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October 02, 2003



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Jon Henke

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Predictions? My crystal ball is still saying "Too soon, check back later".

So far, almost every piece of evidence we hear is contradicted by contrary testimony.

Most odd, though, is the completely irrational nature of the event.
WHY? Why in the world would somebody IN the White House directly leak the name of a covert operative to a journalist?
Assuming these people are moderately clever (and their opponents certainly do, although they don't mean it as a compliment), wouldn't one assume that they would have the common sense to NOT dissimenate this felony among as many journalists as possible?

It's comparable to assuming that Saddam actually admitted that he was faking the whole WMD thing, but it's ok, because he only told the media.
Nothing could *possibly* go wrong with that, right?

Just doesn't compute.

That's why I'm waiting for more information....but kinda leaning toward the assumption that the leaker just didn't know that she was a covert operative.

By the way, that would mean that, while unfortunate, no crime had been committed.

If a crime has been committed, though, I'll be among the first to call for a trial.

Ralph Tacoma

The amazing thing about all of the suddenly available descriptions, not officially released by the CIA, is that they also MUST represent leaks of classificd information if that are true, and yet no one is indicating the slightest amount of outrage at their being available.

Remember ALL that Novak said was that she "is a CIA operative." Eeven if that "blew her cover," it does not cause material that was not released to become public domain, so how come "people who knew her" knew so much about her "real job?" Either they are making it up, or her cover really wasn't more than a convenience, or they are leaking classified information themselves, and yet no one seems to care.


Hey, Jon. I think you and I are drifting towards what I am calling the "Ooops" theory, for which I can find a lot of evidence.

My post is titled "What Happened That Week", and it is up above.

And I feel very good about the motive - amongst revenge, chilling other whistleblowers, or re-spin the Wilson story, I think (3) is a layup. That post is up there too.

Jon Henke

yeah, I think we've both been leaning towards that story for the better part of a week now.

The alternative is not an "evil felon" in the White House....the alternative is an evil, but absolutely dunder-headed, media-UNsavvy, amatuer in the White House.

Clearly, that's not something that I think either side is ready to believe.


Can anyone come up with people who knew that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA prior to the publication of the Novak article? It is said to have been fairly common knowledge.


Erica, here's what Joshua Marshall says:

. . . after Wilson came forward, his enemies started trashing him pretty widely. Even I knew there was a big whispering campaign against him among the neo-cons. Part of that was apparently putting out word about his wife. Folks at the White House probably weren't just talking to reporters but also chatting up fellow Republican insiders and ideological allies.


The dunderhead may be Wilson himself.

CIA confirmed her status, but not her covertness. Novak's original source, according to Novak, said she worked at CIA on WMD's. Whether this was covert or overt, that is the question.

Because it seems possible that her covertness may have been, well covert. But her employment at CIA was not. And none of this would have been much an issue if Wilson had kept his mouth shut about his trip to Niger.

Remember that Novak was trying to answer the question, how did this dunderhead get the job of going to Africa. It looks like Novak's contact offered the fact Wilson was married to a CIA employee as a possible explaination.

I use the term dunderhead to refer to Wilson, because in Novak's opinion, based on Wilson's account of his trip, it appear that all he did was sip tea and talk to government officals. It does not sound like much of an investigation, yet this is what CIA based their analysis of MI-6's intel on.

In short, no NYT op-ed by Wilson, no question as to how he got the job, no reference to his wife would have showed up in Novak's column. No question about his wife's job period.

And it should be pointed out that all Novak said was she worked at CIA, on the WMD issue. Not that she was a secret agent, or covert, or anything else. (He did use the term operative, which he now says was not quite right.) It was the later confirmation of her covert status, as a result of this story, that led to the mess we see today.

So, I think it is possible that Novak's source did not know she was covert, but she did work at CIA. And as such, especially after CIA confirmed her employment, this was not a crime. However, all those folks who are now confirming her covertness, have blown her cover far more effectively than Novak did.


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