Monday, October 24, 2005

Musings 74--The ripple effect...

I have read enough James Bond and Matt Helm to know that it takes a whole bunch of time and effort to set up fake identities. Spys can only be as good as their covers, and if their covers are compromised, then life can get interesting...or fatal.

Valerie Plame, the wife of Joe Wilson, has been a CIA agent for over 20 years. I would surmise that it took a lot of money and time to train her for her job. She was a specialist on WMD's (Weapons of Mass Destruction). I have not met too many folks who say that is their area of expertise.

Listening to the talking heads, I find myself attempting to cut through the chatter and the spin. Mr. President has his people saying it was no big deal that columnist Robert Novak outed Ms. Plame--now known as Mrs. Wilson. They say that everybody knew that she worked for the CIA anyway. Well, there is plenty of evidence that her neighbors did not know that she was a spy. They thought that she worked for a company called Brewster-Jennings & Associates.
This company, we now know thanks to Novak, is a CIA front company. (See Link)

When Karl Rove, "Scooter" Libby and "Big" Dick Cheney decided to leak her name to the press because they wanted to smear husband Joe, they did a whole lot more than "out" an agent. They wrecked her cover company along with any other agent who might have said that they too worked for Brewster-Jennings & Associates.

All the bad guys in the world have television sets, and most of them probably read the Washington Post or the New York Times. Is it not possible that somewhere, some place, in a remote corner of the world a bad anti-spy guy puts two and two together and decides that John Smith from America, who works for Brewster-Jennings & Associates, just might be a CIA spook? What do you think the outcome would be? Dead spys are like dead ducks--they both float face down.

The stupid outing of Valerie Plame-Wilson may very well have had a ripple effect that will go on forever. Who knows who Plame-Wilson had as sources in foreign countries. If there were any double agents that had told their bosses that they had dealings with a company called Brewster-Jennings & Associates, then they are lost sources. The ripple can continue for years.

So when you hear one of the head-spinners saying that it was no big deal, you can retort that treason is always a big deal. Treason for spite, however, is even worse.


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