Plame In Perspective
The alleged leaking Valerie Plame's CIA role by top White House officials to undercut her sleazy, undercutting husband was all the talk of the media. But could anyone have found Val anyway? Possibly.
The ChiTrib surved media databases and found "a virtual directory of more than 2,600 CIA employees, 50 internal agency telephone numbers and the locations of some two dozen secret CIA facilities around the United States." Further:
Not all of the 2,653 employees whose names were produced by the Tribune search are supposed to be working under cover. More than 160 are intelligence analysts, an occupation that is not considered a covert position, and senior CIA executives such as Tenet are included on the list.Good for the Trib. It did not print any names or discuss any of the techniques it used to identify the names and locations. It would have been even better for the Trib to give the info to the CIA and publish nothing, but that's not what newspapers do, and it should not be expected.
But an undisclosed number of those on the list--the CIA would not say how many--are covert employees, and some are known to hold jobs that could make them terrorist targets.
Other potential targets include at least some of the two dozen CIA facilities uncovered by the Tribune search. ...
A senior U.S. official, reacting to the computer searches that produced the names and addresses, said, "I don't know whether Al Qaeda could do this, but the Chinese could."
Shame on the CIA. We didn't exactly enter the Internet age yesterday, so it has left one of its doors unlocked for years.
Related Tags: Plame, Valerie, Wilson, CIA, Chicago Tribune, Agents