Over the past week in particular National Review Online has published terrific notes and columns on the Plame/Wilson affair. Two of the best columns appeared yesterday and this past Friday. Andrew McCarthy’s “Did the CIA ‘out’ Valerie Plame?” takes a look at the brief filed by the bigfeet of the MSM in the Cooper/Miller contempt proceedings. Former New York Times reporter Clifford May pursues a similarly offbeat angle in “Who exposes secret agent Plame?” Don’t miss either of these terrific columns.
Among the pieces available today, see “Rove rage” by Christopher Hitchens and the Washington Times editorial “Knifing Rove, whitewashing Wilson-Plame.” Here are two paragraphs from the Times editorial that summarize a few of the key points:
As this newspaper reported on July 23, 2004: “The identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame was compromised twice before her name appeared in a new column that triggered a federal illegal-disclosure investigation…Mrs. Plame’s identity as an undercover CIA officer was first disclosed to Russia in the mid-1990s by a Moscow spy…In a second compromise, officials said a more recent inadvertent disclosure resulted in references to Mrs. Plame in confidential documents sent by the CIA to the U.S. Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Havana … Cubans read the classified material and learned the secrets contained in them, the officials said.”
Ironically, Mr. Rove says he learned of Mrs. Plame’s identity from a reporter. How did a journalist get that information? Very possibly, Mr. Wilson himself was the original source of the leak of his wife’s identity as a secret agent. The first person to speculatively write on the assertion was Mr. Corn of the Nation, who wrote two days after Mr. Novak’s original article was published that Mrs. Plame may have been a secret agent. Clifford May, writing last week in National Review Online, noted that Mr. Novak did not reveal that she was a secret agent. But Mr. Corn, who talked with Mr. Wilson, did raise the possibility of Mrs. Plame’s “undercover” status. The bottom line is that based on what is currently known about the Plame case thus far, there is absolutely no legitimate reason to believe that Mr. Rove is the original source of the leak about Mrs. Plame’s identity.