October 25th, 2007
07:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Outed spy visits the Situation Room

Watch Valerie Plame Wilson discuss her new book with Wolf Blitzer.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Valerie Plame Wilson, the woman at the center of the CIA leak investigation, was in the Situation Room Thursday.  Watch her talk with CNN's Wolf Blitzer about her husband, her new book, the Bush administration, and her work as a CIA operative.

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Filed under: Iraq • The Situation Room • Valerie Plame
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. rornnie - knoxville, tn.

    now she's cashing in on her 15 min. of fame; she was soooo adamant about keeping herself undercover (even though it's been proven she was not classified) that now she's all over the talk / news shows.

    October 25, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  2. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    Hey, "rornnie" – if you had been paying attention to actual news outlets, instead of getting all your information from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Victoria Toensing, you would know that the CIA itself admitted that Valerie Plame was a covert operative at the time her name was leaked by Cheney's office.

    As for "cashing in" – she lost her career when Dick Cheney decided to betray his country and have her name leaked to the press, so perhaps making a little money to make up for that isn't such a big deal. She finally gets a chance to tell her side of the story (albeit heavily redacted by the CIA), to fight back against all the falsehoods and innuendo of Toensing and her ilk.

    October 26, 2007 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  3. Karen,nj

    I watched part of Wolf and I am in total agreement with her. I really don't think that she will ever back down to those cowards in Washington. Speak and you shall be heard! The American people are behind you.

    October 26, 2007 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  4. Kurt, Davenport, Iowa

    As an attorney, I cannot understand why the intentional disclosure of the name of an undercover CIA operative to the media does not constitute treason. Perhaps she was not "classified," but she was covert. If not lives, the disclosure jeopardized the effectiveness of numerous other operatives with whom she worked. Those operatives were involved in analyzing the nuclear efforts of foreign countries. Might that have helped avoid the overt confrontation of Iran? One can only speculate.

    October 26, 2007 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  5. James, Phoenix AZ

    If I wasn't a conservative gay man, I would find her really HOT!!!

    October 26, 2007 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  6. anon, new york, NY

    George Bush and Dick Cheny should be ashamef of what they did to her. The action of Bush and Cheney are no different from dictators in third world countries.

    October 26, 2007 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  7. Rodney Dallas TX

    The government, especially Cheney, should be heald responsible for outing her. Cheney turned on his own people for political gain. I hope he never runs for president, he'll be laughed right out of the race.

    October 26, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  8. Kate, Aurora CO

    What else can she do rornie? She can't go back to her job, the one she worked her whole life to achieve and the one that was stolen from her by a vindictive vice president. Say what you want about her but it is treason to out a CIA agent. Nothing you can say will ever justify the actions of Cheney.

    October 26, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  9. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Actually she WAS classified. Consider your ignorance debunked:


    She had her career destroyed by the administration who was more concerned with political payback than with the security of this country and the secret service agents who work to protect it. If she wants to write a book, I say go for it. She was exposed when she shouldn't have been, but now that she's out in the open, she might as well take advantage of it.

    October 26, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. spinstopper

    So who was it that actually athourized her husband to go to Africa?

    October 26, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Ms Plame and her husband have managed their end of this issue with surprising skill. They have essentially taken on the entire Administration and have contributed more than any other two people to its downfall. Their skill reminds me of the old Mission Impossible series, where a small group of people skillfully outsmarted their opponents.

    Of course, on Mission Impossible the opponents were much smarter than those who oppose Ms Plame.

    October 26, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Bob, NY

    "Outed spy visits the Situation Room"

    Wolf's headline leads with a lie because Valerie was not an undercover spy. Just more hypocrisy from a corrupt media..

    October 26, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Trygettingthefacts WA

    "even though it's been proven she was not classified)"

    That is absolutely false. Ms Plame
    was a covert agent involved in counter proliferation work, and the people that outed her should be charged with treason.

    October 26, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Jim Topeka, Kansas

    To the conservative patriots, Valerie Plame Wilson was an Officer in the CIA. Her identity was made public by a member of this administration. The disclousure was not an accident, it was a calculated, cold hearted attempt to discredit a report that her husband had prepared for the CIA.

    This outing of a CIA Officer is a very serious matter. At a time of War I would have to place it in the category of treason. Not only did the United States lose a trained CIA Officer, but it placed in danger anyone one that had ever come into contact with her as having potential ties with the CIA.

    The President stated at the time of the disclousure that he would take action against any member of his adminstration that had a part in the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA Officer, to date there has been no action against any members of the administration.

    This incident has had far reaching undertones within the intelligence community.

    The disclosure if Ms Wilson's identity has cost the nation a trained operative. It has also cost us the trust of those individuals that are recruited by our officers in our ability to protect their contacts with our government.

    This incident is a little more serious than just dropping a name, and by the way Ronnie it has been proven that her identity was in fact classified, the operative word was, after it was leaked there is little reason to worry about containment the damage has been done and can not be contained.

    October 26, 2007 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. r schier norwalk,ct

    "Wolf's headline leads with a lie because Valerie was not an undercover spy. Just more hypocrisy from a corrupt media.."
    Posted By Bob, NY

    How do you know this?? You an insider or something?? what is your source??

    October 26, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. spinstopper

    Who was charged with outing an undercover spy? Why would Valerie answer a Congressman's question about her "covert" status with "I do not know if I am classified as a covert agent or not"

    The facts remain beyond the hype. Valerie Plame used her influence as an non-covert agent to get her husband selected to go to Niger to discredit the President for political purposes, and Richard Armtiage knew this and mentioned it to Robert Novak to show the politics behind the decision. There was no case to publicize or prosecute at all unless you are a member of the gullible liberal media or the Democratic National Committee.

    October 26, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  17. spinstopper

    If the Liberal/Political CIA agent doesn't know if she is covert agent or not, then the person that "outs" her, probably doesn't know either.

    October 26, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "There was no case to publicize or prosecute at all unless you are a member of the gullible liberal media or the Democratic National Committee."

    What crap. Are you afraid of the truth?

    Cheney outed a CIA agent. Period. He's guilty of treason. Period.

    If a Dem had done this, the Repubs would've attempted a lynching. Pathetic hypocrites.

    October 26, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Michael Sheridan, Grand Rapids, MI

    From the transcript of the Congressional hearings where Valerie Wilson testified:

    REP. WAXMAN: (Sounds gavel.) The meeting of the committee will come to order.

    Today the committee is holding a hearing to examine how the White House handles highly classified information. In June and July 2003, one of the nation's most carefully guarded secrets - the identity of a covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame Wilson - was repeatedly revealed by White House officials to members of the media. This was an extraordinarily serious breach of our national security. President George W. Bush's father, the former President Bush, said, and I quote, "I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who expose the names of our sources. They are, in my view, the most insidious of traitors," end quote.


    My staff has also worked with the agency to assure these remarks do not contain classified information. I have been advised by the CIA, and that even now - after all that has happened - I cannot disclose the full nature, scope and character of Ms. Wilson's service to our nation without causing serious damage to our national security interests. But General Hayden and the CIA have cleared these following comments for today's hearing.

    During her employment at the CIA, Ms. Wilson was undercover. Her employment status with the CIA was classified information, prohibited from disclosure under Executive Order 12958. At the time of the publication of Robert Novak's column on July 14, 2003, Ms. Wilson's CIA employment status was covert. This was classified information.


    MS. PLAME WILSON: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

    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'm grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight.

    I 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 administration officials. Today I can tell this committee even more.


    REP. JOHN YARMUTH (D-KY): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for being here today, Mrs. Wilson. Our country owes you a great debt of gratitude for your service, and I think you're continuing that service today by appearing.

    I'd like to start by asking you about July 14, 2003, the day that Robert Novak wrote the column in the Chicago Sun Times identifying you as an agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Quote - but before I get to that, I want to ask you about the day before, July 13th, my understanding is that on that date, you were covert. Is that correct?

    MS. PLAME WILSON: I was a covert officer, correct.

    Is that clear enough for the people who continue to insist that Plame wasn't undercover? Fer cryin' out loud, even Robert Novak has published columns in which he backs up Waxman's assertion that Hayden and CIA lawyers agreed on the use of the word "covert" regarding Valerie Wilson's status.

    Quit believing everything you hear from the lying mouth of Rush Limbaugh, and do a little Googling once in a while. Jeebus!

    October 26, 2007 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Steve Lying's, Cheney DID NOT out Plame, Richard Armitrage who was no friend of this administration outed her.

    She LIED about offering her husbands "services" to go to Niger, he LIED about his actual findings in front of Congress and that is a FACT.

    Much of what he said was PROVEN false.

    There still is great disagreement on whether she was or was not covert, but MANY are on record as saying that these two flaunted themselves and it wasn't exactly a secret what they did for a living.

    If this was such a HORRIBLE breach of national security, tell me why the hell the person who ADMITTED he dropped her name WAS NOT CHARGED.


    They conspired to do this, to make this administration look bad (not hard to do) and guess what, they got away with it.

    These two BOTH LIED.

    Maybe these two and Sandy Bergler can "have teas and bake cookies" and laugh at how absurd this is, while Sandy STEALING documents from the National archives before the all important 9-11 commision was to meet, gets a slap on the wrist and "explained away" by the far left, Scooter Libby gets prosecuted for not outing someone, but for having a bad memory.

    Bergler had a great memory, he knew exactly what to steal (and by the way, Bill Clinton signed off on giving him access) and for that they both get away virtually scott free.

    God, we need new blood in Washington, younger and not part of the last twenty years of scandal after scandal.

    Please no more Bush's and no more Clintons.

    Obama – Richardson

    Romney – Liz Dole

    October 26, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. RealityKing

    Valerie Plame was recruited into the CIA in 1985, straight out of Pennsylvania State University. After two years of training to be a covert case officer, she served a stint on the Greece desk. Next she was posted to Athens and posed as a State Department employee. Her job was to spot and recruit agents for the agency. In the early 1990s, she became what's known as a nonofficial cover officer. NOCs are the most clandestine of the CIA's frontline officers. They do not pretend to work for the US government; they do not have the protection of diplomatic immunity. They might claim to be a businessperson. She told people she was with an energy firm.

    When the Novak column ran, Valerie Wilson was in the process of changing her clandestine status from NOC to official cover. Her aim, she told colleagues, was to put in time as an administrator–to rise up a notch or two–and then return to secret operations.

    October 26, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. mindbender

    Have you heard that the CIA is actually the source of exposing Plame's covert status? No, not the sinister Bush Administration, but the CIA itself. Had you heard that Plame's cover has actually been blown for a decade? Had you heard that no crime was committed in the communication of information between Bush administration officials and Novak because the governing law gives a person a complete defense if an agent's status has already been compromised by the government?

    No, you say, you hadn't heard any of that.
    You heard that this was the crime of the century??
    Then you need to close the paper and turn off the TV. You need, instead, to have a peek at what they write when they're talking to a court. It's a mind-bending tale.

    1)Plame's identity as an undercover CIA officer was first disclosed to Russia in the mid-1990s by a spy in Moscow. So there could have been little actual intelligence value in her "every operation, every relationship, every network" by the time anyone spoke with Novak
    2)Of greater inportance to the criminal investigation is the second disclosure. The press informs the judges that the CIA itself "inadvertently" compromised Plame by not taking appropriate measures to safeguard classified documents that the Agency routed to the Swiss embassy in Havana."[t]he documents were supposed to be sealed from the Cuban government, but intelligence officials said the Cubans read the classified material and learned the secrets contained in them."

    We know that at the time of the Novak articles, Plame was not serving as an intelligence agent outside the United States. Instead, she had for years been working, for all to see, at CIA headquarters in Langley. We'd probably know the answers to these and other questions by now if the media had given a tenth of the effort spent manufacturing a scandal to reporting professionally on the underlying facts.

    October 26, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. factjack

    In her book, Plame insists that she neither suggested nor recommended that Wilson go to Niger to investigate whether Iraq had been trying to buy weapons-grade uranium. But elsewhere in the book she tells how she wrote an e-mail to colleagues detailing her husband's qualifications and contacts in Niger. She also paints Wilson as given to wild emotional outbursts and hungry for media attention.
    Look it up...

    October 26, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. Sam, Lincoln, Nebraska

    In her book, Plame insists that she neither suggested nor recommended that Wilson go to Niger to investigate whether Iraq had been trying to buy weapons-grade uranium. But elsewhere in the book she tells how she wrote an e-mail to colleagues detailing her husband's qualifications and contacts in Niger. She also paints Wilson as given to wild emotional outbursts and hungry for media attention.
    Look it up…

    Posted By factjack : October 26, 2007 4:12 pm

    So what's your point?? Writing an e-mail detailing the qualifications and contacts of one's spouse is not recommending someone for a job. Additionally, you conveniently nelgected to mention that Valerie Plame did this in response to a request from her superiors for that information.

    YOU look it up...and this time tell it correctly.

    October 26, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Ah yes, Goebbels would be proud! Tell a lie long enough (and loud enough) and eventually people believe it as truth.

    This is a non-story about the non-outing of a non-secret CIA desk jockey.

    I find it curious that liberals were all up-in-arms regarding the Plame "scandal," but not one of them raised a peep when the NYT was leaking national security secrets left and right during a time of war (placing ACTIVE government officers' lives were in jeopardy). These actions taken during WWII would have had senior officials at the NYT rightly tried for treason.

    October 26, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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