Thoughts on American culture….
By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
March 17, 2007
Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson have claimed that their lives and livelihoods were “destroyed” after Robert Novak revealed Ms. Plame was employed by the CIA.
Then the couple famously posed in his Jaguar for the January 2004 cover of Vanity Fair magazine. A scarf covered Plame’s blonde hair and dark sunglasses hid her features a LITTLE. But this was hardly the conduct of a couple hiding from the glare of public attention.
Daily Variety reported on March 1, 2007, “Warner Bros. is developing a feature on the lives of Valerie Plame and Ambassador Joseph Wilson, the married couple drawn into a D.C. firestorm.”
“….The film is a co-production between Weed Road’s Akiva Goldsman and Jerry and Janet Zucker of Zucker Productions. Jez and John Butterworth are writing the screenplay. WB has secured the life rights of Plame and Wilson. Studio also will use Plame’s memoir, ‘Fair Game,’ if the CIA permits her to publish it. Plame made a reported publishing deal in the $2.5 million range last year, and Simon & Schuster is expected to publish late this year.”
Conservative blogger Tim Graham got it just about right under the headline, “Libby Verdict Adds Cinematic Appeal to Valerie Plame Movie Deal.”
“Remember how Team Clinton always disparaged their enemies as peddlers of ‘trash for cash,’ selling their stories to book publishers and movie studios? The liberal media played along then, but not now. The March 5-11 edition of Variety notes that Warner Bros. moved quickly to secure the screen rights to ‘Fair Game,’ Valerie Plame’s upcoming memoir of her life at the CIA. Michael Fleming sells it: ‘It’s a delicious political thriller of secret government power, covert identity and White House manipulation that would make for a great movie.’ Fleming doesn’t note the tale is much more ‘delicious’ if you hate Team Bush.”
Since the book and the movie deal were announced, Plame-Wilson Inc have been the beneficiaries of even more hype: Scooter Libby was found guilty of perjury and Ms. Plame was called before Congressman Waxman’s Congressional committee.
We live in a strange media age where news makes even some questionable people “famous” by bathing them in attention and coverage. One can already imagine Ms. Plame and her husband pushing their book and movie on Oprah and other chat shows.
Sometimes, Congressional hearings look a lot more like free advertising or chat shows than oversight or fact finding.
After Ms. Plame’s testimony before Mr. Waxman’s committee yesterday, Jack Pitney, political science professor at Claremont McKenna College said, “As far as I know, there wasn’t any new information today. But public attention means public pressure, and that’s what Henry Waxman does best.”
Public pressure for what exactly? An early release of the book, film and DVD?
Richard Leiby and Walter Pincus wrote in the March 16, 2007 Washington Post that “Valerie Plame’s testimony will have all the trappings of a ‘Garbo speaks’ moment on Capitol Hill, with cameras and microphones arrayed to capture the voice of Plame, the glamorous but mute star of a compelling political intrigue.”
Sounds like the made for TV movie is already unfolding before our eyes.
Donald Trump, Rosie O’Donnell and Anna Nicole Smith have left the scene for now; Brittney is under wraps and Paris Hilton is no where to be found so Valerie has grabbed the spotlight and directed it upon, naturally, herself.
Her life doesn’t look ruined at all. It looks more like she is getting her Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame. …And enjoying every bit of it.
In America, controversey has its own rewards….
The Donald, Rosie and Miss USA Take Us All For A Ride
March 17, 2007
Novak’s ‘Outings’: Damage Control
by Gordon Prather
Hours after the jury convicted Lewis “Scooter” Libby of obstructing justice – preventing Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from finding out whether a crime had been committed in the outing by columnist Bob Novak of CIA operative Valerie Plame – Joseph C. Wilson IV told reporters that the CIA was holding up publication of Valerie Wilson’s book.
Tentatively entitled Fair Game, her book reportedly not only chronicles the consequences to Valerie Wilson of the outing of Plame by Novak, but would also reveal some things about the life of Valerie Plame, the CIA operative Novak outed.
According to Mark Mansfield, a CIA spokesman, Valerie Wilson’s book is still under review because of concerns “that the manuscript, as it was originally submitted, would cause additional damage to operational matters.”
Well, you see, as far as the CIA is (officially) concerned, Valerie Wilson first became a CIA employee on January 1, 2002. As far as the CIA (officially) is concerned, they’ve never heard of Valerie Plame, the “CIA operative” Novak “outed” on July 14, 2003.
And the CIA has certainly never (officially) heard of Brewster-Jennings & Associates, Valerie Plame’s employer, which Novak deliberately “outed” as a CIA “front” on CNN on October 3, 2003, almost a month after the Justice Department had announced it had begun – at the request of the CIA – an official investigation to determine if a crime had been committed in Novak’s outing of Valerie Plame.
By the time this column appears, Valerie Wilson will (probably) have already testified before the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee, which is investigating “issues raised” by documentary evidence of conduct or misconduct by Bush-Cheney administration officials, introduced by both prosecution and defense during Libby’s trial.
Because Valerie Wilson is – and young Valerie Plame was – a beautiful woman, Chairman Waxman will almost certainly allow some of her testimony to be made publicly. But because of CIA concerns – which according to Prosecutor Fitzgerald and Judge Reggie Walton are warranted – most of the questions Waxman wants answered about the outing of Valerie Plame and Brewster-Jennings will probably have to be asked and answered in closed sessions.
Recall that in a Truthout column written on the eve of Libby’s trial, Jason Leopold noted that
“Many of the officials identified as potential witnesses were members of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), which came together in August 2002 to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. WHIG was founded by Bush’s chief of staff Andrew Card and operated out of the vice president’s office. The WHIG was not only responsible for selling the Iraq War, but it took great pains to discredit anyone who openly disagreed with the official Iraq War story.”
The conventional wisdom is that WHIG somehow got Novak to out CIA operative Valerie Plame in retaliation for Joe Wilson’s July 6, 2003 op-ed piece, which began thusly;
“Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?
“Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”
But evidence was introduced at Libby’s trial that WHIG began its campaign to discredit “a former US ambassador to Africa” two months before, almost immediately after Nicholas Kristof had this to say in his May, 6 2003 column:
“Consider the now-disproved claims by President Bush and Colin Powell that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger so it could build nuclear weapons.
“I’m told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president’s office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the CIA and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.”
Evidently, initially, WHIG didn’t know the ambassador was Joe Wilson. And they certainly didn’t know “Wilson’s wife” worked at the CIA.
And they sure as hell didn’t know about “CIA operative” Valerie Plame.
Or did they?