Skip to comments.Is Plame to Blame?
Posted on 08/17/2007 6:20:40 AM PDT by Kaput
Is Plame to Blame? by: Bethany Stotts, August 16, 2007
The Valerie Plame Affair, which resulted in the conviction of White House aide Louis Scooter Libby, serves as rallying point for many opponents of the Bush Administration. However, some conservatives remain skeptical of Plames alleged victim status. While her job description was listed on the CIA rolls as an agent with no official cover (NOC), Plame had in reality had been performing administrative duties at Langley for at least five years. She remains willing to pose for the cameras as a starlet ex-agent, and continues participating in high-level lawsuits.
Rowan Scarborough, author of Rumsfelds War, questions why the CIA sent Plames husband to Africa in the first place, since the mission clearly called for spy infiltration and objective intelligence. And I think that if they had been notified, [the White House] would have nixed the trip, asserted Scarborough at a Heritage Foundation book forum recently. In which case, there would have been no trial, no investigation, and Plames identity would have remained safe.
Scarborough maintains, somewhat conspiratorially, that even after the CIA sent a criminal referral to the Department of Justice, it was unlikely that the department would have pursued the matter absent public pressure. This investigation, my source told me, was going nowhere. There was no plan to open an investigation, they were still talking to the CIA. And then in September of 2003, bam, someone leaks the existence of the referral to the news media, and I contendand Justice contendsthat it had to be someone in the CIA, because no one else knew about this referral. . . and by Monday, [the] Justice Department opens an investigation. . .
When investigating the Plame affair, it becomes unclear as to who outed actually outed whom, or if Plame actually outed herself. Plame had continual knowledge of her husbands activities, and ample opportunity to chide him to keep his trip to Niger confidential. An investigation would clearly implicate her as the guiding force behind his assignment.
Yet despite these dangers to his wife and the CIA, Wilson seemed set on publicizing his personal conclusion about the Iraq war. On June 13, 2003, Wilson leaked information about his sensitive trip to New York Times journalist Nick Christoff. His wife, Valerie Plame, attended the breakfast with Wilson and witnessed his conversation with Christoff. I was not speaking to Mr. Christoff and I think my husband did say that he had undertaken this trip but not to be named as a source, Plame told Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) at a house committee hearing, admitting that she knew about her husbands tactless activities.
Not content to feature anonymously in Christoffs article, Wilson later wrote an op-ed to the New York Times titled What I Didnt Find in Africa, which claimed that President Bushs 2003 State of the Union speech twisted information about the presence of WMDs in Iraq. Published on July 6, 2003, this op-ed triumphantly touted Wilsons leak to reporter Christoff writing, Those news stories about that unnamed former envoy who went to Niger? Thats me.
Wilson clearly objected to the Presidents speech not because it implicated him or his wife, but because it ignored his mission to Niger. Rather than citing American intelligence, President Bush had the nerve to state that The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa . . . .If the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them, wrote Wilson. The question now is how [my conclusion] was or was not used by our political leadership.
Not content to let his grandstanding end there, Wilson then agreed to interview with CNN on July 7, 2003. He told CNN anchor Bill Hemmer Well, I went in actually in February of 2002. . . at the request, I was told, of the office of the vice president. . .I traveled out there, spent eight days out there, and concluded that it was. . .impossible that this sort of transaction could be done clandestinely. Did Wilson really believe that all of his publicity wouldnt endanger his wifes NOC status? Wilsons claim that he represented the administration was also somewhat misleading, because the CIA did not even notify the Vice President that they were sending former-Ambassador Wilson on an aboveboard, open investigation in Niger.
Bethany Stotts is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.
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The Plame affair is nauseating. She was no more “under cover” than Britney Spears. Just a strong desire to garner attention and smear others.
Wilson lied, Plame’s CIA career died.
Wonder how long before she poses nude for Playboy?
Plame/Wilson was a hybrid version of Burkett/Mapes...
This Plame thing makes me puke.
The Bush administation did nothing to push back on these people. Most of the facts we know today we knew back in 2003. I still cannot understand why Bush, armed with all the facts, didnt fight back, but instead chose to let one of his most loyal associate, Scooter Libby, take the fall.
Bush makes me sick.
Was the Vanity Fair cover story before the Novak article? If so, then all one had to do was go to Wilson’s “Who who” page to find out his wife’s name. She also used her front business to contribute money to the Gore campaign.
Give it time, Hollywood will make a movie about her. America’s Secret Agent 001. Plame, Valerie Plame.
I've noticed that major flaw in him and his administration far too often.
So simple an intern could figure it out yet the MSM couldn't see this one with the help of a map and a telescope.
Armitage - a traitor who let Scooter and Judith get convicted.
Colin Powell - knew about Armitage, did nothing, he’s dishonorable.
Bush - should have pardoned Scooter immediately upon conviction.
Bush - should have launched an independent investigation on Fitzpatrick for proceeding with investigation (after learning that Fitzpatrick knew already Armitage was the leaker).
Plame - a Brtiney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton wannabe.
Wilson - a Democrat contributor for many years, went to Niger only because no one looked at it closely enough when his wife floated a memo saying he should go.
CIA - being their liberal selves, with more than enough leakers to the liberal media.
Very good article. Thanks for posting. Comments bump!
Maybe because by the time Fitzy got in on it they were limited with what they could do.
The CIA did a great job here. Too bad they play for the other team.
IF Plame were a sincere CIA agent, she would have divorced Wilson, apologized and resigned when her husband went on national news shows politicizing and lying about his mission.
Was the Congress actually afraid to confront Plame with this because they thought she could somehow say "I'm not responsible for my husband?" She OBVIOUSLY supported every reprehensible thing he did.
I was always puzzled by the selection of a non-technical person like Wilson for the Niger trip, AND Bush’s innaction when confronted by the Wilson OP-Ed and subsequent investigation.
I’ve always thought that Wilson’s trip was a cover for the real investigation into Niger’s potential sale or smuggling of Uranium ore. His delegation was the one everyone was “supposed to see”, while the real coverts went in to dig up the real dope. If I’m right, it explains why Bush could not push-back without endangering the ‘REAL’ field agents (as opposed to analyst Valerie Plame).
From a political cartoon
Over heard at the Justice Department
Joe Wilson lied.
So, you went after Wilson?
Nope, Bob Novak revealed Plames identity in his column.
So, you went after Novak?
Well no, Richard Armitage leaked her information to Novak.
So, you went after Armitage?
No, as it turns out Plame WASNT really a covert agent.
So, youre dropping the case?
No, Im going after Libby.
Libby, what about the others?
From article: “Wilson clearly objected to the Presidents speech not because it implicated him or his wife, but because it ignored his mission to Niger.”
This is clearly wrong. Compare what Pres. Bush said in the SOTU to what is reported in the recently declassified CIA document describing Wilson’s trip.
From State of the Union address: “...The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa...” http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html
From CIA document, 8 March 2002: “...in June 1999...Mayaki meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss ‘expanding commercial relations’ between Niger and Iraq. ...the meeting took place... The phrase ‘expanding commercial relations’ to mean that Iraq wanted to discuss Uranium yellowcake sales.” http://wid.ap.org/documents/libbytrial/jan29/DX439.pdf
(retyped - please excuse typing errors)
Bush said “Iraq sought” and Wilson said “to discuss...commercial relations”. Where was Bush wrong. He did not claim Iraq had purchased Uranium just sought a source.