Reuters: Plame 'Ex-Spy'

August 3rd, 2007 4:41 PM

The saying goes, if you tell a lie often enough, people will begin to believe it.

Such is the case with Valerie Plame. In reporting about Plame's setback in publishing her memoirs (a judge ruled she cannot include the dates of her employment with the CIA as they have not been declassified), Reuters says the following:

The ex-spy whose unmasking led to the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide cannot disclose the dates she worked for the CIA because the details were never declassified, a federal judge has ruled.

The decision, made public on Friday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, was a victory for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, which sought to block former agent Valerie Plame Wilson from including the dates in her upcoming memoir, "Fair Game."

Ex-spy? That brings to mind visions of the old Mad Magazine comic Spy vs. Spy, or exotic whispers of Mata Hari. But it's been established that Plame was not covert at the time that Robert Novak, via (as we now know) Richard Armitage, first mentioned Plame in one of his columns. Her own husband, Joseph Wilson, said as much when he appeared on CNN with Wolf Blitzer back in 2005:

WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity.

BLITZER: But she hadn't been a clandestine officer for some time before that?

WILSON: That's not anything that I can talk about. And, indeed, I'll go back to what I said earlier, the CIA believed that a possible crime had been committed, and that's why they referred it to the Justice Department.

She was not a clandestine officer at the time that that article in "Vanity Fair" appeared. And I have every right to have the American public know who I am and not to have myself defined by those who would write the sorts of things that are coming out, being spewed out of the mouths of the RNC...

In fact, there was no violation of any laws concerning covert agents whatsoever. Which means that Plame was not "unmasked" as she had no cover to blow. She was, at that point, an analyst with a desk job, not risking her life undercover in Russia or the Middle East.

It's also the reason neither Richard Armitage nor Robert Novak were prosecuted. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had to make do with hooking a much smaller fish, Scooter Libby, for perjury.

Considering the circumstances surrounding her, er, ordeal, along with the book contract and attendent publicity (Vanity Fair, anyone?), one might think this was actually one of the best things to happen to Ms. Plame. Including news agencies that continue to glamorize her former post at the CIA.