It has now been verified, twice, that Valerie Plame was working on non-proliferation issues specifically dealing with Iran. Part of me says "kudos, Larisa, for your scoop." Another part of me says, "WTF were the rest of you thinking? Where do you think we're spending our counter-proliferation energies? Canada?" But a final part of me says, "Valerie was not the only one."
Meet Jerry Doe (the pseudonym "Jerry" has been used in some of the reporting on this story). Jerry Doe is a former colleague of Valerie Plame's, hired as a contract operations officer in 1982 and moved to permanent status in 1995, assigned at that point to counter-proliferation (CPD) in the Middle East. He was fired in 2004 because, Doe alleges in a lawsuit, he refused to falsify information on Iraq and, presumably, given the fact his complaint names three countries, two other places. He is suing Porter Goss, James Pavitt, the former head of CPD, and a senior CIA desk officer for violating the Administrative Procedures Act, violating his privacy, breach of contract, not converting his status formally, and tortious violation of his rights.
The case was first filed in December 2004. The CIA appears to have been using a variety of stalling tactics since then, to postpone the trial. And Doe has resubmitted his complaint two times. The most recent filing in the case was an April motion to dismiss Doe's updated complaint.
This is the chronology described in Doe's complaints:
1995 Doe informed his status changed from contract to staff; he subsequently received normal staff paychecks and promotions
1995 Doe assigned to DO/CPD
2000 Intelligence that contradicted previous intelligence judgment first suppressed
2001 Intelligence gathered from respected asset suppressed
2001 Actionable intelligence suppressed
2002 Doe informed a recent promotion and medal would be withheld until he stopped handling the respected asset
2002 Doe instructed to falsify report gathered from particular asset (apparently different from "respected" asset)
2002 or 2003 Almost entirely redacted allegation about an asset
2003 Counter-Intelligence investigation for having sex with female asset begins; CPD chief also tells Doe Pavitt thinks Doe is blackmailing him, presumably over the fact Pavitt buried the intelligence
September 2003 Doe placed on administration leave; told Pavitt would withhold the promotion and medal
May 2004 Doe informed he was under CIA OIG investigation for embezzlement
June 2004 Pavitt retires
July 2004 Doe meets with OIG inspectors
September 2004 Doe terminated (after officially being informed in August)--and informed he was a contractor and therefore not eligible for normal termination procedures/appeals
December 6, 2004 Doe files wrongful termination suit
December 8, 2004 Doe meets with OIG investigators in presence of lawyer
March 2005 Two pseudonymous CIA managers, one the former CPD head, demand that Doe not appear in court in person
April 2005 Doe informed OIG investigations terminated with no finding a wrongdoing
If what Doe alleges is true, the CIA five times tried to force him to stop pursuing intelligence--one time burying actionable intelligence, another time, trying to get him to falsify intelligence--that countered the party line. To punish him for not hewing to the party line, they first withheld a promotion he had qualified for. Then, they accused him (falsely, he says) of sleeping with a female asset, blackmailing James Pavitt, and embezzling money. Doe alleges these accusations served as the pretext to fire him. Then, to make sure he didn't contest the termination, they retroactively negated his move from contract to staff status, 10 years after the fact. By turning Doe, retroactively, back into a contractor, they denied him the ability to appeal or investigate his own personnel files.
The motions so far in the case read like a Kafka novel (though I think this is normal when the CIA takes on one of its former officers): the government refuses to declassify much of Doe's complaint; the government alleges it cannot address some of the administration claims because Doe has not specified which records they have treated illegally; the government does not deny Doe's central claims, but they say he has not shown a causal relationship between his intelligence reporting and his termination. Basically, they claim they can prevent any of the relevant information from becoming public, but then say unless Doe can identify that relevant information, he doesn't have a case. And then they deny him the ability to access the files since--they say--he was a contractor when he was terminated.
Now, I said above that Valerie was not the only one. With Doe, she is at least the second CPD officer who has been prevented from presenting evidence that might undermine the warmongers' nuclear rationale to start a war by effectively ending her career. At least, thanks to this James Risen article, we know Jerry Doe was trying to present information that might have prevented the Iraq war.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court here in December, the former C.I.A. officer, whose name remains secret, said that the informant told him that Iraq’s uranium enrichment program had ended years earlier and that centrifuge components from the scuttled program were available for examination and even purchase.
His information on the Iraqi nuclear program, described as coming from a significant source, would have arrived at a time when the C.I.A. was starting to reconsider whether Iraq had revived its efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The agency’s conclusion that this was happening, eventually made public by the Bush administration in 2002 as part of its rationale for war, has since been found to be incorrect.
In his lawsuit, the former officer said that in the spring of 2001, he met with a valuable informant who had examined and purchased parts of Iraqi centrifuges. Centrifuges are used to turn uranium into fuel for nuclear weapons. The informant reported that the Iraqi government had long since canceled its uranium enrichment program and that the C.I.A. could buy centrifuge components if it wanted to.
This information appears as follows in Doe's complaint:
In 2001, Plaintiff met with a highly respected human asset [three lines redacted]. Plaintiff immediately reported this information to his supervisor who in-turn met with CIA/DO/CPD management. Plaintiff was later instructed that he should prepare no written report of the matter and that the Deputy Director of Operations ("DDO"), Defendant Pavitt, together with the Chief of CIA/DO/CPD, Defendant John Doe No. 1, would personally brief the President. Upon information and belief, Plaintiff avers that no such briefing ever occurred and therefore the President was misled by the withholding of vital intelligence. Subsequently, in 2002, Defendant John Doe No. 1 advised Plaintiff that his promotion to GS-15 and receipt of the Special Intelligence Medal had been approved by Defendant Pavitt but were being withheld until Plaintiff removed himself from further handling of this asset.
In other words, Doe had the evidence that Iraq had no active nuclear program in 2001. He tried to make sure Bush learned of this evidence. But Pavitt and the head of CPD prevented him from circulating the intelligence that would have kept us out of war. And that is just one of the five times when CIA intercepted Doe's intelligence reports to make sure they didn't contradict the party line, the false claims that would justify war. The rest of the allegations read like Swiss cheese, offering just a tantalizing hint of what the CIA might have been intercepting. But it's infuriating to know that the CIA went to such lengths to suppress this intelligence.
There are notable differences between Jerry Doe and Plame, of course. In Doe's case, the CIA ruined its own agent's career, one of what of is reportedly a rare number of ethnically Middle Eastern agents that can presumably get access that others can't. Whereas the White House ruined Plame's career, I've always thought in retaliation against the CIA for requesting the DOJ conduct an investigation.
There are a few more details worthy of note. James Pavitt, the head of CPD, and one of CPD's desk officers (presumably, since both pseudonymous officers are described as being CPD) actively worked to make sure the CIA parroted the goals George Bush wanted parroted, presumably that Iraq (and possibly, given the mention of two other countries, other countries) was armed to the teeth with WMDs. We know that one of the reports officers (presumably in CPD) was prohibited from correcting the record about Plame's role in Wilson's trip. The extensive efforts Pavitt and CPD managers are alleged to have made to silence Jerry Doe may explain who intervened to prevent this reports officer from correcting the record. They also raise real questions about what role Pavitt and others in CPD played in the Plame outing.
Also, Doe's complaint suggests this Iraq (and Iran?) War effort didn't start with George Bush. The first time Doe was required to bury intelligence was in 2000, before Bush was inaugurated and probably before he was (s)elected. Which reminds me that the Niger embassy in Rome was burgled (and therefore the plot to forge the Niger documents was presumably in place) in early January 2001, before Bush was inaugurated. In other words, they've been setting up their Neocon moves since before Bush was put into office.
But (again, assuming Doe's allegations are true), the similarities are enough to suggest the beginning of a pattern. Two of the CPD officers most closely involved with ascertaining just who in the Middle East has what kind of WMDs had their careers ruined, and in the process, their ability to provide accurate information that might prevent war.