Valerie Plame Not the Only Agent Outed
Let's not let the media ignore anymore the fact that many, many other agents were outed by Novak when he revealed the CIA's front company, Brewster Jennings & Associates, which was listed as Plame's employer on a political contribution.
The extent of the damage done when the Brewster Jennings cover was blown could be what Tenet and Pavitt testified about before the Grand Jury last year. Because BJA was taking action and gathering intelligence on WMDs and energy, especially Saudi oil production, the damage was severe and will continue for years to come.
Nowhere have I heard on the extensive TV commentary, the name Brewster Jennings and Associates, and how the damage was far greater than outing Plame alone.
We need to swarm on this issue and get Keith Olbermann to bring this up.
The CIA Memorial Wall for dead agents:
Leak of Agent's Name Causes Exposure of CIA Front Firm
The leak of a CIA operative's name has also exposed the identity of a CIA front company, potentially expanding the damage caused by the original disclosure, Bush administration officials said yesterday.
The company's identity, Brewster-Jennings & Associates, became public because it appeared in Federal Election Commission records on a form filled out in 1999 by Valerie Plame, the case officer at the center of the controversy, when she contributed $1,000 to Al Gore's presidential primary campaign.
After the name of the company was broadcast yesterday, administration officials confirmed that it was a CIA front. They said the obscure and possibly defunct firm was listed as Plame's employer on her W-2 tax forms in 1999 when she was working undercover for the CIA. Plame's name was first published July 14 in a newspaper column by Robert D. Novak that quoted two senior administration officials. They were critical of her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, for his handling of a CIA mission that undercut President Bush's claim that Iraq had sought uranium from the African nation of Niger for possible use in developing nuclear weapons.
The inadvertent disclosure of the name of a business affiliated with the CIA underscores the potential damage to the agency and its operatives caused by the leak of Plame's identity. Intelligence officials have said that once Plame's job as an undercover operative was revealed, other agency secrets could be unraveled and her sources might be compromised or endangered.
A former diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said yesterday that every foreign intelligence service would run Plame's name through its databases within hours of its publication to determine if she had visited their country and to reconstruct her activities.
"That's why the agency is so sensitive about just publishing her name," the former diplomat said.
...It could not be learned yesterday whether other CIA operatives were associated with Brewster-Jennings.
...The name of the CIA front company was broadcast yesterday by Novak, the syndicated journalist who originally identified Plame. Novak, highlighting Wilson's ties to Democrats, said on CNN that Wilson's "wife, the CIA employee, gave $1,000 to Gore and she listed herself as an employee of Brewster-Jennings & Associates."
"There is no such firm, I'm convinced," he continued. "CIA people are not supposed to list themselves with fictitious firms if they're under a deep cover -- they're supposed to be real firms, or so I'm told. Sort of adds to the little mystery."
In fact, it appears the firm did exist, at least on paper. The Dun & Bradstreet database of company names lists a firm that is called both Brewster Jennings & Associates and Jennings Brewster & Associates.
The phone number in the listing is not in service, and the property manager at the address listed said there is no such company at the property, although records from 2000 were not available.
Staff writers Dana Milbank, Susan Schmidt and Dana Priest, political researcher Brian Faler and researcher Lucy Shackelford contributed to this report.
AND Knight Ridder:
CIA Identity Leak Far Worse Than Reported
by Warren P. Strobel
Knight Ridder Newspapers
October 11, 2003
WASHINGTON -- It's just a 12-letter name - Valerie Plame - but the leak by Bush administration officials of that CIA officer's identity may have damaged U.S. national security to a much greater extent than generally realized, current and former agency officials say.
Plame, the wife of former ambassador and Bush critic Joseph Wilson, was a member of a small elite-within-an-elite, a CIA employee operating under "nonofficial cover," in her case as an energy analyst, with little or no protection from the U.S. government if she got caught.
Training agents such as Plame, 40, costs millions of dollars and requires the time-consuming establishment of elaborate fictions, called "legends," including in this case the creation of a CIA front company that helped lend plausibility to her trips overseas.
Compounding the damage, the front company, Brewster-Jennings & Associates, whose name has been reported previously, apparently also was used by other CIA officers whose work now could be at risk, according to Vince Cannistraro, formerly the agency's chief of counterterrorism operations and analysis.
Now, Plame's career as a covert operations officer in the CIA's Directorate of Operations is over. Those she dealt with - whether on business or not - may be in danger. The DO is conducting an extensive damage assessment.
And Plame's exposure may make it harder for American spies to convince foreigners to share important secrets with them, U.S. intelligence officials said.
Larry Johnson - a former CIA and State Department official who was a 1985 classmate of Plame's in the CIA's case officer-training program at Camp Peary, Va., known as "the Farm" - predicted that when the CIA's internal damage assessment is finished, "at the end of the day, (the harm) will be huge and some people potentially may have lost their lives."
"This is not just another leak. This is an unprecedented exposing of an agent's identity," said former CIA officer Jim Marcinkowski, who's now a prosecutor in Royal Oak, Mich., and who also did CIA training with Plame.
The name suggested work in the energy field: The late Brewster Jennings was president of the old Socony-Vacuum oil company, predecessor to Mobil, now Exxon Mobil Corp.
A June 2000 listing in Dun & Bradstreet for a Boston-based "Brewster Jennings & Associates" names the company's CEO and only employee as "Victor Brewster" and says it had annual sales of $60,000.
While that might seem like flimsy cover, former intelligence officials say that in fact meticulous steps are taken to create a life-like legend to support and protect CIA officers operating under nonofficial cover.
It appears that the Brewster-Jennings front was more than what is called "nominal cover," and was used as part of Plame's espionage, Johnson said.
That means anyone she met with could be in danger now, said Johnson, who described himself as "furious, absolutely furious" at the security breach.
Researcher Tish Wells contributed to this article.