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?

Do we know for sure the CIA continued to use BJ after early 2002?
good point. hmmmm. I had presumed that is where Plame was working when she was outed - but her tax forms were from 1999.

In 2003 it was "possibly defunct"

I would hazard that this is correct. According to Corn and Isikoff's Hubris, in 2002-2003 Plame was working for CPD as a "manager" of the Joint Task Force in Iraq. Now, I don't know if BJ was a covert unit that reported to JTFI; it's unclear from the Corn article. See emptywheel's post on this for more info.

It's also interesting that Corn says Plame joined CPD at Langley in 1997, but wasn't assigned to JTFI until spring 2001. Maybe she was helping to run BJ from 1997-2001?

When did Sibel's intercepts date from? Are they pre-9/11? Because maybe the reason Plame joined JTFI in 2001 was that was when BJ's cover was blown?

Also, I should note that it's very likely that BJ was defunct long before the Novakula article because there was never any referral to DoJ for this revelation , only for outing Plame. I would have thought it more likely that blowing a "unit's" cover would be more serious than just blowing an operative's cover. It's likely that BJ had already been declassified by October of 2003. And therefore, it gave Novakula a convenient "out" as to how he discovered that Plame was covert (i.e. Wilson's Who's who entry combined with FEC contribution records from the 2000 cycle). Sounds like classic Rovian backtracking to me.
sorry to come in so late on this discussion, but the question of why fitz would pursue the underlying crime of outing an agent who had already been outed may not be that hard to answer.

the fact that she HAD been outed - regardless of when - gave the agency the opportunity to pursue the original crime. any crimes uncovered while investigating a case are within a special prosector's purview, in fact are his responsibility to investigate.

it would seem simple logic to assume that the same forces, if not the same person, might be involved in both revelations of plame's role.

and it appears he may have been. marc grossman appears to have exposed plame's company, and he appears to have penned the memo - upon libby's orders (upon cheney's orders) - that prompted armitage to contact novak in the summer of 03.

fitz hopefully has been made aware long ago just how deep this case goes. and he is not afraid to take his time to get all the way to the bottom of such cases, as his chicago performance tells us. it is tantalizing to think how much safer he'll feel in pursuing it once the republicans lose the house.

one more thing. it strikes me as particularly interesting that cheney knew plame's role when he read wilson's op-ed (hence his spontaneous notation). no one seems to make much of that fact, but there it is. how odd, the veep knows the manager of a task force within the belly of the agency. perhaps because he was so unhappy with the info she was giving him?

talk about killing two birds with one stone.
thnx Dr E - nice to see you here.

for a variety of reasons, i've promoted your comment (and added some commentary) to the front page of my other blog here

so come join us over there.
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