Friday, July 15, 2005

The World's Worst Kept Secret

OK, so the Demos are screaming for Karl Rove's head for revealing that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, a "secret" that he didn't get from some clandestine report, but from a journalist. Now it appears that it wasn't even really a secret. Plame may have been covert at one time, but not recently, not within the 5 years required to be considered under the intelligence identities statute.

Now a former CIA agent goes on record saying that she was not "covert".

"She made no bones about the fact that she was an agency employee and her husband was a diplomat," Fred Rustmann, a covert agent from 1966 to 1990, told The Washington Times.

"Her neighbors knew this, her friends knew this, his friends knew this. A lot of blame could be put on to central cover staff and the agency because they weren't minding the store here. ... The agency never changed her cover status."

Joe Wilson himself even says in his book that they had not been stationed overseas for 6 years.

On CNN Wilson admits she was not a covert agent when this happened "WILSON: My wife was not a clandestine officer the day that Bob Novak blew her identity."

Wilson tells Maureen Dowd that she revealed her status with the CIA to him "about the time of their first kiss". (Even James Bond could make it through sex without giving away his undercover status)

Nearly 2 years ago Clifford May pointed out that it was common knowledge in the press community that she worked for the CIA.

So the question is, who didn't know? May also has a good article in today's NRO speculating (but logical speculation) that it was Wilson who himself outted his wife. Neither Rove nor Novak said, or apparently even knew that Plame worked in a covert capacity (if in fact she did). It was David Corn, writing in the Nation who first speculated on that, and only after talking with Wilson.

One more thing on this. If someone claimed that your wife was a covert agent, wouldn't the first thing you do is deny it. "What Valerie a spook? No way! She is just a marketing manager for an import export business. Don't be ridiculous!" Both Wilson and the CIA take the opposite approach. "They outted her as a covert agent. I can't believe that they pointed out the fact that Valerie Plame is a covert agent working in deep cover intercepting transactions of WMD all over the world using cover stories and bogus front companies. This could compromise every source that she worked with. Once again, her name is Plame P-L-A-M-E. For interviews you can contact my agent at..."

Just seems a little odd, that's all.