Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Plame Out – A Continuing Story

The Raw Story reported back in February that at the time her name was leaked to Robert Novak she was working on the search for nuclear weapons in Iran. Now this news is getting attention from the media a little higher up the food chain — MSNBC (via Crooks and Liars).

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.

[…]

While many have speculated that Plame was involved in monitoring the nuclear proliferation black market, specifically the proliferation activities of Pakistan’s nuclear “father,” A.Q. Khan, intelligence sources say that her team provided only minimal support in that area, focusing almost entirely on Iran.

[…]

Intelligence sources would not identify the specifics of Plame’s work. They did, however, tell RAW STORY that her outing resulted in “severe” damage to her team and significantly hampered the CIA’s ability to monitor nuclear proliferation.

Plame’s team, they added, would have come in contact with A.Q. Khan’s network in the course of her work on Iran.

Remember that at the time Ms. Plame was outed, the righties and Bush minions said she wasn’t “covert,” meaning — in their minds — it wasn’t like they revealed the secret identity of Wonder Woman. Intelligence experts have responded almost in unison that it doesn’t really matter if an employee of the CIA is working “under cover” or not; the revelation of the name and activities of a CIA operative compromises our intelligence work, regardless of the political power plays going on between the Director of the CIA and the White House. Of course, as Karl Rove will tell you, what does that matter? Plame’s husband embarrassed the White House, so she’s fair game for revenge, and national security takes a back seat when it comes to protecting the image of our Dear Leader.