On CNN's October 28 breaking-news coverage of the indictment of vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on charges related to the investigation of the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, CNN national security correspondent David Ensor challenged the suggestion that Plame "suggested her husband [former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV] be sent to Niger" to investigate a possible deal to sell uranium to Iraq. Ensor reported that he had "talked to very high intelligence officials who say that just isn't true." Ensor then reported that the "very high intelligence officials" said that "it was senior officers above her [Plame] who had the idea of sending Ambassador Wilson" based on his past experience in Niger and as an ambassador elsewhere in Africa. Ensor noted that, according to his sources, Plame subsequently responded positively to the suggestion in an e-mail "to higher-ups at the CIA who suggested that Joe Wilson be sent.
Media Matters for America has documented numerous examples of reporters and commentators claiming that Plame was responsible for Wilson being sent to Niger.
From CNN's October 28 breaking-news coverage:
ENSOR: Secondly, the suggestion that's been out there quite a bit -- and there's even some discussion of it in the Senate Intelligence Committee report -- that Valerie Plame suggested her husband be sent to Niger. I have talked to very high intelligence officials who say that just isn't true. That it was senior officers above her who had the idea of sending Ambassador Wilson, knowing that he'd been in Niger before and was an experienced hand in Africa, a former ambassador on that continent. And they thought he'd be good. They then went to her and said, "Well, what do you think?" She responded with an email that said, "Yes, he'd be good for the following reasons." That was in response to higher-ups at the CIA who suggested that Joe Wilson be sent.