[This is the second part of a Think Progress series breaking down the significance of the Libby indictment.]
In at least three instances, it appears from the facts outlined in the indictments that Libby was aware that Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA agent.
1. Libby spoke to his Principal Deputy [John Hannah] about an article in The New Republic and discussed whether they could share information about the role of Wilson’s wife in sending him to Niger. “Libby responded that there would be complications at the CIA in disclosing that information publicly, and that he could not discuss the matter on a non-secure telephone line.” (see #14) [comment: Hannah appears to have flipped]
CORRECTION: TRN’s Ryan Lizza says the “Principal Deputy” is in fact Eric Edelman.
2. In a lunch with Ari Fleischer, Libby tells him that Wilson’s wife works at the CIA and “noted that such information was not widely known.”
3. In a conversation with Judith Miller, Libby specifically asked that the information on Plame’s identity be attributed to a “former Hill staffer” rather than to a “‘senior administration official,’ as had been the understanding with respect to other information that Libby provided to Miller during this meeting.” (see #17)
A reader points out a crucial piece of information from the indictment strongly indicates that Libby knew Plame worked undercover and then misrepresented that knowledge. The indictment says Cheney told Libby that Plame worked in the “Counterproliferation Division” (see #9), an agency in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. But when Libby later talked to Miller, he told her, according to Miller’s notes, that “Wife works at WINPAC.” WINPAC is part of the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence. Why is this significant?
The Directorate of Operations works undercover. As the CIA website states:
The Directorate of Operations is responsible for the clandestine collection of foreign intelligence. The current director is under cover and cannot be named at the present time.
So Libby learned from Cheney that Plame worked undercover but then told Judith Miller that Plame worked in the Directorate of Intelligence, which “is on the overt side of the CIA” and does not work undercover. It appears from this information that Libby intentionally misled Miller.
Josh Marshall has more.