Valerie Plame to Congress: I Was Covert

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One of the unresolved issues of Plamegate is whether or not Valerie Plame was covert when she was outed as a CIA agent in Bob Novak’s column. Conservatives have long maintained that she was not (Sean Hannity earlier this month: “She did not meet the criteria, in any way, shape, matter or form as a covert agent.”) and have speculated that because no one was ever charged with revealing the name of a covert agent, Plame must not have met the strict definitions of “covert” under the law. Reporting from over a year ago said that Plame did covert work within five years of the leak, but was unlikely to do any more.

Well, for what it’s worth, Valerie Plame went before Congress today and said that she was in fact covert. She’s in a position to know, obviously. ThinkProgress has video, but her statement was:

“In the run-up to the war with Iraq, I worked in the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA, still as a covert officer whose affiliation with the CIA was classified.”

“While I helped to manage and run secret worldwide operations against this WMD target from CIA headquarters in Washington, I also traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence.”

Update: A congressman is claiming that CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden recently told Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) explicitly that “Ms. Wilson was covert.”

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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