Saturday | October 04, 2003
Did Novak Expose More CIA Undercover Officers?
Bob Novak yesterday on CNN:
“Joe Wilson, the -- everybody knows he has given campaign contributions in 2000 to both Ford -- I mean to both Gore and to Bush. He gave twice as much to Gore, $2,000, $1,000 over the limit. The government -- the campaign had to give him back $1,000. That very day, according to his records, his wife, the CIA employee gave $1,000 to Gore, and she listed herself as an employee of Bruster, Jennings and Associates (ph).
There is there no such firm, I'm convinced. CIA people are not supposed to list themselves with fictitious firms if they're a deep cover. They're supposed to be real firms, or so I'm told. So it adds to the little mystery.”
Once Novak publicized the fact that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife was a CIA operative who used her maiden name Valerie Plame, it was possible to trace her ostensible employer through the campaign contributions she made as Valerie Wilson, for campaigns are required to collect the name of a donor’s employer. (The Political Moneyline website has even posted a link on their home page that shows the page from FEC database listing hers and her husband’s contributions, along with their home address.) Had she not been exposed as a CIA operative it is unlikely that any attention would have fallen on Brewster-Jennings and Associates, but now, as the Washington Post reports,
After the name of the company was broadcast yesterday, administration officials confirmed that it was a CIA front…
The inadvertent disclosure of the name of a business affiliated with the CIA underscores the potential damage to the agency and its operatives caused by the leak of Plame's identity. Intelligence officials have said that once Plame's job as an undercover operative was revealed, other agency secrets could be unraveled and her sources might be compromised or endangered.
A former diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity said yesterday that every foreign intelligence service would run Plame's name through its databases within hours of its publication to determine if she had visited their country and to reconstruct her activities…
The [FEC] document establishes that Plame has worked undercover within the past five years. The time frame is one of the standards used in making determinations about whether a disclosure is a criminal violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.
And even though Novak is "convinced" there was no such firm as Brewster Jennings and Associates, the Post found the company information in a business database, proving that the company did exist, "at least on paper."
It keeps getting worse…