Thursday, October 27


Larry Johnson, a 1985 CIA training classmate of Valerie Plame's, was on Wolf Blitzer discrediting some of the wingnut trashtalk about Mrs. Wilson. I took notes as quickly as I could because this was great stuff:

Wolf: In order for there to be weight to the charges or indictments -- Was there serious damage done to U.S. national security? Did the CIA do a post-mortem damage assessment?

LJ: CIA did a post-mortem, they had to. There has to be a written document at CIA. When agents are outed, it's not just the person, it's the front company, other NOCs who may have been exposed, other intelligence officers who were exposed to that company, as well as intelligence assets overseas who were working with Brewster Jennings [Plame's CIA front] and didn't know it was CIA, and people, assets, who worked willingly for Brewster Jennings. Yes, I have heard that serious damage did occur. I don't know about lives lost. What I do know for certain is that we're not just talking about Valerie, we're talking about an intelligence resource, a U.S. intelligence resource, that was destroyed. They've harmed the security of this country and they're trying to pretend no harm no foul, and it was reckless.

Wolf: Novak said it was well known around Washington that Wilson's wife worked for the CIA. Her name was no secret either, that Cliff May told him he'd heard it from (someone) before my column and that she was CIA. Her name was in Joe Wilson's bio in "Who's Who." That doesn't sound very covert.

LJ: He doesn't know what he's talking about. His information on this issue has been repeatedly wrong. I've got $5,000 up that you can't find a reference to Valerie and CIA anywhere before Bob Novak reported on her. Not only that, when Valerie wrote that check to Al Gore as a member of Brewster Jennings she was living her cover. Not a single neighbor She was in the process of moving from non-official cover to official cover but under the law she's still covered. She's moved back to the U.S., she's home-based here, but she continued to travel overseas for Brewster Jennings, she was still working her cover. (Something about there was a possibility that she'd been compromised by the Aldrich Ames blowup so she'd been moved back to the U.S.)

Wolf: What about the fact that she was driving back and forth to Langley every day?

LJ: 40% of the persons driving through those gates are undercover. Sometimes they're here for two or three years and then they go back overseas. Their covers are backstops. They're presumed to work for some other (company/agency). I drove through those gates for four years and nobody but my wife knew I was CIA. I was undercover the whole time.

Wolf: What about the pictures she posed for after her name was revealed?

LJ: I don't think Joe and Valerie would have done that again but her career had been completely destroyed and she had death threats from Al Qaeda.

Wolf: Why didn't she get security protection? She still works for the CIA.

LJ: The CIA told her she'd have to rely on 911.

More of Larry Johnson's defense of Plame and Wilson can be found here. William Rivers Pitts lends perspective here.

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