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Valerie Plame's Laughable Lawsuit By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 14, 2006


Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame – who claims she “risked her life for her country” – filed suit on Thursday against Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Scooter Libby, charging them with violating their First and Fifth Amendment rights; endangering their children’s lives; making them targets of terrorist attacks; ending her CIA career; ruining other financial opportunities; launching a “gross invasion of privacy” against the recluses; and executing a “conspiracy” to “discredit, punish and seek revenge against” Wilson for his truth-telling editorial in 2003. (Read the full 23-page complaint in HTML or pdf.)

The egocentric audacity behind its every charge redefines chutzpah.

 

  • “Mr. and Mrs. Wilson fear for their safety and for the safety of their children as a result of the Defendants’ conduct,” making them targets of “groups who bear hostility to the United States.” [1]  

 

Plame herself supplied terrorists with all the tools necessary to carry out any imaginary fatwa. In 2000, Plame used her CIA name (“Ms. Valerie E. Wilson”) – and disclosed her home address – while making a $1,000 donation to Al Gore’s presidential campaign, listing her job as an “Analyst” at “Brewster-Jennings & Associates.” Following the apparently legal “leak,” terrorists may have known her name but not her face. This she quickly remedied. Although Joe Wilson told NBC’s Tim Russert, “my wife…would rather chop off her right arm than say anything to the press, and she will not allow herself to be photographed,” she promptly posed for Vanity Fair, followed by a number of additional poses and glamour shots.

 

She also accompanied Wilson to his National Press Club speech (where he pointed her out before the entire room), and snuggled at well-publicized events promoting his book, The Politics of Truth.

 

She has taken similar safeguards with her children’s anonymity. Last July, this distressed mother allowed London Telegraph reporter Philip Sherwell to publish the names of her five-year-old twins (Samantha and Trevor). According to a reporter for Reuters, last December 29 one of these twins shouted, “My daddy’s famous, my mommy’s a secret spy!” in a crowded airport as the family left for vacation.

 

All the concern is likely misguided. Groups who “bear hostility to the United States” have probably named a madrassa scholarship in the Wilsons’ honor in recognition of their attempt to discredit the opposing commander-in-chief during a time of war.

 

  • Plame’s employment with the CIA “was classified and not publicly known” before Robert Novak’s column. [2]

 

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely revealed Wilson himself boasted of his wife’s employment at the CIA during the summer-fall of 2002 in the green room of Fox News. (Note Wilson’s pattern of flaunting her status at media outlets?) Wilson idly threatened to sue him, too.

 

Robert Novak wrote at the time of the column naming Plame – three years ago today – her employment “was not much of a secret.” Cliff May added “insiders were well aware of” Plame’s status. At any rate, it did not take much of a research project. Novak noted earlier this week his source did not disclose her name. Instead, “I learned Valerie Plame's name from Joe Wilson's entry in ‘Who's Who in America.’” Speaking of patterns.

 

  •  Plame was “impaired in her ability to carry out her duties at the CIA.” [3]

 

Novak’s column neither hampered the CIA nor hindered her job performance. The Wilson-Plame complaint acknowledges, “Until January 2006, she [Plame] was an employee of the CIA.” Thus, she continued to function as an “operative” 29 months after the supposedly crippling event transpired, driving from her acknowledged address to that of her acknowledged CIA front without incident.

 

If this “conspiracy” has deprived her of her job, she’s acted less than distraught about it. When a New York Magazine reporter asked Joseph Wilson this May whether his wife missed her job, he replied: “You’d have to ask her – and she’s not talking. Whatever sense of career loss she has – we don’t talk about it much – her time is taken up by the responsibilities of raising 6-year-old twins.” It seems Hillary was wrong; some women do want to stay home and bake cookies.

 

  • “The disclosure of Mrs. Wilson’s identity has caused significant damage to each of the Plaintiffs.” [4]
  • “Both Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have been impaired in pursuing professional opportunities as a result of the Defendants’ actions.” [5]
  • “[T]he Defendants’ actions impaired the Plaintiffs’ ability to obtain other employment.” [6]

 

Future employers may be wise to ask themselves if they really want to hire a nepotist who treated her classified status with blasé disregard and a narcissist who lied in the process of publicly smearing the man who paid his last expense account. The reality has been this transformed the unknown Plame and the forgotten Wilson into the Great Leftist Hope: the couple that would finally bring down George W. Bush’s “illegitimate” presidency. (In this, they succeeded Richard Clarke but preceded Dan Rather, the Jersey Girls, and Cindy Sheehan.) Despite their current complaint about an “invasion of privacy,” Wilson and Plame celebrated the allegedly unwelcome attention with an orgy of media whoredom seen only among the nouveau célèbre.

 

Joseph C. Wilson IV had not been on the public stage since the last Bush administration. Following his editorial and the administration’s dastardly “punishment,” he began appearing on “Meet the Press,” writing in the far-Left Nation magazine and other outlets, keynoting at leftist venues, and advising John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. (Anyone who thinks Kerry would have given the position to Wilson without the Plame controversy probably believes John Edwards was on his original short-list.)

 

He quickly parlayed this notoriety into cold, hard cash, collecting an undisclosed sum to pen the erroneously named jeremiad, The Politics of Truth. (Although it became a bestseller, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported his publisher ended up “sitting on 60,000 copies, including many that have been returned.”)

 

Following hubby’s lead, the newly retired Plame wallowed out of the funk her lack of professional opportunities inspired to accept a $2.5 million book deal with Crown Publishing. When this deal fell through, she settled on an unspecified contract with Simon & Schuster.

 

This new contract was announced the same day as the lawsuit: Thursday.

 

Coincidentally, this author has not found a single media outlet to mention this conspicuous timing in its coverage of the lawsuit.

 

  • He was right all along.

 

The Wilsons’ complaint insists:

 

The audacity and malevolence of that [Cheney/Rove/Libby] campaign is compounded by the fact that at the same time the Wilsons were being attacked, the administration in fact was acknowledging the validity of Mr. Wilson's public statements. The fact that the administration had to admit its mistake is one likely reason why the Defendants chose to attack the Wilsons.

 

The named officials certainly did not attack Wilson because they had acknowledged their error. The assertion is, by the lawsuit’s own timeline, impossible: Cheney began investigating who sent Wilson on his trip the day Wilson wrote his op-ed, “What I Didn’t Find in Niger.” The Bush administration did make the foolish mistake of apologizing for the “16 words” at the heart of Wilson’s dispute – much later.

 

However, it was wrong in doing so, and even in so doing it did not verify “Wilson’s public statements,” which were bold lies.

 

Wilson had claimed he found no evidence of the attempted nuclear procurement in his op-ed. Soon, he went further, stating he had seen the forged documents Bush had used to sell the “16 words.” They were forgeries, because “the dates were wrong and the names were wrong.” Far from admitting this, the Bush administration announced the CIA did not have those files until eight months after Wilson’s trip, when he had no opportunity to see them. Besides, the yellowcake story had been based on more than forged documents; it was based on British intelligence. The Financial Times found evidence a number of countries, including Iraq, had negotiated to purchase Niger’s yellowcake uranium ore, and British intelligence still describes the story as “well-founded.”

 

The Bush administration did not vouch for Wilson; it exposed him as a liar. Speaking of patterns.

 

  • The conspiracy theory.

 

Was there a vast neoCONspiracy to out these defenseless hermits? The pro-Bush rag the New York Times had to admit Thursday: “The pretrial motions in the Libby case have not, as yet, produced evidence that there was any willful effort to leak Ms. Wilson’s identity.Indeed, the last time leftists sniffed out such a plot, Reuters confessed, “The court documents did not say that Bush or Cheney authorized Libby to disclose Plame's identity.

 

Instead of a conspiracy, Cheney asked an eminently reasonable question, scribbling on Wilson’s NY Times op-ed:” Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?”

 

As it turned out, despite Wilson’s vehement denials (including in court documents), Plame campaigned for the Agency to send her husband to investigate the Niger yellowcake story. She had pre-judged it false, calling it “this crazy report,” and dispatched her husband to spike the story during the run-up to the Iraq War. During “Wilson’s African vacation,” he sat at poolside, “sipping sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people,” before returning home. Still, the CIA concluded Wilson’s trip “lent more credibility to the original Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports on the uranium deal.”

 

Dick Cheney knew Joe Wilson’s own testimony proved him a liar. He also knew Wilson (and Plame) had contributed appreciable funds to the campaigns of Sen. Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton’s HILLPAC, Rep. Charlie Rangel, Rep. Nick Rahall, Al Gore, and other leftists.

 

Cheney did not undertake a conspiracy to punish anyone; he was burdened with defending his administration from a ludicrous, frontal assault on its credibility during a time of war. Scooter Libby has testified Cheney “was very keen to get the truth out.” As we’ve seen, he had every reason to be.

 

There has yet to be any proof of a conspiracy to release the name, and both Matt Cooper and Bob Novak have publicly stated the information came up inadvertently – in Cooper’s case, at his own initiative during the course of a conversation on another topic.

 

This lawsuit is the most eloquent plea for tort reform we’ve seen in years. The couple is suing after having raked in millions of dollars and hours of free publicity after their left-wing views led them to falsely and maliciously impede a pro-freedom foreign policy. Were there any justice, Wilson and Plame would be on trial for attempting to spike American intelligence. All evidence to the contrary, the Left continues to regard these self-promoting social climbers as martyrs.

 

Speaking of patterns.

Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry's Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving (2004).


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