During the press conference this afternoon, US Prosecutor Fitzgerald emphasized that no one knew that Valerie Wilson/Plame worked for the CIA and that her cover had been blown. He said that she needed that cover and the blowing of that cover has harmed national security. After reading the indictment and listening to the press conference, Libby was charged with perjury, obstruction, and lying to investigators.
If Libby leaked the name of a covert operative why is he not charged as such? During the press conference, the prosecutor, Fitzgerald, said he was “the first person in the chain of phone calls” that released her name to the public. Why is he not charged with leaking the name? Fitzgerald is saying that’s essentially what he did. The first question asked why Fitzgerald didn’t charge Libby with leaking; the response was that he didn’t know the motives so he can’t charge with leaking. That position is absurd.
A second question not asked is about Valerie Plame’s cover. The assumption seems to be given that she had it, needed it, and she kept it secret. Let’s discuss non-official cover for a moment and its purpose. The entire point of any cover is so that the person covered can deal with foreign agents without them knowing they are dealing with an agent of the United States. That’s the point of espionage; it’s to deceive people into giving information that would not normally be given. If foreign people would give up the information to an FBI agent, there is no point to having a covered agent.
Valerie Plame had cover so she could talk to people in other countries without them knowing her affiliation with the United States, it’s that simple. If there was information that would otherwise compromise the fact that she was affiliated with the US government, her cover would be compromised.
Valerie Plame’s cover was blown the second she married Joseph Wilson (which is probably why she moved to Langley). How can I say this? Two things. The marriage ceremony was public and it creates a public record. In fact, Joseph Wilson made no attempt to hide the name or identity of his wife. Second, no one can seriously think that the known wife of a US ambassador would not have an affiliation with the United States government.
Some argue that her name was disclosed in a Who’s Who record, in talks given by Wilson, or other events. These are irrelevant distinctions because her name, in and of itself, does not link her to the government. What links her to the government publicly is her marriage to a US ambassador, even without mentioning she was CIA.
If I was engaging in espionage in Russia on behalf of the United States, I would not take seriously the trustworthiness of the wife of a Russian ambassador. No one would. Perhaps the reason Plame’s leaking was not charged is because her cover was already blown the day she got married.
Crossposted at Part-Time Pundit by John Bambenek
Ed:LisaMPowered by Sidelines