Outed CIA officer was working on Iran

by | Feb 13, 2006 | Stress Blog | 2 comments

Larisa Alexandrovna at Raw Story has done it again. In her newest article, she explains that Valerie Wilson/Plame was investigating Iran’s nuclear dealings for her CIA front company Brewster-Jennings at the time she was outed by the White House Iraq Group, causing “significant damage” to US national security:

“Speaking under strict confidentiality, intelligence officials revealed heretofore unreported elements of Plame’s work. Their accounts suggest that Plame’s outing was more serious than has previously been reported and carries grave implications for U.S. national security and its ability to monitor Iran’s burgeoning nuclear program.”

Burgeoning, huh? Anyway,

“Intelligence sources would not identify the specifics of Plame’s work. They did, however, tell Raw Story that her outing resulted in “severe” damage to her team and significantly hampered the CIA’s ability to monitor nuclear proliferation. Plame’s team, they added, would have come in contact with A.Q. Khan’s network in the course of her work on Iran. …

Several intelligence officials described the damage in terms of how long it would take for the agency to recover. According to their own assessment, the CIA would be impaired for up to “ten years” in its capacity to adequately monitor nuclear proliferation on the level of efficiency and accuracy it had prior to the White House leak of Plame Wilson’s identity.

The revelation that Iran was the focal point of Plame’s work raises new questions as to possible other motivating factors in the White House’s decision to reveal the identity of a CIA officer working on tracking a WMD supply network to Iran, particularly when the very topic of Iran’s possible WMD capability is of such concern to the Administration.”

I have a couple: Did they shut her up because her intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program was not coming out sounding like cherry-picked talking points – or was this just an opportunity for Cheney and the neocons to score one against the CIA because they could?

In an update at the bottom of her article, Larisa points us to the Washington Note, where Steve Clemons has posted a bit from the Phase I report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where it is discussed that Joe Wilson supposedly discovered that Iran, not Iraq was interested, though not successful, in getting uranium from Niger in 1998.

“The intelligence report also said that Niger’s former Minister for Energy and Mines [redacted]. Mai Manga, stated that there were no sales outside of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) channels since the mid-1980s. He knew of no contracts signed between Niger and any rogue states for the sale of uranium. He said that an Iranian delegation was interested in purchasing 400 tons of yellowcake from Niger in 1998, but said that no contract was ever signed with Iran. Mai Manga also described how the French mining consortium controls Nigerien uranium mining and keeps the uranium very tightly controlled from the time it is mined until the time it is loaded onto ships in Benin for transport overseas. Mai Manga believed it would be difficult, if not impossible, to arrange a special shipment of uranium to a pariah state given these controls.”

No mention of Plame’s multiple trips to Turkey in this one, but a TWN reader named Charles, comments:

“Does anyone slse find it a bit more than coincidental that Plame was outed while working on Iran-related nuclear issues and at the same time AIPAC/Israel-connected spies were convicted of funneling similar-type information to Israel?”

I do.



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