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Walter Pincus knew Valerie since 1996
Washington Post | January 12, 1996 | Walter Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer

Posted on 11/21/2005 1:05:16 AM PST by SBD1

Edited on 11/21/2005 1:31:30 AM PST by Jim Robinson. [history]

BODY: She was a CIA case officer working in Europe covertly, holding herself out as the representative of a Texas foundation that was interested in world economics.

Unlike most CIA case officers overseas who work out of U.S. embassies and purport to be diplomats, she was operating under what CIA calls "nonofficial cover" (NOC).



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anderson; baumgartner; catherineanderson; catherineianderson; cathyanderson; cathyianderson; cia; cialeak; fredrustmann; hughredmond; maryabaumgartner; maryannbaumgartner; marybaumgartner; nigerflap; noc; nocs; pincus; redmond; rustmann; wp
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Doesn’t this story sound familar? It sure sounds like the story I posted last week where former CIA Russman, Plames’ former boss, hints that this NOC was Valerie with similar language to the above story.

NOC NOC. Who’s There? A Special Kind of Agent Time Magazine Michael Duffy and Timothy J. Burger October 27th, 2003

Some Bush partisans have suggested that the outing of Plame is no big deal, that she was “just an analyst” or maybe, as a G.O.P. Congressman told CNN, “a glorified secretary.” But the facts tell otherwise. Plame was, for starters, a former NOC — that is, a spy with nonofficial cover who worked overseas as a private individual with no apparent connection to the U.S. government. NOCs are among the government’s most closely guarded secrets, because they often work for real or fictive private companies overseas and are set loose to spy solo. NOCs are harder to train, more expensive to place and can remain undercover longer than conventional spooks. They can also go places and see people whom those under official cover cannot. They are in some ways the most vulnerable of all clandestine officers, since they have no claim to diplomatic immunity if they get caught.

Plame worked as a spy internationally in more than one role. Fred Rustmann, a former CIA official who put in 24 years as a spymaster and was Plame’s boss for a few years, says Plame worked under official cover in Europe in the early 1990s — say, as a U.S. embassy attache — before switching to nonofficial cover a few years later. Mostly Plame posed as a business analyst or a student in what Rustmann describes as a “nice European city.” Plame was never a so-called deep-cover NOC, he said, meaning the agency did not create a complex cover story about her education, background, job, personal life and even hobbies and habits that would stand up to intense scrutiny by foreign governments. “[NOCs] are on corporate rolls, and if anybody calls the corporation, the secretary says, ‘Yeah, he works for us,’” says Rustmann. “The degree of backstopping to a NOC’s cover is a very good indication of how deep that cover really is.”

For decades, a varying number of NOCs (the exact figure is classified) have been installed abroad in big multinational corporations, small companies or bogus academic posts. The more genteel rules of traditional espionage do not apply to NOCs. When the Soviets caught a diplomat doing spy work during the cold war, they roughed him up a little and sent him home. Unmasked NOCs, on the other hand, have met with much harsher fates: CIA officer Hugh Redmond was caught in Shanghai in 1951 posing as an employee of a British import-export company and spent 19 years in a Chinese prison before dying there. In early 1995 the French rolled up five CIA officers, including a woman who had been working as a NOC under business cover for about five years. Although the NOC caught in Paris in 1995 was simply sent home, “it might not have been so easy in an Arab country,” says a former CIA official familiar with the matter. “[NOCs] have no diplomatic status, so they can end up in slammers.”

So, if I am correct, then Pincus knew Valerie back in 1996 when he wrote that story. In 1996, she would still be Valerie Plame since she didn’t marry Joe until 1998. This explains why her maiden name was used because it probably took some of them a while to put 2 and 2 together to conclude Valerie Wilson is Valerie Plame from 1996 Paris flap!!

SBD

1 posted on 11/21/2005 1:05:18 AM PST by SBD1
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To: SBD1

Wow!!


2 posted on 11/21/2005 1:09:15 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: SBD1
By the way:

When tradecraft errors led to her entrapment by French counterintelligence

Translated, that means she screwed up.

3 posted on 11/21/2005 1:10:15 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: SBD1

Good find.


4 posted on 11/21/2005 1:11:16 AM PST by Paladin2 (If the political indictment's from Fitz, the jury always acquits.)
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To: SBD1

Sounds to me like Valerie was on Paris vacation and not a spy mission.


5 posted on 11/21/2005 1:11:57 AM PST by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: SBD1
When the woman's spying role became apparent to a male friend, however, he turned her in to French counterintelligence, which began a surveillance that exposed her activities.

No doubt she bragged about being a secret agent on their second date.

6 posted on 11/21/2005 1:13:04 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: SBD1

Bump.


7 posted on 11/21/2005 1:13:18 AM PST by Do not dub me shapka broham
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To: SBD1

Tradecraft Errors". That ain't exactly waitress talk.


8 posted on 11/21/2005 1:17:37 AM PST by Waco
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To: SBD1

Is this another FR exclusive?


9 posted on 11/21/2005 1:21:20 AM PST by L.N. Smithee (How Many Lies Will The MSM Repeat To Enable a Bush Impeachment? http://lnsmitheeblog.blogspot.com)
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To: SBD1

Good find.


10 posted on 11/21/2005 1:26:15 AM PST by Fedora
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To: SBD1
When tradecraft errors led to her entrapment by French counterintelligence, she left the country and her case eventually became a public embarrassment for both Washington and Paris.

Super Spy Women was an incompetant hack.

11 posted on 11/21/2005 1:32:42 AM PST by AmericaUnited
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To: SBD1

I absolutely agree with your conclusion that the woman Pincus wrote about in 1996 was Plame. It is likely, however, that he got the story about her second-hand and didn't know her personally and didn't even know her name.

However, this certainly nails down the timeline - - she was exposed "several years" prior to 1996 and brought in. She was obviously not "covert" after that and so her status could not have triggered any violation of the Intelligence Identities act which specifies "abroad" and "within five years".

This story also seems to kill the theory that Plame was brought in because of a fear that her identity had been revealed by Aldrich Ames.


12 posted on 11/21/2005 1:41:03 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: SBD1

One more thing: It will be interesting to see Libby's lawyers questioning Pincus about this story on the stand, under oath. That's going to be one fun trial (if it actually gets that far).


13 posted on 11/21/2005 1:43:30 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: SBD1
This is no surprise. Walter Pincus is a former CIA interrogator. He talks about it during this C-SPAN interview at 8:29. The disturbing part about this is the extent to which the CIA has infiltrated MSM, and the extent to which left-wing collectivists have infiltrated the CIA. I think Porter Goss is working on that.
14 posted on 11/21/2005 1:51:34 AM PST by advance_copy (Stand for life, or nothing at all)
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To: advance_copy

I think Valerie was more of an "under the sheets" CIA operative than "under cover".


15 posted on 11/21/2005 2:15:59 AM PST by BubbaJunebug
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To: SBD1

with agents like her no wonder the cia is so f***ed up.
makes get smart look legit.


16 posted on 11/21/2005 2:51:22 AM PST by JohnLongIsland
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To: SBD1
A friend of mine was in deep, business type NOC for the US Army for years during the Cold War, in Europe and in Latin America. He lived overseas for years and his work was sometimes dangerous. Because of enduring local antagonisms, there are still countries that he cannot visit.

A few years after my friend retired from intel work, the Army sent a ranking officer to break the news to my friend's wife so that she did not keep asking awkward questions about the places they could not visit and his excessively security conscious behavior. She was furious at having been so thoroughly deceived and at first said that she would have preferred that he was with the Mafia or had a mistress and second family.

In recent years Plame does not seem to have been in deep NOC because she was talking to the press, had a bio that could be traced based to work in a US embassy, residence in the DC area, and marriage to a self-promoting chatterbox former ambassador who knew about her intel job. Unlike Plame, my friend had been a successful businessman in the US domestically, with strong ties to a community far from Washington and other centers of power, and with a spouse who never suspected her husband's secret life.

Plame's NOC work was almost certainly never against hostile intelligence services but against companies and individuals that were WMD proliferators. That kind of work is essentially against a type of crooked businessman who breaks laws and offers bribes but does not kill. All things considered, even with her name in the press and picture on the Internet, a quick dye job and a bit of makeup would be enough for Plame to do her kind of NOC work with less danger than to her than she would have during a ten block walk through inner city DC.
17 posted on 11/21/2005 3:01:07 AM PST by Rockingham
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To: SBD1

BTTT


18 posted on 11/21/2005 3:10:35 AM PST by Deetes (God Bless the Troops)
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To: SBD1
Unlike most CIA case officers overseas who work out of U.S. embassies and purport to be diplomats, she was operating under what CIA calls "nonofficial cover" (NOC).

And like any NOC working over seas she was considered by just about any intell agency to be a CIA operative untill proven otherwise. NOC's only are intended to fool civilans, not other intell agancies because they never trust any foreigner working in their country.

19 posted on 11/21/2005 3:30:23 AM PST by AZRepublican
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To: Waco

Tradecraft-errors = incompetent


20 posted on 11/21/2005 3:39:25 AM PST by johnny7 (“What now? Let me tell you what now.”)
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To: SBD1

The woman in the '95 Paris debacle was named "Mary Ann Baumgartner" from Dallas Market Centre.

Is the suggestion that Mary Ann was Valerie Plame?


21 posted on 11/21/2005 3:49:14 AM PST by james500
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To: SBD1
I, too, would like more information on this story such as the title,and does Pincus mention Plame by name. I did a search of the Post and the only story that matches the date is one titled "Agencies debate value of being out in the cold" Pincus, Walter; The Washington Post; Jan 12, 1996; pg. A18. Unfortunately it is not for sale.
22 posted on 11/21/2005 3:59:15 AM PST by Lecie
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To: cyncooper; YaYa123; Shermy

Check this out...cyn and Shermy ....Old Walter knew who Val was far back as 1996......Hmmmmm.


23 posted on 11/21/2005 4:04:42 AM PST by Dog
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To: SBD1

I read on a FR thread within the last few days that Walter Pincus's wife Anne worked in the Clinton State Dept., Bureau of Intelligence and Research.


24 posted on 11/21/2005 4:05:40 AM PST by Bob from De
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To: Bob from De
Pincus and Milbank: The Lowdown on Two Washington Post Bush-hating Reporters
25 posted on 11/21/2005 4:08:28 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: Shermy; cyncooper
Mary Ann Baumgartner and the French Minister..
26 posted on 11/21/2005 4:11:58 AM PST by Dog
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To: SBD1

Paris, hmmmmmm? French Intelligence, hmmmmm?

The plot thickens.


27 posted on 11/21/2005 4:21:32 AM PST by wolfcreek
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To: Lancey Howard
"No doubt she bragged about being a secret agent on their second date."

During a session of "heavy petting"? She sure doesn't seem like the type of person I would hire as a secret agent. James Bond she ain't.

28 posted on 11/21/2005 4:46:02 AM PST by norwaypinesavage
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To: SBD1
Fred Rustmann,... was Plame’s boss for a few years, says Plame worked under official cover in Europe in the early 1990s — say, as a U.S. embassy attache — before switching to nonofficial cover a few years later. Mostly Plame posed as a business analyst or a student in what Rustmann describes as a “nice European city.”


How come? Palme worked as a US embassy attache first - before switching to nonofficial cover a few year later? That is the most stupid thing happened in the history of spying.
Don't you think that each country spy services has in their data base the foreign people listed as "embassy attache"?
29 posted on 11/21/2005 4:53:48 AM PST by SeeSalt
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To: SBD1

I just love telling acquaintances what to watch for in the snews, and have them come back a couple of days later asking "where'd you hear that story?" I'll only concede the source if I believe they're truly ready for the blue pill.


30 posted on 11/21/2005 5:19:45 AM PST by polymuser (I wish the Republicans had a majority in Congress.)
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To: SBD1

Baumgartner or Plame? Sounds like this was about Baumgartner. Please prove me wrong.


31 posted on 11/21/2005 5:35:39 AM PST by Homer1
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To: Lancey Howard
When tradecraft errors led to her entrapment by French counterintelligence

Translated, that means she screwed up.

Her alias was Catherine Irene Anderson. She was a Cover photographer for Deep magazine. They were a startup company and couldn't afford nice big cameras so she had to use little bitty ones.

32 posted on 11/21/2005 5:36:44 AM PST by OSHA (Liberalism - Is it real or is it Scrappleface?)
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To: SBD1
"...and if anybody calls the corporation, the secretary says, ‘Yeah, he works for us,’”

You mean just like the CIA did when Novak called them asking if Valerie Plame worked there?

33 posted on 11/21/2005 5:38:41 AM PST by shezza (Giving thanks for America's heroes, past and present)
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To: advance_copy

sounds like he was counter-intelligence in the Army. Don't get my hopes up...


34 posted on 11/21/2005 5:40:11 AM PST by Homer1
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To: Homer1

There were 2 women involved in this incident. Baumgartner was not the NOC, she was working at the Embassy and recruited Henri. Valerie, I contend was "the big boss" who asked Henri the off the wall Hollywood question.


35 posted on 11/21/2005 5:44:51 AM PST by SBD1
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To: Dog

Regardless of whether Baumgartner = Plame, Plame could have been one of the five agents kicked out of the country by the French interior minister.


36 posted on 11/21/2005 5:54:56 AM PST by popdonnelly
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To: SBD1
Sounds like this Joe Wilson "free" agent business was not about gathering intel rather planting intel.

They get somebody to talk up his and by association her name then they can accuse the President and allllll his MEN of "outing" her.

Now if Pincus knew Val gal, doesn't his wife work at the State Dept???? The Staters wanted to protect Saddam as much as anybody did.

The commonality of this 'plot' reminds me of that Redford/Dunaway CIA thriller, those "coverts" were ONLY analysts.
37 posted on 11/21/2005 6:01:56 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts; Dog; SBD1; Lancey Howard; popdonnelly; Homer1

Mary-Ann Baumgartner is described as a woman in her 60s in French newspapers.

According to other sources Valerie Plame was initially stationed in Athens and then moved to Brussels.

(Of course she could have been involved in the French affair - but should not be mixed up with Ms Baumgartner.)

Sorry, do not have any links at hand at the moment. If you require them, please FReepmail me.


38 posted on 11/21/2005 6:33:26 AM PST by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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To: ScaniaBoy

bump and thanks, There is something just so Scott Ritter about this whole affair.


39 posted on 11/21/2005 6:48:24 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: SBD1

Bump for reference.


40 posted on 11/21/2005 7:15:34 AM PST by mattdono ("Crush the RATs and RINOs, drive them before you, and hear the lamentations of the scumbags" - Arnie)
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To: Lancey Howard

Pincus published this information in 1996? Am I reading this right???

WOW!

RUSH - get this out today!


41 posted on 11/21/2005 7:19:57 AM PST by wouldntbprudent
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To: SBD1

Without a citation, this is unusable. Can you provide something? A title/ date/Url?

It certainly sounds like a good story but as presented it's useless to me.


42 posted on 11/21/2005 7:23:26 AM PST by the Real fifi
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To: norwaypinesavage

There is no doubt about it at all that she bragged about her CIA status on the "third or fourth" date. JOE WILSON SAID SO (in his book, I think).

Being Joe Wilson, he can't refrain from going into all the details, including that it was during a "heavy make-out session" with Valerie (while, by the way, Joe Wilson was still married to Wifey #2), that he says Valerie got a concerned look on her face and blurted out that she was Jane Bond.

He then said that basically was a turn-on for him.

So ole Val was dating a married man, who obviously was a cocktail party circuit name dropper, and on the third date (they did not marry for another year as it took Joe that long to dispose of Wifey #2---who, I believe, may have been FRENCH), and she couldn't keep her big "secret" a minute longer under the pressure of his affection.

Some secret agent.


43 posted on 11/21/2005 7:26:42 AM PST by wouldntbprudent
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To: SBD1

BFLR


44 posted on 11/21/2005 7:40:51 AM PST by cgk (Cheney: Senators Reid, Kerry & Rockefeller were unable to attend due to a prior lack of commitment.)
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To: the Real fifi; wouldntbprudent
read the whole thread and the whole 1995 incident. relevant link too

Pincus may have known about Plame, but this is speculation that she wa one of the five agents ousted. The one pretending to be from Dallas was likely Baumgartner. I wonder if we could find out for sure who the others were? I'd guees not, as that is likely still classified.

45 posted on 11/21/2005 7:48:36 AM PST by Homer1
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To: SBD1

Still no hint that Fitzgerald has gone back to look at the multicultural Dem stew left in charge by Hilary's Manchurian Candidate Nora Slatkin when she and Deutsch rearranged the CIA into Minority Affinity groups. Probably a direct pipeline to Dem Staffers.


46 posted on 11/21/2005 8:09:01 AM PST by Nekman (The MSM has been S.O.S for decades!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Nekman

Thank you, but I am interested in what PINCUS wrote in 1996. That is the subject of the thread and you will pardon me for seeming at sorts, but the point is without a citation the information is useless to me. I need a citation to the Pincus piece.


47 posted on 11/21/2005 8:16:38 AM PST by the Real fifi
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To: SBD1
Looks like bloggers are better informed than Fitzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
48 posted on 11/21/2005 8:29:06 AM PST by Logical me (Oh, well!!!)
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To: SBD1; Jim Robinson
 
 
The info in Post #1 is very interesting, but it would be nice to have more than just two sentences to the 1996 story - a link, a reference or something. Help us out here!
 
 

49 posted on 11/21/2005 8:51:12 AM PST by lapsus calami (What's that stink? Code Pink ! !)
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To: lapsus calami; the Real fifi

Probably this article:

The Washington Post, January 12, 1996, Friday, Final Edition, A SECTION;
Pg. A18, 1099 words, Agencies Debate Value of Being Out in the Cold; Spies Under 'Nonofficial Cover' Are Among Most Sensitive Operations, Walter Pincus, Washington Post Staff Writer


50 posted on 11/21/2005 9:39:13 AM PST by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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