While FBI agents and officials are very concerned about Nadim Prouty and her work, some CIA officials, including Vince Cannistraro, one of the VIPsters behind Plame's fairytale outing, are arguing that there's nothing going on here.
But to CIA veterans, where Prouty was recruited as a covert operations officer in 2003, a talented spy merely fudged the truth to win her citizenship.
Prouty, 37, admitted in court that she became a U.S. citizen by hiring an American to marry her. She then joined the FBI in 1999.
"That's not uncommon - people do it all the time," said a dismissive CIA source. The source strongly praised her undercover work in Iraq fighting insurgents, and said at worst she used bad judgment before joining the CIA.
Several other CIA officers also shrugged off her pleading guilty to rifling FBI files for information on family members and a Hezbollah counterterror case in Detroit.
"As far as I can tell, she was just looking out for her family," another senior official said.
Vince Cannistraro, an ex-CIA counterterror chief, said Prouty was worried for her sister Elfat, who married accused Hezbollah fund-raiser Talal Khalil Chahine.
Prouty had worked as a waitress in Chahine's Detroit cafes before joining the FBI, and he helped vouch for her sham marriage in a 1992 letter to immigration authorities. In pleading guilty, she admitted searching bureau files for his name, her sister's and her own in 2000.
"It looks more like she was concerned about her brother-in-law being involved in Hezbollah and was legitimately worried about her sister," Cannistraro said.
In awe of our troops some have said,"Where do we find such people?" In amazement at the fools passing as CIA "sources", I could say the same.
Update: A former senior CIA official was "outraged" at comments made by Bamford and Canistraro as they "certainly do not represent the thoughts of CIA personnel." He adds, "There appears to be major CI implications in this case which need to be fully investigated." Further, the CIA officer "fully concurs" with the statement made by the retired FBI official as to the potential seriousness of the issues which appear on the surface.
The statement made by Bamford (known to have significant issues with CIA) has zero merit within CIA. He can make any nonsensical statement he wants but people should know that anyone who has never served at CIA has zero credibility when making statements purporting to represent the thoughts or policy of the Agency."