This morning, in her testimony under oath before the House Government and Oversight Committee, Valerie Plame Wilson asserted that she was in fact a covert officer at the time that columnist Robert Novak revealed her employment at the CIA. “In the run-up to the war with Iraq, I worked in the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA, still as a covert officer whose affiliation with the CIA was classified,” Plame sad in her opening testimony.
She added, “While I helped to manage and run secret worldwide operations against this WMD target from CIA headquarters in Washington, I also traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence.” Watch it:
The right-wing, aided by the mainstream media, have engaged in an unhalting effort to spread false claims that Plame was not covert, despite the fact that the CIA, Plame’s former colleagues, and Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald have all previously reported that she was covert. The conviction of Scooter Libby only intensified conservatives’ efforts to further propagate their lie:
Washington Post editorial: “The trial has provided…no evidence that she was, in fact, covert.” [Washingotn Post, 3/7/07]
Mort Kondracke: “I frankly don’t think since Valerie Plame was not a covert officer that there was a crime here.” [Fox, 3/9/07]
Sean Hannity: “She did not meet the criteria, in any way, shape, matter or form as a covert agent.” [Fox, 3/6/07]
Robert Novak: “No evidence that she was a covert agent was ever presented to the jury.” [Fox, 3/6/07]
Brit Hume: “Whether the woman was covert, Valerie Plame was covert within the meaning of the law, remains at this point, still unclear. Unlikely she was.” [Fox, 3/6/07]
Victoria Toensing: “Plame was not covert. She worked at CIA headquarters and had not been stationed abroad within five years of the date of Novak’s column.” [Washington Post, 2/18/07]
We await their apologies and statements of correction.
UPDATE: On September 30, 2003, National Review editor Jonah Goldberg claimed, “Wilson’s wife is a desk jockey and much of the Washington cocktail circuit knew that already.” But today Plame rebutted Goldberg, stating, “It was not common knowledge on the Georgetown cocktail circuit that everyone knew where I worked.”
My name is Valerie Plame Wilson, and I am honored to have been invited to testify under oath before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the critical issue of safeguarding classified information.
I am grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight.
I’ve served the United States loyally and to the best of my ability as a covert operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency. I worked on behalf of the national security of our country, on behalf of the people of the United States, until my name and true affiliation were exposed in the national media on July 14th, 2003, after a leak by an administration official.
Today I can tell this committee even more.
In the run-up to the war with Iraq, I worked in the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA, still as a covert officer whose affiliation with the CIA was classified. I raced to discover solid intelligence for senior policymakers on Iraq’s presumed weapons of mass destruction program.
While I helped to manage and run secret worldwide operations against this WMD target from CIA headquarters in Washington, I also traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence.
I loved my career, because I love my country. I was proud of the serious responsibilities entrusted to me as a CIA covert operations officer. And I was dedicated to this work.
It was not common knowledge on the Georgetown cocktail circuit that everyone knew where I worked. But all of my efforts on behalf of the national security of the United States, all of my training, all the value of my years of service, were abruptly ended when my name and identity were exposed irresponsibly.