Valerie Plame: Freak of the Week
In the short history of this blog, one thing has become glaringly obvious each time I have designated a ‘Freak of the Week’: the lack of a woman amongst the names I have picked. Were men somehow more worthy of the title? I don’t believe so. They just seemed to show up in a few more precarious situations than women appeared to, from week to week. Today, after I saw the news coming out of Washington, D.C., I was moved to act in the interest of all female freaks (and I don’t mean a ‘Rick James’ kind of freak.) I have decided to award this illustrious title to the person that has helped expose the utter selfishness and myopia that characterizes the Bush White House.
After four long years, the woman at the center of the controversy White House aid Scooter Libby tried to cover up, had her chance to speak on Capitol Hill. Ex-CIA operative, Valerie Plame, is not just your ordinary black-suited ‘G-man’; she looks like Sharon Stone with a set of Jerry Lewis’ Nutty Professor teeth. Apparently, she was too attractive for the neo-cons to care whether or not her covert status was compromised when they pushed for the 2003 Iraqi invasion. It is a shame men in charge of our country allow their personal <ahem> shortcomings to keep them from making sound policy decisions.
Valerie Plame has been accused with a laundry list of misinformation because her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, decided to challenge the questionable intelligence used by the Bush administration to convince the American public that the Iraq war was necessary. They claimed that she had ordered her husband’s trip to Africa to confirm whether or not Iraq had obtained Uranium. She was also characterized as a low-level agent that openly professed to working in the CIA while attending Washington dinner parties.
Back in 2003, we were warned that a mushroom cloud would appear on the horizon if we didn’t act quickly to disarm Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately, some of the same men who had signed on with the Project for the New American Century (which calls for an American takeover of the middle east and its resources) held important positions within the Bush administration. They chose to ignore vital holes in their intelligence and pushed for the overthrow of the Iraqi government. In the ashes of 9/11, they saw an opportunity to act on their ‘plan’ and set out to do it, at any cost.
Outing a clandestine CIA agent is no minor crime. Federal Law is clear on this issue; USC 50-421 section C reads:
Whoever, in the course of a pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents and with reason to believe that such activities would impair or impede the foreign intelligence activities of the United States, discloses any information that identifies an individual as a covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such individual and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such individual’s classified intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
The benefits of doing so must have outweighed the risks, because that is exactly what happened. Plame testified that she served in “a covert operations office for the Central Intelligence Agency” before the leak and that her “affiliation with the CIA was classified.” She said she helped manage “secret worldwide operations” against Iraq’s presumed weapons of mass destruction program from CIA headquarters and “traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence.”
The Bush administration has not denied that it may have ‘verified’ Plame’s identity to the members of the press that asked about Wilson and his wife, but it claims it was unaware that she was a covert officer at the time. That seems pretty unlikely, considering the steps Mr. Libby took in order to cover his tracks. Did they hedge their bets on the fact that this 43-year-old woman was too beautiful to be taken seriously?
To placate their critics, they deliberately focused on her looks and claimed ignorance of her status at the agency. They maintained this front long enough to program the neo-con robots (who blindly repeat and follow everything they are told) and clouded the facts to create enough reasonable doubt in order to maintain the status quo.
If she was just a simple ‘desk agent’ (a claim that is continuously repeated by skeptics,) it would mean Valerie Plame was dispensable. Obviously she wasn’t because her career with the CIA was destroyed along with the means she used to gather intelligence. At this point, what would she gain by going before Congress and perjuring herself, the damage has already been done.
Plame testified before a congressional panel (under oath) that her “name and identity were carelessly and recklessly abused by senior government officials in both the White House and the State Department.” She continued,”All of them understood that I worked for the CIA. And, having signed oaths to protect national security secrets, they should have been diligent in protecting me and every CIA officer.”
Valerie Plame deserved better treatment from the government she risked her life to serve. It is unfortunate that it didn’t matter to President Bush that she was trying to monitor the very same threats his administration falsely claimed to have knowledge of. In the race to justify this godforsaken war, our president and his cronies destroyed our ability to truly measure the dangers that may lurk within the borders of Iraq and Iran. Way to go, boys!
Although it can not make up for the fact that her career was ruined and our country’s safety put at risk, I happily award the Freak of the Week to Valerie Plame. A true patriot and beauty that puts blonde-headed broomsticks with prominent adam’s apples (like Anne Coulter) to shame.