Let’s See How the Righties Bury This One

Larisa Alexandrovna of Raw Story reports that the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson “caused significant damage to U.S. national security and its ability to counter nuclear proliferation abroad.”

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.

Speaking under strict confidentiality, intelligence officials revealed heretofore unreported elements of Plame’s work. Their accounts suggest that Plame’s outing was more serious than has previously been reported and carries grave implications for U.S. national security and its ability to monitor Iran’s burgeoning nuclear program.

I’d like to see this corroborated by other news sources before filing it away as “proven fact.” But we already know, even if righties won’t admit it, that the disclosure of Plame Wilson’s status as a CIA agent damaged American intelligence gathering efforts. Dafna Linzer reported in the Washington Post (October 29, 2005):

More than Valerie Plame’s identity was exposed when her name appeared in a syndicated column in the summer of 2003.

A small Boston company listed as her employer suddenly was shown to be a bogus CIA front, and her alma mater in Belgium discovered it was a favored haunt of an American spy. At Langley, officials in the clandestine service quickly began drawing up a list of contacts and friends, cultivated over more than a decade, to triage any immediate damage.


The CIA has not conducted a formal damage assessment, as is routinely done in cases of espionage and after any legal proceedings have been exhausted.

This is significant, because Bob Woodward claimed on Larry King Live that the CIA had done a damage assessment and found no significant damage. The Right, of course, accepted Woodward’s word as gospel and has also claimed all along that Plame Wilson’s status wasn’t really classified.

Of course, no evidence is solid enough to persuade righties that their Plame Wilson mythology is wrong. Righties will tell you that Plame Wilson’s CIA status was not classified, even though the CIA itself has been saying all along that it was. In the February 13 issue of Newsweek we read “The CIA Leak: Plame Was Still Covert“:

… special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done “covert work overseas” on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA “was making specific efforts to conceal” her identity, according to newly released portions of a judge’s opinion.

Did that settle anything. Of course not. The rightie Byron York of NRO, for example, questions (in some nicely overpadded prose) if the judge actually knew what he was talking about. This gives the Righties a slim reed of an excuse to hang on to their belief in Plame Wilson’s non-classified status. But they will hang on to that reed with everything they’ve got.

If we get corroboration of Alexandrovna’s, watch to see what excuse the righties dig up to ignore it.

See alsoBetrayed by the White House.”

8 thoughts on “Let’s See How the Righties Bury This One

  1. It seemed obvious from the day her neighbors said they didn’t know her employer she was a covert operative. Why have we not seen mention of the damage done to her and her colleagues before this? Was it so bad the folks in charge, left holdig the bag, decided saying nothing at all while putting out fires was the best strategy?

  2. There has been some news about damage, but it got drowned out by the Rightie Noise Machine screaming that Plame Wilson wasn’t even a real CIA agent.

  3. NOted the reference to dear Bobby Woodward…He gets such easy pass due to honorificals from the Watergate era 9and much of that has indeed been overhyped, an important figure in large easure thanks to the movie , reputation gleaned from such but there were indeed others on track of Nixon crew and odings and reportig as well…) At anyrate , in these Bush years, we have Woody making a number of forays to boost the Bush prestige and folks assuming that if WOODY says it, must be so when was so obviously NOT yet NONE really called on it. The state of media these days is abysmal..THink the Salon reporter did an excellent take on what abounds and passes and gets passed around as if trustyworthy when OMG DEF NOT !!!

  4. Additional reference: Mrs. Wilson’s friend at the CIA, Larry Johnson, is a regular blogger at the TPM Cafe site. In my opinion his information has been right on about what her status at the CIA really was/is, the damage done by her “outing,” etc. Here is the link to his trackback list at TPMCafe: http://www.tpmcafe.com/user/5713/track
    Good post, maha!

  5. February 13, 2006 Let’s See How the Righties Bury This One
    Filed under: Valerie Plame, Weapons of Mass Destruction, National Security — maha @ 4:40 pm Dafna Linzer reported in the Washington Post (October 29, 2005): More than Valerie Plame’s identity was exposed when her name appeared in a syndicated column in the summer of 2003. A small Boston company listed as her employer suddenly was shown to be a bogus CIA front.
    I am sure in the six degrees of separation parlance, this does not bode well for our 2004 Presidential candidate John Kerry and what ties he may have in the Boston community to this exposed front. Michael Isakoff oughta look under the hood on this one and find out what has happened with this front henceforth. It may very well serve as proof of both damage, contrary to Woodward, and true classified status of Mrs. Plame Wilson.

    Frank from Miami contributed to this report.

  6. I’m afraid that this one will be a very tough one to corroborate. People in the know afraid to step forward, etc. Much as Doug Thompson’s (I think it was him from Capitol Hill Blue) reporting that Bush had said that the Constitution is “just a piece of _____ paper.” It’s Wed. morning and I don’t see the story on Salon or BuzzFlash, so the corroboration must be a big problem. Too bad.

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