Skip to comments.Novak reveals name of CIA undercover operative
Posted on 07/22/2003 12:37:53 AM PDT by RDangerfield
The identity of an undercover CIA officer whose husband started the Iraq uranium intelligence controversy has been publicly revealed by a conservative Washington columnist citing "two senior administration officials."
Intelligence officials confirmed to Newsday Monday that Valerie Plame, wife of retired Ambassador Joseph Wilson, works at the agency on weapons of mass destruction issues in an undercover capacity -- at least she was undercover until last week when she was named by columnist Robert Novak.
Wilson and a retired CIA official said Monday that the "senior administration officials" who named Plame had, if their description of her employment was accurate, violated the law and may have endangered her career and possibly the lives of her contacts in foreign countries.
A current intelligence official said that blowing the cover of an undercover officer could affect the officer's future assignments and put them and everyone they dealt with overseas in the past at risk.
"If what the two senior administration officials said is true," Wilson said carefully, "they will have compromised an entire career of networks, relationships and operations." What's more, it would mean that "this White House has taken an asset out of the" weapons of mass destruction fight, "not to mention putting at risk any contacts she might have had where the services are hostile."
Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. "I didn't dig it out, it was given to me," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at nynewsday.com ...
OK, so Newsday is whipping up a frenzy over Novak, but how is this story any different than his? Since when do "intelligence officials" confirm undercover assets? Since when do established media organizations print such things?
The evidence is in: this is much ado about absolutely nothing.
No, actually it would provide an excellent cover.
And we trust Newaday over Novack because ???
All I know for sure is, Wilson's story from beginning to end smells of DNC .. and that includes his wife
The Time article is dated July 16. Corn says that the Novak article appeared July 14 (although I haven't looked up the article myself). So, as far as I can tell, it still looks like Novak is the first published source.
Thanks for the link to the Time article though; I hadn't seen it.
Wilson is playing games.
I wouldn't doubt it. I think a lot of people are playing games.
And whoever is playing games, good guy or bad, should be brought to justice. If Novak did endanger US Intelligence Agents with his report, even if he was just passing on what he was told, he should be prosecuted, as should whoever told him things. And if she is not an undercover agent, or if her role was already public knowledge, then those trying to smear the administration and/or Novak should be brought to justice as well (although there may not be any crime committed so it would have to be in civil court with financial penalties).
Maybe I missed something, but how are Novak's article and the Newsday piece inconsistent with one another? Or with the Corn article, for that matter?
Yes, but there's still that lingering doubt. She may not want to appear in every published article for rest of her life as "ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame". Moreover, at the moment, it's basically a rumor; couldn't Wilson be prosecuted if he confirmed the rumor as fact?
And whoever is playing games, good guy or bad, should be brought to justice. If Novak did endanger US Intelligence Agents with his report, even if he was just passing on what he was told, he should be prosecuted, as should whoever told him things.
I agree, subject to the proviso that I'm not familiar enough with the law to know if Novak violated it or not.
And if she is not an undercover agent, or if her role was already public knowledge, then those trying to smear the administration and/or Novak should be brought to justice as well (although there may not be any crime committed so it would have to be in civil court with financial penalties).
If she's not with the CIA, Plame could conceivably file a civil suit (claiming slander, or something like that -- I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know the subtle details here). She'd be the one who was smeared in this scenario.
I don't expect we'll be seeing such a lawsuit.
couldn't Wilson be prosecuted if he confirmed the rumor as fact?I doubt it-- but even if technically he could, he in reality could not- the political fallout would be murder on any DA who would attempt to do so. It would be career suicide.
I only said that because I know that claims like slander are complex, and I'm not sure exactly what one has to prove.
As for prosecuting Wilson if he confirmed the story, I don't think he could afford to be cavalier about the possibility, considering that he'd be the one taking the risk (and for no benefit). It might be feasible to prosecute him if he confirmed it and if it could then be shown that associates of hers had been compromised and had suffered severe consequences.
Could be. I have no idea.
But the two things aren't inconsistent. Being an undercover agent just means that she was working for the CIA without letting it be known that she was doing so, not that she was doing a James Bond imitation. This could have been at a cushy desk job.
As for the sources, it seems to me that Corn is probably the best-connected one of the bunch. (That doesn't mean that what he says is correct, of course.)
IMO it was a cushy job .. if she was an undercover agent .. why send her husband .. why not go herself
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