Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Five Myths About Valerie Plame

Carol D. Leonnig writes in The Washington Post about five myths she has encountered while covering the trial of Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff. "[E]ven now, four years after Valerie Plame's name hit the papers, the public still has some startling misconceptions about this fascinating, thorny case," she writes.

Myth: "Valerie Plame wasn't a covert operative."

Fact: "Wrong. She was."

Myth: "Karl Rove would have been indicted in the Plame case if it hadn't been for all the destroyed evidence."

Fact: Missing White House e-mails "may contain interesting stuff, but for now, it's rank speculation to suggest that they hold information about the Plame case or would have pushed Fitzgerald to charge Rove with perjury," Leonnig writes. "Fitzgerald told the court just that. He was exercising standard prosecutorial discretion when he decided not to charge Rove, according to sources close to the investigation. He didn't think he had a strong enough case to prove that Rove had intentionally lied to investigators (though some FBI agents disagreed)."

Myth: "Libby didn't leak Plame's identity."

Fact: "[T]he overwhelming weight of the evidence at the trial -- including reporters' notes of their interviews with Libby -- showed that Libby had indeed leaked classified information about Plame's identity, even though that wasn't what put him in the dock."

The other two myths: "Bad press doesn't get under Cheney's skin," and "The White House would fire any administration official who leaked classified information about Plame."

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