Sunday, July 10, 2005

Matt Cooper's Source - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com Matt Cooper's Source - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com

Matt Cooper's Source - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com reinforces that it is highly unlikely that anyone committed a crime in the original "outing" of Plame as a CIA operative.

Here is what we know right now:
- Plame suggested that her husband, Wilson, be sent to Niger because of his experience - apparently not mentioning that he was prominent in Democratic party politics.
- Wilson goes to Niger, returns, and gives a ambiguous report to the CIA that could be taken to bolster the theory that Saddam Hussein was trying to obtain nuclear materials from Africa.
- About 6 months later, Wilson, in an editorial to the NYT, “lies� about that, and states the opposite - that he found no evidence of such.
- Apparently Rove cautioned a couple of reporters that Wilson’s trip had not been authorized by the DCIA (Tenet) or VP (Cheney), but rather “it was, KR said, Wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip.�
- Novak broke essentially that story, with the exception (if I remember right) that he did not point out that neither Tenet nor Cheney authorized the trip, just that it was Plame who suggested it.
- Wilson then brings up the fact that Plame was undercover, and pushes for prosecution.
- The AG recuses himself and appoints Fitzgerald to investigate this.

If you reread the original Novak story that started it all, no mention is made that Plame is or was ever undercover. That only came later - from Wilson. He only states that she works for the CIA, and most CIA employees are NOT legally “covert agents", as Plame may have been at some point in the previous 5 years (she wasn’t at that time, because she was working in the U.S.) Note also that Rove apparently did not state that she was undercover, just that she worked on WMD at the CIA.

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