by Taylor Marsh
"He did it."
Of course, Valerie Plame is talking about Robert Novak printing her name in his column. That's what her husband Joseph Wilson said when he came in on the morning Novak's column was published, July 2003. Today, Valerie Plame Wilson spoke in public before Rep. Waxman's committee, describing the day her husband came in and dropped the newspaper on the bed and said: "He did it."
When Rep. Dennis Kucinich questioned Ms. Plame, one answer jumped out. He asked if covert agents were identified very often. Plame said, not that I'm aware, especially not by their own government.
Rep. Diane Watson expressed propper outrage when she indignantly rebuffed notions that Plame only had a desk job. That seems to be the only thread on which the loyal Bushies, Scooter Libby and his puppeteer, Dick Cheney, are hanging their disgrace. That a vice president of the United States would play any part whatsoever in the outing of a C.I.A. covert agent is something I never dreamed we'd ever talk about. I never could imagine the cover of a C.I.A. agent would be outed over ideology and that either political party would play a part. There was a time when this was unthinkable. In the era of Bush, it is not only thinkable, but now a tragic, even potentially treasonous, part of history.
However, nothing could keep Republicans from spewing their venom and ignorance as to whether Valerie Plame was covert. Let us now put it to rest: Valerie Plame was covert. There is no excuse for Sean Hannity, Mort Kondracke, Robert Novak, Brit Hume and Victoria Toensing for casting doubt, except that their comments are politically motivated. Everything is political in the Bush White House, even the C.I.A.
We can never make up for what the Bushies did to Valerie Plame. Even speaking today Valerie Plame's testimony and the questions being asked were under strict guidelines, due to the open nature of the hearing. One thing is clear, as Rep. Elijah Cummings took great pains to point out.
"I was a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency." - Valerie Plame
Covert, classified or undercover? Classified wasn't used among the undercover agents. The videos of Valerie Plame speaking about it explains it all.
Rep. Paul Hodes brought up what Karl Rove told Chris Matthews, "Valerie Plame is fair game." Now imagine that it's not Valerie Plame, but another covert C.I.A. agent. Is anyone fair game? Or is it just people who get in the way of Mr. Bush? Is it just whistleblowers who have information proving the president lied in the SOTU speech?
Let's also remember that this whole event stemmed around Joseph Wilson deflating the Bush administration's case for war. Nothing is clearer.
There seems to be no means the Administration will not use to hurt those who disagree or who have knowledge that will harm the Administration. It's chilling when all the energy of the White House and the federal government are focused on private citizens, through the press. But when one of those people works as a classified C.I.A. agent working on WMDs it's especially shocking.
Finally hearing from Valerie Plame in her own words brings the whole sorry behavior from Bush administration into bright light. Congressman Waxman, my former representative, makes us all proud by holding these hearings. It gives you faith that democracy under the Democrats actually represents what our Founders had in mind. It's called checks and balances. It's called oversight.
But once again, let us never forget that the leaking of Valerie Plame's covert C.I.A. identity revolved around one subject, the case Mr. Bush and his Administration made for war. Joseph Wilson punctured that case. It launched the Bush administration into damage control that would end with the leaking of a covert C.I.A. operative's name in order to show the war whistleblower who was boss.
One final note, if Democrats weren't in the majority in Congress, Valerie Plame would never have been heard.
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