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Wednesday, July 30, 2003



Valerie Plame Wilson - July 30

Josh Marshall enters the fray. For fans of hand-to-hand combat, I dissect Mr. Marshall's piece below. For SportsCenter fans, the sound bite is this: we are thrilled that a respected Washington journalist is taking this seriously and attempting to crack this story, but almost no one is talking to him, at least on the record.

The only clear bit of light that emerges seems to be this:

My sources tell me that Plame formerly worked abroad under nonofficial cover and has more recently worked stateside. Her position today may be less sensitive than it was when she worked abroad. But she still works on WMD proliferation issues. And, at a minimum, any operation that she may once have been involved in is probably now fatally compromised, any company which provided her cover is now exposed.

My alternative spin on this:

This advances our understanding a bit, and aids the White House side that she may not be all that covert. Lacking knowledge of her current status or mysterious past, it is arguable that the White House aides did not commit a felony in outing her, if I understand the statute. Please remember, I am not an attorney. Mark Kleiman has commentary on the statute here, and I see many potential avenues of escape.

That said, regardless of the law, it was stupid and rude to drag his wife into it.

Now, wild speculation - maybe, off the record, other big-time Washington reporters have been assured that there is no "there" there. I would still like a story about a non-scandal, but who am I?

UPDATE: An intrepid blogger fights through to Dana Priest at the WaPo. Check his update for more! And yes, the exclamation points are a bit of a ruse. But check anyway! It could be breaking news!

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