Joseph Wilson's wife outed as CIA agent

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Jul 22 09:16:11 MDT 2003

(This has Watergate possibilities, in my opinion.)

NY Times Op-Ed, July 22, 2003
Who's Unpatriotic Now?

And while we're on the subject of patriotism, let's talk about the 
affair of Joseph Wilson's wife. Mr. Wilson is the former ambassador who 
was sent to Niger by the C.I.A. to investigate reports of attempted 
Iraqi uranium purchases and who recently went public with his findings. 
Since then administration allies have sought to discredit him — it's 
unpleasant stuff. But here's the kicker: both the columnist Robert Novak 
and Time magazine say that administration officials told them that they 
believed that Mr. Wilson had been chosen through the influence of his 
wife, whom they identified as a C.I.A. operative.

Think about that: if their characterization of Mr. Wilson's wife is true 
(he refuses to confirm or deny it), Bush administration officials have 
exposed the identity of a covert operative. That happens to be a 
criminal act; it's also definitely unpatriotic.

So why would they do such a thing? Partly, perhaps, to punish Mr. 
Wilson, but also to send a message.

And that should alarm us. We've just seen how politicized, cooked 
intelligence can damage our national interest. Yet the Wilson affair 
suggests that the administration intends to continue pressuring analysts 
to tell it what it wants to hear.



Columnist Names CIA Iraq Operative

By Timothy M. Phelps and Knut Royce
Washington Bureau

NY Newsday, July 21, 2003, 9:48 PM EDT

Washington -- The identity of an undercover CIA officer whose husband 
started the Iraq uranium intelligence controversy has been publicly 
revealed by a conservative Washington columnist citing "two senior 
administration officials."

Intelligence officials confirmed to Newsday Monday that Valerie Plame, 
wife of retired Ambassador Joseph Wilson, works at the agency on weapons 
of mass destruction issues in an undercover capacity -- at least she was 
undercover until last week when she was named by columnist Robert Novak.

Wilson, while refusing to confirm his wife's employment, said the 
release to the press of her relationship to him and even her maiden name 
was an attempt to intimidate others like him from talking about Bush 
administration intelligence failures.

"It's a shot across the bow to these people, that if you talk we'll take 
your family and drag them through the mud as well," he said in an interview.

It was Wilson who started the controversy that has engulfed the Bush 
administration by writing in the New York Times two weeks ago that he 
had traveled to Niger last year at the request of the CIA to investigate 
reports that Iraq was trying to buy uranium there. Though he told the 
CIA and the State Department there was no basis to the report, the 
allegation was used anyway by President George W. Bush in his State of 
the Union speech in January.

Wilson and a retired CIA official said Monday that the "senior 
administration officials" who named Plame had, if their description of 
her employment was accurate, violated the law and may have endangered 
her career and possibly the lives of her contacts in foreign countries. 
Plame could not be reached for comment.



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