This diary was just posted at TPM Cafe
Josh Marshall intros it and links to it at his primary web site, Talking Point Memo
“LARRY JOHNSON IS a retired CIA officer who was a classmate of Valerie Plame’s when both entered the CIA in the mid-1980s. Johnson just did a guest post over at TPMCafe in which he explains the damage that was done when administration officials revealed Plame’s identity, who’s lying and who’s not.”
THE BIG LIE ABOUT VALERIE PLAME
By Larry Johnson Jul 13, 2005 — 12:47:20 AM EST
From: TPMCafe Special Guests
The misinformation being spread in the media about the Plame affair is alarming and damaging to the longterm security interests of the United States. Republicans’ talking points are trying to savage Joe Wilson and, by implication, his wife, Valerie Plame as liars. That is the truly big lie.
For starters, Valerie Plame was an undercover operations officer until outed in the press by Robert Novak…
Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA…in September 1985. All of my classmates were undercoverwas a get out of jail free card.
A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed.
The lies by people like Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, and P. J. O’Rourke insist that Valerie was nothing, just a desk jockey. Yet, until Robert Novak betrayed her she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world. When Novak outed Valerie he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her.
…”I don’t know if a man made law was broken but an ethical and moral code was breached. For the first time a group of partisan political operatives publically identified a CIA NOC…
They try to hide behind the specious claim that Joe Wilson “lied”. Although Joe did not lie…Joe Wilson…tried to prevent the needless death of Americans and the loss of American prestige in the world.
But don’t take my word for it, read the biased Senate intelligence committee report. Even though it was slanted to try to portray Joe in the worst possible light this fact emerges on page 52 of the report: According to the US Ambassador to Niger (who was commenting on Joe’s visit in February 2002), “Ambassador Wilson reached the same conclusion that the Embassy has reached that it was highly unlikely that anything between Iraq and Niger was going on.” Joe’s findings were consistent with those of the Deputy Commander of the European Command, Major General Fulford.
The Republicans insist on the lie that Val got her husband the job. She did not…the decision to send Joe Wilson on this mission was made by her bosses.
…Shame on those who continue to slander Joe Wilson while giving Bush and his pack of liars a pass. That’s the true outrage.
Newsday Provided strong support for the above post on July 22, 2003, a mere eight days after Robert Novak exposed Valerie Plame’s identity:
…Intelligence officials confirmed to Newsday yesterday that Valerie Plame, wife of retired Ambassador Joseph Wilson, works at the agency on weapons of mass destruction issues in an undercover capacity – at least she was undercover until last week when she was named by columnist Robert Novak.
…A current intelligence official said that blowing the cover of an undercover officer could affect the officer’s future assignments and put them and everyone they dealt with overseas in the past at risk.
…Novak, in an interview, said his sources had come to him with the information. “I didn’t dig it out, it was given to me,” he said. “They thought it was significant, they gave me the name and I used it.”
Novak reported that his “two senior administration officials” told him that it was Plame who suggested sending her husband, Wilson, to Niger.
A senior intelligence official confirmed that Plame was a Directorate of Operations undercover officer who worked “alongside” the operations officers who asked her husband to travel to Niger.
But he said she did not recommend her husband to undertake the Niger assignment. “They [the officers who did ask Wilson to check the uranium story] were aware of who she was married to, which is not surprising,” he said. “There are people elsewhere in government who are trying to make her look like she was the one who was cooking this up, for some reason,” he said. “I can’t figure out what it could be.”
“We paid his [Wilson’s] air fare. But to go to Niger is not exactly a benefit. Most people you’d have to pay big bucks to go there,” the senior intelligence official said. Wilson said he was reimbursed only for expenses.