WAS VALERIE PLAME REALLY AN UNDERCOVER CIA AGENT?….Via Mark Kleiman, the Washington Post ? which owns the Plame story so far ? tells me that at least one aspect of this story is even more disturbing than I originally thought. I’ve been vaguely assuming all along that Plame was most likely someone who worked in the private sector but who occasionally did jobs for the CIA or perhaps simply briefed them on her business dealings periodically. Nope:

She is a case officer in the CIA’s clandestine service and works as an analyst on weapons of mass destruction. Novak published her maiden name, Plame, which she had used overseas and has not been using publicly. Intelligence sources said top officials at the agency were very concerned about the disclosure because it could allow foreign intelligence services to track down some of her former contacts and lead to the exposure of agents.

So, to recap:

  • Plame really was an undercover analyst working on WMD issues.

  • Two top White House officials blew her cover.

  • They seem to have done it in a weird attempt to discredit her husband, Joseph Wilson (“He doesn’t really know anything about Africa, they just sent him there because his wife called in some favors….”)

  • The CIA claims that exposing her could endanger other agents.

  • The President of the United States doesn’t seem to care much about this.

On the positive side of things, at least the press is finally on top of this. It’s the top story on Google News at the moment, and I assume that there are now enough people working on this that the truth will come out fairly quickly. Maybe by tomorrow, almost certainly by the end of the week. In any case, I’m certainly a lot more encouraged that we’ll get to the bottom of this than I was on Friday.

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