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August 02, 2005

The Plame Kerfuffle

From the New York Times...

One of the most puzzling aspects of the C.I.A. leak case has had to do with the name of the exposed officer. Why did the syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak identify her as Valerie Plame in exposing her link to the C.I.A. in July 2003 when she had been known for years both at the agency and in her personal life by her married name, Valerie Wilson?

Mr. Novak offered a possible explanation for the disconnect on Monday, suggesting in his column that he could have obtained Ms. Wilson's maiden name from the directory Who's Who in America, which used that name in identifying her as the wife of Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador....

A State Department memorandum drafted in 2003 and taken on board Air Force One the week before Mr. Novak's column ran identifies Ms. Wilson by her married name rather than Ms. Plame. The prosecutor has taken an interest in the memorandum - which outlines Ms. Wilson's role in suggesting her husband for a fact-finding trip to Niger - and has shown it to numerous witnesses in the case in an apparent effort to determine whether it was a source for Mr. Novak or the officials who leaked the information to him.

If not for Who's Who, it is not clear how Mr. Novak would have decided to identify Ms. Wilson as Ms. Plame rather than the name she commonly used.

Do you ever get the feeling that some people tend to get really involved in trivialities to the point of making them sounds as if the world revolves around it? I'm still trying to figure out what in the world is the whole point to this mess. It's obvious that Valerie Wilson doesn't fit the legal parameters of the law the Liberals are whining about. It's obvious that the whole investigation is just partisan windows dressing, just like Mr. Wilson's bogus trip to Niger (pronounce nee-ZHAIR if you want to sound pretentious, NIGH-jer for the rest of us). It's obvious that were the sources really in the White House, these reporters would be climbing over each other to tell the world. It's also obvious that Rove was not Cooper's initial source, and Cooper's email was dragged out simply to A. get him out of jail and B. give the administration a black eye. Meanwhile Judith Miller remains in jail because she won't reveal her source.

Then there's this piece...

Cliff Kincaid
Why Did Joseph Wilson Lie?

...Plame's role in arranging the mission for her husband is solid proof that she was not concerned about having her "cover" blown because she was not truly under cover. Part of the confusion stems from the different forms of "cover" available to CIA employees and which can be protected under law. Romerstein says she was under "cover" only in the sense that she had used a front company, an entity called "Brewster-Jennings & Associates." That was a "convenience" or "light cover," but not the kind of "deep cover" that has to be protected under the terms of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. What's more, she had not been overseas over the previous five years, as required for the law to apply. Instead, she had been driving in and out of the CIA headquarters in Virginia and had a desk job. That's not the mark of a real covert agent.

No law was broken. The media screamed for an investigation until two of their own were threatened with jail for not revealing sources. Cooper finally revealed Rove's name, but it turns out Rove had signed a waiver over a year and a half ago written by the office of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that released any confidentiality agreement with anyone with whom Rove had discussed the Wilson/Plame matter. Other White House staff also signed the waiver. Cooper's excuse for waiting is that he was unsure whether the waiver applied to Rove, even though it was signed by Rove, and plainly said any conversation to anyone. So Cooper never had any reason to even withhold Rove's name. Cooper's claim that Rove was the leak is not being taken very seriously, especially in light of the fact that Cooper himself pushed for the information from Rove, then lied in the article he wrote, claiming the White House was going after Wilson.

What's their next accusation? “Rove turned me into a newt...uh....well...I got better.”

Coverage: Captain's Quarters, Outside the Beltway

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 2, 2005 08:42 AM

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