One of the lines of defense we are hearing from the Bush spin cycle is that Rove could not have broken the law because it was an "open secret
" that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA.
Well, this is a lie because the CIA considered her to be a covert agent, and if anyone with clearance who knew about her status were to have leaked it, that would have been a crime as well.
At the same time one needs to ask whether or not Joe and Valerie Wilson kept this information secret from those around them. We know from Joe Wilson's public statements that the answer is "no one knew"
According to the Wall Street Journal
"A key department memo discussing Joseph Wilson's Niger trip was classified 'Top Secret,' and the passage about his wife's CIA role was specially marked 'S/NF' -- not to be shared with any foreign intelligence agencies."
And more recently an article in USA Today
a neighbor who lives next door to Joe and Valerie Wilson did not have a clue about her affiliation with the CIA. According to his account,
When I first met Joe and Valerie, I quickly got to the classic Washington question: What do you do? Joe explained that he was a former ambassador to a number of African countries, who had worked in both the Bush I and Clinton administrations.
Valerie's answer was more than a little vague. She quickly said she was a consultant. As a fourth-generation Washingtonian, I have learned that when someone says, "I'm a consultant," that is a cue to back off, as it usually means the person is unemployed or "between engagements."