Thursday, September 21, 2006

When was Brewster Jennings' cover blown?

Miguel in the comments writes:
"Something just occurred to me. Maybe I'm a little dense to not think of this is before . But if Director Mathieu is correct, and several of his sources hypothesize that Sibel heard Grossman on wiretaps tipping off the Turks about Brewster, Jennings, then the right-wingers will have been right on the CIA Leak case in at least one respect: the Brewster, Jennings "cover" had already been blown open by 2003, before the chain of events that began with Wilson's Oped.

Think about it: if the Turks knew BJ was a CIA front, then undoubtedly the entire underground network of arms dealers were clued in shortly thereafter (I doubt the Turks could be trusted to keep a secret). Thus, the "damage" to National Security caused by the Armitage/Hadley/Rove/Libby leak was minimal; although the damage to Plame's career was extensive."
Of course, if Sibel did hear that, then the outing dated back to early 2002 at the latest. Perhaps much earlier.

Also interesting is the fact that the FBI knew that Brewster Jennings' cover had been blown, yet the CIA continued to use Brewster Jennings. Perhaps the message didn't get from the FBI to the CIA?


noise said...

If true, that basically means the Fitzgerald probe is a waste of time, a diversion.

For what possible purpose? Perhaps to limit the pre-war intel debate to a manageable level by reducing it to just Plame's CIA status. The broad picture stuff would be handled by Sen. Roberts who would make sure nothing was done.

lukery said...

i think that's a bit of a stretch - but there sure are lots of questions if mathieu is right...

LeeB said...

If this is true, then perhaps it means the crime goes further than previously assumed. If somebody blew the cover of Brewster Jennings back then, wouldn't that be revealing another crime and another perp? It seems to me the investigation becomes more important, not less so. Also, were there any remedial actions taken to neutralize the effects of a Grossman leak? We certainly didn't find this story splashed across the papers and TV news way back then.

I have a hard time believing that Grossman "tipping off the Turks," if true, was any kind of didn't-know-it-was-classified-info "accident." Fitz is still investigating a hugely important crime. Or crimes. And inviting an investigation into the outing of a NOC CIA operative strikes me as a rather dangerous way of creating a distraction.

My head hurts. We're living in a Robert Ludlum novel . . .

lukery said...

interesting. imagine, if you will, that the people who apparently told mathieu about the turk/grossman thing also told fitzgerald. that's not entirely unreasonable. if true, i suspect that he would find it curious that grossman was also involved in the production of the INR memo.

I have a hard time believing that Grossman "tipping off the Turks," if true, was any kind of didn't-know-it-was-classified-info "accident."
not at all. the implication is that he specifically out BJ becuase they were tracking everyone at the ATC.

noise said...

I think the logic of an earlier leak makes sense considering the nature of the illegal activity. Meaning, the US officials involved in the black market activity wouldn't wait until '03 to cover their tracks.

lukery said...

oh sure. they would have outed BJ as soon as they knew they were being watched - which is apparently years before the 'leak'.

I wonder who tipped the State Dept (Grossman) off. And I wonder why it took so long for the information to get to the OVP (and why they were desperate to out Plame)

noise said...

Maybe some neocons were being blackmailed and decided to make the leak public knowledge. Goodbye blackmail, hello Fitzgerald.

lukery said...

i dont think it was 'public knowledge' - and for some reason the Brewster Jennings name didnt get thrown around till 4 months later.

who do you propose was blackmailing the neocons?

noise said...

By public knowledge I mean the Novak leak.

Maybe Turkish Intel blackmailed the neocons. Or maybe it wasn't blackmail but the Grossman crowd didn't like having the prospect of blackmail in play.

I realize this is all highly speculative.

noise said...

It would have to have been the Brewster Jennings association with Plame in 10/03 , when the BJ association become public knowledge. But any foreign intelligence service could have traced Plame if they knew (perhaps via Grossman) she worked for CIA front Brewster Jennings.

lukery said...

I realize this is all highly speculative.
oh sure - i just couldnt see what you were speculating.

Maybe Turkish Intel blackmailed the neocons.
interesting idea - altho i suspect that the neocons would have paid the turks for the info so that they could out bj - i don't think they'd have needed any arm-twisting :-)

i still have no idea why Novak went out of his way to out BJ - everyone in the presumed audience should have been able to make the connection, as you note. (and as miguel notes, everyone should have known it years before anyway)

color me confused

noise said...

I was confused about the timeline. I see your point about the four month delay.

So if Miguel is right, the questions are:

1) Why leak Plame in a US newspaper?
2) Why associate Plame with BJ after the case has been referred to the Justice Dept.?

Blackmail does seem too farfetched.

Diversion from WHIG/OSP activities?

lukery said...

so the timeline is
a) before april 2002, grossman tipped off his friends to BJ investigating ATC
b) ailson & novak publish july 03
c) novak prints BJ in oct 03

Why leak Plame in a US newspaper?
good question. for some reason they felt like they needed to BROADCAST it which i really dont understand. perhaps they needed to reach a lot of people in a hurry (and for some reason couldnt do it through word of mouth) - or alternatively (?) perhaps they needed to try to give themselves cover for some other dastardly deed? as an example - perhaps they already leaked plame's name (and/or BJ) through some surreptitious mechanism, and they quickly learnt that that (earlier) leak had resulted in mass murder of operatives in iran or some such - and therefore they needed to quickly find a cover story - i.e. they needed to provide an alternative story for why BJ assets were getting slaughtered. (perhaps far fetched - but i have no idea why these people do what they do)

Why associate Plame with BJ after the case has been referred to the Justice Dept.?
another good question. i dunno. my presumption has always been that they THOUGHT that they got the msg out by outing plame - but that apparently some of the intended recipients didnt get the msg. but that explanation always seemed lacking.

i'm not sure that i ever 'twigged' that novak's bj article was immediately after the investigation was announced. nice catch. am not sure what it means.

calipendence said...

Anyone else notice this news coming out today how judge Reggie Walton is at it again trying to dismiss cases for "security reasons" again. It looks like in the Libby case, he's giving Fitzgerald the "opportunity" to dismiss perjury charges against Libby if he feels that admitting certain classified documents can jeopardize national security. I wonder if that's a strong hint that Walton will try to shut the case down if given any opportunity to do so?

I remember ACLU's lawyer Anne Beeson saying earlier when speaking to the ACLU along with Sibel that so far, "state secrets" privilege has only been used in civil cases, and that there was other legislation that is on the books that could be ruled to be more applicable to criminal cases and therefore not make state secrets privilege applicable in Scooter Libby's case. So, it looks like Walton is trying to find other creative ways to ditch Libby's case. Any other mechanisms you all feel out there he might also use later?

calipendence said...

Now this article that's out today notes that Walton looks to have issued a ruling on Libby's case that will make it easier for Libby's defense to get his case dismissed that won't allow Fitzgerald a way to say "no" as implied with the other article I quoted. In this ruling here, Walton's basically telling Libby's people that they just have to find enough "secret" evidence that he can rule is *necessary* for Libby's defense so that it comes down to a choice between releasing state secrets vs. him having a fair trial. The hidden message here is if the state secrets are sufficiently important (and with Walton, it appears his measuring stick is rather low, or made low by undisclosed financial or other influences), then Walton can effectively dismiss the case, no matter what Fitzgerald wants to do. This SUCKS people! We need to find out specifically what Fitzgerald is trying to use to rationalize that is evidence that "can't be exposed" to see if it is applicable or something that Walton's using as an excuse. Sibel, is there a whistleblower, up for the task here?

lukery said...

thnx cp