Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Breaking Valerie Plame’s cover

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Christy Hardin Smith spells out in detail what it’s like for a CIA NOC’s cover to be blown—as Valerie Plame’s was:

Imagine that one day you wake up to the incessant ping of your beeper. It is still dark outside your window, and you slide out of bed, pad quietly down the hallway and try not to wake up the wife and kids, as you slip into your home office and place a call on a secure phone. You are told that your cover has been blown, that your family may be at risk. You have to make instant decisions for your own safety, that of your family, and of every asset you have in the field – and to do that, you have to prioritize which assets are more valuable and which you can afford to lose, if necessary. You have to decide then and there which of the people you cultivated, the ones you promised safety in exchange for information and cooperation, which of them may have to die because you may not have time to save them all.

Why has your cover been blown? Because you work as a CIA colleague of the wife of a man who dared to question the veracity of the President of the United States on a matter of national security, a matter of an exaggerated claim that was inserted in his State of the Union address to bolster his case for war in Iraq. And the President’s cronies and hatchet men decided to out this man’s wife for political payback, as a lesson to anyone else who would dare to question their decisions and as a means to staunch the bleeding from this initial salvo of criticism. Damn the consequences.

No consideration for all the lives interconnected in this network of agents and field assets, or the years it took to cultivate them. No thought of the impact that this betrayal by highly placed governmental officials would have down the line — how hard it would make it to recruit human intelligence assets in the field at the very time that we need them most to gather information inside the terrorist networks that threaten us more and more each day.

No concern for the years of set up it took for Brewster-Jennings and Company, the cover company set up by the CIA that both you and this man’s wife used, to get up and running. The fact that you and she worked along with a number of other highly trained CIA officers around the world — trained in tracking down the weapons used by terrorists and thugs and the very people that threaten our nation’s safety every single day wasn’t important to them. Nor was the loss of the millions of taxpayer dollars it took to set this up and maintain it as viable cover in a number of countries worldwide.

Seemingly, no thought of the loss of ongoing investigations. If there was any consideration or calculation, a discounting of the loss of human intel assets dealing with WMD issues at a time of war, with terrorists who would like nothing more than to get their hands on the very chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and materials that you have risked your life to keep out of their hands.

The next time someone opens their yap and says to me that this case doesn’t matter. That everyone does it. That it was just politics. That this is how things are done in Washington. That the President is going to pardon them anyway. That they’ll find a way to weasel out of it. That she wasn’t really under cover anyway. That they didn’t know she was a NOC when they outed her CIA status. Or whatever other talking head pundit crap comes out of the pipeline on the next talking points bilge memo…well, it just doesn’t matter….

How dare anyone say that this case does not matter. You tell that to the family of anyone who has a star on that wall. Or to anyone who has ever had the honor of knowing and working with or living with any law enforcement hero who walks out their front door every day, knowing that it could be the last time they ever see their family. Knowing that a deep cover assignment risks not only their own life, but sometimes the lives of everyone close to them.

More at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

21 February 2007 at 8:28 am

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