Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Plame's outing punished not just Wilson

* David Corn:
"(Plame) was operations chief of the Joint Task Force on Iraq, a unit of the Counterproliferation Division of the clandestine Directorate of Operations. For the two years prior to her outing, Valerie Wilson worked to gather intelligence that would support the Bush White House's assertion that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was loaded with WMDs. This means that Armitage--as well as Karl Rove and Scooter Libby--leaked classified information about a CIA officer whose job it had been to look for evidence of Saddam's WMD programs. During this part of her career, Valerie Wilson traveled overseas to monitor operations she and her staff at JTFI were mounting. She was no analyst, no desk-jockey, no paper-pusher. She was an undercover officer in charge of running critical covert operations.

This is all explained in an article based on HUBRIS that is appearing in the next issue of The Nation and that has been posted on the magazine's website today.

Some Bush-backers have dismissed the CIA/Plame leak as unimportant and claimed that Valerie Wilson was an analyst and not truly a covert CIA officer. In an October 1, 2003 column, Novak reported she was "an analyst, not in covert operations." HUBRIS and The Nation article, citing CIA sources, reveal that she was in covert operations and that--ironically--she had spent two years trying to find proof of the administration's claims that Iraq posed a WMD threat. She and the Joint Task Force on Iraq, of course, came up empty-handed... (She also assisted operations involving Iran and WMDs.)"

* ftr, here's larisa from feb06:
"Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.
While many have speculated that Plame was involved in monitoring the nuclear proliferation black market, specifically the proliferation activities of Pakistan's nuclear "father," A.Q. Khan, intelligence sources say that her team provided only minimal support in that area, focusing almost entirely on Iran."

* see emptywheel for more:
"David Corn has posted the scoop that should have been the first teaser from his and Isikoff's Hubris--a post detailing Valerie Plame's role in the CIA. It turns out Plame managed the group tasked with studying Iraq's WMDs, the Joint Iraq Task Force.
But I'm interested by the details that put Valerie Plame at the center of so many issues central to the run-up to the war.
So it is not unreasonable to wonder whether one of those defectors, particularly one with a strong INC affiliation, might have passed some details to Judy. And at the very least, this connection might explain Judy's fierce anger at the Wilsons. Because Plame did her job (presumably) well, Judy had to work extra hard at building these defectors' credibility. And in fact, Judy became doubly necessary--since they couldn't get the defectors past the CIA's lie detectors, Judy had to introduce their claims into the debate.

While I doubt the wingnuts will believe a word Corn says, these revelations add a whole new importance to the outing of Valerie Plame. As many have speculated in the past, Plame's outing punished not just Wilson, but also a key CIA figure who had proven, before the war, that there were no WMDs."

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