Plame affair

Valerie Plame affairCIA leak scandal2003 CIA leak scandalcaseCIA leakCIA leak caseCIA leak investigationcontroversy aroseleak of a covert CIA agent's identity in the pressleak to reporters
The Plame affair (also known as the CIA leak scandal and Plamegate) was a political scandal that revolved around journalist Robert Novak's public identification of Valerie Plame as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer in 2003.wikipedia
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Valerie Plame

Valerie Plame WilsonValerie WilsonJoseph Wilson's wife
The Plame affair (also known as the CIA leak scandal and Plamegate) was a political scandal that revolved around journalist Robert Novak's public identification of Valerie Plame as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer in 2003. According to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, Libby first learned of Valerie Wilson's employment at the CIA in early June 2003 from Vice President Dick Cheney and proceeded to discuss her with six other government officials in the following days and months before disclosing her name to reporters Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper in early July 2003.
As the subject of the 2003 Plame affair, also known as the CIA leak scandal, Plame's identity as covert officer of the CIA was leaked to the press by members of the administration of George W. Bush and subsequently made public.

Robert Novak

Bob NovakJournalist Robert Novak's involvement in the Orlando Letelier assassinationNovak
The Plame affair (also known as the CIA leak scandal and Plamegate) was a political scandal that revolved around journalist Robert Novak's public identification of Valerie Plame as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer in 2003.
He also broke several major stories in his career, and he played a role in media events such as the Plame affair.

Plame affair criminal investigation

a criminal investigationcriminal investigationcriminal investigation of the Plame affair
The scandal led to a criminal investigation; no one was charged for the leak itself.
The Plame affair was a dispute stemming from allegations that one or more White House officials revealed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent Valerie Plame Wilson's undercover status.

Richard Armitage (naval officer)

Richard ArmitageRichard L. ArmitageArmitage
Novak had learned of Plame's employment, which was classified information, from State Department official Richard Armitage. Although it had been reported in mid-November 2005 that Novak's source was National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, almost a year later media reports revealed that the source of this information was Richard Armitage, which Armitage himself also confirmed.
He has acknowledged that he released information that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA, triggering the Plame affair.

Plame affair grand jury investigation

investigation of the leak of the covert identityCIA leak grand jury investigationinvestigation
The CIA leak grand jury investigation did not result in the indictment or conviction of anyone for any crime in connection with the leak itself.
The CIA leak grand jury investigation (related to the "CIA leak scandal", also known as the "Plame affair") was a federal inquiry "into the alleged unauthorized disclosure of a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee's identity", a possible violation of criminal statutes, including the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, and Title 18, United States Code, Section 793.

James Comey

James B. ComeyDirector Comey
Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from involvement with the investigation because of his close involvement with the White House, and the responsibility for oversight fell to James B. Comey, a former prosecutor who had just been appointed deputy attorney general three weeks previously.
Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to be the Special Counsel to head the grand jury investigation into the Plame affair after Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself.

Patrick Fitzgerald

FitzgeraldPatrick B. FitzgeraldPatrick J. Fitzgerald
Comey then appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the matter as Special Counsel who convened a grand jury. According to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, Libby first learned of Valerie Wilson's employment at the CIA in early June 2003 from Vice President Dick Cheney and proceeded to discuss her with six other government officials in the following days and months before disclosing her name to reporters Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper in early July 2003.
As special counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel, Fitzgerald was the federal prosecutor in charge of the investigation of the Valerie Plame Affair, which led to the prosecution and conviction in 2007 of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby for perjury.

Joseph C. Wilson

Joseph WilsonJoe WilsonJoseph C. Wilson IV
In 2002, Plame wrote a memo to her superiors in which she expressed hesitation in recommending her husband, former diplomat Joseph C. Wilson, to the CIA for a mission to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq had arranged to purchase and import uranium from the country, but stated that he "may be in a position to assist". In late February 2002, responding to inquiries from the Vice President's office and the Departments of State and Defense about the allegation that Iraq had a sales agreement to buy uranium in the form of yellowcake from Niger, the Central Intelligence Agency had authorized a trip by Joseph C. Wilson to Niger to investigate the possibility.
Wilson serves as a guest speaker and panelist in conferences and other programs devoted to African business policies and political affairs, as well as on the matters pertaining to the CIA leak scandal.

United States v. Libby

Scooter Libby trialUnited States v. I. Lewis Libby2007 "Scooter" Libby trial
The federal trial United States v. Libby began on January 16, 2007.
The Plame affair ensued after the identity of Valerie Plame was leaked to journalists, which took place after her husband Joseph Wilson criticized the Bush administration's rationale for the Iraq War on July 6, 2003 by publicly stating that he had found no evidence for the claim that Saddam Hussein's regime had attempted to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger (a claim that first emerged due to the Niger uranium forgeries) in a New York Times op-ed entitled "What I Didn't Find in Africa".

George W. Bush

BushPresident BushPresident George W. Bush
After President George W. Bush stated that "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Wilson published a July 2003 op-ed in The New York Times stating his doubts during the mission that any such transaction with Iraq had taken place.
Bush received heavy criticism for his handling of the Iraq War, his response to Hurricane Katrina and to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, NSA warrantless surveillance, the Plame affair, and Guantanamo Bay detention camp controversies.

Denis Collins (journalist)

Denis Collins
After the verdict was read to the court, Denis Collins, a member of the jury and a journalist who has written for The Washington Post and other newspapers, spoke to the press.
Denis Collins, an American journalist who has written for the Washington Post, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Miami Herald, served as juror #9 in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jr., relating to the Plame affair, and was the first juror to comment publicly about the trial.

Karl Rove

RoveRovian tacticsHam Rove
Initially, the White House denied that Karl Rove, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Chief of Staff of Vice President Dick Cheney, were involved in the leak.
The subpoena also demanded relevant email previously produced in the Valerie Plame controversy and investigation for the CIA leak scandal (2003).

Judith Miller

Miller, JudithjournalistJudith Miller case
According to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, Libby first learned of Valerie Wilson's employment at the CIA in early June 2003 from Vice President Dick Cheney and proceeded to discuss her with six other government officials in the following days and months before disclosing her name to reporters Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper in early July 2003.
Miller was involved in the Plame Affair which outed Valerie Plame as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spy.

Tim Russert

Timothy J. Russert
Libby does not dispute that he initially heard about Mrs. Wilson from Cheney, but he claims that he had no recollection of that fact when he told the FBI in October 2003 and the grand jury in March 2004 that he remembered first learning about Mrs. Wilson in a conversation with NBC's Tim Russert on July 10, 2003.
In the Plame affair, Scooter Libby, convicted chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, told special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that Russert told him of the identity of Central Intelligence Agency officer Valerie Plame (who is married to former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson).

Michael Isikoff

Isikoff
In the book Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, as Corn observes (before its release on September 8, 2006), they consider the issue of "whether Valerie Wilson had sent her husband to Niger to check out an intelligence report that Iraq had sought uranium there", presenting "new information undermining the charge that she arranged this trip. In an interview with the authors, Douglas Rohn, a State Department officer who wrote a crucial memo related to the trip, acknowledges he may have inadvertently created a misimpression that her involvement was more significant than it had been."
Isikoff is the co-author, with The Nation reporter David Corn, of Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War, a 2006 book about the selling of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq to the U.S. public and the ensuing Plame scandal.

Scooter Libby

Lewis "Scooter" LibbyI. Lewis "Scooter" LibbyI. Lewis Libby
Initially, the White House denied that Karl Rove, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Chief of Staff of Vice President Dick Cheney, were involved in the leak. Scooter Libby was convicted of lying to investigators.
During his media appearance outside the courtroom after the verdict in the Libby case, Fitzgerald fielded questions from the press about others involved in the Plame affair and in the CIA leak grand jury investigation, such as Armitage and Cheney, whom he had already described as under "a cloud", as already addressed in his conduct of the case and in his closing arguments in court.

Non-official cover

covertNOCnonofficial cover
A search of the LexisNexis database for the terms "CIA operative" and "agency operative" showed Novak had accurately used the terms to describe covert CIA employees, every time they appear in his articles.
Examples include Air America, used by the CIA during the Vietnam War, and Brewster Jennings & Associates, used by the CIA in WMD investigations and made public as a result of the Plame affair.

Bob Woodward

WoodwardWoodward, BobRobert Woodward
According to Isikoff, as based on his sources, Armitage told Bob Woodward Plame's identity three weeks before talking to Novak, and Armitage himself was aggressively investigated by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, but was never charged because Fitzgerald found no evidence that Armitage knew of Plame's covert CIA status when he talked to Novak and Woodward.
New York University professor Jay Rosen severely criticized Woodward for allegedly being co-opted by the Bush White House and also for not telling the truth about his role in the Plame affair, writing: "Not only is Woodward not in the hunt, but he is slowly turning into the hunted. Part of what remains to be uncovered is how Woodward was played by the Bush team, and what they thought they were doing by leaking to him, as well as what he did with the dubious information he got."

John Ashcroft

AshcroftAttorney General John Ashcrofthe ran for
Attorney General John Ashcroft recused himself from involvement with the investigation because of his close involvement with the White House, and the responsibility for oversight fell to James B. Comey, a former prosecutor who had just been appointed deputy attorney general three weeks previously.
When Karl Rove was being questioned in 2005 by the FBI over the leak of a covert CIA agent's identity in the press (the Valerie Plame affair), Ashcroft was allegedly briefed about the investigation.

Niger uranium forgeries

yellowcake forgerydocuments alleging an attempted uranium purchasealleged existence
In late February 2002, responding to inquiries from the Vice President's office and the Departments of State and Defense about the allegation that Iraq had a sales agreement to buy uranium in the form of yellowcake from Niger, the Central Intelligence Agency had authorized a trip by Joseph C. Wilson to Niger to investigate the possibility.
Plame affair

Ari Fleischer

In January 2007, during the first week of Scooter Libby's trial, it was revealed in court proceedings that former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was granted immunity from prosecution by Patrick Fitzgerald in February 2004.
Fleischer became an important figure in the CIA leak case; he testified that Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, told him that Valerie Plame was a covert agent weeks before Libby had claimed to have been informed of Plame's status by a reporter.

Melanie Sloan

Melanie Sloan, an attorney for the Wilsons and the executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, released a statement that read, "We are deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has failed to recognize the grievous harm top Bush White House officials inflicted on Joe and Valerie Wilson ... The government's position cannot be reconciled with President Obama's oft-stated commitment to once again make government officials accountable for their actions."
Sloan serves as legal counsel for former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson and his wife, retired CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson, whose then-classified covert identity was disclosed, leading to the CIA leak grand jury investigation and the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in United States v. Libby (see Plame affair).

Wilson v. Libby

a lawsuit
The Wilsons also brought a civil lawsuit against Libby, Dick Cheney, Rove, and Armitage, in Wilson v. Cheney.
Plame affair

Fair Game (memoir)

Fair Game2007 memoirFair Game'' (memoir)
In a review of Plame's memoir, Fair Game, Alan Cooperman wrote for The Washington Post that "by her own account, Valerie Wilson neither came up with the idea [of sending Joe Wilson to Niger] nor approved it. But she did participate in the process and flogged her husband's credentials."
The outing made her the center of the American political scandal known as the Plame affair.

Stephen Hadley

Stephen J. Hadley
Although it had been reported in mid-November 2005 that Novak's source was National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, almost a year later media reports revealed that the source of this information was Richard Armitage, which Armitage himself also confirmed.
Amid this, The Times of London reported that Hadley was Robert Novak's source for Valerie Plame's name in the CIA leak scandal, but this report proved to be false when Richard Armitage admitted that he was Novak's source.