I’m old enough to remember when “outing” our #CIA agents’ identities was a BAD thing…


If you’re not entirely sure as to what I’m referring with my headline, here you go:

“White House mistakenly identifies CIA chief in Afghanistan”

(via the Washington Post) – “…The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops…” 


Considering the absolute dearth of coverage this has received thus far, you could be tempted to believe that it must be no big deal.

And of course, you’d be wrong:

 “…jaw-dropping incompetence…”??  Thanks, Mr. Bolton: that sums it up quite nicely.

So: who is going to be made to answer for this Inspector-Clouseau-quality snafu? Anyone? Will even a single head roll, figuratively speaking?

Don’t hold your breath.

How can I be so sure that nothing whatsoever will happen to, at, or by the Obama White House over this? Easy: because nothing happened the LAST time this Administration did the EXACT SAME THING. 

We originally re-printed the article below (with permission) a couple years back, and today’s news practically demands its reprise. Once again, all credit for this highly illustrative Flashback goes to TOM BOWLER, over at Libertarian Leanings:


(originally posted in 2012 by Tom Bowler) –

Valerie Plame.

Valerie Plame, for those who may not remember, is the former CIA employee who was supposedly “outed” by the Bush White House in retaliation for a New York Times op-ed by her husband, Joseph C. Wilson.

When George Bush said in a State of the Union address that Saddam Hussein had been trying to acquire large quantities of uranium from Africa, Wilson countered in his editorial that in his opinion the African country of Niger could not possibly have gotten away with selling uranium to Iraq.  Therefore George Bush was lying.

Fair GameThe couple have been glorified by Hollywood, but the glory isn’t sticking so well.

“Fair Game” starred Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. It grossed $9.4MM domestically,  against a production budget of $22MM.

Fewer Americans than anticipated,  it seems, wanted to view the sweeping drama of a couple of D.C.  mediocrities sipping poorly selected wine at the Four Seasons Georgetown  and falling backwards into a glorious victimhood.

As you may or may not remember, it was not the Bush White House who leaked the identity of Valerie Plame.  A higher-up State Department official, Richard Armitage, was the leaker.  I don’t think I ever knew exactly why, but he revealed to the late Robert Novak that Wilson’s wife had helped to arrange the trip her husband made to Africa upon which he based his Times op-ed.  Armed with that information Novak looked up the double top-secret name of Wilson’s wife in “Who’s Who in America” and published it in a story of his own about Wilson’s trip and his editorial.

A witch hunt ensued.

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald conducted a grand jury inquisition into possible violations of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.  Fitzgerald learned early in the investigation that it was Richard Armitage who revealed the identity of CIA “operative” Valerie  Plame, but he concluded that no crime had  been committed.  Still, he kept the investigation going until he finally netted Scooter Libby, Vice President Richard Cheney’s chief of staff, for lying.

In grand jury testimony Libby said he thought he had first heard of Valerie Plame from the late Tim Russert of Meet the Press fame.  He later amended his testimony, based on notes he had showing that he must have heard her name earlier, but he said hadn’t recalled the notes, nor the meetings in which they were made.  Patrick Fitzgerald argued that he did, too, recall them.  Libby was convicted of lying.  Lying about a non-crime, actually.

So why does the subject of Valerie Plame resurface?  Just recently another agent — this time a real honest to god covert agent — was outed.  But this time, news outfits tripped all over themselves celebrating an Obama administration intelligence coup.

WASHINGTON — The suicide bomber dispatched by the Yemen branch of Al Qaeda last month to blow up a United States-bound airliner was actually an intelligence agent for Saudi Arabia who infiltrated the terrorist group and volunteered for the mission, American and foreign officials said Tuesday.

In an extraordinary intelligence coup, the double agent left Yemen last month, traveling by way of the United Arab Emirates, and delivered both the innovative bomb designed for his aviation attack and inside information on the group’s leaders, locations, methods and plans to the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi intelligence and allied foreign intelligence agencies.

Officials said the agent, whose identity they would not disclose, works for the Saudi intelligence service, which has cooperated closely with the C.I.A. for several years against the terrorist group in Yemen.

Apparently there are a couple of problems with that narrative.

As the story broke, the establishment media was more than happy to attribute the intelligence coup to the CIA and the Obama administration, describing the mole as a “CIA informant.”

It turns out that wasn’t true. The double-agent hadn’t been recruited and placed by the CIA, but by British intelligence, who also managed the operation. In fact, the Americans had only recently been made aware of the joint British-Saudi effort.

The leaks about the operation from the American side have infuriated British intelligence officials, who had hoped to continue the operation. The leaks not only scuttled the mission but put the life of the asset in jeopardy. Even CIA officials, joining their MI5 and MI6 counterparts, were describing the leaks as “despicable,” attributing them to the Obama administration.

Compare press coverage of this blown cover to the trumped-up case over Valerie Plame, a CIA employee who commuted to an office at CIA headquarters in Langley every day, and whose name was listed in “Who’s Who in America.”  Ms. Plame, who was in no way endangered by publication of Novak’s story, became a media celebrity, victim of an imagined retaliatory leak from the Bush White House.

This time, though, the life of a British agent is threatened, opportunities for more intelligence have been thrown away, and from all outward appearances it’s because of the Obama administration’s compulsion to score political points wherever they may be had.

And this time the press is too busy touting Obama’s supposed “evolution” on gay marriage to report on anything else.

11 responses to “I’m old enough to remember when “outing” our #CIA agents’ identities was a BAD thing…

  1. godsbooklover

    Stupifying. When I think of Paula Deen having her career ruined because of using a politically incorrect word, years ago…but someone jeopardizes another’s life, our national security and our foreign relations–ah, no biggie. I’d say, “Inconceivable”–but it’s beginning to look like our administration isn’t capable of conceiving of much of anything EXCEPT such heinous stupidity.

    Great. Going to bed with heartburn again, bro.

  2. livinrightinpgh

    The hypocrisy is stunning. Plame and her husband were in no way put in harm’s way, yet a media circus ensued. Now, we have THIS administration clearly putting lives and current ops in jeopardy, and all we get is coverage of Michelle doing her “# bring our girls back” photo and the White House changing the timing of announcements to distract from their outing of the CIA chief in Afghanistan…

  3. Good article, Does this mean the station chief is headed for stardom now? Don’t hold your breath is right. I await Obama’s reaction when he finds out from the media.

    • Will the station chief be gaining headlines anytime soon?
      Will the station chief be getting beheaded anytime soon?
      Unknown, but certainly that’s more likely.

      Way to go, Barack……

  4. We were treated to months and months and months of news stories about how Plame’s life was ruined and how she was a deep, deep, deep undercover agent (who drove around town with her husband in loudly painted convertibles) whose cover was blown. Wilson did serve his country bravely, but he is also a self-righteous p****.

    The whole story was horse manure from stem to stern. Plame drove a desk. She was not some kind of field operative. WIlson was never suppressed by the Bush Administration. Scooter Libby was convicted even though Fitzgerald already knew who the leaker was – Armitage. Furthermore, Libby was convicted for not remembering things that had happened two years ago (it was like two years ago dude). He didn’t willingly tell an untruth. He just didn’t remember things the way other people did and for that Fitzgerald threw the book at him even though he had no documented proof that Libby had anything to do with this whole mess. Libby’s incarceration is and remains a HUGE miscarriage of justice. Bush should have pardoned him. Why isn’t Slick WIlly in jail if lying under oath is such a big deal?

    • Agreed. As we’ve seen time and time again, the “rules” don’t apply to LIGS (Leftists In Good Standing).
      That’s why John Corzine (of MF Global fame) never went to jail, or even had a through investigation, after stealing a Billion dollars.
      But Dinesh D’Souza is “randomly” targeted by the government after making $20,000 in campaign donations, and now faces jail time. Heck, even his BAIL was half-a-million.

      We’ve written about many other such examples over the years.

      There exists now two sets of Rules for the United States: one set for the connected class, and one for everyone else.

  5. Pingback: FLASHBACK: it’s “Wrongheaded” and “Cynical” to mistrust your Government… | Two Heads are Better Than One

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