“Wilson, Plame and all that.”
Over at the OSB, I’ve put up a post putting yesterday’s testimony by Valerie Plame in context. Included is an informative reminder that, at first–while attempting to protect their own journalists against charges of publishing sensitive national security information–many mainstream media outlets tried to convince the Justice Department that Plame’s identity was well known. (Guess it depends who’s bacon is being fried, huh?) Also of some help would this timeline (via NRO), which the author contends shows that it was really Wilson who revealed the now infamous details of who and what his wife (Plame) did (with some help from Richard Armitage). This whole thing is a good example of how, once a narrative has been established, new facts often don’t change what people think. Though some do.
Mr. Wilson was embraced by many because he was early in publicly charging that the Bush administration had “twisted,” if not invented, facts in making the case for war against Iraq. In conversations with journalists or in a July 6, 2003, op-ed, he claimed to have debunked evidence that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger; suggested that he had been dispatched by Mr. Cheney to look into the matter; and alleged that his report had circulated at the highest levels of the administration.
A bipartisan investigation by the Senate intelligence committee subsequently established that all of these claims were false — and that Mr. Wilson was recommended for the Niger trip by Ms. Plame, his wife. When this fact, along with Ms. Plame’s name, was disclosed in a column by Robert D. Novak, Mr. Wilson advanced yet another sensational charge: that his wife was a covert CIA operative and that senior White House officials had orchestrated the leak of her name to destroy her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson.