Date: Mon Oct 6, 2003  6:51 am


Wilson fears for wife's safety
10/6/2003 8:37 AM
By: Capital News 9 web staff

A former diplomat fears his wife's life is in danger. Joseph Wilson's wife was the CIA agent whose name was recently leaked.

On CBS "Face the Nation," Wilson said he has been told that the leak may make her a target. Wilson is also angry the government has not offered to protect his wife.

She was identified as a CIA agent after Wilson published an article criticizing the Bush Administration on the issue of Iraq. Wilson believes his position on the war in Iraq prompted the leak.

The Justice Department is now investigating the situation.



White House under attack
Helle Dale (archive)

October 6, 2003 |

"Neo-conservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both." Those are the words of Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who will certainly be a household name for weeks to come.

    Chances are very good that we will never know who from the White House leaked the information about Mr. Wilson and his wife to members of the press. For one thing, that's the nature of leak investigations. Journalists don't reveal their sources, and sources have a way of disappearing into the mahogany paneling in the halls of power here in Washington. Most of such investigations end inconclusively.

    What we do know is that damage is being done to the reputation of the Bush White House by the controversy over the leak. President Bush came into office with the promise to bring honor and integrity to the office of the presidency after the Clinton impeachment trial, and here we are now with calls for independent prosecutors coming fast and furious from Democrats, who hated the idea when Bill Clinton was the target.

     In a politically sound move, and as soon as the CIA reported that "two senior administration officials" had given the name of an agent (i.e. Mr. Wilson's wife) to journalists, the White House lost no time facilitating the leak investigation. It was referred to the Justice Department on Sept. 27. So far, we have seen none of the Clinton-era, Janet Reno-style stone-walling in evidence.

     Still, looking at the main players in this case and their statements, there is a sliding scale of truth, which, in the end, will prevent us from knowing what actually happened. Statements shift from moment to moment, and each has his interests to protect. Administration officials obviously do. So do members of the media, especially, columnist Robert Novak, whose article on July 14 caused the initial furor.

    Take Mr. Wilson himself, who has been much in evidence on national television screens since this weekend. Could he have an agenda beyond demanding justice?

     Well, what would you think of someone who tells people around Washington � as Mr. Wilson did last week � "Neo-conservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both."

     That sounds pretty ugly, doesn't it? It is in fact quite a bit at odds with the reasonable image that Mr. Wilson has been projecting on our television screens in recent days. Mr. Wilson also saw fit back in August to accuse presidential adviser Karl Rove of having orchestrated the White House leak. He swore he would see Mr. Rove led out of there "in handcuffs." Now, he says he got carried away by passion and is in possession of no evidence that Mr. Rove was involved.

     That Mr. Wilson holds such views in no way excuses the injustice that was done him and his wife Valerie Plame, when a leak to the media identified her as a CIA officer involved in analysis of information regarding weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Wilson � who had been sent to the African country of Niger by the CIA to investigate claims that uranium "yellowcake" had been sold to Iraqi agents � emerged last summer as a severe critic of the Bush administration. He accused the White House of "misrepresenting facts on an issue that was a fundamental justification for going to war."

    It is for this criticism that Mr. Wilson claims he and his family are being punished. Which may well be true. That would be both illegal and unethical. As Mr. Wilson stated at the time, "Whoever leaked that comment about my wife did it very clearly to smear my good name and my wife's good name." He has not himself, however, had any compunction about smearing Mr. Rove's good name without any evidence.

    Now, Mr. Bush might well be able to get this whole affair behind him by finding a scapegoat to fire � had it not been that revealing the identity of a CIA officer is a federal crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. A simple dismissal would not put an end to the matter.

     So, here is another suggestion to get to the bottom of this mess before our policy in Iraq becomes a victim of Washington's politics of long knives. Let's polygraph the whole bunch �White House officials, media types, CIA officials. At the CIA, they at least allow agents who have been accused an "exculpatory polygraph test." In the Washington political jungle, that may be the only way of getting at the facts.


Helle Dale is deputy director of the Davis Institute for International Studies at The Heritage Foundation


That�s Karl With A �K�, Right?

Exclusive commentary by Frank Salvato

Oct 6, 2003

While accusations abound regarding the Joseph Wilson/Valerie Plame/CIA/White House controversy one thing is clear, it is a very serious situation that will have very serious consequences for whomever is responsible. But therein lays the question, who actually is responsible? At this point all we can do is wait to see what the Justice Department investigation, an investigation mandated by protocol, uncovers. But, it should be pointed out that there are many variables and reasons enough for both sides to have perpetrated the leak.

The first thing that we need to verify is whether Ms. Plame was actually a NOC or not. A NOC is a CIA operative that is working under non-official cover. For example, if she were working in a foreign country for the CIA but identified herself as working for ExxonMobil she would be a NOC. This does not however mean that she would have been operating as a spy in the classic sense, it simply means she would have been deceptive as to her affiliations. Further, we have to verify whether or not her NOC status had been deactivated if in fact she ever was classified as such. From all reports she was assigned to an analyst position to report and confirm issues regarding proliferation of unconventional weaponry. If her assignment is that of an analyst and the CIA had devalued the need for her actions to be considered covert then most of this would have to be considered moot.

One of the scenarios up for consideration is that the Bush Administration intentionally released Ms. Plume�s name into the mainstream media because her husband publicly rebuked their stance on the issue of Saddam Hussein�s attempts to procure �yellowcake� uranium from Niger. Wilson has on several occasions pointed the finger at Presidential Adviser Karl Rove although he has no evidence to substantiate his claim. Even though this seems to be the scenario being shopped around by the Democrats and the liberal operatives in Washington DC, its likelihood is questionable. For someone with the enormous amount of political savvy such as Rove possesses to commit such a political blunder is highly unlikely. Yet it is interesting that Wilson would target someone who is important to President Bush�s re-election, especially after it was disclosed that he is a contributor to Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry and had been a staunch supporter of Al Gore�s failed 2000 presidential campaign.

Another scenario that is starting to pickup steam is the assertion that Ms. Plame�s name was covertly released by members of the DNC and/or the liberal establishment in an effort to create a political issue custom made to benefit the Democrats going into the 2004 presidential election. While this scenario holds about as much water as the aforementioned scenario it is not without merit. With the economy recovering faster than the Democrats would have liked and the rifts between the United States and the European allies and Russians starting to be controlled, the issues the Democrats can slam the president on during the upcoming mudslinging festival known as the presidential election are starting to become few. As we have seen in the past, you cannot count anything out in politics and this scenario just may turn out to have a bit more merit than originally suspected. Wilson has been quoted as saying, "Neo-conservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both," and that he wants to see Karl Rove led from the White House in handcuffs. This type of rhetoric not only lends credence to the notion that he very well could have set this entire situation up himself but that he could very well have altered the facts of his investigation regarding the �yellowcake� uranium to spite the Bush Administration. At the very least it demonstrates his hatred for the president and anyone who embraces hatred embraces the ability to do anything no matter how unsavory.

Then there is the distinct possibility that Ms. Plame�s status, employer and vocation were widely known and thus not as covert as those issuing the allegation might be willing to admit. Several reports from around Washington DC point out quite frankly that there were a plethora of people that knew of Ms. Plame�s situation and who could have quite easily provided the information for which the White House is being accused. Should this be the case, it would be quite a stretch for the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 to apply to Ms. Plame and this situation specifically. In this scenario the only motivation would be political and the act itself could hardly be considered criminal in nature.

The one thing that is ironic though is that we now have Tom Daschle (D-SD), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) sending a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft requesting an independent counsel to head up the investigation. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have also chimed in about the possibility. The irony lays in the fact that every one of these liberal political operatives couldn�t get rid of the independent council�s office fast enough when the legislation providing for its existence expired in 1999. Handicapped by their own lack of foresight these Democrats and liberal icons are now faced with the prospect of looking like hypocrites, incompetents or both.

Obviously the Democrats would like to see an independent council appointed to carry out an investigation with hopes that he or she would conduct a politically bloody inquiry lasting well into November of 2004 and perhaps beyond. The idea that such a scenario could play out can only strike a chord with the malicious amongst the Democratic Party, and herein lays the quandary. It is too perfect. It is centered on the idea that someone seasoned in politics at the highest level would be stupid enough to be that vindictive. While the Democrats and liberals of this country love to believe that President Bush, Republicans, and conservatives in general are that stupid, past actions and the facts of this matter indicate otherwise in a fairly convincing fashion.

Common sense leads me to believe the scenario that will turn out to be the most legitimate will be the one with the most politics attached and right now that pendulum has swung to the left, far to the left.


Frank Salvato is a political media consultant, a freelance writer from the Midwest and the Managing Editor for He is a contributing writer to The Washington Dispatch, and various other websites. He has appeared as a guest panelist on The O�Reilly Factor and his pieces are regularly featured in and occasionally featured in The Washington Time sand The London Morning Paper as well as other national and international publications.

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