July 31, 2005


When They Knew (MASSIMO CALABRESI, 8/01/05, TIME)

As the investigation tightens into the leak of the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, sources tell TIME some White House officials may have learned she was married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson weeks before his July 6, 2003, Op-Ed piece criticizing the Administration.

Did Ms Palme really arrange this boondoggle for her husband without revealing their relationship?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 31, 2005 3:44 PM

I believe I read right here the speculation that Ms Miller is protecting Colin Powell as her source. Seems logical that giving him up would cause quite ruckus.

Posted by: erp at July 31, 2005 9:10 PM

Rove was sooooo.... intent on discrediting the messenger Wilson when his disproving of the Iraq yellowcake connection was published that Rove tripped over his own ego while breaking Federal secrecy laws. Now he wades in the cesspool of his own creation earning Bush's turd blossom nickname.

Posted by: oldkayaker at July 31, 2005 9:22 PM

Yes, oldkayaker, I think I've heard that suggested.

Posted by: David Hill, The Bronx at July 31, 2005 10:04 PM

Except that no laws were broken.

Posted by: oj at July 31, 2005 10:14 PM

But, but wasn't Wilson already thoroughly discredited by the British (even before the Senate Intelligence Committee outed him)?

Wilson and Plame were the poorly chosen weapons of the bureaucratic fossils trying to 'get' Bush. The whole thing has exploded into a bloody mess for the CIA and the State Department, who had to know that Plame was some type of CIA employee long before joltin' Joe's jaunt to Niger. When Plame's bio comes out in full, I wouldn't be surprised to see a connection to Tenet, Sandy Berger, or even Tony Lake. Along with some prior connection to Niger.

Posted by: ratbert at July 31, 2005 10:22 PM

Obviously Plame was the first to know of their marriage, presuming he proposed and she consented.

Posted by: RC at August 1, 2005 4:19 AM

RC - It was only a crime to invite guests to the wedding if the CIA was trying to conceal the nature of their relationship. Let's let the special prosecutor finish the investigation before we jump to the conclusion that the organist needs to be jailed.

Posted by: pj at August 1, 2005 11:20 AM

It would appear from a number of the posts here that a number of the people espousing certain, shall we say, "points of view" (i.e., strongly anti-Wilson/Plame) didn'tb put much energy in getting fully up to speed on the issue before engaging fingers. I'm seeing a number of the early anti-Wilson talking-points almost verbatim. It might be of some use for those who wish to think Plame sent her husband on a junket to read *all* the information available, not merely the partisan pieces that show only one side of the story.

FYI/FWIW, folks, firstly, Plame did not send her husband on a junket. Secondly, the classified State Dept. memo regarding the issue only mentions Plame in 2 places -- she is hardly what one would call a "central figure" in the yellow-cake issue, much less a player of any kind in the decision-making process.

FWIW also, before anyone decides to knee-jerk & call me a "typical liberal" or some other such supposedly derogatory term, it may interest you to know that, yes, I'm a Democrat -- a "Sam Nunn Democrat." I was a "Reagan Democrat" before there was even a name for such a thing, & I campaigned for Goldwater in '64, eons before the vast majority of the current crop of blogheads was even born, much less in long pants & trying to look like pundits. My dear old granddaddy had a saying that seems quite appropriate here: "To be righteous, you first have to be right." If a person can't even get their basic facts correct, odds are that their opinions aren't going to be worth much. }:)

Posted by: bill n. at August 1, 2005 11:42 AM

bill n. You probably wouldn't be called a typical knee-jerk Democrat by readers of this blog because we're far more nuanced than that. I (age 70), for one, will merely say that you are probably misinformed.

We'll soon learn the truth and I plan to follow pj's (age unknown to me) sage advice and just wait for the special prosecutor's report. Remember too, that the special prosecutor was requested by the loyal opposition and the president graciously acceded to their request.

As for campaigning for Goldwater, I believe Hillary has also made that claim. It's a wonder he went down in flames with all you flaming liberals in his corner.

Sorry, I plumb ran out of nuance.

Posted by: erp at August 1, 2005 12:15 PM


She sent someone she knew would report what CIA wanted him to.

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2005 1:17 PM


15 months ago, this blog was full of comments slamming Wilson for doing nothing but sitting by the pool when he went to Niger. Aside from the politics (and the astounding lack of class that Wilson/Plame have shown since he wrote his editorial in the NYT), do you think he did a good job? Does it matter?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 1, 2005 1:22 PM

bill - She could have been outed by Ames or Hanssen and brought in in the mid-90s.

What kind of spy walzes in and out of HQ, "suggesting" her husband for work? And also has twins?

This is not "True Lies."

No law was broken. It was an open secret in DC. Just because it wasn't at the NYT.....

Posted by: Sandy P at August 1, 2005 1:55 PM


The most likely scenario seems to be that it was someone at CIA, presumably it has to be the Director to be "senior", who told Allen and Priest that the original revelation was "simply for revenge". There's no reason to believe he'd have known what their real motivation was or whether it was even an intentional revelation, but he was defending his institution which is understandable, though it's not excusable to do so at the cost of the president he serves. And there's no reason to assume a law was violated, since it is so convoluted that it will be hard to prove scienter. Still, if Justice can figure out who did it the leakers are going to be thrown to the wolves.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 8, 2003 09:14 AM

Posted by: oj at August 1, 2005 2:43 PM

One thing is for sure, we'll know more about this issue and in more detail than we'll have ever learned about Iraq and Niger from Wilson.

Posted by: RC at August 2, 2005 5:03 AM