20 Mar 2007

The Plame Facts

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Investors Business Daily points out that Valerie Plame Wilson’s recent Congressional testimony is contradicted by the facts, and adds another anecdote demonstrating that Joe Wilson had identified his wife’s job widely months before the appearance of the Novak column.

“I did not recommend him,” Plame claimed before the House panel last Friday. She was referring to her husband, Joseph Wilson, sent to Niger in early 2002 by the CIA to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein sought uranium there. “I did not suggest him,” she added.

But the Senate bipartisan report of July 2004 indicates otherwise:

The reports officer of the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division (CPD), where Plame worked, told committee staff that Plame “offered up his (Wilson’s) name.”

In a memo to the CPD deputy chief dated Feb. 12, 2002, Plame wrote, “My husband has good relations with both the PM (prime minister) and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.” That’s not a recommendation?

The day after that memo, Plame’s CPD division sent a cable “requesting concurrence with CPD’s idea to send the former ambassador (Joseph Wilson) to Niger …”

Plame “told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA and told him ‘there’s this crazy report’ on a purported deal for Niger to sell uranium to Iraq.”

A CIA analyst intent on discrediting what she calls a “crazy report” is indicative of a spy agency at war — or at least at odds — with the White House it is supposed to be serving. The actions of both Mr. and Mrs. Wilson suggest that is exactly what is at the heart of the Plame Affair.

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the first person we know of to reveal Plame’s identity to the press — first to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, then to columnist Robert Novak. He was never indicted. Still, he had some very interesting things to say about Plame and Wilson.

On the tape of his conversation with Woodward, played at the Libby trial and apparently recorded a month before he spoke to Novak, Armitage said of Plame’s job at the CIA, “Everyone knows it,” immediately adding that “Joe Wilson’s been calling everybody.”

Read the whole thing.

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