Tag Archives: Valerie Plame

News & Comment

CIA Told Novak Plame Did Not Authorize Niger Trip

The CIA spokesman said he warned Novak, in the strongest terms he was permitted to use without revealing classified information, that Wilson’s wife had not authorized the mission and that if he did write about it, her name should not be revealed.

According to the Washington Post Robert Novak, the rightwing propagandist, was warned by a CIA spokesman in 2003 not to publish White House spin that Bush critic Joe Wilson was sent to Niger by his wife, CIA secret agent Valerie Plame:

[Bill] Harlow, the former CIA spokesman, said in an interview yesterday that he testified last year before a grand jury about conversations he had with Novak at least three days before the column was published. He said he warned Novak, in the strongest terms he was permitted to use without revealing classified information, that Wilson’s wife had not authorized the mission and that if he did write about it, her name should not be revealed.

Harlow said that after Novak’s call, he checked Plame’s status and confirmed that she was an undercover operative. He said he called Novak back to repeat that the story Novak had related to him was wrong and that Plame’s name should not be used. But he did not tell Novak directly that she was undercover because that was classified.

In a column published Oct. 1, 2003, Novak wrote that the CIA official he spoke to “asked me not to use her name, saying she probably never again will be given a foreign assignment but that exposure of her name might cause ‘difficulties’ if she travels abroad. He never suggested to me that Wilson’s wife or anybody else would be endangered. If he had, I would not have used her name.”

So Novak’s excuse is, “I did it because I’m idiot who can’t read between the lines when a CIA spokesman is telling me an operative is covert.”

News & Comment

A Plame Name Game Timeline

Thanks to FactCheck.org for this cool timeline of events leading up to the current mess.

The Timeline

1988-1991 – Joseph Wilson serves as Deputy Chief of Mission in Baghdad, Iraq. In July 1990, he takes over as acting ambassador to Iraq. (Joseph Wilson, The Politics of Truth 451, 2004).

1992-1995 – Nominated by President George H.W. Bush, Wilson serves as Ambassador to the African nations of Gabon, as well as the smaller island country of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe. (Wilson, Politics 451).

1995-1997 – Joseph Wilson serves as political adviser to the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe, stationed in Germany. On a trip to Washington DC, Wilson meets Valerie Plame who at the time says she is an “energy executive living in Brussels.” (Wilson, Politics 239-242).

June 1997 – Joseph Wilson returns to Washington DC as Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. At about the same time, Plame also moves back to the United States (Wilson, Politics 240), in part because the CIA suspects her name was leaked to the Russians in 1994. (Vanity Fair, Jan. ‘04).

April 3, 1998 – Wilson and Plame marry. (Wilson, Politics 276).

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