today, rep. henry waxman released
the transcript of his oversight committee’s
may 10, 2007 deposition of susan ralston.
i may post more on other excerpts from
ms. ralston’s sworn statement, but this
much deserves early attention — here is
what she has to fill in on the 16 words,
and what karl rove knew or learned about
the covert identity of valerie plame wilson.
it is certainly reassuring to know that
the identities of covert assets at the u.s.
central intelligence agengy are considered
suitable for water-cooler gossip inside
karl rove’s white house staff office.
let’s take a look — i’ve put the last part,
the end of the deposition, first, in blue. . .
[Transcript, page 87]
. . .BY MR. AUSBROOK:
Q Let us go back to the briefings that you got on how to handle classified information.
Q Was not attending a briefing grounds for losing a clearance?
A I believe it was.
Q Are you aware of anyone who was ever deprived of their clearance for not attending a briefing?
A I don’t know.
Q When you said that you think that I think you said that the knowledge about Valerie Plame and her identity as a CIA agent was learned through gossip. Do you know if —
A Well, her — that Joe Wilson’s wife was a CIA agent was learned through gossip.
Q But they didn’t know her name?
By Mr. Berenson: I think the previous testimony was that your understanding had been that that was how Karl learned it, right?
The Witness: Right.
BY MR. AUSBROOK:
Q Do you know if he had any conversation with Richard Armitage about her?
A They talked. I don’t know if they talked about her.
Q Okay. When you were talking about the process for developing the State of the Union, specifically the 2003 State of the Union, was Karl Rove’s job in looking at the State of the Union address to examine the substantive for policy statements within the speech? For example, was it his job to say, gee, this doesn’t sound right if the CIA had a part of the speech that said, as it did, that the British have learned that Saddam Hussein tried to get uranium from Africa?
A I don’t know about Karl’s involvement for that particular section. As a matter of course, when he reviewed speeches, he looked at it, he looked at the body the whole body of the speech. He could comment on substantive policy matters, but with regard to that specific, I don’t know — I don’t know.
Q Were you aware of any objections within the White House to those 16 words in that speech at the time?
A I don’t recall any.
Q You were asked about the later discovery that the documents that there were forged documents on which the speech relied. Do you recall any discussion that in fact
the speech — that when those claims were made that the speech did not, in fact, rely on that so no investigation on why it relied on false documents was necessary?
A I am sorry. What is the question?
Q Let me break that down a little bit — Do you recall anybody saying that the claim that the speech relied on forged documents was false?
A The claim of the speech relied I don’t. I don’t recall.
Mr. Ausbrook. Okay. The other question isn’t necessary. That is it.
Ms. Amerling. No further questions.
Mr. Ausbrook. No further questions?
Ms. Amerling. I don’t have any further questions. I just want to thank you again on behalf of the committee for coming in and taking the time to talk wìth us today.
Mr. Berensen: Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 12:50 p.m., the
deposition was concluded.]
if this — this whole sordid thing — gossip, no
idea whether we went to war based on false intel,
and no desire to know whether the claim that the
niger documents were forged was true or false — if
that level of non-curiousity doesn’t shock most
competent professionals in america. . . well, i don’t
know what ever, on earth, will. . .
i am not going to bother to transcribe any
more of this, today — it is simply making
me nauseous to read it.
and this is mostly just the “happy-face”
that the minorty-counsel is trying to
put on ms. ralston’s testimony. . . sheesh.
i think i’m done. here’s the link to
the full p.d.f. file at rep. waxman’s site.
oh — here are the errata sheets [also a p.d.f.]