Skip to comments.Walter Pincus knew Valerie since 1996
Posted on 11/21/2005 1:05:16 AM PST by SBD1Edited 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).
NOC NOC. Whos 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 governments 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 Plames 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 NOCs 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 didnt 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!!
When tradecraft errors led to her entrapment by French counterintelligence
Translated, that means she screwed up.
Sounds to me like Valerie was on Paris vacation and not a spy mission.
No doubt she bragged about being a secret agent on their second date.
Tradecraft Errors". That ain't exactly waitress talk.
Is this another FR exclusive?
Super Spy Women was an incompetant hack.
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.
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).
I think Valerie was more of an "under the sheets" CIA operative than "under cover".
with agents like her no wonder the cia is so f***ed up.
makes get smart look legit.
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.
Tradecraft-errors = incompetent
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?
Check this out...cyn and Shermy ....Old Walter knew who Val was far back as 1996......Hmmmmm.
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.
Paris, hmmmmmm? French Intelligence, hmmmmm?
The plot thickens.
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.
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.
Baumgartner or Plame? Sounds like this was about Baumgartner. Please prove me wrong.
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.
You mean just like the CIA did when Novak called them asking if Valerie Plame worked there?
sounds like he was counter-intelligence in the Army. Don't get my hopes up...
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.
Regardless of whether Baumgartner = Plame, Plame could have been one of the five agents kicked out of the country by the French interior minister.
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.
bump and thanks, There is something just so Scott Ritter about this whole affair.
Bump for reference.
Pincus published this information in 1996? Am I reading this right???
RUSH - get this out today!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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