Now THIS Is a Scoop
David Corn has posted the scoop that should have been the first teaser from his and Isikoff’s Hubris–a post detailing Valerie Plame’s role in the CIA. It turns out Plame managed the group tasked with studying Iraq’s WMDs, the Joint Iraq Task Force.
Though Cheney was already looking toward war, the officers of theagency’s Joint Task Force on Iraq–part of the CounterproliferationDivision of the agency’s clandestine Directorate of Operations–werefrantically toiling away in the basement, mounting espionage operationsto gather information on the WMD programs Iraq might have. The JTFI wastrying to find evidence that would back up the White House’s assertionthat Iraq was a WMD danger. Its chief of operations was a careerundercover officer named Valerie Wilson.
In 1997 she returned to CIA headquarters and joined theCounterproliferation Division. (About this time, she moved in withJoseph Wilson; they later married.) She was eventually given a choice:North Korea or Iraq. She selected the latter. Come the spring of 2001,she was in the CPD’s modest Iraq branch. But that summer–before9/11–word came down from the brass: We’re ramping up on Iraq. Her unitwas expanded and renamed the Joint Task Force on Iraq. Within months of9/11, the JTFI grew to fifty or so employees. Valerie Wilson was placedin charge of its operations group.
Valerie Plame, Corn says, was in charge of the group that tried to develop assets who could tell them about Saddam’s WMD program.