In all of the excitement in today's revelations about Libby's grand jury testimony that Bush (through Cheney) authorized the leaking of classified information to the press some very important things can't be forgotten.
With all this talk about how dangerous Iran is and how they are THISCLOSE to getting nook-you-lur weapons and must be stopped, let's not forget that Valerie Plame and her colleagues were tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.
But don't you think that if Iran was labeled as part of the "Axis of Evil", is supporting terrorism and looking to develop a nuclear weapons program then, by authorizing the leak of classified information that led directly to the collapsing of a network of CIA operatives who were looking to make sure that it didn't obtain these weapons would be, oh, maybe "aiding and providing comfort to the enemy"?
Let's remember what was previously reported on the "counter intelligence assessment to agency operations":
According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.
Speaking under strict confidentiality, intelligence officials revealed heretofore unreported elements of Plame's work. Their accounts suggest that Plame's outing was more serious than has previously been reported and carries grave implications for U.S. national security and its ability to monitor Iran's burgeoning nuclear program.
While many have speculated that Plame was involved in monitoring the nuclear proliferation black market, specifically the proliferation activities of Pakistan's nuclear "father," A.Q. Khan, intelligence sources say that her team provided only minimal support in that area, focusing almost entirely on Iran.
Well, isn't that just lovely. A year after Bush hung a bull's eye on Iran's back in his State of the Union Address and is currently public enemy #1 (Iraq who? Afghanistan what?), he (and other very high ranking officials in his administration) authorize the leak of information that leads directly to the destruction of a program that was tracking and trying to stop its development of a nuclear weapons program.
What the fuck?
It certainly seems like this is a situation that they created by outing Plame and Brewster Jennings.
Intelligence sources would not identify the specifics of Plame's work. They did, however, tell RAW STORY that her outing resulted in "severe" damage to her team and significantly hampered the CIA's ability to monitor nuclear proliferation.
Plame's team, they added, would have come in contact with A.Q. Khan's network in the course of her work on Iran.
Intelligence sources familiar with the damage assessment say that what is called a "counter intelligence assessment to agency operations" was conducted on the orders of the CIA's then-Deputy Director of the Directorate of Operations, James Pavitt.
Former CIA counterintelligence officer Larry Johnson believes that such an assessment would have had to be done for the CIA to have referred the case to the Justice Department.
"An exposure like that required an immediate operational and counter intelligence damage assessment," Johnson said. "That was done. The results were written up but not in a form for submission to anyone outside of CIA."
One former counterintelligence official described the CIA's reasons for not seeking Congressional assistance on the matter as follows: "[The CIA Leadership] made a conscious decision not to do a formal inquiry because they knew it might become public," the source said. "They referred it [to the Justice Department] instead because they believed a criminal investigation was needed."
The source described the findings of the assessment as showing "significant damage to operational equities."
Three intelligence officers confirmed that other CIA non-official cover officers were compromised, but did not indicate the number of people operating under non-official cover that were affected or the way in which these individuals were impaired. None of the sources would say whether there were American or foreign casualties as a result of the leak.
Several intelligence officials described the damage in terms of how long it would take for the agency to recover. According to their own assessment, the CIA would be impaired for up to "ten years" in its capacity to adequately monitor nuclear proliferation on the level of efficiency and accuracy it had prior to the White House leak of Plame Wilson's identity.
So with all of this news about Libby's testimony (which by the way he and Cheney aren't really known for being truthful and this could have been planned to hang dumb Georgie), let's also remember another fucked up angle to this story. As the call for war with Iran grows louder, and the talk about how close Iran is to gaining nuclear weapons, just remember that it was Bush, Libby, Cheney, Rove and who knows who else that, by opening their mouths created a situation where Iran's ability to obtain nuclear weapons was certainly greatly "aided and abetted".
And Valerie Plame was trying to stop Iran from doing so before her cover was blown.
That can not and must not be overlooked in all of these developments.