Valerie Plame — I’m still right and correct

I have received a few emails asking me how I feel about Valerie Plame’s book coming out. I remain baffled how this is a right/left, conservative/liberal, republican/democrat issue. I said it all back in March, so I am reposting this under a new title. It is the exact column I wrote back then. Time has not changed my feelings. I have read that someone on another board claims that Richard Armitage was not part of the administration. I suggest anyone who feels that way do a Google search. Mr. Armitage was Dep. Sec. of State from 2001 until 2005, the Novak article came out in 2003. I’m not sure in what world 2003 doesn’t fall between 2001 and 2005, however here in the real world consecutive numbers fall in succession.


“Loose lips sink ships.”
My Boot Camp Company Commander

Libby’s Guilty —– Big Deal
By: Joe Leonardi

I. Lewis Libby, I refuse to call an adult Scooter, has been convicted of perjury, obstruction, and lying . Special prosecutor Fitzgerald has reportedly said that there will be no further indictments, that the investigation is “inactive.”

Well all is right with world, correct? The Democrats and the Left are awash in a celebratory glow, so much so that Senator Harry Reid has decided that the Constitution now gives him the power to tell the President who he can pardon. The Republicans and the Right are overwhelmed with indignant anger; White House spokespersons Limbaugh and Hannity are now convinced the the jurors are all filthy liberals. All of this is just, I hate to say, a disgrace.

I don’t care either way about Lewis Libby. Did he perjure himself ? Did he lie to the FBI? Did he obstruct justice? Maybe, the jury thinks he did, but I don’t care. What bothers me about this entire mess is that a CIA agent was outed. She was most likely exposed for political retribution and this trial and conviction is more of the same. We should be ashamed of all involved.

I served in a branch of Naval Intelligence, and while not an operative, I learned the importance of National Security. I learned the seriousness of protecting intelligence. I also was extremely aware, if not involved in, that the most dangerous off all was HUMINT; human intelligence. Of course, the fact that a person possibly engaged in HUMINT was exposed has been lost in the wake of the trial. I’m sure that the hearing, book and movie deal will reveal all from the Wilson’s side, but for now and through most of this, we have neglected the true tragedy of this saga.

Valerie Plame was an employee of the CIA. At the time of this disclosure there had been claims and speculation that she was or was not covert. The right claims that she wasn’t and the left claims she was. Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter what her status was at the time. The simple fact of the matter is, at one time or another, she MAY have been covert. That is what makes her name being disclosed obscene and irresponsible if not possibly treasonous. Intelligence gathering is an ongoing endeavor and in most cases operations rarely cease. They build upon each operation forming layers upon layers.

If Ms. Plame was a covert agent at any time during her service, her status must be protected. Why? Because, any agent who had been affiliated with her through any previous operation can now be at risk. This is common sense. However, in D.C. and the politics of personal destruction this doesn’t matter. Her name and position were given to a prominent CONSERVATIVE columnist, Robert Novak. Mr. Novak subsequently published this tidbit in his column. Novak claims he learned of Plame’s CIA affiliation from Richard Armitage and confirmed it with, I know here was the big surprise, Karl Rove —- shocking. If these two gentlemen didn’t know that it was wrong to give out Valerie Plame’s affiliation they should have been immediately fired and never allowed to serve in government again. The reason, they must be stupid. Not to let Bob Novak off the hook, he should have used reasonable judgment and quashed the story. I don’t know about most people, but I am an American first and it is simply wrong to release something that common sense tells you could be a danger to national security.

Bob Novak is a columnist, commentator and pundit of great renown. If he got scooped on this story it would have done nothing to his reputation, his status or his earning potential. However, to those of us conservatives who genuinely put America first, he has fallen to the level of — Al Franken.

The members of the Silent Service are dedicated individuals who function with little recognition. Their reward is the knowledge that their efforts ensure the safety and security of the United States. These brave agents are well aware that they live in a clouded, mysterious sphere of cloak and dagger activities, though I’m sure they never expected members of their own government to use the dagger on them.

Joe Leonardi


Filed under cheney, Conservative, Democrat, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, Google, Joe Wilson, Liberal, plame, President Bush, Republican, Rober Novak, scooter, Secretary of State, valerie plame, White House

12 responses to “Valerie Plame — I’m still right and correct

  1. A reasonable analysis, but I think you could go much stronger in your condemnation of Bush et al.

    If a Democrat had done this, there would be calls for the gal’s head!


  2. Hi Mal,

    I agree if this were the dems, Limbaugh, Hannity etal would have been off the reservation. Because of how serious I feel this is I only commented on the known facts.

    Thanks for commenting and keep up the dialogue.


  3. joejolly

    Joe Leonardi said:

    “I remain baffled how this is a right/left, conservative/liberal, republican/democrat issue”.

    It shouldn’t be – but it is.

    Not only did this happen under the Republican’s watch, higher ups in the Republican party seemingly played a role. America was harmed! But there is no ombudsman to come to America’s aid.

    America has to be protected first by politicians. There used to be three equal branches of America’s government. America’s founders thought that would bring balance to the government but there never imagined an administration like the Bush team.

    But lucky for America, the electorate still guides America.

    The electorate speaks softly but still does carry a big stick!

  4. Joe: a very reasoned response to the plamegate affair. The unsavory attacks on an agent just doing her job had it’s basis in partianship bickering.
    The CIA needs no influx of politics at any time or any place by any party.
    The Hoopster

  5. Ted

    Great. So how could this possibly be a “conspiracy by the white house to get even with Wilson”?

    It was Armitage who first informed Novak that Plame worked for the CIA. If was only LATER that Novak called Rove and NOVAK TOLD ROVE (not vice versa) about Plame, to which Rove responded with something along the lines of “You heard that too?”.

    So I guess Cheney and Rove must have sat around waiting to get their “revenge” by 1) hoping someone, somewhere would reveal to Novak that Plame worked at the CIA and 2) hoping that Novak would subsequently call Rove asking for confirmation about Plame.

    Uttlerly ludicrous. For this to be some sort of “outing consiracy by the white house”, both Novak and Armitage would have had to have been in on it.

    And, has been observed countless time, very, very telling that nobody ever went after the actual leaker, Armitage.

    A big, bad, diabolical white house conspiracy. Yeah, sure.

  6. Well Ted,
    Actually I don’t care if it was a conspiracy or simple stupidity.
    It should not have happened and any conservative that doesn’t have a problem with a CIA agent being outed, is not much of a conservative. We are supposed to be the ideology that puts national security at the top of the list above all else. To conservatives national security is supposed to be above petty party politics.

    Thanks for commenting and keep up the dialogue.


  7. Mr.Murder

    ‘…to which Rove responded with something along the lines of “You heard that too?”. ‘

    That statement alone was a breach, the reason Rove was not charged was that he techincally did not have clearance, so the law’s letter did not apply to him.

    His statement indiciates he already discussed this, and did not share that information with the Grand Jury on a timely or accurate basis(five trips later, his laywer claims he got the story straight).

    He had no Clearance to hear it, no Authority to verify, and yet Rove did both.

    Armitage did not leak the information, he inadvertently confirmed it when others brought the topic up. The Plame topic and position with the Company did not bring itself up, it was stated on the record by persons in the White House before that. Armitage happened to be in the company of such an assertion and verified.

    For him to have been subject to such prosecution he’d have to of brought her name up first to the person he confirmed with. That would basically constitute the grounds for Intent, which is the out for a person who apparently wants to out an asset within the Intelligence Community.

    Don’t take our word for it, take that of Bush’s father, who said it was the lowest thing you could do, after changing the penalties to harsher punitative possiblities after making a distinction that nebulous capacity for intent must be proven. Quite a deft move, to avoid further embarassment for his White House days, on the heels of the biggest outing of the Cold War in the Ames case. This eventually played an easy out for other Neocons closer to Bush ranks, when people like Mike Ledeen got loose lipped to people like Judith Miller regarding things like Libya and rumors about Billy Carter.

    He was covering his tail over the course of time…

  8. Mike

    From the Washington Post:

    “Former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, dispatched by the CIA in February 2002 to investigate reports that Iraq sought to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program with uranium from Africa, was specifically recommended for the mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly.

    Wilson last year launched a public firestorm with his accusations that the administration had manipulated intelligence to build a case for war. He has said that his trip to Niger should have laid to rest any notion that Iraq sought uranium there and has said his findings were ignored by the White House.

    Wilson’s assertions — both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information — were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report.

    The panel found that Wilson’s report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson’s assertions and even the government’s previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union address.”

    Wilson is a proven liar and his assertion that he was handpicked by Cheney and not his wife had to be countered. Plame had not been overseas in over five years, and by definition could not have been covert. The two were contributors to Gore’s campaign in 2000 and were always vocal critics of Bush. They abused their positions within the government for partisan political advantage and deserver much worse than an “outing” and a spread in Vanity Fair.

  9. I don’t care about partisan political advantage. Valerie Plame did more for her country than any of the non-serving members of the Bush administration, including draft deferment Dick Chaney. Having served in the Navy and having been part of the intelligence community, in my opinion this was wrong. I don’t care about the ancillary B.S. or the justifications, or Joe Wilson. I care that under this President, who’s father was head of the CIA an agent’s identity was given to the press.

  10. Chris

    Joe, I just ran across your site. great work, and I’ll definitely be back. I totally understand where you’re coming from regarding revealing the identity of covert agents. One HUGE point to make about the entire Plamegate affair; It was not, repeat NOT a crime to reveal her identity. If it was, Dick Armitage would have been charged. Patrick Fitzgerald knew the source was Armitage in the first days of his investigation, and also knew no crime was committed. But hey, we all have careers to pursue and names to make for ourselves, so keep asking questions until someone perjures himself.

  11. Hi Chris,

    Thank you for the compliment. To me it doesn’t matter if it was technically criminal. It was wrong. I would be willing to bet that there were agents compromised, and that, in my opinion as a former Navy person, is immoral.

    Keep up the dialogue,


  12. gary brumley

    The system is corrupt,I totally enjoy the tenacity and courage Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame have and for sticking to their guns and uncovering the antics of a desparate party of politicians. Their loss is very real and the ones to blame are proud of their patriotic blunders. We must keep on keeping on revealing the names of these horsing around cowboys…

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