Outed Agent Hits Vermont | Freyne Land

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Outed Agent Hits Vermont

Posted By on Sun, Oct 28, 2007 at 10:00 PM

Before going out to catch former CIA covert agent Valerie Plame Wilson's speech at the Sheraton Sunday afternoon, sponsored by Vermont Woman, I swung by author/musician Marc Estrin's place in Burlington's Old North End. Hadn't been by in a few months and I wanted to get the latest casualty count on the Bush-Cheney madness.

The number on the left, [449], is the latest U.S. death toll in  Afghanistan. In the middle, [3834] is the latest U.S. death toll in  Iraq. And on the right, [1,085,967] is the latest estimate of civilian deaths in Iraq, according to a Johns Hopkins study.

Reality check.

So was Ex-Agent Valerie Wilson [right] talking to Vermont reporters in the hallway before her speech. She's on a national tour plugging her new book: Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House.

"My parents were Republicans," said Mrs. Wilson. "I was raised Republican when that meant strong national defense, a strong fiscal policy," she said, noting it's been changed so much "to the state it's in now, that it's now hard to recognize it."

Valerie's the career undercover agent at the Central Intelligence Agency outed by the White House in Robert Novak's column in 2003. V.P. Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby got convicted for the leak, but then received a presidential pardon* (see correction below) - no jail time.

Hey, he was just doing his job, right?

As Wilson told the admiring crowd of 800 in the Emerald Ballroom, had "senior administration officials been sitting across from a Russian journalist at a fancy restaurant in downtown Washington and given him my name, that would have been called 'treason.'

"Why is it called anything different when it's filtered through an American journalist?
"

Good question, eh?

The former CIA agent told the gathering the American invasion of Iraq "was in many ways a response to an unproven academic theory put forward by the Neocons that democracy would blossom, that the invasion, conquest and occupation of Iraq would really just get democracy blooming throughout the region!"

During the Libby Trial, she noted, "What came out very clearly was the extent to which the media, the White House press corps -  has a symbiotic relationship with this administration. That's nothing new, but the extent to which this administration has used intimidation tactics is unprecedented!"

Mrs. Wilson highlighted the "quite striking"  fact regarding the "very little shoe leather that was expended by the media on the reasons for going to war." The Washington press corps, she said, was "spoon-fed everything by the administration."

Sad, but true.

"Now it's true - anything the President says is news, but it seems to me we were let down by the media because they didn't actively pursue the mid-level managers at the Pentagon, the State Department and elsewhere. They could have told them a little different story."

Yes, indeed.

More here.

*********
Nov. 3 post
- This from Marc Estrin. I got it wrong on the "pardon."

I did want to correct one thing in your blog. Scooter Libby was not pardoned; his sentence was commuted. This was very savvy of  the Bush lawyers. It leaves the case still open and "on appeal". Therefore Bush/Cheney/Rove can continue to argue that they cannot comment publicly because it's an ongoing investigation. Libby paid a small fine the very afternoon it was demanded -- if I recall, $250k -- but he had already raised $3+ million from Republican fatcats for the "Scooter Libby Defense Fund".

All in all, another good job done cheaply by the administration. Bread & Puppet made the same mistake for a "Pardon Me" circus act this summer, but no one would listen to me and accept the distinction. It was a funny act, though, with the puppeteers handing out pardons to the audience like pre-Luther indulgences, without charge.

Thanks, Marc.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact web@sevendaysvt.com.

About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Bio:
Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

More By This Author

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Freyne Land

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation