"Setting the record straight" type of article in the Washington Post today about the outing of CIA employee Valerie Wilson.
Walter Pincus seems to be suggesting, by laying out all of the facts, that the White House operatives Karl Roveand Lewis Libby could only have put out the story that Joe Wilson's wife sent him on a "boondoggle" to Niger to check out the uranium claims as a result of them having seen the State Department classified memo on the matter. The CIA has maintained that Valerie Wilson did not choose her husband for the mission. Larry Johnson, a former CIA agent, has pointed out that she didn't have the requisite managerial role or power to actually do it. Thanks to Needlenose for analysis on this point.
So it appears to stretch credibility that they heard of Valerie Wilson's role from reporters. And if they were passing on classified info from the State Department, then they're in big trouble.
But two other points came to mind as I read Pincus' article.
First, the idea that a man can be discredited because his wife suggested him for a job. Never mind that he does the job with apparent integrity and propriety and appears to have gotten the facts correct. So never mind that he actually did the job for his country and the information that he turned up was correct.
What is more important is that his wife put him up to it. This means his work is inherently suspect. There is this aspect to their story that should be noted for its naked ugliness.
Secondly, in putting the word out that his wife put him up to the Niger mission, they are essentially admitting publicly that they didn't agree with her intelligence advice as a CIA employee. Because why would his being chosen be suspect if her work itself wasn't suspect? So in effect they were discrediting Wilson by saying his work, whatever it was, could not be relied upon because his wife chose him, and her work was also unreliable. Nice message to be sending out to her contacts around the world.
So it's either that they're incredibly sexist or incredibly willing to display their public engagement in an intelligence war of their own with a CIA analyst with whom they disagreed.
This may be restating the obvious to many out there closely following the story, but for what it's worth, I'll throw it out there again.