Plame Game - "Don't let the screen door hit you..."

Dennis Hans at the Scoop, gives Ms. Plame one last going over before she goes out - or at least appears on Oprah. In the article, which Tom Mcguire also covers as well, Dennis muses over "job titles" and how the job titles of Bob Woodward and Valerie Plame are strikingly similiar.

However for me, what Valerie Plame, her boss Pravitt, and other Rogue ops tried to do in 2002 to thwart this nation in a time of war is in a name: treason, and I know that there are a lot of ops, ex and otherwise who believe she should be hung along with her 'hollywood" husband.

But there's time for that I hope and pray.

Yet Dennis does bring more information to light on Valerie's 'status" and whether or not she was "covert", which by now - unless you're a rabid "McChimpy-Bush/Hilter Freak", or Hardhead Chris Matthews, is a dead issue. She wasn't - no more than being in a Bagel shop makes you a bagel.

Nevertheless...Mr. Hans?

"On the other hand, much of the news media continue to describe Plame as a “covert agent,” “covert operative” or “agency operative” who was “outed” by vicious or careless Bush administration officials. The problem with such descriptions is that in 2003 Plame was no more a covert agent than Woodward was an “assistant managing editor.”

Through no fault of her own, Plame was forced to abandon — or at least put on indefinite hold — her career as a clandestine agent shortly after the 1994 defection of Aldrich Ames to the Soviet Union. The agency feared that Plame was among the far-flung CIA officers about whom Ames spilled the beans, and so it wisely went into damage-control mode.

As for the fallout from Plame being named by Robert Novak in July 2003, here’s what the Los Angles Times reported on July 16, 2005:

“Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said it was unlikely Plame was in danger as a result of being identified. An internal CIA review concluded that her exposure caused minimal damage, mainly because she had been working at headquarters for years, former officials familiar with the review said.”

Here’s how Plame was described back on October 8, 2003 ( ), by two careful, capable Washington Post reporters, Dana Priest (who recently broke the big story about CIA-run prisons in distant lands) and Richard Leiby:

“For the past several years, she has served as an operations officer working as a weapons proliferation analyst.”

That’s “analyst,” not “covert operator.”

I asked Priest and Leiby if “operations officer” was an official job title or just a generic description of someone employed by the action side of the CIA, the “Directorate of Operations,” or DO. I also asked if DO “analysts” have an official job title such as “operations analyst.”

Here is Priest’s email reply (which Leiby endorsed); her initial comment addresses the “operations officer” question:

“It's not an official title, per say. To describe someone who was trained and worked in the DO, you have several choices: ‘case officer’ which is too jargony, but is what the agency calls their DO people, or ‘operations officer,’ which is slightly more generic and acceptable to all involved (many loath ‘operative’ because it's too James Bond-like). As far as I know, there would not be ‘DO analysts,’ as a career path, although there would be people trained as analysts (through the DI track [DI is the Directorate of Intelligence, where most but not all of the analytical work is done], versus the DO track of training) who are assigned to work in the DO. And more so after 9-11 when they moved a bunch of analysts into the Counterterrorist Center and into the field to better help the DO officers.”

Priest and Leiby also reported that, in the previous few years prior to being named, Plame had been quite busy at home with a pregnancy, then caring for her infant twins while battling a severe case of postpartem depression, then counseling other moms fighting the same battle. Does that sound like someone who could function — at that very time — as an overseas undercover agent? How can you be in two places at once?"

Again, nothing we don't know, and we do know that this whole leak deal was a ruse to throw the dogs off some people in the Agency making a buck or two on Hot Yellow Cake deals, as well as the aforemented "Get Bush/Get Even" game launched by Kristof over eggs and ham.

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