Liveblogging for BradBlog, Brad Friedman points out that parties believed to be responsible for the gaping breach of national security that was the outing of covert agent Valerie Plame Wilson--including certain (cough *Rove*Libby*Cheney* cough) White House officials--were never even investigated. At all. Despite the President's promises (bolds mine):
In the second panel in the House Oversight Committee hearings this morning, following the testimony of Valerie Plame-Wilson, the Director of the White House Security Office, James Knodell, has stunned the Congress members by disclosing that no investigation into the leaking of Plame-Wilson's covert identity as a CIA operative was ever conducted by his office.
HENRY WAXMAN (D-CA, CHAIRMAN)
Asks whether any official who discloses classified information has a duty to inform their superiors whether it was done knowingly or not. Is told yes, by both men.
Asks Knodell whether Ari Fleisher exposed classified info when he exposed the identity of Plame-Wilson (now admittedly). Knodell refused to answer because his understanding is that he would not be asked about ongoing investigations. Waxman says the question is not about the Libby trial, it is about the Valerie Plame CIA leak case.
Knodell says Ari's disclosure prior to Knodell's tenure which began in Aug. of 2004.
Asks Knodell if he was ever aware of a White House investigation into the leak. Knodell stuns! "I have no knowledge of any investigation within my office"
Waxman: Would a report have been filed if there was a leak investigation, intentional or not, of classified information prior to his joining office?
Waxman: Is there such a report?
Knodell: "There is no report on file that classified information was disclosed in my office."
Waxman: Was any disciplinary action ever taken against Rove for his disclosure of information?
CUMMINS (D) QUESTIONS
"Shocked" by Knodell's earlier testimony. Confirms that there is no report and no investigation into the leak in the White House Security Office.
Knodell says that there "was already an outside investigation, that's why we took no action."
Waxman interupts to ask about the specifics again.
Knodell repeats "I have no evidence of an investigation into the matter within my office."
Waxman: Do you have any knowledge of any investigation in the White House?
Knodell: "Not within my office."
DIANE WATSON (D-CA) QUESTIONS
Is also stunned by previous testimony. Confirms that Knodell, in fact, works for the White House.
Repeats that Rove still hasn't disclosed who informed him of W-P's covert identity. Says therefore, Knodell's office should have investigated. Knodell confirms. "There was no investigation from the office of White House Security"
She's amazed. Knodell confirms again. Watson says this is "dereliction of duty" to not have done an investigation even now.
VAN HOLLEN (D-MD) QUESTIONS
"Stunned" that there was no investigation.
Van Hollen: Is that policy?
Knodell: "No." admits "An investigation should be done."
Van Hollen: But one was not done??
Knodell: "That's correct"
VH asks whether his office is supposed to look into any disclosure, not just intentional disclosure, why his office is not today doing an investigation?
Knodell: "Mr. Congressman I will take that back to my review this with Senior Management"
Asks who his senior management is. About 5 or 6 people before any "reports to the White House" according to Knodell.
Waxman: When this hit, the President was outraged and said that heads would roll...and now it turns out there wasn't even an investigation.
Now it turns out there wasn't even an investigation.
Well, of course not. When we're talking about a culture that refers to waging war as "spreading democracy" and ransacking terrified Iraqis' homes as "winning hearts and minds", surely you didn't expect the phrases "the President is outraged" and "heads will roll" to mean, you know, that the President was actually outraged and heads would actually roll, did you?
Silly old bears. You must have forgotten that the President and All His Men (and Women) have been much too busy going through our private telephone records to concern themselves with any real threats to national security.
Also at Shakes' place.