Urbin Report

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Things to keep in mind...

While the left is trying to spin a mountain of the molehill that is Jeff Gannon, they also are starting to claim that Gannon was Bob Novak's source on Valerie Plame. The Wall Street Journal Opinion page has an article that points out some key facts in the Plame case that the liberals don't want you to know:

Ms. Plame is the wife of Joseph Wilson, the CIA consultant who wrote a July 2003 op-ed in the Times accusing the Bush Administration of lying about yellow cake uranium ore from Niger. The allegation became a political cause celebre at the time, though a year later both a British and a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee probe found that the White House had been accurate and that Mr. Wilson was the one who hadn't told the truth.

Meanwhile, amid the uproar, someone told Mr. Novak that Mr. Wilson had been recommended for the Niger project within the CIA by none other than his own wife, Ms. Plame. Mr. Novak duly reported that fact, which nobody noticed until Democrats and the media began to express outrage that a CIA agent had been "outed," and that this was supposedly a crime under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

In fact, it is almost certainly not a crime. That statute was intended to stop the treasonous betrayal of secret agents in the field by the likes of the notorious Philip Agee, and it requires a prosecutor to show that the discloser identified a "covert agent" knowing that the agent had been undercover in a foreign country within the last five years. For an official who had no such knowledge, the law also requires that the prosecutor show a pattern of exposing agents.

It's far-fetched to believe that Mr. Novak's sources were culpable under any of these terms. Ms. Plame was safely ensconced at CIA's Langley headquarters, and if anything her husband was the one who first compromised her when he went public with accusations about the CIA consulting job that she had recommended him for. Once Mr. Wilson made himself part of a political campaign against the Bush Administration and the Iraq War, his wife's role was bound to become public.

Read the whole thing