Monday, November 07, 2005

Joe's Big Mouth

If anyone outed Valerie Plame, it was her husband, Joe Wilson. So says Retired Major General Paul Vallely last Thursday on the ABC radio network's John Batchelor show. Seems that the two men were in Fox News' "Green Room" together on several occasion within the year prior to the July 14, 2003 article by Robert Novak. Here is Vallely's first comment regarding this.
"He was rather open about his wife working at the CIA," said Vallely, who retired in 1991 as the Army's deputy commanding general in the Pacific.
But better yet was his analysis of Wilson's personality and his idea of why Wilson talked about his wife's job.
"He was a total self promoter," Vallely said. "I don't know if it was out of insecurity, to make him feel important, but he's created so much turmoil, he needs to be investigated and put under oath."
Which brings up an interesting question. Has Wilson or Plame even been interviewed in the Fitzgerald investigation? And if not, why not? If Wilson is accusing Cheney/Rove/Libby of outing his wife, you would think that Fitzgerald would want to hear it "from the horse's mouth." (so to speak!)

Vallely said that his conversations with Wilson in the green room were not the first time he had heard that Joe had referred to his wife as a CIA agent.
Vallely said, citing CIA colleagues, that in addition to his conversations with Wilson, the ambassador was proud to introduce Plame at cocktail parties and other social events around Washington as his CIA wife.

"That was pretty common knowledge," he said. "She's been out there on the Washington scene many years."

If Plame were a covert agent at the time, Vallely said, "he would not have paraded her around as he did."

"This whole thing has become the biggest non-story I know," he concluded, "and all created by Joe Wilson."
Now of course, Wilson isn't going to sit by and let old Vallely get away with talking about him that way. So he got his lawyer involved.
WASHINGTON – Ambassador Joseph Wilson's attorney is demanding Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely retract a statement he made to WND that the man at the center of the CIA leak case "outed" his own wife as a CIA employee in conversations more than a year before her identity was revealed in a syndicated column.

A demand letter was sent by Christopher Wolf, partner at Proskauer Rose LLP and counsel for Wilson, to both Vallely and WND tonight.

It disputes Vallely's claim that Wilson mentioned Valerie Plame's status with the CIA in conversations in 2002 in the Fox News Channel's "green room" in Washington as they waited to appear as analysts.

"As you know, that assertion and the claim that Ambassador Wilson revealed to you or to anyone that his wife worked for the CIA is patently false, and subjects you and anyone publishing your statements to legal liability," states the letter.

It continues: "We are writing to demand that you immediately retract the assertion attributed to you and to insist that you stop making the false allegation. In addition, we request that you identify all persons or entitites (sic) to whom you made any claim that Ambassador Wilson revealed his wife's employment at the CIA to you."

The e-mail received by WND included earlier comments by Wilson to his attorney.

"This is slanderous," Wilson wrote. "I never appeared on tv before at least July 2002 and only saw him maybe twice in the green room at FOX. Vallely is a retired general and this is a bald faced lie. Can we sue? This is not he said/he said, since I never laid eyes on him till several months after he alleges I spoke to him about my wife."

WND attempted to reach Wilson and Wolf for a phone interview, but Wolf responded in an e-mail, saying: "We do not wish to make a statement. Our demand for retraction of the false and libelous statments (sic) stands. We demand that the article be removed from your Web Site and that any printed versions be retracted, and that an official retraction and apology be issued."

In a subsequent e-mail, Wolf explained that he had not intended to append an e-mail from Wilson.

"The earlier version appended additional e-mails that were not intended for you and I would ask you to discard them, please," he wrote. "Specifically, you do not have permission to re-produce or quote from those e-mails sent to you in error. The authors of those e-mails retain all rights in those communications, including copyright and rights under applicable privilege law. Please be advised that your use of those e-mails in any way will compound your liability for the publication of the libelous statements which prompted my letter."

Those e-mails were sent twice to WND, prior to Wolf's attempt to withdraw them.

Vallely said he won't respond directly to Wilson or his attorney.

"I think he's panicked that somebody is going to take him on," said Vallely tonight. "He can make statements, and yet he's not brought in under oath."
I had heard comments from different people on different news shows saying things like, "Oh, yes, Joe used to love to talk about his wife, the CIA agent," but they were always comments made in passing. This time it was asserted on the radio by a very respected man in the media. As far as whether or not "Ms. Plame" was even undercover or covert and covered by the 1982 act, well that issue was covered by Victoria Toensing. She is the attorney who spearheaded the drafting of that law and she says that Plame's circumstances did not meet the statute's criteria.
The federal code says the agent must have operated outside the United States within the previous five years. But Plame gave up her role as a covert agent nine years before the Rove interview, according to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Kristof said the CIA brought Plame back to Washington in 1994 because the agency suspected her undercover security had been compromised by turncoat spy Aldrich Ames.

Wilson's own book, "The Politics of Truth," states he and Plame both returned from overseas assignments in June 1997 and never again were stationed overseas – placing them in Washington at least six years before the 2003 "outing."

Moreover, asserted Toensing, for the law to be violated, White House aides would have had to intentionally reveal Plame's identity with the knowledge that they were disclosing a covert agent.
Okay, so let's see if I have this straight. Even if Libby had talked about Valerie Plame being a CIA agent, he wouldn't have been breaking any laws because: 1) Her husband had already outed her to their DC friend's and acquaintances and 2) Her status did not fulfill the criteria needed to be considered undercover or covert.

I certainly hope that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame are brought in for questioning by Fitzgerald's investigation. I'm sure that in another two years, Fitzgerald will be able to prove that this whole situation was nothing but a tempest in a teapot! (/sarcasm)

Information from WorldNetDaily articles here and here.

NOTE: I apoligize for so many quotes. I try not to do that, but Joe isn't the only one who is long winded. His attorney is too, it seems.

UPDATE: Curt at Flopping Aces has even more information and questions! A good read!

UPDATE #2: Just happened to come across some left-wing views of the same Vallely info at Memeorandum. It's quite amusing.

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