March 15, 2007
Serious Questions for Henry Waxman's Show TrialBy Rick Ballard
A hearing tomorrow, called by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, will focus on the purported outing of CIA celebrity agent Valerie Plame by the White House and Office of the Vice-President. More a show trial masquerading as Congressional hearings than a serious effort to craft legislation, the most important questions are likely to remain unasked, as least by members of the Democrat majority.
Apparently Waxman has limited access to simple facts. If Waxman had even a minimal desire to determine the truth, Joe Wilson would have been called to sit beside his wife and testify under oath to their joint decision to go into electoral politics.
The primary responsibility for the protection of agents' identities rests with the agents themselves. That is a fact hammered into all CIA employees from the moment they are hired. Valerie Plame Wilson initiated her own 'outing' by participating in her husband's successful effort to become an advisor to the Kerry campaign. The precise moment in which she abandoned any pretense of being 'undercover' is difficult to determine, but it is safe to presume it occurred prior to May 2, 2003.
On that day, during a meeting of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, the Wilsons succeeded in inserting Joe Wilson into the electoral political process. They also made contact with New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof.
From Vanity Fair:
The Wilsons pitched Ambassador Munchausen's fable to Kristof and he bought it with the same degree of faith that won Walter Duranty (and the New York Times) a Pulitzer prize for publishing every lie Stalin's propagandists fed him. The very gullible Kristof cobbled the Wilsons' bogus concoction into an article in the New York Times, published on May 6, 2003. In that article Kristof stated:
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence disposed of Wilson's fable on pages 443 - 444 of the report:
According to the Vanity Fair piece, both of the Wilsons were present with Kristof and it is reasonable to assume that Valerie Plame Wilson at least listened attentively as her husband provided politically loaded misinformation to a Times byline reporter. Mr. Wilson casually disclosed his wife's maiden name in the preparation of numerous biographical sketches beginning with Who's Who and including Corporate and Public Strategy Advisory Group, the Middle East Institute and the EPIC Forum. Twenty people provided biographical sketches as participants in the antiwar EPIC Forum on June 14, 2003, some three weeks prior to the publication of Wilson's fable on the New York Times editorial page. Joseph Wilson was the only forum participant to include even a mention of a spouse, let alone her maiden name.
The Kerry Campaign must have been impressed with the Wilsons' ability to gull a Times reporter by having source and confirmation share a common last name, for soon after Kristof's article appeared, Wilson was named as an 'advisor to the campaign' and held that position until the exposure of his prevarications. Wilson's status as a Kerry advisor, coupled with the Times' own Kristof having swallowed whole Wilson's tale, was sufficient for the Times to grant Wilson its editorial page on July 6th, 2003. The Wilsons, working together, had achieved a level of national notoriety based entirely upon their manipulation of the Kerry Campaign and the New York Times.
As Jim Marcinkowski, one of Plame's classmates during their CIA training, has noted, she's "a hell of a shot with an AK-47". There is no reason to disbelieve that assertion; however, ample evidence also exists that Wilson can shoot his mouth off at least as well as Plame can fire a rifle. Why did Plame not unload the weapon that was her husband's mouth-aimed as it was at her identity as a CIA agent? Indeed, why did she apparently load it herself by suggesting Wilson for the trip to Niger?
One person had the primary responsibility for the protection of a CIA agent's identity. Valerie Plame Wilson failed. One person was primarily responsible for the events and actions leading to the 'outing' of a CIA agent's identity. Joe Wilson succeeded.
Chairman Waxman has chosen to investigate the circumstances that led to the disclosure of Valerie Plame's relationship with the CIA for strictly political purposes. If the Chairman is seeking to protect other CIA personnel, Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband can provide a complete primer on what not to do. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson could be of great assistance by honestly and forthrightly answering some simple questions that should have been asked a very long time ago.
Based on what we know to date, Congressman Waxman's decision to look to the White House will not bring us closer to any answers. That fact should not diminish the importance of the task for other members of the committee. If you recognize your representative's name on that list, click it and send along a copy of this article with a suggestion to ask a few of the following questions.
Questions for Valerie Plame Wilson:
Only the Republican members of the Oversight Committee can prevent Congress from joining The New York Times and John Kerry on the Wilsons' sucker list. We wish them well.
Jane Woodworth, Jeff Dobbs, Mara Schiffren and Rick Ballard collaborated on this article (with help from several Plame aficionados from Tom Maguire's Just One Minute).