Valerie Plame’s status was ‘covert’?

Uh huh.  Via Tom Maguire:

Andrea Mitchell, from CNBC, 10/03/2003:

Mitchell: It was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger. So a number of us began to pick up on that. But frankly I wasn’t aware of her actual role at the CIA and the fact that she had a covert role involving weapons of mass destruction, not until Bob Novak wrote it.

Hugh Sidey, formerly of the NY Times, in an amicus brief on the Miller case, and/or to the NY Sun:

“In this case it seems to me the protection of a source transcends the other considerations,which do not seem to threaten national security,” he wrote.

Mr. Sidey said in an interview that the identity of the CIA operative, Ms. Plame, was widely known-well before Mr. Cooper talked to his sources. “You know this game as well as I do,” Mr. Sidey said. “That name was knocking around in the sub rosa world we live in for a long time.”

Martin Peretz of the New Republic:

Still, in a lot of dining rooms where I am a guest here, there is outrage that someone in the vice president’s office "outed" Ms. Plame, as though everybody in Georgetown hadn’t already known she was under cover, so to speak. Under cover, but not really.

Cliff May, the NRO, Sept 29, 2003:

On July 11, I wrote a piece for NRO arguing that Mr. Wilson had no basis for that conclusion — and that his political leanings and associations (not disclosed by the Times and others journalists interviewing him) cast serious doubt on his objectivity.

On July 14, Robert Novak wrote a column in the Post and other newspapers naming Mr. Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative.

That wasn’t news to me. I had been told that — but not by anyone working in the White House. Rather, I learned it from someone who formerly worked in the government and he mentioned it in an offhand manner, leading me to infer it was something that insiders were well aware of.

Read more here.

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