Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, September 30, 2003  

The NewsHour had a fairly interesting interview tonight with a former CIA operative and Valerie Plame co-worker Larry Johnson. Listen:

Let's be very clear about what happened. This is not an alleged abuse. This is a confirmed abuse. I worked with this woman. She started training with me. She has been undercover for three decades, she is not, as Bob Novak suggested, a CIA analyst....

So the fact that she's been undercover for three decades and that has been divulged is outrageous because she was put undercover for certain reasons. One, she works in an area where people she meets with overseas could be compromised. When you start tracing back who she met with, even people who innocently met with her, who are not involved in CIA operations, could be compromised. For these journalists to argue that this is no big deal and if I hear another Republican operative suggesting that well, this was just an analyst fine, let them go undercover....

I say this as a registered Republican. I'm on record giving contributions to the George Bush campaign. This is not about partisan politics. This is about a betrayal, a political smear of an individual with no relevance to the story. Publishing her name in that story added nothing to it. His entire intent was correctly as Ambassador Wilson noted: to intimidate, to suggest that there was some impropriety that somehow his wife was in a decision making position to influence his ability to go over and savage a stupid policy, an erroneous policy and frankly, what was a false policy of suggesting that there were nuclear material in Iraq that required this war. This was about a political attack. To pretend that it's something else and to get into this parsing of words, I tell you, it sickens me to be a Republican to see this....

I was in the same class with her. I was Larry J. In fact, when I first saw her last name I didn't recognize her until one of other my classmates who's out now called me up and said, hey. To realize this is a terrific woman, she's a woman of great integrity and other people that don't know her were trying to suggest that she is the one that initiated that. That is such nonsense. This is a woman who is very solid, very low key and not about show-boating.

(Emphasis is, of course, mine.)

Apparently, righties have mounted a counterattack on Plame and Wilson. I wonder what they might say to Johnson?

(And I have to say that the fact that it was a conservative columnist who "outed" Plame is delicious in its irony. Conservatives lied about the Niger connection, and then they played payback, and the instrument of their payback was the pen of a conservative. So who can they blame? As to the question of Novak's ethics, the other half of the above interview addresses that. Criminal? That's another story.)

posted by Jeff | 9:17 PM |
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