Feb 04 2006

Plame Stupid, Russert Is The Key

Published by at 12:16 pm under All General Discussions,Plame Game

I hate to say this, but the Plame Game is looking fairly boring as it becomes evident Fitzgerald is one lame prosecutor grasping at straws. Tom Maguire still tops the discussion on this case, so I will humbly link to one of his posts for some tidbits.

Tom and I have both beaten the Russert horse to death – Russert was obviously talking to NBC news reporters about Joe and Val prior to the Novak story upon his return from his vacation. Clearly in the meeting the discussion was about a Valerie Plame sending Joe Wilson to Niger – using her maiden name. Tim must still be mentally on vacation because he doesn’t see the big deal – or there is an even better explanation that I will get to in a minute. Here is the key exchange from the Tim Russert show with Mitchell and Russert and Gregory with my emphasis

RUSSERT: Well, that’s exactly right. “Meet”–Joe Wilson had been on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, which you moderated because I was on vacation.
RUSSERT: I came back after that interview, after The New York Times piece, and there was a discussion about Joe Wilson and I didn’t know very much. And then when I read Novak’s column the following Monday, I said, `Oh, my God, that’s it. Now I see. It’s his wife, Valerie Plame, CIA, sent him on the trip. Now I understand what everybody was trying to figure out.‘

An excerpt Tom Maguire has from Friday’s opinion on Russert’s testimony, with my emphasis:

Russert recalls this conversation very differently. In his deposition, describing Plame’s employment as a fact that would have been “[v]ery” significant to him –one he would have discussed with NBC management and potentially sought to broadcast–Russert stated, “I have no recollection of knowing that [Wilson’s wife worked at the CIA], so it was impossible for me to have [told Libby] that.” (I-43, 32.) Asked to describe his “reaction” to Novak’s July 14 column, Russert said, “Wow. When I read that–it was the first time I knew who Joe Wilson’s wife was and that she was a CIA operative. . . . [I]t was news to me.” (I-433.)

OK, there is an interesting scenario that explains these statements (which are a partial cover up). No one has explored the angle that it became well known early on that a “Valerie Plame” worked for the CIA and sent Joe to Niger. Russert is clearly shocked by Novak’s column that Plame is Mrs. Wilson.

This further supports my belief that Plame was a back up source for Wilson for the early Kristof and Pincus articles. No sane news organization or reporter goes to print with these kinds of bombshell allegations without some secondary source. This is because both Pincus and Kristof mention sources at the Wilson debriefing. Well, the Senate investigation determined the Wilson debriefing happened at the Wilson’s home with Joe, Val and two DO agents present. The two DO agents present have testified under oath there was no discussion of Niger forgeries in the debriefing – a key element of the Pincus and Kristof stories before Joe came out in the open.

So ‘sources’ for stories with Niger forgeries can only be Joe and Val. Russert has been very careful, as Tom Maguire notes, to keep ‘Plame’ and ‘Wilson’s Wife’ distinct and seperate entities in his statements. Now I think I know why. It is possible Valerie Plame was a known confirming source for Wilson’s claims. But it may not have been widely known she was Mrs. Wilson. I had assumed Pincus and Kristof knew Plame was Mrs. Wilson – and now I am rethinking that assumption.

What if she was a regular confirming source for reporters? What if when contacted, Joe Wilson referred reporters to Valerie Plame as the one who (a) sent him and (b) was present at the debrief to vouch for his claims?

How NBC learned Valerie Plame sent Wilson to Niger is irrelevant. What is clear is none of the people who knew felt it ‘news worthy’, according to Tom’s great post on this. In fact, all are saying it would have been news worthy if it was Wilson’s wife who sent Joe. So Plame’s name was out there. Her CIA role was out there. Her marriage to Joe was not.

Well, leaking the marriage is not a crime! If this is true Fitzgerald is really going to look pretty stupid. This is pure speculation – but it ties with the statements and record.

The next question is, why are these reporters still protecting Joe and Valerie if this is the case? If so many reporters knew about Valerie Plame, the CIA employee who sent Joe Wilson to Niger, but did not know about the marital connection to Wilson – why protect the sources now? Why cover for them? I am pretty sure Joe and Val did dupe the media, they have been curiously absent as sources in reporting since the fall of 2003. My guess is they are radioactive in the news media for this little charade. But why still protect the fact Valerie Plame, CIA employee was a known entity before Novak’s article?


Clarice Feldman zeroes in on other aspects of the Plame case to demonstrate clearly that Fitzgerald was not interested in finding the truth, he was trying to find who could have exposed Valerie Wilson – as if it was not Valerie and Joe themelves!

Here are a few of the gems in this affidavit by Fitzgerald, an affidavit without which Judith Miller would never have been jailed. Paragraph 9:

“Wilson, who was not a government employee at the time of the trip and [REDACTED] spoke to several reporters including Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times and Walter Pincus of the Washington Post….”

Since Kristof’s first meeting was with Wilson and his wife, and because Pincus has long been believed to have known the Wilson’s socially, I’d bet money that in both cases that redacted name person who shopped the tale with Wilson was none other than Valerie Plame herself.

This makes Fitz Magoo either a gullible fool or a partisan hack. I am more confident than before that Joe and Valerie either openly or covertly spilled to the press Valerie Plame’s’ CIA employment and role in sending Joe Wilson to support Wilson’s wild claims about debunking Niger forgeries.

We cannot forget that the prime charge from Wilson, echoed by Pincus and Kristof in their earliest pieces, was that the US went to war in Iraq using forged evidence they knew was forged. That was the claim in May, June and July of 2003. We went to war on forged evidence. That would require more than Joe Wilson’s word to print. It would require Valerie Plame’s word as well.

Tom Maguire also has up a great schedule of coming events

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Plame Stupid, Russert Is The Key”

  1. Seixon says:

    Well, if this is the case, that Slippery Joe and Plame tried to fool the press by using different last names to seem like two distinct sources… All the press would have to do is Google “Valerie Plame”, and they would have found out she was Wilson’s wife within about 10 seconds.

    Maybe Wilson and Plame never knew that, that their association was available on the internet via a simple Google search of her name.

    If that is so, it is hilarious, and this really is quite a waste of time for Mr. Fitzgerald.

  2. BIGDOG says:

    So did this happen before or after Andrea Mitchell said it was “common knowledge” amongst her peers who Valerie Plame was and who she worked for. Mr. Wilson was sent to Niger at her request, wasnt common knowledge in 2002, unlike 1999. So how does it tie together?

    What piece of this mascarade is missing? Exposing Joe wilson for his lies may implicate his own CIA wife, hence the cover up.

    Was Rockefeller telling Assad of Syria we were coming, part of a huge cover up and allowing Saddam and the Russians a chance to get the WMD’s into Syria and Joe Wilson a chance to sledge any covert mining operations and tie down any diplomatic matters?


    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the Damascus al-Shaab palace on Monday received the US senator J. Rockefeller, a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence and members of the accompanying delegation on Jan 8 2002. Joe Wilsons arrival in Niger In late February 2002 with a direct connection to the CIA. Mix in the rockefeller memo and this damn thing has been staged. Its not just me seeing this, is it?

    Its almost as if this was scripted by the CIA and Wilson ran diplomatic cover in a highly suspect Uranium industry at that time. Rockefeller tells them all Bush is going in. Dont know if it was about money but something isnt sitting right in my eyes and it points to money and power.

  3. mary mapes says:

    This makes a lot of sense AJ. I think you reasoned this out.

    My hunch, is that the reporters *were* protecting their Wilson knowledge for 2 reasons.

    1- Clintonian word games. If Fitzgerald didn’t explore or ask the right questions, they were not volunteering

    If it turns out that Fitzgerald never asked if they were aware of “A” Valerie Plame, regardless of her material ties, that would seem to me to be a great error.

    2- Contrary to what the media has enjoyed implying, every reporter involved has not provided evidence they *received* a leak from the WH. In fact, all reporters did the inquiring.

    I think reporters figured the case wouldn’t go to trial… or if it did, would not hinge on their(reporters) contribution

  4. mary mapes says:

    Hey AJ

    You don’t suppose those wacky notes of Judith Miller give us a clue do you? Wilson stated the outing revolved around the name “PLAME”

    Wilson on NBC’ with Jamie Gangel (July 14, 2005)

    “Jamie Gangel: It’s now public that President Bush’s top adviser, Karl Rove, did talk to at least one reporter about your wife. But Rove insists he never used her name and that he did not know that she was undercover. That he did not knowingly give her up.

    Wilson: My wife’s name is Wilson. It is Mrs. Joseph Wilson. It is Valerie Wilson. And he named her. He identified her. So that argument I don’t believe stands the test of — stands the smell test.

    Gangel: He says he also did not know that she was an undercover operative.

    Wilson: I have no way of knowing. I’ve never spoken to Karl Rove. What I do know is that — Mr. Rove was talking to the press. And he was saying things like my wife is fair game. That is an outrage. It is abuse of power.”

    –Flash to Millers references to “Victoria Wilson” and “Valerie Flame” in her notebook.

    Early on, a number of other outlets referred to “Vicky” and “Victoria”,

    October 2, 2003: “The Plame Game”, Howard Fineman. Originally titled “Victoria’s Secret”

    Isikoff and even Timothy Phelps on CNN.

    Based on your analysis here, I wonder if in addition to separating themselves as Seixon says ” that Slippery Joe and Plame tried to fool the press by using different last names to seem like two distinct sources”….Ms. Wilson most likely used a different first name than her so-called “cover” name also. (or it was the first name that made the distinction. Victoria Wilson can’t be Joe Wilson’s wife, his wife name is “Valerie”)

    I am not certain about the legalities, but maybe this is how the “Wilson’s” were able to weasel out of scrutiny.

    If Mrs.Wilson admitted she did speak to reporters Kristoff and Pincus, independent of her husband andusing an entirely different pseudo name than her married and “covered” name and never addressing her CIA status, then effectively she could claim neither she or her husband “outed” her. .

    However, Mr. Wilson did list his wife in the “Who’s Who” as “Valerie Plame” and the website you analyzed his speech from (EPIC- which I took a screen shot, because just that notation has been removed). Not positive Who’sW is indeed where Novak got it from, but I bet the existence hindered Fitzgerald from proceeding on the “outing” grounds.

    There does seem to be some funny business on the actual name.

  5. mary mapes says:

    Also, if you’d like the screen shot, I can email it to you.