Defenders of the Bush administration's outing of Valerie Plame in retaliation against her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson have repeatedly claimed that Plame was not undercover. Wrong again, according to an NBC report:
An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was "covert" when her name became public in July 2003.
The unclassified summary of Plame's employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."
The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias -- but always using cover -- whether official or non-official (NOC) -- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."
Covert or not, dragging any member of the CIA into a political dispute is indefensible and contrary to our national security interests. We should look upon members of the CIA as we do members of the military; they are putting their lives on the line to protect our country. Consequently, they should be strictly off-limits when it comes to the political gamesmanship that goes on every day in Washington DC. The laws also need to be strengthened to protect people like Plame so this doesn't happen again.
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