Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Sad Anniversary

July 14th will mark an anniversary of sorts. It will mark the day that a small, but highly effective, company closed its doors for good. It is true that many small companies shut down each week all across America, but this company, when it closed its doors 4 years ago, left America less safe than it was on July 13th, 2003.

The company that closed was Brewster Jennings and Associates. This small company, known to many throughout the world was home to a handful of ‘energy analysts’ that supported the international energy industry, was a effective and smart player in their field. In fact, during its heyday Brewster Jennings was associated with ARAMCO, which produced 12% of the world’s oil. ARAMCO is also the former home of Condie Rice (as a board member of Chevron). Brewster Jennings was effective within the energy industry, but that wasn’t the main benefit of this small company.

Within other circles, Brewster Jennings was crucial part to an overall strategy to defeat terrorism. Because Brewster Jennings, since the mid-1990s, helped America contain the proliferation of Nuclear weapons throughout the world. (link) This company tracked nuclear weapons and the materials to create nuclear weapons in some of the most volatile corners of the world through a vast, complex network of intelligence. So when Brewster Jennings closed their doors in 2003 America lost the means to track nuclear proliferation.

By now most everyone knows that Brewster Jennings, named for a former President of the founder of the companies that became Mobil Oil and ExxonMobil, was a front company for the CIA (link). Although listed on Dun and Bradstreet as an energy consultancy and having legitimate partnerships with companies like ARAMCO, Brewster Jennings was actually a CIA funded company, born in the early 1990’s by George Tenet’s CIA under the Clinton Presidency and continued throughout Tenet’s tenure in the Bush Presidency. The company was formed to cover specific CIA covert operations by giving an actual storefront, complete with accounts payable and receivables, should foreign intelligence agencies, throughout the world, suspect that its employees are something other than ‘energy analysts’.

One of Brewster Jennings most notable energy analysts, Valerie Plame worked successfully for years, in countries of Syria and Saudi Arabia tracking the whereabouts of nuclear weaponry. Before July 13, 2003, by most accounts, Brewster Jennings’ cover was clear. The company had a long track record within the energy industry. They were formed in the mid-1990s and had trackable revenues; albeit small revenues, but trackable revenues nonetheless. In fact, Brewster Jennings paid corporate taxes every year during their operation.

Brewster Jennings’ track record was so covert that even when the company’s name became publicly known in 2003 by Robert Novak, Mr. Novak couldn’t even tell it was a CIA front. Mr. Novak was duped himself, as evidenced by his comments after his infamous story about Ms. Plame.

"There is no such firm, I'm convinced. CIA people are not supposed to list themselves with fictitious firms if they're under a deep cover -- they're supposed to be real firms, or so I'm told." Mr. Novak said after elements of his story became larger than he imagined. It was obvious, that the man that broke the cover of Ms. Plame, did so using Brewster Jennings as evidence. Not realizing that Brewster Jennings was an actual company, with other employees and other objectives.


But by the time that Mr. Novak’s story broke (as well as the other press coverage), Brewster Jennings’ cover had been broken. Valerie Plame and her now former associates at Brewster Jennings, Ms. Edwards, Mr. Ellman and others, quickly became unemployed, at least as energy analysts. Brewster Jennings’ clients and every country that the company had dealings with, began researching the background of everyone associated with the company, as well as any third-party companies brought in by Brewster Jennings. Not only was Valerie Plame outed, but Brewster Jennings’ other ‘energy analysts’, or rather, CIA operatives were also publicly disclosed. As was every company that Brewster Jennings used to do business overseas. In the foreign intelligence industry, the outing of Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings became a wonderful gift.

We all know by now that high-ranking officials within the current administration divulged to the world that Ms. Plame was not an energy analyst but a CIA operative, but when Brewster Jennings went under as an unwilling participant in this game of politics, our nation’s safety was and still is more at risk than before the outing.

The fact is that Brewster Jennings & Associates served this country well. For more than a decade and multiple administrations, this company helped the CIA give cover in the world of espionage in the global fight against the proliferation of nuclear weaponry. The many, many years that it took to grow this company into a worthy vehicle for America were wiped clean by old-style character assignation and petty politics.

This country deserves better. We need more companies like Brewster Jennings and Associates, not less.

Posted by john trevisani at July 6, 2007 11:47 AM
Comments
Comment #225026

john trevisani- excellent article,

I wounder if their demise was [planned obsolescence?]

-

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 6, 2007 12:24 PM
Comment #225033

Excellent article, John. By ordering Karl Rove and Scooter Libby to betray a CIA operative (probably with the President’s knowledge), Vice President Cheney committed treason of the worst kind.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 6, 2007 12:56 PM
Comment #225034

I’m going to have to stop looking into stories about this because the more I do the more angry I become.

I wish I could believe that when they outed her that they thought it would be an isolated incident… that they didnt do it in order to cause as much damage as they actually did… but the more I grow to understand it the more it becomes evident that mass damage was the goal of this leak… If they systematically put their own guys on nuclear monitoring by destroying all others they can pretty much say whatever they want about the nuclear scene, who’s going to argue against their “facts”? Their cats and dogs?

Posted by: Squire at July 6, 2007 12:58 PM
Comment #225037

I must say that I’m surprised to see an article in the Democratic column whose main point is that we need more CIA front companies. Now I’ve seen everything.

I realize that this is actually just an attempt to keep whipping a dead horse (the Valerie Plame story) and that very few if any liberals out there are actually pining for more CIA front companies. But it’s still a very odd thing to be demanding.

CIA front companies! Hurray!

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 6, 2007 1:04 PM
Comment #225040

LO, it’s important to have good intelligence on WMD and terrorism. Everybody understands that.

I’m actually surprised that Republicans are so gleefully crapping on the Costitution and undermining the rule of law.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 6, 2007 1:19 PM
Comment #225043

Thanks john, for pointing out yet another attack on our principles and dignity, and to remind us that this administration has left a swath of destruction and ruination that will take years for us to recover from. It’s so hard to think that anyone in their right mind (well, there’s the answer) would want to leave a legacy such as this for the world to remember.
I’m with you Squire, just when I think that I can’t possibly get any madder about what they do, they manage to find ways!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 6, 2007 1:27 PM
Comment #225045

Squire, there’s no reason for you to get angry.

About 90% of this whole tale John has spun for us is a work of imaginative fiction.

He has no idea what Brewser Jennings did, when it opened or when it closed—if it ever did. Nor does he bother to say. Notice that the date that “Brewster Jennings” closed its doors is actually the date of the publication of Robert Novak’s famous column.

Also, you can never it say it enough times (and might as well not say at all because the partisan propagandists aren’t listening): nobody was “outed.”

You might wish that the mulit-million dollar investigation which took several years proved that that somebody was outed, but it didn’t and they weren’t. If you believe that the White House outed Valerie Plame and got away with it, are you also outraged that those Duke lacrosse players got away with rape? There’s no difference, and it’s time for Democrats to get over this and come back to reality.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 6, 2007 1:30 PM
Comment #225051
nobody was “outed.”

…except for that covert CIA operative.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 6, 2007 1:52 PM
Comment #225055
July 14th will mark an anniversary of sorts.

Bastille Day?

Posted by: Jack Chirac at July 6, 2007 2:01 PM
Comment #225061

AP, the question is not whether she was a “covert CIA operative” but whether she was “outed.” Those are two completely different issues. Not only has nobody been convicted for outing, nobody has been tried for outing. In fact, nobody has even been ACCUSED of outing. So why are we talking about outing? Oh yeah, because it’s a partisan liberal talking point and reality be damned.

But it’s just as ridiculous to keep talking about the administration “outing” Valerie Plame as it to keep talking about those Duke lacrosse players who committed rape. Sorry, but reality just doesn’t conform to the talking points of left wing pundits, no matter hard they try to wish it into being.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 6, 2007 2:54 PM
Comment #225068

Squire:
It’s apparent that supporters will see exactly what they want to see (Ref: LO trying to point out that only Republican/Conservatives should use the CIA to protect America). This ‘win at all costs’ attitude has been the mantra since day one. So if Brewster Jennings has to close up operations so that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney may stay in office, then so be it. For them, that’s the price of admission.

Posted by: john trevisani at July 6, 2007 3:26 PM
Comment #225070

LO-
Asked to make a legal determination on the matter by the CIA itself, Patrick Fitzgerald established that Valerie Wilson was covert, that her secret was well-kept prior to the Administration’s revelation of it, and that her identity was classified information.

Meaning, her identity was a secret before the Bush folks blabbed it, and not a secret afterwards. Additional facts, gained in sworn grand jury testimony point to a deliberate effort on the part of Bush staff members to make this information known to the press, and thereby to the American public.

Additionally, a crime can be committed without a crime being charged, a criminal indicted, tried or sentenced. Remember, in our society, it is necessary for prosecutors to prove a matter beyond a reasonable doubt. Fitzgerald’s problem is that the law requires that a person know that such information is classified, and as I understand it, intend to harm American interests as a result of that. Such state of mind questions can be frustratingly vague.

With Armitage, it’s difficult to prove that he knew the information was classified at the time. reportedly, he was rather distressed to find that out. That may be a big reason why nobody was charged here.

It’s funny that you talk about talking points, given that your position constantly echoes the legalistic fallacy that just because nobody was charged nothing was done wrong. In the eyes of the law, that might be true, but from a reasonable perusal of the facts, one could conclude that deliberate leaks were made to out Valerie Wilson.

You should consider for a moment, apart from all this, the problems inherent to the attitude that one can say that a crime hasn’t been committed until somebody is convicted in a court of law for it. There is no comparison here between the Plame case and the Duke case. That’s just cheap rhetoric.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 6, 2007 3:39 PM
Comment #225073

Well LO… I’m not shoot em up, wrestle some varmints angry… I’m morally disgusted and well… yeh… I’m angry.

I mean… its not his blog that makes me angry… I regard these blogs as one person starting a conversation and us continuing it… and anything said isn’t the outright truth… I’m not saying everything he’s saying is OPENING MY EYES… I’m simply saying… the more I read in general peeves me off.

How was Valerie Plame not outed as being an CIA operative? I mean… it was a secret… no one was supposed to know (that was when it was “in”) but when they revealed her or “let out” the information or “outed” her as an operative… putting her in jeopardy and several others that were revealed by being involved with her.
Why shouldn’t I be angry? By “outing” this information they destroyed the opportunity to utilize her CIA status to the benefit of our protection… Placing not just her but us in danger as well… even if it were just a little tiny bit… Placing the american people in danger seems like treason to me… I mean it would be disloyal to put americans in danger right?

Posted by: Squire at July 6, 2007 3:44 PM
Comment #225076

Historically, Mobil oil was founded after the breakup of the Rockefeller holdings, and originally called SOCONY Mobil, for Standard Oil Company of NY.

It all sounds like a JJ Abrams script to me.

Posted by: ohrealy at July 6, 2007 4:02 PM
Comment #225078

ohealy:
The name Brewster Jennings came the late Benjamin Brewster Jennings, President and founder of the Socony-Vacuum oil company. Socony later became Mobil Oil, which then merged to become part of ExxonMobil.

It was just a name that they used.

Posted by: john trevisani at July 6, 2007 4:09 PM
Comment #225093

LO,

You quite often try do represent yourself as unbiased or non-partisan and I can now actually say, “you’re full of crap”!

Quoting your own words: “nobody was “outed.””

And I’ve already read your BS reply to AP!

Let’s define “outed” shall we: I recall the term being used frequently beginning in the 80’s to describe the revealing of ones sexual orientation.

Then “the outing” would result in an “Oh my God” moment among friends, and friends of friends, and much chuckling among friends that never had a clue. And then many friends would disappear when JUDGEMENT began.

But we’re not talking about a “gay” outing, we’re talking about the well documented and orchestrated outing of a fairly high level CIA operative. We’re talking about TREASON! I’ve personally wondered if any of those detained in Iran in recent months were not somehow connected to Valerie Plame. Of course any admission of such would likely lead to immediate execution or worse.

To simply dismiss John’s claims with your level of partisan bias is totally ridiculous. Perhaps you should change your moniker to Loyal Bushie! IMO your support for Bush & Co. is downright shameful.

At the end of the day maybe John’s full of crap, but to say he is requires one of two things:

#1: Credibility.
#2: Evidence.

Otherwise you can only say, “I don’t think so”.

Then again, Bush could make a few calls!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 6, 2007 7:20 PM
Comment #225104

john trevisani:
I think, If I were a Government Employee, I would
seriously consider watching my back. Any time a

small group of people betray their brethren, should
have severe consequence’s for no other reason than

to restore Dignity an Honor to Presidency an our
Country. This outing of Mrs. Wilson has disgraced

the CIA an the White House, an there is no justifiable excuses acceptable from the Right, Left

or those in between.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 6, 2007 8:22 PM
Comment #225105

-DAVID-
Why bother stopping at just a Government employee? The current administration has made it well known that just because your an American citizen doesn’t mean you’re off limits.

Posted by: john trevisani at July 6, 2007 8:36 PM
Comment #225116

LO makes a good point. It is interesting how much liberals evidently love the CIA and secrets. Didn’t the NYT reveal some very interesting secrets about SWIFT and wiretapping terrorists?

Stephen

It is true that not every crook is convicted or even indicted. However, if we KNOW who did something and we still do not indict, maybe the case is very weak or non-existent. AND you cannot then extrapolate that even though the guy everybody knows did it is not indicted, others must be guilty, when you have absolutely no reason to believe that. It is just a couple steps too far.

Posted by: Jack at July 6, 2007 10:50 PM
Comment #225121

KansasDem, I’m well aware of how “outing” can be used to talk about gays. But when John said in the original post, “Not only was Valerie Plame outed…” I don’t think he meant that she was a previously closeted lesbian. I’m not trying to insinuate anything different and am only using the same word in the same context as the Democrat who started this thread.

As for being partisan, I don’t care if people are partisan or not. Being either partisan or non-partisan doesn’t mean you’re right. But considering my views of Bush, if I’m a “Loyal Bushie” then you must be one too. I just refuse to believe that in any debate the side with valid arguments is the one that can whip itself into the most incoherent and illogical rage about the White House.

As for the question of “outing” Valerie Plame, I’m not saying that her classified status never existed or that it was never blown. All I’m saying is that a long, expensive investigation into the question of whether anyone deliberately “outed her” failed to uncover anything and so it’s just an unsupported partisan opinion to keep talking about “outing,” “treason” and the rest of it. Accusing the White House is no more or no less justified than accusing ANYBODY, including Valerie Plame, her husband, or the man on the moon.

Stephen is perfectly correct that just because nobody is accused or convicted of a specific crime, it doesn’t mean that the crime never occurred. But it DOES, however, tend to tip the scales towards a presumption of innocence when you’re talking about any specific individual. And if you go on alleging crimes after many years and millions of dollars spent by a special prosecutor with almost unheard of powers, then the allegations of crime—not the allegation of innocence—is the one suffering from a lack of substance.

And let’s not sit around and pretend that the anti-Administration commentators on this issue don’t passionately WANT the White House to be guilty of crimes and are coloring all the evidence toward that end.

An important fact which I NEVER see the partisans bothering to contend with is why, if outing Plame was a criminal act, the one person we KNOW FOR A FACT leaked her identity, was never indicted. Perhaps it’s because Plame’s cover seems to have been blown numerous times before Novak’s column, at least once by a Soviet spy, which is why Valerie Plame (reportedly) was reassigned to a desk job in Washington. Is this why Armitage wasn’t indicted? I don’t know. Only Fitzgerald knows, and he’s not talking. What’s known is that if leaking Plame’s identity was a crime, the prosectutor had the known triggerman dead to rights, and chose not to act on this knowledge. Sure, maybe it was an accidental leak on Armitage’s part. But if that was the case, why couldn’t ANYBODY else also claim that it was an accident if they were ever called to account for it? Which they were not, to refresh your memory. Why is it no big deal for Armitage to do it, but a major crime for anybody else? Oh yeah, it’s because Armitage isn’t part of the White House and the partisans don’t give a crap about who did the crime if a crime occurred. They only want to pin a crime on their political enemies.

But sorry. No Fitzmas this year, next year, or ever.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 6, 2007 11:15 PM
Comment #225124

john- These folks act like all those people at the

White House wanted to just congratulate the Wilson’s

for helping avoid a War in Iraq, by proving there

was no Yellow Cake in Africa! [Mission Accomplished]

Don’t we wish this was the case.

-

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 6, 2007 11:46 PM
Comment #225137

“Only Fitzgerald knows, and he’s not talking.”

Baloney. He’s spoken plenty but he’s been very cautious, as anyone with a law degree and half a brain would be.

It’s also quite obvious to anyone that’s completed remedial reading that I was not suggesting there was anything “gay or lesbian” about the whole ordeal. To quote you exactly:

“Not only has nobody been convicted for outing, nobody has been tried for outing. In fact, nobody has even been ACCUSED of outing. So why are we talking about outing?”

And I’m saying that your talking points are totally partisan biased horse manure! Out of thin air you seem to have created an imaginary criminal offense called “outing”. Just prior to that you say, “you can never it say it enough times (and might as well not say at all because the partisan propagandists aren’t listening): nobody was “outed.””

Based on that premise every unsolved murder was not a murder at all because our system of law enforcement was unable to determine who murdered the victim. Just look how long John Wayne Gacy got away with burying bodies under his house before the stink gave him away.

In this particular instance John Trevisani makes an excellent argument that a crime was indeed committed and one of the “dead bodies” was indeed a CIA front company that may have provided “cover” for any number of unknown operatives.

You then choose to create a “straw man” with the premise that “no one was outed”, blah, blah, blah. You, sir, bloviate on the level of O’Reilly and your arguments are downright “weak in the pants”! In your latest attempt to avoid the facts surrounding the treasonous acts of Bush, Cheney, et. al. you even insert the Duke Lacrosse rape case which has nothing to do with the price of tea, er-uh, the price of lies coming out of this White House.

Just in the past couple of days I posted a link to a chart used by the House of Representatives in their investigation of this affair. I won’t waste my time again, but it’s all based on fact and many people in the administration were talking about Plame to anyone and everyone who’d listen.

Downright shameful and treasonous behavior. Shame on everyone involved and double shame on everyone who’s willing to turn a blind eye on this act of treason!

Posted by: KansasDem at July 7, 2007 1:38 AM
Comment #225139

KansasDem- I hope the Congress an Senate for get
politics, an who may or mat not vote for them an

just the right thing!

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 7, 2007 2:04 AM
Comment #225140

Sorry [do the right thing]

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 7, 2007 2:06 AM
Comment #225160

Jack:

LO makes a good point. It is interesting how much liberals evidently love the CIA and secrets. Didn’t the NYT reveal some very interesting secrets about SWIFT and wiretapping terrorists?

Where did LO make that absurd allegation?

What LO did write was that LO was shocked that a liberal would support CIA covert operations, like the million-dollar, multi-year covert operations of the CIA front company, Brewster Jennings. He was saying that only conservatives care about the security of American citizens; that was LO’s absurd allegation.

And for the record, JACK, the CIA was NOT involved in the wiretapping of American citizens; that was the NSA.

Posted by: john trevisani at July 7, 2007 7:33 AM
Comment #225260
And I’m saying that your talking points are totally partisan biased horse manure! Out of thin air you seem to have created an imaginary criminal offense called “outing”. Just prior to that you say, “you can never it say it enough times (and might as well not say at all because the partisan propagandists aren’t listening): nobody was “outed.‎”

Based on that premise every unsolved murder was not a murder at all because our system of law enforcement was unable to determine who murdered the victim.

I didn’t realize that while Democrats are running around screaming “outing” “leaks” and “treason” (three words that have been used in this thread), Republicans are the ones who will be accused of inventing imaginary criminal offenses if they don’t say things like Pub.L. 97-200, 50 U.S.C. 421 426. Or, if you prefer, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Just to make you happy, let me rephrase: nobody was found to have violated or was even accused of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which is what the special prosecutor was tasked to investigate. Anyone care to deny it? I didn’t think so.

To use your murder analogy, if we have a body and we know who the triggerman was (Armitage), isn’t it odd that he was never accused of the crime? Why not? Does anyone have a plausible answer besides that there was no crime here to begin with? That’s the mystery to me, and I think it’s a pretty damn good question to be asking.

As for all the unsolved murders in this country, why not just blame them all on Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and George W. Bush? You might as well since you don’t think that either you or the courts has any burden of ever proving a damn thing and that the important thing is to get partisan satisfaction from throwing mud.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 7, 2007 11:36 PM
Comment #225287

Jack-
Swift is a poorly kept secret. The UN had a publication about it. The Wiretapping, in addition to being illegal, has the liability of being something that would obvious from logical consideration alone.

Why wouldn’t the government data-mine to find terrorists? Why would the tech savvy among the terrorists not know about it? Unless we were feeding them technical details, they would not likely be in any different of a position.

What the Bush Administration minds us finding out is that they were spying on American Citizens, going through our information without a warrant to justify their search.

The Bush administration has broadly increased secrecy, but seems to use it to hide wrongdoing and inconvenient information, and has been so arbitrary about how it does this that it’s devalued secrecy in general.

Worse yet, the secrecy they’re advocating is actually making things worse, to the point that even people who need to know things are denied the information. This is more part of what killed us on 9/11 than failures of secrecy were.

Meanwhile, the real secrets we need to keep, secrets like Trevisani’s article talks about, are made known to the world, just to win a political argument. It’s like McGeorge Bundy once said, if you protect your diamonds and your toothbrushes with equal zeal, you’ll lose few toothbrushes, and a lot of diamonds.

Protecting a program that is already common knowledge, and preventing the public from knowing of the existence of an illegal program that people could logically work out the existence of (aside from the illegal behavior) is not my idea of properly protecting our state secrets. Nor is administration officials being promiscuous with the secrets we really should be keeping.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 8, 2007 9:26 AM
Comment #225363
The Wiretapping, in addition to being illegal…

The wiretapping, according to the courts, IS not illegal.

It’s incredibly difficult to have a conversation that’s critical of the Administration (which I’m all for) when 90% of what the left-wingers say is pure fiction.

It’s a shame, because I think the administration should and deserves to have its feet to the fire for its bad decisions and general incompetence.

But I can’t help but think that they’re being innoculated from the scrutiny they deserve by the extremely poor quality of the attacks launched by their hysterically partisan detractors.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 9, 2007 12:45 AM
Comment #225373

LO:

The wiretapping, according to the courts, IS not illegal.
Cool! What’s your phone number?

It’s incredibly difficult to have a conversation that’s critical of the Administration (which I’m all for) when 90% of what the left-wingers say is pure fiction.
I don’t doubt how difficult these ‘conversations’ are for you. For you to continually support this administration’s behavior without supplying a shred of evidence to back up your opinion must be a terribly difficult task to pull off, day-in, day-out. i suppose you have some people to draw from (O’Reilly, Hannity, etc…) for inspiration. But still, it must be tough, coming up with the stuff that you do.

We feel your pain.

Posted by: john trevisani at July 9, 2007 7:31 AM
Comment #226828

john trevisani- I believe Scoter Libby was not
charged with other crimes may be, because Aldridge
Ames, I think in 1994, had V. Plame’s name on his list
which he sold to the Russians. So the Russians knew
an the the rest of the CIA knew of her, but her name never made print.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 19, 2007 2:56 AM
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