Monday, October 22, 2007

CBS 60 Minutues interviews Valerie Plame Wilson, outed after the Niger scandal

Wilson, who spent over twenty years in the agency while her flamboyant husband was a career diplomat. I watched it while Johann Hummel ‘s perfunctory b minor Piano Concerto concluded on the radio tuned to WETA in the next room. They showed the “his and hers” office, with her side of the business room in their home rather barren. She, as a public servant, actually tried to keep a low profile, as required by her chosen career. Not all of us can live with that. There story is here.
"Valerie Plame Wilson, No Ordinary Spy: In Her First Interview, Former CIA Officer Speaks to Katie Couric.” Mrs. Wilson also appeared on the NBC Today show this morning (Monday Oct. 22, 2007).

Her book, "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy" from Simon and Schuster, is reviewed by Alan Cooperman in The Washington Post this morning on page C01, "Valerie Plame: Telling the (Edited) Inside Story," here.

Joseph C. Wilson IV ‘s article, “What I didn’t find in Africa,” reprinted from The New York Times, July 6, 2003, is available here. Niger is an impoverished, mostly arid landlocked country north of Nigeria (with which it should not be confused); CIA link.

Clifford D. May wrote a piece in National Review Online, July 12, 2004, “Our Man in Niger: Exposed and discredited, Joe Wilson might consider going back.” The link is here.

Of course, we know the rest of the story. Valerie was “outed” as a CIA officer shortly after her husband’s op-ed; no one was prosecuted for the security leak, but Scooter Libby was indicted for perjury in the course of the investigation, and convicted in 2006 (Wiki story here). Amateur bloggers were actually seated at the trial.

I recall Colin Powell’s speech to the UN (about Saddam Hussein's supposed evidence of WMD's in Iraq) in February 2003, “Retired,” working only part-time in one position, and at home on a special contract, I could watch it. I believed him. The only thing about Powell (“My American Dream”) was that he had behaved deceptively as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs when Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban on gays in the military in 1993. So in the back of my mind, I knew that coverup was possible.

The administration could have focused more of Afghanistan, on the hunt for bin Laden, on North Korea, on stabilizing Pakistan and calming the tribal areas, and particularly on working to secure nuclear material around the world. Particularly galling are the money laundering scandals, apparently involving Saudi Arabia, showing up with the “libel tourism” editorial recently in The New York Times, and even mentioned in the recent indie film “Meeting Resistance” about Iraq. (See my movies blog.) This has become a mass of contradictions, and I would like to believe it is just intellectual incompetence.

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