Larceny Charge against Sgt. Kevin Benderman tossed out

Day four of filling in for Rebecca, "Site Held Hostage by Elaine." (Yes, I made a joke or tried to.)
I'll thank Mike again and everyone who's e-mailed (remember send it via common_ills@yahoo.com and it will be forwarded to me). Gina and Krista, you have my thanks as well. The interview was like pulling teeth but you made it as pleasant as anyone could. I'll also thank C.I. who isn't just a strong voice online but also a very close friend of many years.
When Rebecca called me, there was no discussion. It was "here's the password." I objected that I do not know what to do and she insisted I'd be fine and to call C.I. if I had any questions. I do hunt around in the evening and then wait until C.I.'s home and can talk me through this. Rebecca's closing words were, "Thanks Lainie! When I get back, I'll owe you a dinner." Rebecca, if you're reading this, you'll owe me several dinners.

Yesterday, I noted Sgt. Kevin Benderman's court martial and I want to pick up there.

There is a site entitled BednermanDefense.org set up for him. There are things you can do there (including donate to his legal defense). But there's a paragraph that's just been posted:

Friday, July 22, 2005
Initial Hearing on Pre-Trial Motions:

Judge Throws Out Recently Added Larceny Charge Against Kevin
In the first pre-trial motion hearing on Friday, July 22, the judge threw out the prosecution's larceny charges. We will post news stories on this development as soon as they appear.

The larceny charge was a trumped up charge and while I'm glad that the judge realized that and tossed it, the retaliation motive behind the charge means we should continue to pay attention because this may not be over.

I've been highlighting Colman McCarthy this week for a number of reasons. He was a columnist for the Washington Post, he's a peace advocate, he works for peace. And he no longer works for the Washington Post.

"The Satya Interview: Colman McCarthy, Journalist and Educator" (Satya):
Q: How did you depart from the Washington Post?
A: I was informed by my syndicate that my column had only about 28 to 30 clients. It was making money, but not enough. So the Post managing editors took that occasion to say, "Well, we think your column has run its course." I don't mind that. If you work for a corporation, you die by a corporation.
Q: You were always aware that you could be "terminated"?
A: Oh absolutely. The Post is looked on as a liberal paper, which it clearly is not. It's a centrist paper. In fact, there are 1,500 dailies in America, and I defy you to find one liberal paper among them. There are a few pseudo-liberal papers (the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the L.A. Times, Washington Post ) but they're just liberal on the safe liberal issues -- gun control, civil rights, curbing your dog: tough ones like that. But on going after the Pentagon, or the U.S. war machine, going after corporate crime -- they become tepid. Why? Because most of the big dailies are in the Fortune 500. Do you know what the second most expensive stock on the New York Stock exchange is? The Washington Post. It sells for $400 a share. What do the wealthy corporations tend to focus on? Problems of the wealthy.
Q: They look after their shareholders.
A: Sure. So the people coming in to meet with the editorial boards tend to be the trade associations and government and corporate officials. How many editorial boards in America ever go and interview prisoners? How many ever go hang around a soup kitchen? How many invite welfare mothers or welfare fathers in to talk to them? Instead, the boards bring in the Cabinet secretaries who all went to the same schools that we did. How many columnists go into death row? How many columnists go into schoolrooms regularly and teach? It's always funny when you see people leave the media. They always go and get a professorship at a university. How many people go into elementary or high schools?

Interesting but C.I. referred me to "Fresh Voice on Washington Post Editorial Page" by Harry Jaffe (The Washingtonian):

Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr.’s best personnel move was not appointing Gene Robinson managing editor.
Downie’s decision freed Robinson to write an op-ed column, which he started in February. Judging from reaction by readers and newspapers that have snapped up his essays, Robinson’s column is a raging success, in the newspaper and on its web site.
Already 25 papers have agreed to syndicate his column, including dailies in San Francisco, Atlanta, Denver, and Phoenix.

I assume that they're pushing Robinson since he's only been doing an op-ed for six months. A lot of Harry Jaffe's articles lists Gene Robinson's bonafides and I'm sure he's earned every compliment; however, it does call to question whether syndication was the issue behind dropping Colman McCarthy? We're told, by Harry Jaffe, that Gene Robinson "often leans to the left, filling the liberal landscape vacated by the passing of Mary McGrory."

Often leans left seems hardly promising and as for Mary McGrory . . . I'm sure if she had a say in it today, she wouldn't have wanted to go out with her cheerleading articles for the current war (the one in Iraq, obviously we're still fighting in Afghanistan). I doubt she'd have said, "I think for my last column I want to prove to America that not only was a gas bag who always went along with every bit of conventional wisdom but I was also willing to pimp for Colin Powell's UN presentation." But she did that. That's her legacy. Try to say that to some people and they'll argue that Mary McGrory was a strong voice for the left. Maybe she just "often" leanded "left?"

Perhaps if Colman McCarthy could have leanded left, he'd still be writing columns for the Washington Post? Bob Somerby has been writing this week about how our brave voices were silent during the trashing of Al Gore. He's also noted, at other times, that some were silent.
Mary McGrory was one of the ones who wasn't silent, she assisted with the trashing of Al Gore.

Death seems to have place a shroud of Mary McGrory that prevents people from noting her actual work. A McGrory goes along with the pack and gets applauded and rewarded but a McCarthy is sent packing and yet some still call it "the liberal media."

Mary McGrory is deceased. That's not a pass for the writing she did (or her excuse for her "I'm Convinced" column of war cheerleading). She was a gas bag and when a gas bag moves on to another place, others quickly fill the place. (In fact, I believe they multiply.) If someone believes in something and writes about it like a McCartney, they're shown the door. If someone runs with the pack, like a McGrory, they can continue writing even though they reveal repeatedly that they have little interest in the actual events.

Thanks again to C.I. because I really didn't expect to do any sort of writing here. It's Friday and day four so maybe I'm feeling less shy or buzzed to have completed a week. I can't tell you when Rebecca will be back because when we spoke on the phone early Tuesday morning, she didn't know herself.

While I'm in an actual nonreticent mode, I'll explain that Rebecca and I have been friends for years. She and C.I. are, in fact, my two best friends. I'm the interlocking piece that brought those two together. (Another attempt at a joke.)

I've done some house cleaning on Rebecca's blog roll. Someone's blogging at Folding Star's old sites and it's not Folding Star so I've removed that as well as a blog that has been inactive since May. I've added Susan of Random Thoughts for several reasons. One, Rebecca's always saying "I'll add her" and always forgets. Two, Susan links to Rebecca. Three, Susan's a great voice. Four, C.I. and I spent an hour on the phone discussing Susan's post on two actresses. In addition, I've added Not In Our Name and United for Peace & Justice. As with Susan's link, Rebecca will be glad those went up (and that she didn't have to do the work). Lastly, Cedric is a Common Ills community member (from way back) and he's started blogging at Cedric's Big Mix.
I've added him to Rebecca's blog roll. If you haven't checked out Cedric's writing, please do so. (I loved the Thursday post.)

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
Activism pays the rent on being alive and being here on the planet.
Alice Walker


Sgt. Kevin Benderman

Day three. I want to thank C.I. who is on the phone with me and has been a huge help. I want to thank everyone who's written via common_ills@yahoo.com. I think I've replied to every e-mail. Rebecca didn't give me the password for the e-mail to this site. Mike said some nice words in his post today and thank you for that, Mike.
I've got two things tonight. At the bottom is another peace quote. Before that, I'm posting something in full. I didn't write this and I'm not attempting to claim credit for it. I found it at Not In Our Name which is a great organization.
I'm posting it in full. If I'm asked to take it down, I will do so and put it up in a small excerpt but today is July 21st and, as you will see when you read it, there's not a great deal of time. I'll probably hit on this tomorrow as well.
This is by Monica Benderman and it's entitled "One Soldier’s Fight to Legalize Morality: Army Sgt. and conscientious objector Kevin Benderman to face court martial July 28:"

On July 28, 2005, in a small non-descript courtroom on Ft. Stewart, Georgia, a Courts Martial is scheduled to begin. Again. One Army NCO who decided that he had no choice but to make a conscious choice NOT to return to war is being put on trial for caring about humanity.
This soldier fulfilled his commitment, he kept his promise to his enlisted contract, and when ordered to deploy to Iraq at the start of the invasion, he went, not because he wanted to "kill Iraqis" or "destroy terrorist cells," but because he wanted the soldiers he served with to come home safely. He returned knowing that war is wrong, the most dehumanizing creation of humanity that exists. He saw war destroy civilians, innocent men, women and children. He saw war destroy homes, relationships and a country. He saw this not only in the country that was invaded, but he saw this happening to the invading country as well – and he knew that the only way to save those soldiers was for people to no longer participate in war. Sgt. Kevin Benderman is a Conscientious Objector to war, and the Army is mad.
Sgt. Kevin Benderman, after serving one tour of duty in Iraq, filed for Conscientious Objector status, his Constitutional right. His commander refused to accept his application and one called him a coward. One chaplain was ashamed of his lack of moral fortitude, another, of higher rank, testified to the true sincerity of Sgt. Benderman’s beliefs, in writing. A military intelligence officer decided that he knew matters of the soul better than a man of God, and recommended to deny the CO claim. Five commissioned officers who had never met Sgt. Benderman agreed with the "intelligent officer" and the claim was denied, twice.
More than two weeks after my husband was placed in the Rear Detachment unit here at Ft. Stewart, charges of Missing Movement and Desertion were filed against him, even though he has never missed a single day of duty in almost ten years. At the first Courts Martial proceedings, the investigative hearing was over turned. According to the judge's decision, the presiding officer had shown implied bias toward Sgt. Benderman, and a new hearing was ordered. As the session adjourned, the same command that brought the first charges were marching up the aisle in the courtroom to file a new charge, Larceny, against Sgt. Benderman. The command that brought the charge, had erroneously ordered combat pay to be paid to Sgt. Benderman, along with 7 other soldiers in their unit. Rather than accept their responsibility for the error, these leaders chose to punish Sgt. Benderman for the mistake, and have yet to discipline any of the remaining soldiers for the officers' gaffe.
The new investigating officer strongly recommended dismissing this larceny charge, but the convening authority, Ft. Stewart’s garrison commander, pressed on and filed the charges anyway, along with desertion and missing movement. The Courts Martial is scheduled to begin on July 28. The games began in January.
At the conclusion of the first hearing, I returned to the courtroom briefly for some things I had forgotten. The lights were dimmed, and no one was there. This small dark room, vintage WW II, had a reverent calm. Desks and chairs sat waiting, slightly turned, empty jurist panel, attorney’s podium – the stage had been set. I look back on it now, and the feeling is strangely surreal.
Last week we learned that the United States Supreme Court allows itself to keep the Ten Commandments hanging on the walls of its chambers, as a testimony to another form of law. The guardian of the Constitution of our country, presiding over the human rights of our people, maintains that the Ten Commandments, religious context aside, represent a form of law that is powerful enough to occupy a place in its chambers.
In a small, quiet courtroom, on the Ft. Stewart military installation, the stage is set. One soldier who, after firsthand experience with the destructive force of war, decided to take the Ten Commandments at their word – "Thou Shall Not Kill" – and use the rights given to him to declare his conscious objection to war, to no longer be in a position to voluntarily have to kill another human being, is now on trial for not wanting to kill.
The Army has removed itself so completely from its moral responsibility, that its representatives are willing to openly demand, in a court of law, that they be allowed to regain "positive control over this soldier" by finding him guilty of crimes he did not commit, and put him in jail – a prisoner of conscience, for daring to obey a moral law.
It is "hard work" to face the truth, and it is scary when people who are not afraid to face it begin to speak out. Someone once said that my husband's case is a question of morality over legality. I pray that this country has not gone so far over the edge that the two are so distinctly different that we can tell them apart.
A sixteen year old in New York, was charged with involuntary manslaughter yesterday for stabbing another teen in the chest twice, over a computer game. There is no question of why. He broke a law – a legal, MORAL law – "Thou Shall Not Kill."
After seeing war firsthand, Sgt. Kevin Benderman chose to follow a legal, MORAL law – "Thou Shall Not Kill." A form of law significant enough to be represented on the walls of our Supreme Court. The US Army cannot let him go. I have to ask – "WHY?"
Sgt. Kevin Benderman is stationed at Ft. Stewart, Georgia.
He has served on combat tour in Iraq. After seeing war firsthand, he made the decision to file for Conscientious Objector status in December 2004. His command refused the request, and filed charges of Missing Movement and Desertion against him. They have since added a charge of Larceny.
Sgt. Benderman is scheduled to face a second attempt at Court Martial for these charges on July 28, 2005 and Ft. Stewart.

Please try to pass that on.
-- Elaine

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center)
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
Thomas Edison


Some stuff on Iraq

Thanks for kind words. Still trying to get the hang of this while Rebecca's on vacation. I'm pulling some stuff together that you may have seen or heard but I think is worth noting.
-- Elaine

"TV's Military 'Embeds'" by Colman McCarthy, April 19, 2003 (Washington Post):

That the news divisions of NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox sanctioned this domination by military types was a further assault on what the public deserves: independent, balanced and impartial journalism. The tube turned into a parade ground for military men -- all well-groomed white males -- saluting the ethic that war is rational, that bombing and shooting are the way to win peace, and that their uniformed pals in Iraq were there to free people, not slaughter them. Perspective vanished, as if caught in a sandstorm of hype and war-whooping. If the U.S. military embedded journalists to report the war from Iraq, journalists back in network studios embedded militarists to explain it. Either way, it was one-version news.
Why no dissenting voices to say what millions of people around the world proclaimed in the streets: that this U.S. invasion was illegal, unjust and unnecessary? Why were pacifists from such groups as the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi USA, Peace Action and the American Friends Service Committee not given airtime to counter the generals? Why were leaders from Veterans for Common Sense or Veterans Against the War in Iraq not brought in to offer their analysis and view: that what the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Powell-Wolfowitz war machine has been doing to the people of Iraq is brutal and criminal and that political, legal and moral alternatives to violence exist? Why have no social workers or teachers from America's inner cities been invited to sit across from the generals and give their views on military spending -- more than $11,000 a second? In wartime, presumably, the message to peace activists is shut up or shut down.

"Jane's Revolution" by Ed Rampell (Thinking Peace)

Stone asked Fonda how America had changed since 1971. "We never came to terms with the war," she replied. "Revisionism set in and Americans were made to believe that we could have won the war, if it hadn't been for the antiwar movement and so-called 'liberal media.' That was during the Reagan administration and it was very handy for the first Bush administration when we went into the Gulf War.
"Remember what happened? 'Oh, if you're against this war you're going to be a traitor like those people back in the sixties and seventies.' People got scared because they didn't know what the truth was. That's continuing today. Of course, this administration is just totally brilliant at playing on our fears. With the invasion of Iraq, it was raised to an art form. You know, 'you're either with us or against us.' If you speak out against the war you're [considered] a terrorist," Fonda said.
On a more upbeat note she mused, "Today, Nixon and Reagan are looking mighty good. I think this is the scariest time I've ever lived through. It's a dying beast, and they're always the scariest and most dangerous. Just below the crust of the surface there is a volcano ready to erupt. It's our job to create critical mass and ignite it.
"It's a really confusing time; it's more complicated than Vietnam," she continued. "There was no Saddam Hussein during Vietnam. Everybody agreed Saddam had to go. Did there need to be an invasion where 100,000 innocent civilians die in the process? I don't think so. People are waiting out there for leadership. I was asked: 'What’s happened to the Left?' Progressivism is alive and well, but it’s women who are going to have to rise up and lead it now."

"World Tribunal for Iraq, Culminating Session" Dahr Jamail
Ali Abbas lives in the Al-Amiriyah district of Baghdad and worked in civil administration. So many of his neighbors were detained that friends urged him to go to the nearby US base to try and get answers for why so many innocent people were being detained. He went three times.
On the fourth he was detained himself. Within two days he was transferred from the military base to Abu Ghraib, where he was held over three months without charges before being released.
"The minute I got there, the suffering began," said Abbas about his interrogator, "I asked him for water, and he said after the investigation I would get some. He accused me of so many things and asked me so many questions. Among them he said I hated Christians." He was forced to strip naked shortly after arriving, and remained that way for most of his stay in the prison. "They made us lay on top of each other naked as if it was sex, and beat us with a broom," he said. In addition to being beaten on their genitals, detainees were also denied water and food for extended periods of time, then were forced to watch as their food was thrown in the trash.
Treatment also included having a loaded gun held to his head to prevent him from crying out in pain as his hand-ties were tightened.
"My hands were enlarged because there was no blood because they cuffed them so tight," he told me, "My head was covered with the sack, and they fastened my right hand to a pole with handcuffs. They made me stand on my toes to clip me to it."
Abbas said soldiers doused him in cold water while holding him under a fan, and oftentimes, "They put on a loudspeaker, put the speakers on my ears and said, "Shut Up, Fuck Fuck Fuck!" In this manner Abbas’s interrogators routinely deprived him of sleep.

"Peace Quotes" (Peace Center):

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
Steve Biko



Rebecca's on vacation. I'm her friend Elaine. Thanks to C.I. (for help and patience).

Here are some things I'm noting.

Former reporter pushes peace studies (Reuters)
Colman McCarthy loves the long-shot. Good thing, too, because the journalist-turned-peace activist is betting that warlike humanity will some day evolve into enlightened creatures guided by love and harmony.
"We can't be the final product of evolution, unless there's some kind of cosmic sick-joke going on," McCarthy chuckled after treating a classroom of sleepy teen-age boys to a varied discussion about gun violence, forgiveness and U.S. foreign policy.
For years now, the bespectacled 64-year-old has been trying to get American educators to see violence as learned behavior that can be overcome by adding comprehensive peace studies programs to the curriculum at the nation's 80,000 elementary schools, 26,000 high schools and 3,100 colleges.
"People who are going to be on death row are now in first- or second-grade, and so are people who are going to be in the White House. If we don't teach them peace, someone else will teach them violence," he told Reuters during a recent visit to an Episcopal-run prep school in the Philadelphia suburbs.
"The most revolutionary thing anybody can do is to raise good, honest and generous children who will question the answers of people who say the answer is violence. That's what the schools should be doing."
Statistics on the sheer toll of violence are commonplace: 10,000 people murdered with handguns each year in the United States, and domestic abuse the leading cause of injury among U.S. women, he says.

[. . .]
He says kids need to study closely the history of the peace movement, starting with the lives and ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, the Berrigan brothers and other radicals.
And he wants to teach kids that American violence goes hand-in-hand with widely accepted conventionalities such as economic competition, conspicuous consumption, tax cuts, U.S. foreign policy and gigantic Pentagon budgets.

Over Two Million People Take to the Streets Around the World in Global Protests Marking the One-Year Anniversary of Iraq War (United for Peace & Justice)
On Saturday, March 20, upwards of 2 million people took to the streets around the world to protest the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. People in more than 60 countries throughout the world - from Japan to South Korea to Spain to Australia to South Africa - called for an end to the occupation, which they believe is only increasing violence and insecurity in Iraq.The March 20 global day of protest surpassed the expectations of its organizers, both in terms of the number of cities and countries that organized events and the number of people who took to the streets. Under the banner, "The World Still Says No To War," at least 300 U.S. cities and towns held anti-war events on Saturday, as did more than 275 other cities throughout the world.In the United States, notable protests included a 100,000-person march and rally in New York City, and a similar event in San Francisco attended by more than 50,000. In Crawford, Texas, where President George Bush owns a ranch and often vacations, 1,000 protesters converged to repudiate his militaristic policies and call for a diversion of the billions of dollars that are being spent on war to domestic programs like schools, health clinics, and unemployment benefits. Military families and veterans led a protest that drew 1,500 to Fayetteville, North Carolina, outside the Fort Bragg military base.

Resource Center for Nonviolence Santa Clara, CA:
NONVIOLENCE GUIDELINES FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS IN RCNV ACTIONS 1) We will not harm anyone, but will be nonviolent in words and actions. 2) We will treat every person with respect. 3) We will not damage or deface property. 4) We will not carry any weapons. 5) We will not bring or use any alcohol or drugs, other than for medical purposes. 6) We will not resist arrest.
INSPIRATIONAL WORDS: "The rays of the sun are many through refraction, but they have the same source. I cannot therefore detach myself from the wickedest soul (nor may I be denied identity with the most virtuous). " "The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree." - Mohandas Gandhi
There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace Quotes (Peace Center)
If it's natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how?
Joan Baez



so where's the post you teased us about?

that's what 1 joker wrote.

well due to events on saturday, i thought i better be sure every 1 was okay with what i was writing. my ex-husband was. his parents weren't.

it's created a minor earthquake.

it will go up but they're arguing over what will be in it and what won't.

makes me wish i hadn't put my name on my blog because then i could just post whatever i wanted.

'rebecca people know you were our daughter-in-law.'

i'm getting that a lot.

and i'm sure i'll catch hell for the above. but tough shit.

so it will go up as soon as i have 'clearance.' i worked like a dog on that thing and planned to have it up sunday. when we took the first break on the third estate sunday review, i immediately sent it to my ex-husband and asked him to make sure his parents were okay with it.

sunday i had tons of 'notes' about changes that needed to be made.

the point here is if you're thinking about doing a blog and intend to write what you want, you should probably do it without giving your name or give a phoney name.

if i'd done that i wouldn't be putting up with the shit i'm putting up with now.

i wrote it to share because i thought it would help others.

in the process, i dealt with a lot of stuff i had been ignoring.

so just writing it, for 2 weeks, i worked hours on it friday night, helped me.

i'm not sure that it will help any 1 when it goes up because i think it's going to be some watered down shit that will mean nothing.

i offered to take my last name off the blog and i don't think i've put it up in a post. but my ex-mother-in-law told me that my name was elsewhere (third estate sunday review) and probably 'on there' meaning online now and couldn't be taken back.

so if it goes up, i have this nightmare where only 2 sentences are left when every 1's done cutting the parts they don't like, i'm not expecting much from it.

if you're thinking about blogging, my advice is do not give out your name. if i hadn't, i could put whatever the fuck i wanted to. now i need 'approval.' so if i sound bummed it's because i am.

obviously i don't have anything else to say tonight.

i'll post the editorial from the third estate sunday review because it's worth reading. otherwise i really don't have anything to say. but since the joker wrote in i guess others might be wondering where that post that i poured everything i had into was. it's being approved by ex-in-laws.

Editorial: What did Hadley know and what did he do?
Karl Rove's latest defense (as pointed out by
The Common Ills) is that after speaking with Matt Cooper when Valerie Plame's name came up he immediately e-mailed then deputy national security advisor Stephen J. Hadley. And then what?
And then what?
Did the e-mail confuse Hadley? Was their a follow up conversation of "Karl, what's this e-mail about?" Did Hadley immediately notify his boss (Condi Rice) what was going on? Did she follow up by notifying the Bully Boy?
For those who forget, before she moved over to the State Department, Condi Rice was in charge of national security issues. It's easy to forget that because 9-11 happened while she was in charge and there was no accountability for her. There needs to be accountability on this.Did Hadley do his job? If so, did others do their job?
We're not foolish enough to think the White House wasn't orchestrating the outing of Plame. But if that's going to be the spin point ("I prove I'm not guilty with my e-mail to Hadley!") then let's examine that spin point.The spin argues Rove passed the news on up. Did it stop there? If so Hadley didn't do his job.
Did it go higher? How much higher? A CIA agent was a national security issue. The outing of an agent was a national security issue.
No one's attempting to say Rove's absolved and innocent. We think he's neither. But if he's going to push this latest point, then we say let's explore it.
Once someone in charge of national security was notified, it was incumbent upon them (due to their position) to immediately determine the nature of Valerie Plame's work. It was also incumbent upon them to notify then CIA director George Tenet. If they themselves did not alert Plame, the reason should be because they were given assurance from within the CIA that someone in the agency would alert Plame.
Plame doesn't appear to have been alerted. Nothing in the public record suggests that she was anything but surprised when Robert Novak outed her in a July 14, 2003 column. Cooper spoke to Rove on the 11th of July. Rove's spin is that he e-mailed Hadley immediately upon getting off the phone with Cooper. What was being done by the administration in those three days? Rove's conversation with Cooper, by Rove's account, made it obvious that the press knew Valerie Plame was CIA. What did Hadley do? If he didn't know who Plame was or what her position was, he should have checked with the CIA (or maybe read the memo that the State Department prepared). That was Hadley job.
Unless Condi relieved him of the responsibility. Then it became her job. (And regardless, his actions reflect upon her because she was his boss.)
Did anyone contact the CIA to alert them? If Plame had been a translator for the CIA, we'd argue a notification would be required. If she'd been an office assistant, we'd argue a notification would be required. If Hadley and/or Rice had done any work on the issue, they'd know that she had been an undercover agent.
And as such, regardless of when she was last undercover, it was their job to ensure that she and those she worked with while undercover knew what was coming. This goes beyond the quibbling by Republicans of whether a law was broken due to some five year rule on when you were last undercover. Plame appears to have been undercover as late as 1999 so the rule is in place and outing her was a violation of the law.
But in terms of procedures and responsibilities, it didn't matter if Plame had retired from the CIA ten years prior. It terms of procedures and responsibilities, the administration should have been working overtime to ensure that all working with Plame and Plame herself knew what was about to come out.
Whether you personally favor the use of undercover CIA agents or not, it should be obvious that having gone undercover for their government, when their cover is about to be blown, it's the government's responsibility to alert them.
That was the administration's responsibility. Did they carry it out? If not, why not?
Were any agents currently undercover and in the field, agents who had worked with Plame, alerted that someone who'd taken part in missions with them was about to be outed and that, therefore, their own cover was in danger?
It doesn't appear that they were.
The latest spin is "Rove's not guilty! He alerted Hadley!" The spin doesn't prove that. But the spin argues that the administration knew (Hadley) and that they did nothing. The spin suggests that Plame was outed with the administration's knowledge while the administration (with at least a three days heads up) sat around and waited for the explosion.
The spin's imploding. This talking point is cratering. Not only does it not clear Rove, it suggest incompetence (at best) on the part of the administration. It's time to know what Hadley did after he received the e-mail from Rove. If he did nothing, he needs to explain why. If he passed it up, we need to hear what those above him did.
It's time for Congressional hearings on this matter. We're no longer dealing with only the outing of a CIA agent. We're now dealing with, by Rove's talking point, the impression that the administration sat by and waited for a CIA agent to be outed. There need to be some answers and there needs to be some accountability.
[This editorial was written by the following: The Third Estate Sunday Review's Ty, Jess, Dona, Jim and Ava, C.I. of The Common Ills, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Kat of Kat's Korner and Mike of Mikey Likes It!]