Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Live from Las Vegas: CIA Leak Panel

Jane Hamsher, the founder of Firedoglake, has just finished introduced the speakers on the CIA Leak Investigation Panel, which appears to be - thus far - the most well attended panel. It's being held in Royale 5-8, the same room where last night's reception took place. That's probably a good thing, because it seems like half of all convention attendees are here!

Ambassador Joe Wilson is speaking now. He announced himself as "Mr. Valerie Plame", which got a big laugh. He personally thanked the audience for their support, and said he had met no one who had not wished him and Valerie the best.

UPDATE: Wilson observed that there has been no focus on identifying the person who put the lie about Saddam and uranium in Bush's State of the Union speech back in 2003, yet everyone now knows his wife and her identity.

Wilson was brief in his remarks, but inspiring. He was followed by Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post, who saluted attendees for starting their own conversation (on the Internet, the most democratic medium ever invented), and Murray Waas, whose investigative reporting has played a key role in the CIA leak investigation. Murray is speaking now.

UPDATE II: The panel is finished. It was simply outstanding. The panelists had a great discussion about the leak investigation, where we're likely headed, and how blogs have impacted the case. Each speaker provided a unique perspective that was different from anyone else's. I think that's part of what made the panel so great: it was truly made up of all-star experts who not only have extensive knowledge, but aren't afraid to speak their minds.

One of the best lines during the panel came from former CIA officer Larry Johnson, who concluded his remarks by declaring: "How the Republicans can excuse what is nothing short of treason is beyond me."

That drew thunderous applause from the audience, of course.

The other panelists, Christy Hardin Smith and Marcy Wheeler, didn't deliver any stirring lines, but their ability to analyze the investigation is amazing. I wish they could have talked for another hour because they have so much insight to share.

Other panels or workshops taking place at the same time as this one included:
  • Sustainable Energy - Energize America - Jérôme Guillet, Mark Sumner, Adam Siegel, George Karayannis, Governor Bill Richardson
  • Ethics, Corruption, and Movement Politics - David Sirota, Dave Johnson, Melanie Sloan, Joe Trippi
  • Immigration Round Table hosted by Simon Rosenberg
  • Current Events Round Table hosted by McJoan

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