- Planet Erstwild - 20071207 - Valerie Plame Interview

"Fair Game" Valerie Plame WilsonJames Moore interviewed Valerie Plame live on Planet Erstwild on Dec 7, 2007. Plame is the covert CIA operative outed by senior administration officals in retaliation for an editorial her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, wrote in the New York TImes in July 2003. Titled "What I Didn't Find in Africa", Wilson's revelations led the White House to retract the centerpiece of the January 2003 State of the Union address in which the president quoted British sources that Iraq was actively seeking weapons of mass destruction and thereby threatening U.S. interests.

 

Those infamous "16 words" helped the president sell his war of choice to the public as a "war of necessity." The administration insisted that each day delayed brought closer the grave specter of mushroom clouds over American cities, as Condi Rice, Dick Cheney and others repeatedly warned. This executive fear strategy, stoking a populace already itching for revenge, worked effectively in selling the president's war but by July 2003 with no weapons of mass destruction found and the facade of "Mission Accomplished" crumbling into bloodshed and chaos in Iraq, Wilson's editorial struck a serious blow to White House credibility.

 

[Sidebar: Shortly after 9/11, only 2% of the U.S. population thought Iraq had anything to do with the horrific attacks. By the time Bush invaded the Iraq in March of 2003, nearly 44% thought that some or most of the hijackers were Iraqi.]

 

Eight days after Wilson's editorial appeared, a character assassination campaign began in which columnist Robert Novak, citing administration officials, revealed Valerie Plame's identity as a covert CIA operative. A grand jury investigation would lead to Vice President's Cheney's chief of staff Scooter Libby being sentenced to 2 & 1/2 years in prison for perjury regarding the case. His sentence was commuted by President Bush. Plame will discuss her new book, "Fair Game."