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Monday, October 22, 2007

The Bush Administration's payback to Valerie Plame
Posted by Jill | 7:48 AM
It's worse than you thought. Larry Johnson, who worked with Plame, explains how:

In 2004 the FBI received intelligence that Al Qaeda hit teams were enroute to the United States to kill Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Valerie Plame. The FBI informed Valerie of this threat. This was just more “good” news piled on the fact that her intelligence career was in shambles, that intelligence assets she had recruited/managed were destroyed, and that she was unable to rebut publicly false and malicious smears of her character and reputation by a bunch of partisan Republican hacks. As the mother of two pre-school children, her first thoughts were about protecting her kids. She took the threat seriously and asked for help.

When the White House learned of these threats they sprung into action. They beefed up Secret Service protection for Vice President Cheney and provided security protection to Karl Rove. But they declined to do anything for Valerie. That was a CIA problem.

Valerie contacted the office of Security at CIA and requested assistance. They told her too fucking bad and to go pound sand. They did not use those exact words, but they told her she was on her own.

Before learning of this I credited George Tenet with doing a good job of restoring morale at the CIA but criticized him strongly for playing politics with the White House and helping set the table for scamming the American public into the Iraq war. Now, in light of this revelation, I realize the man is a despicable coward. He refused to come to the aid of one of his CIA officers who faced a specific death threat. In fact, Georgie boy never once reached out to Valerie to provide any comfort or encouragement. He wanted to stay on good terms with the White House so he effectively cut her loose.

So if you have wondered why Joe and Val are a little pissed off, this might help shed some additional light on the matter. Not only did the Bush Administration out a covert intelligence officer working on the most sensitive national security issues in a time of war, but when that officer faced a direct threat to her life and her family’s safety because of that public exposure, they did not do a goddamn thing to help. I don’t know about you, but that fries my ass.

And don't talk to me about the Vanity Fair photo. The threat to Valerie Plame wasn't a result of a magazine photo, it was a result of the Bush Administration's cheap political payback against a public servant whose husband, another public servant, dared to call the Administration on its lies. By the time of that photo shoot, Robert Novak, Karl Rove, Richard Armitage, and Scooter Libby had already done the damage to both Plame's career and to her work on keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Yes, Katie Couric did her best in last night's interview, being the good, corporatist, Viacom hack that she is, to play the "Joe Wilson Outed His Own Wife" card, but it didn't fly. Allowing the photo shoot may not have been the best judgment in the world, but let's not forget that Plame's career was already over and her assets already compromised by the time it took place.

The vitriol that the right has had towards the Wilsons has always reminded me of Clinton hatred, and I suspect it's for the same reasons, having less to do with policy disagreements and more to do with jealousy. Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are smart, telegenic, sexy as hell, and successful. It seems just another manifestation of the Republicans' behaving like the kid who got beaten up every day in high school and then went home and masturbated to the Playboy centerfold while the captain of the football was getting all the girls -- and they're still angry.


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