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Monday, April 17, 2006

Plame: How we know the President lied to the Grand Jury

EO 12958 is mentioned as the covering authority over the 2003 memo.

Hit Tip: Prissy

* * *

There are many good reasons to examine these facts, even state attorney generals have a role in reviewing alleged war crimes, and drafting indictments against a sitting president..

We know Bush has lied to the Grand Jury because:

  • A. Bush would not say something in public that is inconsistent with his testimony; if he was inconsistent, this would be admissible;

  • B. Bush has repeatedly asserted legal fiction in re the classifications; there's no basis to believe what he is saying;

  • C. If Bush were to "be honest" to the Grand Jury, the issue would be over: Bush would have been indicted for violating the law;

  • D. Bush has publicly asserted he is in compliance with things that he's violated; and asserts powers contrary to the clear rules; and

  • E. The bases for his statements are a twisted reading of the rules; no reasonable person could justify this conduct; Bush is retroactively searching for an excuse; there is no defense.

    There's no reason to believe he's told the Grand Jury the truth, or that he's left anyone on the Grand Jury or the Special Prosecutor's office with a fair representation of what has happened.

    The rest of this note expands on the above statements. The conclusion is simple:

  • A. Bush has violated the law;

  • B. He's done something that was contrary to the law;

  • C. He justified his actions for personal gain;

  • D. He put American security at risk;

  • E. He worked with others to achieve this outcome;

  • F. The information was clearly marked;

  • G. The name of the person was clearly associated with classified human intelligence sources and methods;

  • H. The information was released to foreign nationals in violation of the law;

  • I. The information was declassified in an illegal manner;

  • J. The information related to the illegal activity has been illegally classified to avoid detection;

  • H. Bush and his co-conspirators have no credible defense;

  • I. Bush is guilty of violating the law; committed numerous crimes; is not fit to be leader; cannot be trusted with power; has abused power; and is willing to jeopardize American lives in a reckless manner; and willing to expose American civilians to illegal warfare that is outside his power; and

  • J. This President should be lawfully removed from office.

    * * *

    Let's go over the specific Executive Order. There's a key paragraph in the Executive Order which contradicts what the President would have us believe.

    Think back to what he keeps saying: That he can declassify information.

    Small problem: That "power to declassify" is very narrow, and only applies if he is the original person who classified the information.

    EO 12958 expressly states the opposite of what Bush is publicly stating. Bush doesn’t have any power to declassify something -- rather, he's already delegated that to the classifying authority.

    * * *

    The other issue relates to the classification. Recall that Bush claims he declassified the information.

    But the document -- which he supposedly declassified -- which he can't declassify -- has another barrier. This is called the NO FORN limitation. NO FORN means "No foreign" personnel may access.

    EO 12958 also covers this as well.

    The issues are more than simply classification, rather they include:

  • A. What is the information

  • B. Who classified it

  • C. Who can declassify it

    The information -- by the way it was flagged -- was clearly not to be disseminated to foreign nationals. By releasing the information, it was made available to foreign nations, thereby violating the protection requirements.

    Also, the information was classified by someone other than the President.

    The President may not declassify something based solely on classification; rather he also has to consider:

  • 1. The damage it will cause to the US

  • 2. What it actually does to compromise methods, sources, and operations

    He has no option on this.

    * * *

    Let's look at the specific documents and the notations.

    Note also at the bottom of the page: There are two reasons given for the classification: 1 5 (c) and (d) [ Click ] This takes us back to the EO: [ Click ]

    Note: This is about the original classification; and by mentioning both of these, the White House was on fair notice what was involved. Namely, that all the information -- Plame's name included -- related to intelligence sources, method, and foreign interactions.

    * * *

    Backup links

  • Ref [ Comment #36: Reed31463 said on 4/20/06 @ 9:21pm ET ]

  • EO 12958

  • State Dept Memo

  • Ref: Rules governing Orcon.

  • Ref: Reed's links to Orcon Creep

    Let's consider the specific language of the classifications:

    Clear Classifications on Memo Correspond to Clear, Protected Human Intelligence Sources and Methods

    Sec. 1.5. Classification Categories.

    Information may not be considered for classification unless it concerns:

    . . .

    (c) intelligence activities (including special activities), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology;

    (d) foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources;

    In other words, the information as it was originally classified -- had the White House complied with the classification -- told the White House that the information was classified because it contained intelligence sources and confidential sources.

  • Plame is identified as a CIA WMD Manager.

  • The paragraph with her name is classified SECRET

  • The classification number relates to human sources

  • The paragraph with her name is also classified NO FORN

  • There were multiple explicit statements that Plame was in the CIA; and the information was classified, and that the information was classified because of human intelligence sources and methods.

    Once all the classifications are reviewed as the document arrives/ or is sent from the State Department and to the White House, personnel are told exactly what they are dealing with.

    The issue is that the President has decided to ignore the classification, and directed others to release the information.

    Nobody had any legal foundation to rely on his order; nor did they have any legal foundation to rely on his assurances.

    Rather, the President did not have -- and nobody else who was in that position -- could have reasonably relied on the assurances that the information was anything other than what it was: Not to be released to foreign personnel -- which is exactly what was done when they agreed to discuss the details of the information.

    * * *

    The overall information -- as the time the White House access to the information --was classified SECRET -- NO FORN, and meant that the information was consistent with the above two classifications in para 1.5.

    This information was clearly on the memo. But that's not the only problem.

    Also, note on the memo is the word: ORCON. This means that the document was classified by the originator, not the President. [ Click ]

    Yes, it gets worse. The ORCON is a very special classification related to [wait for it ] . . .intelligence sources and methods. See this document for Orcon: [ Click ]

    Bush is not the Originator in this case


    9.2.1 This marking (ORCON or abbreviated OC) may be used only on classified intelligence that clearly identifies or would reasonably permit ready identification of intelligence sources or methods that are particularly susceptible to countermeasures that would nullify or measurably reduce their effectiveness. It is used to enable the originator to maintain continuing knowledge and supervision of distribution of the intelligence beyond its original dissemination. This control marking may not be used when access to the intelligence information will reasonably be protected by use of its classification markings, i.e., CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET or TOP SECRET, or by use of any other control markings specified herein or in other DCIDs. Requests for further dissemination of intelligence bearing this marking shall be reviewed in a timely manner.

    9.2.2 Information bearing this marking may be disseminated within the headquarters2 and specified subordinate elements of recipient organizations, including their contractors within Government facilities. This information may also be incorporated in whole or in part into other briefings or products, provided the briefing or intelligence product is presented or distributed only to original recipients of the information. Dissemination beyond headquarters and specified subordinate elements or to agencies other than the original recipients requires advance permission from the originator.

    9.2.3 Information bearing this marking must not be used in taking investigative or legal action without the advance permission of the originator.

    9.2.4 As ORCON is the most restrictive marking herein, agencies that originate intelligence will follow the procedures established in the classified DCID 1/7 Supplement, "Guidelines for Use of ORCON Caveat."

    In other words, the President would have us believe that he could declassify the information, and expose the very information related to sources and methods.

    This is not only illegal, but it outside his power.

    There are five problems:

  • 1. President violated ORCON;

  • 2. President permitted information to be released despite NO FORN;

  • 3. President declassified something he had no power to declassify;

  • 4. President directed others to release information that remains sensitive;

  • 5. President continued to lie, mislead the Grand Jury and the Special Prosecutor on what did or did not happen.

    Rather than resolve the issue, the President used "we're at war" as the excuse -- as he did with Sept 2001 -- to avoid Congressional review.

    Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war . . .

    * * *

    But it gets worse. It's one thing to ignore the Executive Order and violate it. It's still another to ignore other provisions which prevent you from doing something.

    Let's turn this back on the NSA: There's a rule -- within the same EO that Bush not only violates, but relies on by rewording, that prevents him from doing what he is doing:

    Explicit Restrictions Against Classifying Illegal NSA Activity

    Sec. 1.8. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations.

    (a) In no case shall information be classified in order to:

    (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;

    (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;

    Bush is violating the very EO listed on the document – a document he admits knows about because he says he declassified it.

    Obviously, the man can’t read, has a problem following simple procedures, and can’t handle relatively routine things like understanding what he is reading.

    Whether this is a reading problem, or something because he’s not interested doesn’t matter. The issue is: He’s incompetent, and mentally incapable of handling the complexities of deciding – on his own – whether the nation is or is not going to go to war in Iran.

    Yet, despite the Constitution – which gives him the full power to coordinate that war planning with Congress – he refuses to do so. Rather, he’s doing the same with Iraq:

  • A. Has an attitude of he knows best, despite obvious evidence he doesn’t know much;

  • B. Ignores the laws which compel him to provide truthful information to Congress; and

  • C. He independently starts wars despite the laws that only give Congress the power to declare war.

    Sounds a lot like what Congressman Conyers mentioned about the incursions into Syria -- Nixon going into Cambodia.

    * * *

    Bush has a major problem. He's not only relying on legal fiction that doesn’t exist, he's clearly ignoring the EO cited in the document.

    Moreover, that same EO -- which he refuses to follow, although it is on the document -- also prevents him from doing what he's doing with the NSA unlawful domestic surveillance activity: He's prohibited from classifying the illegal activity. Rather, he has an obligation under title 50 to report illegal activity.

    He didn't do that either; rather, he keeps calling it "Legal." Get real!

    What do we know:

  • A. not only has Bush violated FISA; but

  • B. he's failed to report the illegal NSA activity to Congress -- as required under title 50 -- but he's also

  • C. rewriting the EO he's using to say he can declassify something; while at the same time he's

  • D. ignoring the same EO when it says he can't do what he's doing.

    * * *

    The Problem the President has is that not only has he lied to the Grand Jury, but he's stuck in a trap: He's admitted he's done something -- that he cannot do -- by pointing to a document that specifically mentions the EO which he's not only twisted, but explicitly states he can't classify the illegal activity.

    Bush is like a cat stuck in a ball of twine, with gum stuck on its paws.

    Every day, is another opportunity for him to get further entangled.

    There's nothing he can do. The only thing he can do is delay, distract, defer, and deny.

    Meanwhile, he would have us believe that "he's the guy we can trust" over Iran. Let's face it -- this guy can't figure out simple things like classification; there's no sense in making the case he'll face reality of Iran.

    Rather, he's marching to the original PNAC timeline. The problem is the Iraqi insurgency -- as should be expected to rise up in Iran against the US -- was ignored.

    IN other words, all the assumptions which are part of the original plan to invade Iran -- yes IRAN -- are premised on things which have not worked out in Iraq. There's no reason to believe this plan will work.

    But to make it worse, the original plan was not premised on the idea that it would support an insurgency or regime change. Rather, the original plan -- that they're working to on the timeline -- is far narrower than what they're actually working to on the deployment.

    The problem is they're relying on insurgents -- that are not organized or well disciplined -- to do things in Iran based on one plan; but they're actually using that narrow plan to do what the plan is not designed to do: Change the regime.

    This is the same problem we had with Iraq: The wrong plan, ignoring the warnings, and plenty of problems.

    * * *

    Let's get back to the mess in the White House. Remember, the issue is: Can we rely on someone to do what they're supposed to do; and how do we apply this "big insight" to whether they are mentally competent to do something difficult like lead war.

    Bluntly, the issue is Bush -- as was done in Iraq with Plame -- is doing the same thing with Iran: Moving based on a timeline and agenda, not based on facts; and going through the motions of diplomacy with the objective of making those discussions fail. The issue is what is to be done. Let's consider the range of sanctions that -- anyone else in government -- would face:

    This President can't follow simple rules;
    He cannot credibly be Commander in Chief when lives are at stake

    Sec. 5.7. Sanctions. (a) If the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office finds that a violation of this order or its implementing directives may have occurred, the Director shall make a report to the head of the agency or to the senior agency official so that corrective steps, if appropriate, may be taken.

    (b) Officers and employees of the United States Government, and its contractors, licensees, certificate holders, and grantees shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willfully, or negligently:

    (1) disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified under this order or predecessor orders;

    (2) classify or continue the classification of information in violation of this order or any implementing directive;

    (3) create or continue a special access program contrary to the requirements of this order; or

    (4) contravene any other provision of this order or its implementing directives.

    (c) Sanctions may include reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions in accordance with applicable law and agency regulation.

    What the above means is that by disclosing the NOFORN material -- which the President knew, or should have known, was related to human resources through classifications at 1 5 (c) -- the President permitted information properly classified to persons not authorized to release it: Namely, anyone in who is not an American or a foreign national.

    The only person who can declassify the information is the originating official, which -- as you can see at the bottom of the document -- is "FORD".

    The issue the Grand Jury will have to keep separate is: Just because Bush violated the law, does that matter? Clearly not.

    It remains up to the House Judiciary Committee to review the indictment.

    * * *

    Rather than sit around and wait, the President appears to be starting with this next phase of the PNAC plan -- getting ready to invade Iran. Note that he's relying on insurgents in Iraq, but fails to explain how the original plan will be supported; rather, he's ignoring the problem with the militias in Iraq; and relying on more militias in Iran.

    The current Iran plan – regardless it’s legality – is fatally flawed, relying on the same flawed assumptions of Iraq; this is well known; but the momentum continues. We already know the existing plan – for the original goal – will not achieve the objective of regime change. The military simulations bear this out.

    But that’s only part of the problem. Not only is the plan flawed for the original objective, it is now being used to address a far larger goal wholly beyond what the original plan was designed. A bad plan to solve the wrong problem.

    * * *

    America needs to heed the lessons of Iraq: When locals are upset, they do not joint you. They fight you. Unlike an American who might back down when they get smeared, those who oppose you on the battle field only back down after they are dead.

    The Iranians do not plan on dying. They plan on killing Americans, not just in Iran but also in Iraq and worldwide, then brining the fight to Americans in their homes, on the streets of America. They are also going to be joined by others who think they are about to get invaded.

    Bush is reckless. He's not only trashing the American Constitution, but he's willing to play chicken with American civilians.

    Bush should be seen for what he is: Willing to put American women and children between him and the enemy. This is a war crime.

    Bush is not a hero. He's a coward. He's also a war criminal. And he fully expects this Congress to support more war crimes in Iraq, and more war crimes against American civilians at home.

    America, your government looks at you as expendable for an illegal war against a country that wants to discuss recognizing Israel. This President has already decided what the results should be, regardless what laws he breaks, or what we have learned from Iraq.

    He is reckless. He is a bully. And most of all, he no longer is fit to be President. He needs to be lawfully be removed from office.

    * * *

    I have a real problem when the leadership ignores the violations of the law and throws American civilians and military personnel as a shield to accountability.

    The issue is: Do we want to wait for the lawful retaliation to come to our land, or are we going to lawfully force Congress to ensure there is no illegal battle.

    We have this Constitution to ensure rights are protected and power is not abused. Not only are they ignoring the Constitution, but they’re using Americans as cattle.. We’re not bait. We’re people.

    They have no right, nor did we given them the power to treat any of us this way. If the American government refuses to discuss issues, then give us a good reason why Americans should discuss anything with the American government.

    You do not have the power to wage illegal war. Nor do you have the power to mandate Americans be used this way.

    If the American government is “too busy to talk about solutions” then there isn’t much the American people need to be concerned with it comes to the American government. You have not only failed in your oaths, but you are not longer a representative government.

    America only listens when people agree to bow down, and grovel to abusive power. Iraqis didn’t grovel. Iranians won’t grovel.

    Why should Americans grovel?

    Americans – your oaths are meaningless. You refuse to protect, preserve, and defend this Constitution.

    Let’s hope the Iranians – as did the Iraqis -- come to the defense of American Liberty. Americans and this Congress aren’t interested in protecting this Constitution, or freedom, or our right to be free from tyrants.

    * * *

    Note: The above comments could not have been accomplished without the support of Prissy Patriot, who provided the most if not all of the links.

    Other reading: Credit to Prissy

    Problem 1: The insurgency suffers from weaknesses in Iraq; they are not a credible threat to Iran.

    The assumptions of the US leadership are at odds with what we have learned in Iraq. There is insufficient oversight of Iran insurgents being used in Iran. [ Click ]

    This article well shows that the US is unable to organize Iraq; there is no basis to believe that insurgents from Iraq -- who are unresponsive -- will be able to credibly organize an opposition in Iran. Rather, we would expect the same results in Iran: No credible opposition to Iran; but more resistance to Americans. The problems with the Iraqi insurgency will simply mushroom when we export that disjointed mess into Iran. The "Iraq-led insurgency" is not credible. Iran knows this. [ Click ]

    Problem 2: America has failed to glean the lessons of Iraq, nor has it applied necessary changes to the right plan.

    There has been no adequate post-Iraq review to glean lessons learned, or credibly ensure Iran invasion plans incorporate the lessons of Iraq. Rather, these findings are buried, dismissed. Here is what has not been done, as was done with Vietnam: A review and application of lessons: [ Click ]

    Problem 3: The plan is known to be non-workable.

    US lost a simulated war; the plan was not able to achieve regime change. The original plan does not include regime change. [ Click ]

    The American commanders already know the plan is not workable. The simulated war games have already found that the issues with Iran will not be resolved on the battlefield. Unless the US relies on diplomacy, the US has run out of options. Iran knows this. [ Click ]

    Problem 4: Despite using the wrong plan, commanders have been told to use the wrong plan that is known to not be consistent with the objective: Regime change.

    Regime Change is a non-starter and illegal. The American government has a goal to bring democracy to Iran; this goal is at odds with the proven disaster in Iraq; there is no reason to believe the same group -- still refusing to face reality in Iraq -- can achieve a different result in Iran, where the opposition to an illegal invasion will be stiffer. [ Click ]

    The proposed plan is not consistent with the broader goal. The military plan as drafted is at odds with how it is being used. [ CLick ]

    * * *

    A Different Subject

    This was a request for assistance, and indirectly related to the above information. It is here for archive purposes only.

    ConyersBlog: Do you really want to know?

    Welcome visitors from ConyersBlog: Consider this before you proceed: [ Click ] You will have to choose whether you want to consider Constant a credible source.

    * * *

    Based on the above information at the link, you have to make a decision. These are your options:

  • Option A. If you are going to believe the outrageous lies and falsehoods about Constant; or you doubt anything Constant says, then stop linking here; quit reading this; and never visit this blog. Tell your friends that Constant shall be exiled, never to be listened to again by anyone.

  • Option B. However, if you are going to read this information -- and disregard the outrageous lies about what Constant is doing/saying at [ this link ] -- then consider how the following information fits into the State level impeachment efforts: [ Click ] You also need to post a link to this [ Click ] where many others can find it, and make their own judgments about what Constant is doing; and what is being done to spread outrageous lies and blatant misrepresentations by your vile peers.

    Again, beware: [Click ]

    Proceed to the next yellow Box which Reed has originally directed to you.