Washington, July 12, 2003.
In recent days, senior White House officials, including Karl Rove, have called leading journalists with information concerning the wife of former ambassador Joseph P. Wilson IV. Wilson, an administration critic, has charged that the White House knew president Bush's claim concerning Iraq seeking uranium from Niger was false, when he made mention of this in his State of the Union Address. According to the calls made by administration officials, Valerie (Plame) Wilson has worked as an undercover CIA operative for years, dealing with WMD issues. The White House officials are claiming that it was Wilson's wife who sent him to Niger on a fact-finding mission. Following his trip to Niger, ambassador Wilson filed a report contradicting the administration's alarmist Iraqi WMD claims that took the nation to war. (cont. p.2)
Observers believe the White House outing of Valerie (Plame) Wilson is vengeance as ambassador Wilson's claims have hugely embarrassed the administration.
The CIA is filing criminal charges against the administration officials in question.
"The outing of a CIA operative is a disaster for our agency. Not just because it compromises the operations this employee was engaged in, but because it will endanger all our field operatives, as their contacts can come to believe they will be outed for cheap political gain," said CIA director George Tenet, as he met with Dept. of Justice head John Ashcroft to discuss the extent of the criminal charges that will be brought against the White House officials in question.
When asked to comment, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer declined to give a statement as this went to press.
That's what should have been in the NYTimes, on July 12, 2003.
It wasn't - and that's because Miller was collaborating with the officials in question. That's why she is in jail now, because the scandal threatening her and her newspaper is of a proportion sufficient to make the Jayson Blair fracas seem insignificant and she'd rather not go into the details. What we have here, is a sense of hubris capturing the press. They allowed themselves to be embedded in Iraq, but they have also been in bed with "movers and shakers" for years, having been seduced by the chance to be close to power, and maybe even exercise a little power themselves. (To clarify - given the second post below: I have made this up. But this is what should have been in the NYTimes, if the paper hadn't been doing the administration's work, instead of informing the public).