Echoing other conservative commentators, Mike Rosen of Newsradio 850 KOA has falsely asserted on numerous occasions that CIA agent Valerie Plame was not covert when her identity was leaked to the media in July 2003. However, a report on newly released unclassified documents confirms that Plame was indeed a covert agent at the time. Will Rosen acknowledge his falsehoods in light of the report?
As Colorado Media Matters has noted, Newsradio 850 KOA host Mike Rosen repeatedly has asserted that outed CIA agent Valerie Plame "wasn't a covert agent" at the time government officials disclosed her identity to members of the press in July 2003. As recently as March 23, Rosen claimed that Plame "certainly wasn't a covert agent in a contemporary sense" and "hadn't been covert for about seven or eight years." Now that NBC News has reported that newly released unclassified CIA documents indicate that Plame was, in fact, covert at the time of the leak, will Rosen admit he was wrong about Plame's status?
Plame's covert status had been central to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the press leak. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was convicted March 6 of perjury and obstruction of justice for his untruthful statements in the course of that investigation. As NBC reported on May 29:
WASHINGTON -- An unclassified summary of outed CIA officer Valerie Plame's employment history at the spy agency, disclosed for the first time today in a court filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, indicates that Plame was "covert" when her name became public in July 2003.
The summary is part of an attachment to Fitzgerald's memorandum to the court supporting his recommendation that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's former top aide, spend 2-1/2 to 3 years in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation.
The unclassified summary of Plame's employment with the CIA at the time that syndicated columnist Robert Novak published her name on July 14, 2003 says, "Ms. Wilson was a covert CIA employee for who the CIA was taking affirmative measures to conceal her intelligence relationship to the United States."
Plame worked as an operations officer in the Directorate of Operations and was assigned to the Counterproliferation Division (CPD) in January 2002 at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD, Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias -- but always using cover -- whether official or non-official (NOC) -- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."
Colorado Media Matters noted that before Rosen's March 23 assertion that Plame had not been covert at the time she was outed, CIA Director Gen. Michael V. Hayden had indicated in a statement for a March 16 congressional hearing that Plame had been covert. Colorado Media Matters also pointed out that Fitzgerald had indicated in earlier court filings that Plame had been covert.
As journalist Glenn Greenwald noted in a May 30 essay published by Salon.com, numerous conservative commentators -- members of what Greenwald called the "right-wing noise machine" -- have falsely asserted that Plame was not covert.