Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | October 01, 2003

Plame's former classmate vents

Who is Larry Johnson? A former CIA analyst and classmate of Valerie Plame. He's also a Republicans.

And he had this to say on the NewsHour:

TERENCE SMITH: Larry Johnson, explain what the dangers are that are inherent in identifying an undercover operator. What is the worry here?

LARRY JOHNSON: Let's be very clear about what happened. This is not an alleged abuse. This is a confirmed abuse. I worked with this woman. She started training with me. She has been undercover for three decades, she is not as Bob Novak suggested a CIA analyst. But given that, I was a CIA analyst for four years. I was undercover. I could not divulge to my family outside of my wife that I worked for the Central Intelligence Agency until I left the agency on September 30, 1989. At that point I could admit it.

So the fact that she's been undercover for three decades and that has been divulged is outrageous because she was put undercover for certain reasons. One, she works in an area where people she meets with overseas could be compromised. When you start tracing back who she met with, even people who innocently met with her, who are not involved in CIA operations, could be compromised. For these journalists to argue that this is no big deal and if I hear another Republican operative suggesting that well, this was just an analyst fine, let them go undercover. Let's put them overseas and let's out them and then see how they like it. They won't be able to stand the heat [...]

LARRY JOHNSON: I say this as a registered Republican. I'm on record giving contributions to the George Bush campaign. This is not about partisan politics. This is about a betrayal, a political smear of an individual with no relevance to the story. Publishing her name in that story added nothing to it. His entire intent was correctly as Ambassador Wilson noted: to intimidate, to suggest that there was some impropriety that somehow his wife was in a decision making position to influence his ability to go over and savage a stupid policy, an erroneous policy and frankly, what was a false policy of suggesting that there were nuclear material in Iraq that required this war. This was about a political attack. To pretend that it's something else and to get into this parsing of words, I tell you, it sickens me to be a Republican to see this.

This transcript is proving extremely influential. It's gotten attention from Drudge, which led Andrew Sullivan to admit that perhaps, just maybe, this whole thing is a big deal after all. Tweety got the chair of the RNC to agree this would be worse than Watergate.
Hardball (MSNBC - 9/30/03):

CHRIS MATTHEWS:  Don't you think it's more serious than Watergate, when you think about it?

RNC CHAIRMAN ED GILLESPIE:  I think if the allegation is true, to reveal the identity of an undercover CIA operative -- it's abhorrent, and it should be a crime, and it is a crime.

CHRIS MATTHEWS:  It'd be worse than Watergate, wouldn't it?

GILLESPIE:  It's -- Yeah, I suppose in terms of the real world implications of it.  It's not just politics.

This is serious shit. Only the most blindly partisans will continue defending the administration.

I remember writing, way back, that Republicans always overreached when they got power. I made the rather obvious prediction that hubris would bring the administration down.

I just wish that hubris wasn't endangering our national security.

Posted October 01, 2003 01:25 AM | Comments (125)


Bush Administration
Business and Economy
Foreign Policy

© 2002. Steal all you want.
(For non-commercial use, that is.)