August 02, 2005

Who's Who of "Covert" Agents

The New York Times reports that Valerie Wilson's identity was public knowledge prior to Novak's column:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 - One of the most puzzling aspects of the C.I.A. leak case has had to do with the name of the exposed officer. Why did the syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak identify her as Valerie Plame in exposing her link to the C.I.A. in July 2003 when she had been known for years both at the agency and in her personal life by her married name, Valerie Wilson? Mr. Novak offered a possible explanation for the disconnect on Monday, suggesting in his column that he could have obtained Ms. Wilson's maiden name from the directory Who's Who in America, which used that name in identifying her as the wife of Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador. Mr. Novak did not explicitly cite the directory as his source. Nor was this his first public reference to the Who's Who listing. In a column in October 2003, three months after he had first disclosed Ms. Wilson's name and her role, Mr. Novak cited the published listing as evidence that Ms. Wilson's identity was "no secret."...In the Who's Who directory for 2003, personal information about Mr. Wilson includes his origins in Bridgeport, Conn., and the names of his previous wife and his four children. His current wife is listed as Valerie Elise Plame, and the date of their marriage April 3, 1998. There is no mention of her employer.

This is really, really funny. After all of the grandstanding by Joe Wilson that his wife had somehow been endangered, it turns out that he and his wife had not exactly been protecting her identity.
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