The Washington Posts reviews FAIR GAME – My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House By Valerie Plame Wilson
Since senior administration officials whispered “Valerie Plame” and “CIA” in the same breath to half a dozen journalists in 2003, some people have not very subtly suggested that her work couldn’t really have been all that hush-hush if she had an office job, not to mention blond hair and little kids. “She was not involved in clandestine activities,” Robert D. Novak, the syndicated columnist who first published her name, wrote earlier this year in his dueling memoir. “Instead, each day she went to CIA headquarters in Langley where she worked on arms proliferation.”
There are lots of she said-he said moments in the Plame affair, matters on which an impartial observer can only conclude that, well, both sides have a point. But this is not one of them.
Before her retirement in 2006, Wilson spent more than 20 years in the CIA, including six years, one month and 29 days of overseas service. We know this because the agency, in a bureaucratic blunder, put it in an unclassified letter about her pension eligibility that it later tried desperately to recall, and that she has included as an appendix to “Fair Game.”
Laura Rozen wrote the afterword and because of the large amount of material that was redacted they suggest readers go to that first to get some clarification on dates and events. While we’re on the subject of gathering intelligence and betrayal, Curveball: The Iraqi Defector the Bush Team Used to Sell the War
In CURVEBALL: Spies, Lies and the Con Man Who Caused a War,veteran Los Angeles Times reporter Bob Drogin, who originally broke the story, paints a picture of a desperate refugee who, while trying to gain asylum in Europe, began feeding claims about Saddam’s supposed weapons programs to an intelligence community that was under intense pressure from the top to come up with a case for war.
Curveball, who claimed to be an Iraqi chemical engineer with knowledge of even the country’s most secret weapons programs, spilled the beans in a big way when debriefed by German intelligence officials. But, as Drogin would later report, he was a twitchy, possibly mentally disturbed drunk who was prone to rapid mood-swings and whose story tended to shift according to what he thought investigators wanted to hear. But despite that fact, and with only the “corroboration” of a few ex-patriots associated with convicted fraudster Ahmed Chalabi, Curveball’s claims passed through several layers of often skeptical intelligence professionals and became ‘Exhibit A’ in the administration’s case for war.
I can’t find it in the Constitution or even the Federalists papers, maybe it was passed during one of those midnight votes Republicans used to have when they figured no one would show up, but we all know that the
Rabid Republican Nationalists Republican party is the last word in patriotism. Funny kind of patriotism to look around for mentally disturbed losers and use their testimony to send our nation’s sons and daughters off to die for. Sounds like a brand of patriotism you’d only find in the perpetually self deluding.
Betraying intelligence assets while simultaneously using gossip from desperate characters was done on your dime and your time by people that get free health-care by the way. Situational ethics remains Republicans Achilles heal. No funds for brain damaged kids, but plenty of funds to outsource contracts like this propaganda by the Pentagon, Pentagon Co-opted Independent Military Newspaper For PR Campaign Pushing Bush’s War Policies
The Pentagon has engaged in an aggressive U.S. grassroots efforts to drum up support for Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the guise of supporting the troops. A central front in this effort has been the “non-political” America Supports You (ASY) program. (One branch of ASY is Operation Straight Up, an “evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military.”)
While the legal and ethical questions of programs being created and outsourced are important. If these programs are not being misused the fact remains the Whitehouse honestly believes that most Americans do not support the troops.
“The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief” ~ J. Ellul