The Spectacle Blog

Plame Known as CIA Operative Before July 14, 2003

By on 10.28.05 | 2:07PM

I'm not sure how this impacts the charges against Scooter Libby, but one of Fitzgerald's claims in the indictment press release doesn't hold up:

Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson's employment status was classified. Prior to that date, her affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community. (pg. 2)

This contradicts much of what we have known for years about this case: Valerie Plame/Wilson's identity was a rather open secret in Washington. Fitzgerald's right if by intelligence community, he means the Beltway community. I believe it was David Frum who said a while back that if she's driving over Chain Bridge everyday from her D.C. home she can't be that undercover.

Anyway, Bob Novak detailed his experience with this in an Oct. 1, 2003 column:

During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger. When I called another official for confirmation, he said: "Oh, you know about it."

Novak also cites Cliff May, who wrote in 2003 that he'd been told about Plame's identity before July 14 as an offhand insidery sort of fact.

If Fitzgerald's working from these flawed assumptions, it calls into doubt the rest of his case.

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