View Full Version : Good Op-Ed, On Valarie Plame's Proven Covert Stat

Gayle in MD
06-01-2007, 08:43 AM
By Marty Kaplan
Q: Now that it's an established fact that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert CIA agent whose cover was blown by the Bush administration, don't Victoria Toensing, Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke, Bill Bennett and all the other media people who insisted she wasn't covert have to correct their misstatements?

A: No. There's no such thing as pundit accountability. They can just deny they ever said it, or deny they're wrong now, or ask you why you hate America.

Q: But what about the networks and newspapers that ran their lie. Doesn't the Fairness Doctrine require Fox to --

A: Please. There is no Fairness Doctrine. Reagan killed it 20 years ago.

Q: Well, how about the Equal Time provision? Don't stations have to give time to people with different points of view to --

A: Nope. A station can be all-creationists-all-the-time, and there's no law saying they ever have to have a scientist on, unless they think it'd get higher ratings, in which case it's called the law of supply and demand.

Q: So when Fox gives as much coverage to Anna Nicole Smith as to Iraq, it's as much about money as about politics?

A: You got a problem with capitalism?

Q: But don't stations promise to fulfill certain public interest obligations when they pay their license fees to the government?

A: There are no license fees. We, the public, give broadcasters our airwaves for free.

Q: Ok. But when they have to renew their licenses every few years --

A: Every eight years.

Q: -- every eight years, don't they have to prove they aired different viewpoints, and corrected mistakes when they were wrong?

A: No. All they have to do is fill out a postcard.

Q: You're telling me that there's no accountability for what gets put on the air?

A: Bingo.

Q: Not even news? A news program -- not an opinion program, a news program -- can give all its time over to Republicans, and they spout lying talking points all they want, and there's no law or regulation that can stop them?

A: That's the beauty of the First Amendment.

Q: But I thought there were still some regulations. What if Tom Tancredo goes on Lou Dobbs and says that the immigration bill is amnesty. Doesn't CNN have to put on another presidential candidate who disagrees?

A: Nope.

Q: What about Oprah? What if Mitt Romney goes on Oprah? Doesn't she have to have the other candidates on, too?

A: No way.

Q: Wait a minute. How about Fred Thompson? Don't stations have to stop showing reruns of the Law and Order episodes he's in, and his old movies, because they're basically free ads for him?

A: Not until his name is actually on a state ballot, which could be six months from now. And even then, they can still run on cable, which is where a lot of them are, anyway.

Q: This is a nightmare. The media can do anything they want --

A: Stop right there. There are some rules. No nipples. No poo-poo. No bad words.

Q: I'd call "traitor" a bad word.

A: Believe me, you don't want the Federal government regulating political speech.

Q; But if a handful of big corporations and billionaires controls the media, and they never have to be accountable for their lies --

A: As long as their lies are entertaining. You're always accountable to the audience, and the sponsors. If you lose the audience's attention, you're out of business.

Q: -- so as long as the propaganda is a good circus act, there's no recourse for people who care about the truth?

A: Haven't you ever heard of the internets? Media scarcity is so 20th century. Welcome to the era of abundance!

Q: If it weren't for the internet, I'd go nuts. But most people still get way more news from television than they do online.

A: Did you see on the news that Bush thinks Iraq will end up like Korea? We'll have permanent bases there, and thousands of troops stationed there forever. Turns out we didn't go there for WMDs, or for freedom dominoes. It was all about the oil, after all.

Q: No, I didn't see that on the news. I saw it online.

A: Exactly my point. Your life in the blogosphere is proof of the marvelous robustness of the media.

Q: But that's nothing compared to the power of the MSM.

A: I suppose that means you're against taxing the internet?

Q: Fuckin-A, I am.

A: Ask Mr. Media is a civil discourse zone. Good-bye.

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1. profmarcus
"There's no such thing as pundit accountability."

hey, it's not just the pundits... glenn greenwald wonders why the white house press secretary is getting away with HIS lies...
Are there any consequences at all for the White House Press Secretary to tell outright lies like that? Does that prompt any media scandals? Why can Tony Snow say with impunity that Plame "wasn't a covert agent" when their own CIA confirms that she was?
why are there no consequences...? hey, if there are no consequences for the pundits, it would be terribly hypocritical to demand them for public officials... just let 'em lie their little hearts out... they know there's 28% of the people in the country who believe what they say...

May 31, 2007 at 12:01pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
2. jeff
Ed Morrissey:

Plame drove into the office in Langley. She traveled abroad under her own name. She helped arrange for her husband to do some fact-checking on a sensitive intelligence matter. Her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, then came home and leaked his observations to two nationally-known journalists, and then wrote his own op-ed in the New York Times under his byline.

And her husband managed to list her in Who's Who, where any journalist could look up the entry -- and where Robert Novak did just that.

If that's keeping an agent covert, it speaks volumes about the agency's competence during the George Tenet years.
May 31, 2007 at 12:57pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
3. flatus
There are so many outrages that go without consequence these days. I'm guessing that this phenomenon tracks the size, clarity and number of channels on our televisions. Not to mention the softness of the latest lazy-boy recliner.

Television: the new opiate of the masses.
May 31, 2007 at 12:58pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
4. gardengoddess
Wouldn't it be great if the Dems pushed hard enough to get the Fairness Doctrine reinstated? I've love to see nitwits like Hannity, O'Reilly, Drugrush Slimebaugh have to apologize for lying!

Until that happens (if it ever happens), our only course, as moral, ethical humans, is to hound them unmercifally, and constantly. It's also a great idea to let their advertisers know we're not spending any of our money with them until things change and the truth becomes the norm, not the rarity. Yes, all that takes time. The other option is to kiss our democratic republic goodbye!
May 31, 2007 at 01:05pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
5. kaneandabel
TV was opiate of the masses from day one! It was the perfect Orwellian tool from the begining. Or did you not notice?

You've inhaled too much opium by now my friend....
May 31, 2007 at 01:15pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
6. wndsides
There is no such thing as accountability in politics, hollywood or for pretty much anyone who has money. Alot of money. With the upcoming election there isn't ANYONE who represents the "average joe" It's all about money, nothing else matters.
May 31, 2007 at 01:16pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
7. MrBU
Mr Kaplan,

Brilliant! That was an excellent compilation of right wing talking points. Now if you could only get some airtime. Hmm... what's the point? Even folks who are not members of the 28% club may not see the irony. Precisely why MSM is still what it is.
May 31, 2007 at 01:17pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
8. lovethesinner
One of your best ever, Marty.

The MSM isn't accountable, but they're sounding so old, lately. I have a funny feeling that this might be one of those times that market forces actually works. The TV news business has become so lame nobody will be watching it, soon. Of course, that 's exactly what they want.

Thank god for Jon Stewart and TruthDig:
May 31, 2007 at 01:21pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
9. thromulese
They will not correct their initial lies and spin because that serves them better than the truth.

Think about it...the Fitzgerald memo proves that the bush white house was instrumental in committing an act of treason during time of war. Not really something they want to clarify or dignify by admitting they were wrong/lying/spinning.

But for this administration, it's just another day at the office. Just another criminal act in a long long line of criminal acts. Remember they were going to bring respect back to the white house.
May 31, 2007 at 01:22pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
10. GeorgeBush43
Valerie was not a covert agent because I declared her to be uncovert and I am the Commander in Chief (you can just call me the CIC--I like that).
May 31, 2007 at 01:25pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
11. wmholt
Marty - excellent post, as usual!

Apparently, some people missed your link to Glenn Greenwald's excellent post about the fact that Ms. Plame's status as a covert agent is not a point open to dispute any more. Those who would know say she was covert:

May 31, 2007 at 01:30pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
12. PerryWhite
Fox, by which I presume you mean Fox News Channel, is not a broadcast network of television stations, but rather a cable and satellite network. I is not licensed by the FCC. That is where I stopped reading.
May 31, 2007 at 01:31pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
13. pizzaman
just a comment on the papa johns banner ad. They keep 75 percent of the delivery fee for themselves and reimburse their drivers less than the cost of gas. When I pointed this out, my manager pointed out that I was now unemployed. And they put John 3:16 at the bottom of their reciepts and then make everyone work Christmas and Easter. And they've never heard of holiday pay.no liberal or christian values there.
May 31, 2007 at 01:37pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
14. NotGuilty
It took a Neocon Bush to implement the Fairness Act the way Saint Ronnie Raygoon wanted it done.

It'll take an American to restore the US Constitution to the way it was meant to be.
May 31, 2007 at 01:41pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
15. Jeff1958
2. jeff wrote:

Plame drove into the office in Langley.
>> I thought that's where she worked. How else would she get there? A black helicopter?

She traveled abroad under her own name.
>> Was that the name you first heard when Robert Novak outed her?

She helped arrange for her husband to do some fact-checking on a sensitive intelligence matter.
>> Fact - he was highly qualified for that sensitive intelligence matter.

Her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, then came home and leaked his observations to two nationally-known journalists, and then wrote his own op-ed in the New York Times under his byline.
>> Relevance? It's OK to out a covert CIA spy to retaliate against a spouse?

And her husband managed to list her in Who's Who, where any journalist could look up the entry -- and where Robert Novak did just that.
>> Did the Who's Who entry happen to mention that she was covert for the CIA? I didn't think so.

If that's keeping an agent covert, it speaks volumes about the agency's competence during the George Tenet years.
>> Actually it speaks volumes about your severe bout with neoconitis. The cure is to turn off Rush and Hannity. Or get new talking points, because the ones you mention are stale.

May 31, 2007 at 12:57pm PM EDT | Flagged
May 31, 2007 at 01:43pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
16. PaulHarry
You can include the Washington Post editorial page, March 7, 2007, among those who denied that Valerie Plame was a covert operative.
May 31, 2007 at 01:47pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
17. psumac
Hey, LARRY ELDER just repeated the lie about Plame not being covert on his syndicated radio show yesterday. Resurrecting the Fairness Doctrine is crucial to stopping, or at least slowing, the pathological lying.
May 31, 2007 at 02:01pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
18. jezuzhchryst
The MSM is an entertainment business period. You cannot shame these people with facts because that is not the point of what they do. Facts and fact checking and accountability have moved online. Satire is the one form of reality that has moved in to fill the gapping hole in our collective mind.
May 31, 2007 at 02:07pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
19. MrBU
>12. PerryWhite
>Fox, by which I presume you mean Fox News Channel, is not a broadcast network of television stations, but rather a cable and satellite network. I is not licensed by the FCC. That is where I stopped reading..

Hmm.. wonder if that's why FOX chose to be in cable? OK, ok, Capitalism at work...
May 31, 2007 at 02:09pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
20. peterg76
"so as long as the propaganda is a good circus act"

Beautiful, insightful statement - it explains everything.
May 31, 2007 at 02:31pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
21. gardengoddess
The comments, continually spouted by the righty-tightys, about Valerie Plame not being covert are insulting in more than 1 way. They're meant to also insinuate that a woman, and an attractive one at that, couldn't possibly handle such a dangerous job as being a covert agent. Slimebaugh's comment that she was "just a secretary" shines a bright light on the fact the conservatives still think of women as less than human, as 2nd class; someone to be denegrated and ruled.

If the CIA and a federal prosecutor say she was covert, that should be good enough for anyone.
May 31, 2007 at 02:38pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
22. db
"Q: You're telling me that there's no accountability for what gets put on the air?"

"A: Bingo. "

You might want to check with Pacifica Radio about this.
May 31, 2007 at 02:45pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
23. willyloman
What do you want? Accuracy? Truth? Are you kidding me?
We would then have to look at how many leaders the CIA wiped out. How many days of fire bombing Japan led up to dropping the bomb. The real death toll of Iraqi children. How depressing would that be?
We need the media to lie to us. Like Mommy telling the slow kids, that they can really be anything they want to be. Or the poor kids, for that matter. Who wants to hear that?
It would totally disrupt the world view of about 295 million Americans. And then where would we be?
We would have to completely open the doors to anyone who would come to this country as cheap labor because the population would be getting angry and they may start demanding things. Like a living wage. And health care benifits.
Then we would have to start suspending certain civil liberties and taking steps to ensure control over the masses. Like some kind of Act that erases certain constitutional restrictions on the government over its people. We may have to put together some program that IDs citizens so that we can track their every movement.
We don't want to peek behind the curtain at the wizard. Keep lieing to us and selling whatever point of view you think is best for us 95%ers.
God only knows what will happen.
May 31, 2007 at 02:54pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
24. sickofdemocowards
Yes ! Let's re-instute the "Fairness Doctrin" I'd love to hear Rush, Hannity, Coulter et al on Air AMerica (maybe even save it from bankrupcy) and / or NPR. Bring it on .....
May 31, 2007 at 02:57pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
25. NorCalNative
Mr. Kaplan,

You have hit the American nail right on its tiny little head.
May 31, 2007 at 03:08pm PM EDT | Flag as abusive
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Mr. Kaplan's Bio:
<font color="red">One thing about the late great Reagan, he not only blazed the path for the illegal occupation of our country, set bin Laden's wheels in motion, but we owe him also for dismantling the "Truth" regulations to benefit the Faux News enthusiasts! Man, what a guy! /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif </font color>

Gayle in MD
06-01-2007, 09:46 AM
Simon &amp; Schuster has joined with its author Valerie Plame Wilson to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the CIA, charging that the agency is interfering with Plame's efforts to write her memoir. The suit, which names the CIA; the director of the CIA Michael Hayden; and J. Michael McConnell, director of national intelligence, alleges that the executive branch of the government is trying to stop Plame from using the dates she served in the CIA in her book even though those dates have been made public.

The lawsuit is seeking a declaratory judgment that the executive branch "cannot restrain publication of previously unclassified or currently unclassifiable information documenting Ms. Wilson's dates of federal service." According to the complaint, Plame's service dates had been released by the CIA in an unclassified document and can be found in the Congressional Record and on the Web at www.gpoaccess.gov. (http://www.gpoaccess.gov.) "This is public information. The CIA can't just make it disappear," said S&amp;S spokesperson Adam Rothberg.

From gpoaccess.gov

[Congressional Record: January 16, 2007 (Extensions)]
[Page E118-E119]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]




of washington

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mr. INSLEE. Madam Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of
Congress one of the human impacts caused by the indiscretion of
government officials regarding the covert identity of Central
Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame Wilson.
As nearly every American knows, and as most of the world has heard,
the covert CIA identity of Valerie Plame Wilson was exposed to the
public as part of an Administration response to a critical op-ed
published in the New York Times by Mrs. Plame Wilson's husband, Joe
The national security ramifications for this act have been discussed
thoroughly on this floor, in the news media, and I am quite certain
behind CIA's closed doors. Today I intend to call my colleagues'
attention to the human toll that this ``outing'' has had on one, often
overlooked, individual. That person is Valerie Plame Wilson.
While the media, Congress, and the judiciary have gone to great
lengths to discuss the impact of this unfortunate act on politicians,
bureaucrats, agents in the field, and the suspected perpetrators of the
outing, few have looked at the impact that the outing has had on Mrs.
Plame Wilson and her family.
On July 14, 2003, Mrs. Plame Wilson's professional life was forever
altered, and her CIA career irrevocably ruined by the syndicated
publication of a column, which revealed Mrs. Plame Wilson's identity as
a covert CIA officer. Since this time, numerous reports on Mrs. Plame
Wilson's personal history have surfaced

[[Page E119]]

in the press, official government documents, and by government
Following the initial outing in the media, Mrs. Plame Wilson's future
as a covert CIA operative ceased to exist and her career of two decades
was destroyed. On January 9, 2006, Mrs. Plame Wilson resigned from the
CIA, recognizing that any future with the Agency would not include any
work for which she had been highly trained. For these reasons, and
under these distressing conditions, Mrs. Plame Wilson voluntarily
resigned from the Agency.
Despite Mrs. Plame Wilson's 20 years of federal service, she does not
meet the minimum age requirement to receive her retirement annuity. She
has been left without a career.
I am introducing legislation to allow Mrs. Plame Wilson to qualify
for her annuity, as one who has served her country for two decades, and
waive the age requirement for collecting it. To best demonstrate the
annuity for which Mrs. Plame Wilson may qualify if this legislation
were to pass, I am submitting for the record a document sent to Mrs.
Plame Wilson by the CIA. It outlines her deferred annuity and testifies
to 20 years of service. The document bears no indications of classified
material as required by CIA procedures, and was sent via regular postal
mail after Mrs. Plame Wilson was no longer in the employ of the CIA.
Legal experts have assured me that this is not a classified document.
I believe that this is one small measure to help send a message that
we must stand up for public service officers, such as Mrs. Plame
Wilson, who have been treated wrongly despite their loyalty and
sacrifice to country. For those who have been, for all practicable
purposes, pushed out of public service for reasons unrelated to
performance, but instead seeded in politics, we should not turn our

Central Intelligence Agency,

Washington, DC, February 10, 2006.
Mrs. Valerie Wilson
Dear Mrs. Wilson, This letter is in response to your recent
telephone conversation with regarding when you would be
eligible to receive your deferred annuity. Per federal
statute, employees participating under the Federal Employees
Retirement System (FERS) Special Category, who have acquired
a minimum of 20 years of service, are eligible to receive
their deferred annuity at their Minimum Retirement Age (MRA).
Your MRA is age 56, at which time you'll be eligible to
receive a deferred annuity.
Your deferred annuity will be based on the regular FERS
computation rate, one percent for every year of service vice
the FERS Special rate of 1.7% for every year of service. You
will receive 1.7% for each year of overseas service, prorated
on a monthly basis, after January 1, 1987 in the calculation
of your annuity. Our records show that since January 1, 1987,
you have acquired 6 years, 1 month and 29 days of overseas
Following is a list of your federal service:
Dates of Service: CIA, CIA (LWOP), CIA
(P/T 40), from 11/9/1985 to 1/9/2006--total 20 years, 7 days.
Based on the above service and your resignation on January
9, 2006, your estimated deferred annuity is $21,541.00 per
year, or $1795 per month, beginning at age 56.
The above figures are estimates for your planning purposes.
The Office of Personnel Management, as the final adjudicator
of creditable service and annuity computations, determines
final annuity amounts. Please let me know if I can be of any
further assistance.

Gee, guess she wasn't just a secretary after all..... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif Of course, anyone who had listened to any news other than Faux News, or watched the live testimony, would know that I suppose.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif