Saturday Update: The subject of this post, Plame Rebukes Bush Administration, has been deleted online. The link now points to Plame Says Administration 'Recklessly' Revealed Her by Amy Goldstein. That story is blogged here.
What the Post forgets, Tom Maguire remembers:
Nagging at me - did the Times/WaPo/AP even mention that Ms. Plame is engaged in a civil suit against the objects of her testimony?
In William Branigan's Plame Rebukes Bush Administration, no. Maguire continues:
Does anyone else think that maybe that gives her a bit of an incentive to shade her testimony?
It is just possible.
Valerie Plame, the CIA officer whose leaked identity triggered a federal investigation that reached into the White House, today publicly refuted claims that she was not a covert employee and accused the White House and State Department of "carelessly and recklessly" destroying her cover for political purposes...
"I felt like I had been hit in the gut," Plame said of the moment she learned her name and agency affiliation had been published in a July 14, 2003, column by Robert D. Novak.
Practice makes perfect, Mrs Plame Wilson, though you may not get your chance to perform in front of a jury since the suit may well be thrown out.
Probably the biggest headline from Plame's testimony is her claim that she was in fact "covert." But as ably noted by Maguire, Victoria Toensing and others, it has never been documented that she was covert under the IIPA, else Patrick "perjury trap" Fitzgerald would have prosecuted somebody for it.
And no Wilson/Libby/Niger story would be complete if the Washington Post did not falsify the record on what Joe Wilson learned during his trip. Branigan upholds the tradition whose shortlist includes Howard Kurtz, Carol Leonnig, and Amy Goldstein. Take it away, Branigan:
Plame also testified that she played no part in deciding to send her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, on a mission to Niger in 2002 to assess the reliability of reports that Iraq's then-president, Saddam Hussein, was trying to buy yellowcake uranium from that country for use in a secret nuclear weapons program. Wilson found that the reports were baseless, but the information nevertheless made its way into Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech. Wilson later went public with strong criticism, writing in a newspaper opinion piece that the White House was twisting intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.
I do wonder whether Plame "felt like she had been hit in the gut" when her husband risked her alleged super duper covertness by writing an Op-Ed attacking the Bush Administration. As for uranium, Niger, Joe Wilson, and selective memory syndrome, for now I will point you yet again to the Post editorial pages of March 7 and this one on Sept. 1, 2006:
...it now appears the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials.
And of course Susan Schmidt from July 10, 2004:
Wilson's assertions -- both about what he found in Niger and what the Bush administration did with the information -- were undermined yesterday in a bipartisan Senate intelligence committee report.
The panel found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts...
Wilson's reports to the CIA added to the evidence that Iraq may have tried to buy uranium in Niger, although officials at the State Department remained highly skeptical, the report said.
Wilson said that a former prime minister of Niger, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, was unaware of any sales contract with Iraq, but said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him, insisting that he meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq -- which Mayaki interpreted to mean they wanted to discuss yellowcake sales.
Ignoring this another 20 times doesn't make it false, Posties. It makes you second-class reporters. Granted, with an excellent dental plan.