governor Jim Gilmore and Congressman Ron Paul for their stand in supporting the law.

The Honorable Mel Martinez General Chairman
The Republican National Committee
310 First Street, SE Washington, D.C. 20003

As former intelligence officers — most of us have served the United States in undercover positions — we are saddened and appalled by the recent public comments of former Senator Fred Thompson, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former Governor Mitt Romney — one a potential candidate and the other two declared candidates for the Republican nomination for President — with respect to the perjury and obstruction of justice conviction of Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

These men misrepresent the case against Mr. Libby and call into question the integrity of a respected Federal Judge and U.S. attorney. Their positions with respect to the just and fair punishment meted out to Mr Libby raise serious questions about their commitment to the rule of law free of partisan bias.

We are particularly concerned by the recent speech by Fred Thompson, who declared: As you may recall, for some inexplicable reason, the CIA sent the husband of one of its employees to Niger on a sensitive mission. She had suggested it. He came back to the U.S. and proceeded to publicly blast the administration. Naturally, everyone wanted to know “who is this guy?” and “why was he sent to Niger?” Just as naturally, the fact that he was married to Valerie Plame at the CIA was leaked.

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Having virtually guaranteed that Ms. Plame’s identity would be ultimately disclosed by using her, shall we say, “politically active” husband, the CIA then demanded that this leak of her name be investigated by the Justice Department for a possible violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

The Justice Department, bowing to political and media pressure, appointed a Special Counsel to investigate the leak and promised that the Justice Department would exercise no supervision over him whatsoever — a status even the Attorney General does not have.

The only problem with this little scenario was that there was no violation of the law, by anyone, and everybody — the CIA, the Justice Department and the Special Counsel knew it. Ms. Plame was not a “covered person” under the statute and it was obvious from the outset.

Furthermore, Justice and the Special Counsel knew who leaked Plames’s name and it wasn’t Scooter Libby. But the Beltway machinery was well oiled and geared up so the Special Counsel spent the next two years moving heaven and earth to come up with something, anything. Finally he came up with some inconsistent recollections by Scooter Libby, who had been up to his ears studying National Intelligence Estimates. But he worked for Dick Cheney, so that apparently was enough for the special counsel.

The factual errors in Mr. Thompson’s statement are almost as egregious as his partisan view that perjury and obstruction of justice are not serious crimes. For example, Thompson states that there is something implausible about sending Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate reports that Iraq was trying to buy yellow cake uranium. In fact, Ambassador Wilson was uniquely qualified for the mission. Having served as the acting Ambassador in Iraq and faced down Saddam Hussein, Ambassador Wilson also was the Director of Africa in the National Security Council and had served as an Ambassador in west Africa and monitored the uranium mining activity of the country where he was stationed.

Former Senator Thompson persists with the lie that there was no “violation” of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA). But his claim is debunked by Federal Judge Reginald Walton and Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who, after reviewing the classified personnel file of Valerie Plame Wilson, stated that she was in fact covered by the IIPA when Robert Novak printed her name in July of 2003.

It also is important to correct the record that Valerie Wilson did not suggest sending her husband to Niger. She responded to an inquiry from her supervisor and provided a memo laying out his capabilities.

The decision to send Ambassador Wilson to Niger was made by a senior official in the Counter Proliferation Division of the CIA. Fred Thompson also is factually wrong by claiming that Joe Wilson returned from the trip, “and proceeded to publicly blast the administration”.

This is not true. Ambassador Wilson made no public statements critical of the Administration’s claims about the alleged purchase of yellowcake uranium until May of 2003 — more than 15 months after returning from the trip and only after the President made the specious claim in the State of the Union address

Our concern about Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney is narrower but important — are these men committed to a rule of law free of partisan influence? During the last Republican debate Rudy Giuliani said that: he'd have to wait for the appeals process to play out to see if Libby met the criteria for a pardon. However, the former federal prosecutor said he believes the sentence imposed on Libby was "way out of line." Mr. Giuliani had a different standard for charges of perjury and obstruction of justice on September 11, 1987: The United States Attorney in Manhattan, Rudolph W. Giuliani, declared yesterday that the one-year prison sentence that a Queens judge received for perjury was "somewhat shocking." "A sentence of one year seemed to me to be very lenient," Mr. Giuliani said, when asked to comment on the sentence imposed Wednesday on Justice Francis X. Smith, the former Queens administrative judge...

Justice Smith was convicted of committing perjury before a grand jury investigating corruption in the city, Mr. Giuliani said later, adding that "he could have helped root out corruption" by cooperating with the grand jury.

Mr. Romney’s statement is more outrageous. He accused Patrick Fitzgerald of abusing "prosecutorial discretion." The case against Mr. Libby is straightforward. He blocked the efforts of Federal agents to investigate the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA officer who was covered by the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Mr. Libby lied to Federal law enforcement officials investigating the leak. Most importantly, Mr. Libby was convicted in a fair trial of perjury and obstruction of justice

This is not an issue of Republican versus Democrat. The signatories of this letter include registered Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. We believe that Republicans and Democrats alike must commit themselves to upholding the rule of law and refusing to use clandestine CIA officers as a political football. In this regard we find that the recent comments by Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney sadly wanting and unworthy of the highest elected office in the United States.

We are pleased, however, that the Republican Party is offering candidates who do believe in the rule of law. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore and U.S. Congressman Ron Paul spoke boldly and reaffirmed the commitment of Republicans to uphold the rule of law.

Both emphasized that the law must be applied to Mr. Libby, regardless of his social standing or wealth. We believe that Governor Gilmore and Congressman Paul reflect the values espoused by Ronald Reagan.

Good intelligence should not be a partisan issue. It is a professional obligation of intelligence officers to provide politicians with the best information and their best judgment. And it is the professional obligation of politicians to uphold the rule of law and ensure that the Constitution of the United States is upheld and enforced. On this critical issue we believe that the statements by Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney do damage to the reputation of the Republican Party and undermine public respect for the judicial system.

Respectfully yours,

Ray Close, Directorate of Operations
James Marcinkowski, Directorate of Operations
Philip Giraldi, Directorate of Operations
Michael Grimaldi, Directorate of Intelligence
Ray McGovern, Directorate of Intelligence
Melvin Goodman, Directorate of Intelligence
Larry Johnson, Directorate of Intelligence
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council .
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Comments (8)add comment

a guest said:

More of Larry Johnson's pro-CIA Propaganda
This looks like more of Larry Johnson's pro-CIA propaganda,
something that he has become famous for. Larry Johnson has
established quite a reputation for organizing smear campaigns
and controlled blogs where his fellow CIA liars weigh in and
support his position.
In addition to libel and receiving classified information to
which he is not entitled I have to wonder what other misdeeds
Larry is hiding.
June 14, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

Wow, as an intelligence professional myself, it baffles me that these CIA employees are so partisan themselves. Mr. Libby was not convicted nor charged with leaking the Valerie Plame's identity. Dick Armitage did so and nothing has happened to him even though he admitted to doing so. Why? Because although a person maybe be "under cover" there are differing layers of cover and hers was not covered under the act, this according to the people that authored the act. Pointing out that a bias judge and a bias and pressured prosecutor interpreted her status as being under the act is nothing but a big "duh!". Hence the bias prosecution. But if the interpreted it to be such, then why was he not charged under the act? The CIA has been the focus of numerous follies, lies and mishandled and embarrassing events...this is just another one in which they were caught. Trust me, there are way more liberal kooks in Washington that work in the intelligence field then people think and most are more interested in destroying their boss, the administration and anyone that is conservative than they are interested in providing reliable, timely intelligence...which, of course, is their job.
June 14, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

For me, the whole matter of did scooter libby commit an originating crime to commit perjury about, is completely irrelavant to the question of should he get a pardon for said perjury. (It's funny that a presidential aspirant should equate perjury with "inconsistent recollections" - perhaps this is a forshadowing of how they would deal with any scandals in their tenure as C-in-C.)

Many people in our society have been prosecuted for lying to investigators, even though they did nothing else wrong. Martha Stewart's case leaps to mind as a most recent example. She was never convicted of insider trading, only of lying to the investigators on her case. Yet she recieved no pardon. She served her time just like everyone else. And her case was just about some money.

Let Scooter Libby get his "Good Behavior" credit, and let him serve his sentence. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
June 14, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

What a load of ****? Good luck with Hillary in the WH...if you buy this quackjob of a letter, you will be wishing that you understood the politics going on here by Plame.
June 14, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

the cia usually gets it right
its the politicans that fuck it up and bring in their outside "team B" advisors.

it doesn't shock me at all that i've seen more cia people that got there by working their way up the ladder, rather than by appointment support ron paul.

most people don't even understand what the CIA does. its a room full of nerds reading newspapers. all that black ops shit is for the movies, and you're a sucker for hollywood if you believe any of it.

June 15, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

It is understandable some individual CIA professionals would be terribly upset at the statements by Fred Thompson. Fred is a learned attorney and actually may not have much political gain in his stance. It is a hard-rock position and he is in possession of his facts. If the actual goal was to make others think hard before ever revealing covert individuals, I believe that purpose has been served emphatically. It would make me afraid of ever going before a judge for such an offense as I might wind up in front of a publicity seeking jurist who doesn't care if he heaps injustice upon injustice. I gotta go with Fred on this.

Don Jones
June 15, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

Fred Thompson is a LAME DUCK in waiting
Fred Thompson is a neocon globalist not unlike McCain.

Although Fred Thompson is tougher than McCain and Giuliani on border enforcement, which isn't saying much seeing how they line up with Barack Obama, he had a rather lackluster record on immigration while in the Senate. As one commentator notes: "Overall, Americans for Better Immigration gives [Thompson] a career grade of C; on chain migration, C; visa lottery, C-; reducing unnecessary visas, F; on reducing asylum fraud, C-; on reducing amnesties, D; and on interior enforcement, C . Although he was tough on border control, he was lacking in almost every other area."

Fred Thompson also supports affirmative action, and ideologically worships free trade, regardless how much it harms America. Historically, conservatives have opposed free trade, but Thompson, like others, has been "neoconned" into backing it.

He furthermore is a "fellow" at the American Enterprise Institute, one of the largest (and most sinister) neocon think-tanks, which demonstrates where his true loyalty lies. If you did not receive the Burkean memo, the transformation of the Middle East to liberal democracy is Jacobin, not conservative. There is not a single thing conservative about the membership of AEI. They are neocon / neoliberal globalists.

Why are neoncons backing Thompson? Ideally, being ex-Trotskyites themselves, neocons would prefer a liberal candidate, like McCain, Giuliani or Romney. But they see that conservatives deplore these candidates, and now are going to try to peddle Fred Thompson, who is just socially conservative enough and just tough enough on the borders, even if it is feigned, to woo naive GOP voters. But let's hope this nefarious neocon plot fails.

Let's pray that the more real conservatives learn about Fred Thompson, the more unacceptable he will appear. Use your BRAIN America, and not fall for sharply dressed, full set of 'sexy' hair (Romney/Edwards), nor for someone who 'Acts' on TV.

A Dean of a College I know was touting a large RUDY sign. I asked him why Rudy, and he said, "Because he's from MY state...I gotta support the home team!". This guy has a MASTERS DEGREE and TEACHES! He has no friggin clue. I encourage all of you to not vote on 'popularity' but rather on who is the best candidate for the job. Fred Thompson will KEEP US IN IRAQ FOR A LONG LONG TIME according to his Fox News interview. Please research for yourselves America. It should make you puke if you truely knew who some of these people are.
June 15, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

June 15, 2007 | url
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