Skip to comments.Did Valerie Plame help elect Chirac outing herself in 1995
Posted on 11/15/2005 5:44:31 PM PST by SBD1
This is from the news section on the CTC International Group, Inc. website where Plames former supervisor, Frederick W. Rustmann, sits on the Executive Comittee.
NOC NOC. Whos There? A Special Kind of Agent Time Magazine Michael Duffy and Timothy J. Burger October 27th, 2003
Its not every woman who runs a background check on a guy whos asking her out on a date. But if you were a secret agent working undercover, you would be extra careful too. In 1997 Valerie Plame was being courted by a man who had served as a U.S. diplomat in nine countries, many in Africa, and possessed about as high a security clearance as any spy could hope for, but Plame was taking no chances. It was only after several months of dating Ambassador Joseph Wilson that Plame, supposedly a private energy analyst, revealed the name of her true employer: the CIA. Hearing this, Wilson had a question for his future wife: Is Valerie your real name?
Security agencies all over the world are now quietly running Plames name through their data banks, immigration records and computer hard drives as the White House leak scandal continues to percolate. Officials with two foreign governments told TIME that their spy catchers are quietly checking on whether Plame had worked on their soil and, if so, what she had done there. Which means if one theme of the Administration leak scandal concerns political vengeance did the White House reveal Plames identity in order to punish Wilson for his public criticism of the case for war with Iraq? another theme is about damage. What has been lost, and who has been compromised because of the leak of one spys name? And who, if anyone, will pay for that disclosure?
Officials in George W. Bushs Administration were able to show progress by the Justice Department into who might have leaked Plames name to syndicated columnist Robert Novak back in July whether they really wanted to get to the bottom of the matter or not. Government sources tell TIME that the FBI has interviewed more than two dozen officials in several Washington offices, including White House press secretary Scott McClellan and Bush political adviser Karl Rove as well as other West Wing aides. The FBI has obtained desk diaries and phone records and is examining the network server that handles White House e-mail. So far, the initial face-to-face interviews, which are typically not done under oath, have been somewhat informal. In a sign of high-level interest in the leak case, several of the interviews were conducted by veteran G-man John Eckenrode, the lead FBI official on the investigation. Agents asked interviewees to keep mum about their chats so as not to disclose the governments strategy. Both McClellan and Rove declined to comment on the probe.
Plame was outed as part of a longtime dispute between Bush moderates and hard-liners over the strengths and shortcomings of the agencys prewar intelligence on Saddam Hussein. Wilson, who had been sent by the CIA to Niger in 2002 to check out rumors that Saddam was seeking nuclear fuel there, went public with his skepticism about that charge in a New York Times op-ed piece in July. Because Wilsons article was the first deep dent in the Bush teams claims about the justification for war, Administration officials were soon working quietly behind the scenes, steering reporters away from his conclusions, dismissing his work as shoddy and charging that he got the Niger mission only because his wife worked on proliferation issues at the CIA. It was that last detail and the added fact that his wife worked undercover that sparked a federal criminal probe into disclosing a covert officers name.
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.
A NOCs ability to run silent and deep has led Ohio Republican Mike DeWine, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to press the CIA to invest more heavily in NOC officers, adding that the CIAs traditional spies, posing as diplomats and trained to infiltrate governments, are not well positioned to penetrate stateless gangs of terrorists who dont go to embassy parties. DeWine called for a larger NOC program in a report issued by Congress in July and many ex-spooks were surprised when the CIA cleared the document for public consumption. But the agency has resisted such efforts before, arguing that NOCs are too expensive and too dangerous to expand the program by much.
Though Plames cover is now blown, it probably began to unravel years ago when Wilson first asked her out. Rustmann describes Plame as an exceptional officer but says her ability to remain under cover was jeopardized by her marriage in 1998 to the higher-profile American diplomat. Plame all but came in from the cold last week, making her first public appearance, at a Washington lunch in honor of her husband, who was receiving an award for whistle blowing. The blown spys one not-so-secret request? No photographs, please. *******************************************************
Let's look at the 1995 Paris CIA incident!!
France to expel US spy diplomats Evening Standard (London) February 22, 1995
SECTION: Pg. 23
LENGTH: 467 words
HEADLINE: France to expel US spy diplomats
BYLINE: Jeremy Campbell
BODY: FRANCE has accused four American diplomats and a fifth US citizen of political and economic spying and has ordered them to leave the country, Le Monde newspaper has reported.
Interior Minister Charles Pasqua wrote to President Francois Mitterrand that the five worked for the CIA and were guilty of acts of interference, including attempts to recruit aides to Cabinet ministers, the newspaper said. The letter reportedly said the five were uncovered in a long, detailed investigation by Frances counter-intelligence service. It was not immediately clear whether France had set a deadline for them to leave. The State Department would not comment today on the expulsion but former deputy assistant Secretary of State Ernest Preeg, who ran the White House Economic Policy Group, said the action seems unnecessarily dramatic and may have an ulterior motive. It looks as if this may be just a little hanky-panky around the edges, he said.
Every country has people trying to get intelligence one way or another. Its standard practice, even among allies. You dont do anything as sensational as expelling five Americans unless there is something else going on. Mr Preeg added: It is well known that the French are doing a lot of espionage in America, most of it commercial.
Other sources suggest the motive for CIA recruitment of French officials may be political. Frances recent relations with Iran and Iraq have been worrying to Washington, which has focused a great deal of intelligence activity on the two governments.
One of the five, a woman, worked with clandestine cover outside the embassy, said Le Monde. One is considered the head of the CIAs Paris operations and a second his deputy. The other two, a man and a woman, also have diplomatic status, said the paper.
****************************************************** CIA agents in France were more Clouseau than Bond The Times March 7, 1995, Tuesday
SECTION: Overseas news
LENGTH: 425 words
HEADLINE: CIA agents in France were more Clouseau than Bond
BYLINE: Adam Sage in Paris
BODY: THE CIA emerges as ham-fisted and ill-informed from a leaked French account of its vain attempts to spy in Paris.
American agents asked the most basic questions, fell into the most obvious traps and committed a series of gaffes as they sought access to the workings of the French Government, according to the newspaper, Le Figaro.
The disclosures come a fortnight after Paris confirmed that five alleged US spies had been asked to leave France, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the two countries. According to the DST, the French counter-espionage agency, the CIA wanted information on the agricultural and cultural issues that dominated arguments between France and the US during the 1993 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations.
But the American operation appears to have owed more to Inspector Clouseau than James Bond. One of the CIA agents, named as Mary-Ann Baumgartner, thought she had a direct line to the French state when she made friends with Henri', an adviser to Edouard Balladur, the Prime Minister, according to Le Figaro. In fact, Henri had been alerted to Mrs Baumgartners undercover role by the French Interior Ministry and told to act as bait.
Resigning as M Balladurs adviser just 12 days after his appointment in April 1993, Henri explained to Mrs Baumgartner that he had decided to concentrate on his own political career. She, apparently, believed his story and asked him to meet the head of the Minnesota cereal lobby' in a hotel near Charles de Gaulle airport. Henri obliged, answered the lobbyists' questions and was given 5,000 francs (about Pounds 600).
There were four more interviews between Henri and the man from Minnesota, named as Pastor, who took to arriving with a questionnaire. Each time, Henri filled in the answers which he gleaned from the French press or made up, Le Figaro says. In January last year, Pastor introduced Henri to a woman described as the big boss'. She, at least, earned a measure of respect from her French counterparts, making it difficult for them to photograph her and revealing little about herself.
"Nevertheless, she was identified as a high-ranking' CIA analyst. Among other things, she asked Henri why France was so worked up about cultural issues when a majority of films on French television are American' a curious question from a Minnesotan agricultural lobbyist."
Henri was pulled out of his counter-espionage role at that stage; however, Le Figaro says, it is not clear why this should be made public 13 months later.
Let's examine the way the NOC NOC story is told which sure gives that impression that it could be Valerie.
The quotes by Rustmann 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.
the quote by a former CIA official familiar with the matter.
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,
All of the above leads me to believe that it was Valerie. That Russman did not put his name to the quote as being familiar with the matter is suspect. The writer had to go to a different source for just that one little section of the story. A 24 year veteran of the CIA who was already being interviewed was not familiar with that case when a few paragraphs prior he was declaring Plame was a NOC.
My guess is that this little fiasco was when the media first learned about Valerie Plame. Another interesting thing to note is that the whole CIA spy fiasco was very helpful to the Chirac campaign. Chiracs opponent was accused of outing the whole incident to the news media to divert attention from his wire tapping scandal. In reality, the Interior Minister Charles Pasqua went public two months after the Clinton Administration was informed and the Clinton Administration refused to recall the CIA agents. Pasqua claims that the US actually made the whole matter public and was the source of the leak. Pasqua was accused of playing politics by not quietly informing the US as the US had previously in French spy cases.
Sound familiar!! I know that some might that the acts above just shows how stupid the CIA is in general, but the above described spying indicates otherwise. The NOC was intelligent enough to avoid revealing personal information as well as any photographs, but she asks a an out of character question about Hollywood to a source.
The End result of all of this stupidity was the Election of Chirac which was also supposed to be the conclusion of the current CIA outing, but this time it did not work as planed because Kerry lost.
No, the Republicans are that dumb to let them.
Rove playing with the time machine again?
The White House has acted defensive, like they did something wrong, since day one. If they had be on the ball about this, this "scandal" wouldn't have lasted two weeks. Why does the White House feel it is wrong to expose Democrat/media lies?
So Plame's boss says she hadn't worked under cover for years. Did we know that he said this before?
you're not the first to notice the lack of spine at the times they need it most
Good catch! Now if we can only get Rush banging this drum.
Thanks for the ping!
Oh oh, I should have 'trademarked' that, LOL. Alert me if you see anyone else using that!
What a bunch of nonsense. The "blown spy" basically gave it up when she married Wilson in 1998. And no photographs? Did Vanity Fair get those instructions?
Yup. In the Washington Times last summer. Naturally, MSM ignored it. Search here for "Rove Fight Escalates" or go to the link below.
The Boston Globe checked out Plame's "fictive" employer company and found a very obvious CIA facade. No one was trying to give Valerie deep cover. You can look it up as they say.
Yes...this info came out in July of this year on Hannity and Colmes. I never miss H&C...I love to shoot Colmes with my rubber dart gun when he parrots the Dem talking points, it is such good therapy, LOL!
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