The idea that Valerie (99) Plame -- famously CIA-employed wife of Joe (Agent 86) Wilson -- was a "non-official cover" or covert agent is about as serious as your kid's last "knock-knock" joke. WaPo's Bob Woodward said, on CNN's Larry King Live on 27 October, the day before Libby was indicted:
"They did a damage assessment within the CIA, looking at what this did that Joe Wilson's wife was outed. And turned out it was quite minimal damage. They did not have to pull anyone out undercover abroad. They didn't have to resettle anyone. There was no physical danger to anyone and there was just some embarrassment." Just "some" embarrassment?
Woodward's revelations make Fitzgerald's investigation of the leak of Plame's identity look less and less serious. How many others in the press who were working on the Wilson story did Fitzgerald fail to question? Why weren't the obviously open leads -- such as NBC's Andrea Mitchell's famous quote about Plame's identity being well-known among those reporting the Wilson story -- investigated thoroughly? And why, when Fitzgerald came to the conclusion that outing Plame wasn't a violation of the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, didn't he just fold his tent and go home to Chicago?
We know none of those answers, and apparently won't any time soon. Fitzgerald is apparently empaneling a new grand jury to hear the Woodward evidence. If he does, it may well take months for him to even get them up to speed on the previous two years' accumulation. Fitzgerald's band apparently plans to extend its gig until the '06 election.
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