GUEST COMMENTARY: THE PLAME GAME By Sandy McDonough
by Scott Bennett
Thu, Oct 27, 2005, 11:28 PM
Patrick J. FitzgeraldIt is amusing but not surprising to see liberal media going into a gleeful frenzy over the prospects that maybe the Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald who is looking into the Plame Affair is on the verge of handing up indictments. They haven't been this excited since Christmas Eve or when Bill Clinton last shook their hand. But they might be disappointed.
The statute for outing an overt CIA agent as I understand it may not be the underlining cause for a "crime" here at all and, subsequently, for any indictments that may result from the investigation. For the law to apply the agent Plame would have had to have been working "under cover" for the past 5 years as an overt agent. Valerie Plame has spent the last 7 or 8 years at CIA HQ in Langley at a covert desk type job. Her cover name "Plame" was known to many - even her husband had used it in a bio at a dinner speech a month before the Novak column. She had also donated $1000 to the Gore campaign under the "Plame" name. Also, for there to be a crime the name outing would have to be done with an intention to harm. Victoria Tunsing the author of the "agent outing law" claims that the law is not violated.
Valerie Plame's husband, Joe Wilson went to Niger to supposedly check on whether or not yellow cake uranium was being sought and/or acquired by Saddam Hussein. Wilson claimed in a NYT op-ed piece that he was sent by the Bush Administration to investigate the matter which was proved false - it was his wife who suggested he go. Wilson, who never filed a written report, opined that there was no attempt to purchase the uranium and that Bush misled the nation. Several foreign intelligent agencies had earlier concluded that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger. Wilson shortly thereafter went to work with the Kerry campaign.
Therefore, since the "outing law" does not seem to apply here then what is going on? The speculation is that Mr. Fitzgerald who seems to be wandering far afield, is going after secondary indictments unrelated to this law such as perjury and obstruction. Let's hope that if any indictments are forthcoming that they'll be based clearly on a crime and not on someone's inadvertent omissions and recollections.