Posted 9:11 am | Printer Friendly
One of the more annoying angles to the Plame scandal has been the persistent claims by administration allies that Valerie Plame may have been in the CIA when the White House helped expose her identity, but she wasn't undercover. The Bush gang exposed her work, conservatives say, but this would only be a big deal if Plame was covert.
All available evidence has told us, repeatedly and over the course of two years, that the conservatives' claim is bogus. But in case there was any lingering doubt, Newsweek's Michael Isikoff helps set the record straight this week.
Newly released court papers could put holes in the defense of Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, in the Valerie Plame leak case. Lawyers for Libby, and White House allies, have repeatedly questioned whether Plame, the wife of White House critic Joe Wilson, really had covert status when she was outed to the media in July 2003. But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done "covert work overseas" on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA "was making specific efforts to conceal" her identity, according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion.
I certainly don't expect all of the White House allies who got this completely wrong to apologize or run a correction — especially not you, Mr. Safire — but as the case proceeds and Fitzgerald's new grand jury continues its work, is it too much to ask that the right at least drop this talking point from their rhetorical quiver?