Playing The Plame Game

Valerie Plame wasn't outed by anyone. She was not a covert operative, and hadn't been for more than six years. The law says that after five years out of the field, and working a desk, anyone can reveal a name because it would not be compromising a field operative. And Plame and her husband were not exactly shrinking violets; they were regulars at the Washington cocktail scene, and were even covered in Vogue as members of the Washington "Beautiful People."

After GW Bush said, in the 2003 State of the Union address "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Lies, the Dems cried, all lies. But the British still stand by the intelligence on which Bush made the claim. 

Far from trying to stay undercover, in a blatant case of nepotism, former ambassador Joe Wilson's CIA-employed wife, Valerie Plame [not the evil Vice President Dick Cheney as Wilson implied], sent him to Niger to meet with that country’s president and check on the veracity of Bush’s claim. On his return, he penned a NYT op-ed piece which concluded: "The Cheney administration [see previous sentence!] sent me to investigate the allegation - and I found it without merit." Sounds of whooping from the left. "Bush lied!"

However, the President of Niger confirmed to an ABC reporter that he told Wilson about Saddam's interest in buying the uranium and the left-leaning Washington Post (no friend of Bush’s) in an editorial, concluded that it was Wilson who had therefore lied about not finding evidence to support the uranium claim, since he had told the CIA the opposite when he reported back from Africa - Saddam was trying to buy "yellowcake" from Niger (yellowcake is uranium ore.)

The Associated Press said the same, calling yellowcake "the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment that can be enriched for use in nuclear weapons using sophisticated equipment." The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Wilson's report "lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uraniumdeal" sought by Iraq in Niger. In simple terms, Wilson lied in order to undermine his president’s credibility.

NOW THE BIGGIE: In 2008, our military shipped out of Iraq -- on 37 flights in 3,500 barrels -- what even The Associated Press called "the last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program": 550 metric tons of the supposedly nonexistent yellowcake. The New York Sun editorialized: "The uranium issue is not a trivial one, because Iraq, sitting on vast oil reserves, has no peaceful need for nuclear power. ... To leave this nuclear material sitting around the Middle East in the hands of Saddam ... would have been too big a risk."

The final destination of the yellowcake was Canada, where it is being processed into uranium for nuclear power generation.



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