Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, January 08, 2007

Plame Game II: Will She Tell All?

First, Valerie Plame was allegedly upset that anything at all was written about her. Now, she's upset that nothing at all may be written about her.

Longtime Plametracker Michael Isikoff at Newsweek picks up the story:
Jan. 15, 2007 issue - A CIA panel has told former officer Valerie Plame she can't write about her undercover work for the agency, a position that may threaten a lucrative book project with her publisher. Plame's outing as a CIA officer in July 2003 triggered a criminal probe that culminates next week when Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby goes on trial for perjury and obstruction.

But in what could be a precursor to a separate legal battle, Plame recently hired a lawyer to challenge the CIA Publications Review Board, which must clear writings by former employees. The panel refused Plame permission to even mention that she worked for the CIA because she served as a "nonofficial cover" officer (or NOC) posing as a private businesswoman, according to an adviser to Plame, who asked not to be identified discussing a sensitive issue. "She believes this will effectively gut the book," said the adviser. Larry Johnson, a former colleague, said the agency's action seems punitive, given that other ex-CIA undercover officers have published books. But even Plame's friends acknowledge that few NOCs have done so.
Looks like more hard NOCS in the future for Plame.

The Publications Review Board, interstingly enough, has given some credibility to Plame's previously somewhat shakey spy credentials by blocking the book by verifying that yes, she really did some undercover stuff for the Agency. If she ends up winning this battle, Simon & Schuster will be able to splash "The book the CIA didn't want you to read!" all over its promotional materials.

Retribution probably has little or nothing to do with this; it's probably stuff the CIA really doesn't want us to read, so the book is in the category of OJ's "If I Did It:" Not something good people want to read.

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