by Larry C. Johnson (bio/blog)
Those who have read the strident handwringing of rightwingers in a snit over Valerie Plame's testimony on Friday before Henry Waxman's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform are probably asking themselves: Are these clowns high on drugs or just profoundly stupid? I refer of course to articles in the Investor's Business Daily and The American Thinker, which offer up rightwinger wish lists of questions members of Congress should ask Valerie Plame tomorrow.
If the list of questions proferred by Investor's Business Daily is indicative of their investment advice prospective investors relying on their guidance are probably already bankrupt or facing near financial ruin. And what can we say about The American Thinker? Is this an intentionally ironic oxymoron? One wonders because the piece reflects nothing that approaches genuine thought. But I digress.
In the spirit of public service, I will take a stab at helping answer their questions. While I don't know for sure what Valerie will say nor am I acting on her behalf, I do know what the right answers are. Here's my guess at what we could hear from Mrs. Wilson.
The Investor's Business Daily asks:
- Ms. Plame, didn't you 'out' yourself when you made a $1,000 contribution to the Al Gore presidential campaign and listed your CIA 'cover' company as your employer in your Federal Elections Commission filing? Didn't you say you worked for Brewster-Jenning and Associates, a fictitious Boston-based firm designed to provide cover for some CIA operatives and employees? Are you aware these are public records?
No I did not. My contributions to legitimate political candidates is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether I complied with U.S. law in making those contributions. And I did comply. I had to identify where I worked and, at the time, I was working in an undercover position with the firm Brewster Jennings. I could not list the CIA as my true employer because I was undercover. At no time did I ever identify myself to someone not entitled to know that I worked with the CIA. I lived my cover.
- Isn't it true, Ms. Plame, that you are listed in your husband's 'Who's Who In America' entry? Isn't it true that both you and your husband are Democratic activists with an agenda and that your husband's July 6, 2003, New York Times op-ed was a politically motivated concoction?
Yes. I was listed in Who's Who but so what? The entry did not identify me as a CIA officer. And no, we are not Democratic activists with an agenda. We are Americans who care deeply about our country. We never imagined that public officials would use their position and power to smear American citizens who were serving their country.
- Didn't your husband, Joe Wilson, also contribute to the Gore campaign and go on to be a foreign policy adviser and speechwriting consultant for the Kerry campaign? And didn't he actively campaign for the Massachusetts Democrat in no fewer than six states?
What's the question? Are you saying that an American citizen who supports a legitimately selected presidential or congressional candidate is committing a crime? Joe and I believe every American should be involved in America's political process. Every American is free to choose whether they want to support Republicans, Democrats, or Independents. Joe and I have provided financial support to both Republicans and Democrats. It is our constitutional right and we will surrender that to no one.
- Would you agree that what you call a smear campaign to discredit your husband and punish him by exposing you was merely a legitimate attempt of an administration under political attack to defend itself against statements that are demonstrably false?
No. I do not agree because it is not the truth. My husband said the his trip was initiated in response to a request from the Vice President's office for more information about an intelligence report that Iraq was trying to buy uranium from Niger. That was a true statement. My husband said that he was sure a report of his trip was turned into an intelligence report. That is true. The intelligence report created after he was debriefed carried the title, "Nigerian Denial of Uranium Yellowcake Sales to Rogue States" and was dated March 8, 2002. My husband wrote in July of 2003 that, "Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat." Sadly, we now know that was the truth.
- Isn't it true that you were seated behind a desk in CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., for a period of time that disqualifies you for protection as a covert agent under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act?
That is a lie. I served as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations from 1985 until I resigned from the CIA in 2006. I was undercover until exposed in Robert Novak's op-ed of July 2003. I had served overseas, as required in the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA), during the five years that preceded July 2003. At present the CIA does not allow me to acknowledge that I worked for the CIA prior to 2002. If I had been an overt employee there wouldn't have been a problem. But I wasn't.
- Isn't it true that the reason you were brought stateside was because foreign intelligence services and most of Washington knew who you were and where you worked?
I can tell you with certainty that until the day Bob Novak printed his article that identified me as a CIA officer, I was working in a covert job and I was traveling, from time to time, overseas. What other countries knew or did not know is not my concern. I was betrayed by my own government and by officials who had a legal obligation to protect my identity.
What about the addled-brain American Thinker?
- Since the CIA maintains an office which is responsible for contacts with the press, on what date did you report your May 2 and 3 contacts with Nicholas Kristof to that office?
I did not speak with Mr. Kristof about this matter in any fashion. I was not a source and therefore under no obligation to report a passing social contact. My husband's conversations with members of the press where his and his alone. I have never divulged classified information to anyone in the media. I lived my cover and protected it in an appropriate manner. I wish Vice President Cheney and his staff had acted with similar professionalism.
- When did you first inform Joe Wilson that you worked for the CIA?
Please buy Joe's book, The Politics of Truth. He accurately recounts that story.
- When you informed him that you worked for the CIA, was he aware that you wanted to keep your identity protected?
Are you really that fucking stupid? He faithfully protected my identity. It was the officials in President Bush's Administration who betrayed me, not my husband.
- Your name, Valerie Plame, was listed in Who's Who in America from 1999 through 2005, under your husband's listing? Did you seek special permission from the CIA to be included in that entry?
I repeat the question about your stupidity. I lived my cover. At no time in any fora did I identity myself as a CIA officer. While undercover I lived my cover. Period.
- Did your husband consult with you before including your maiden name in his bio published at that conference? Did you seek and obtain permission from the CIA for that disclosure?
Why do I need to seek permission from the CIA to tell people I'm married to Joe Wilson and work as an energy consultant? You really do not understand even the basics of cover?
- Is it common practice for CIA agents to donate to political campaigns? When you contributed to the Gore campaign in 1999 under your own name, did you have any obligation to report that to your superiors?
Yes it is normal and no you are under no obligation to report a legal, political activity. Just because you are undercover does not mean you surrender your rights as an American citizen.
Sorry. I surrender. The remainder of the American Thinker questions are so moronic and so juvenile that they do not merit being treated as serious, legitimate questions. Here is the bottomline. Joe and Valerie Wilson protected each other and believed that serving one's country is a high and noble calling. Valerie, for her part, never compromised her integrity or her legal obligation to protect classified information. Tomorrow the American people will have the chance to meet a serious, intelligent patriot. People who want to challenge those values will do so at their own peril. God speed, Valerie.