Politicians lie and, despite her claims to the contrary Valerie Plame (or Plame-Wilson as she’s now styling herself), is and was a politician and a bureaucrat, not a “covert operative. But, like everyone else politicians are expected not to lie under oath.
A policy of advocating regime change in Iraq was not merely the policy of the Bush administration, it was the law of the United States enacted by Congress in 1998. Plame conspired to send her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to manufacture evidence to undermine a minor detail of the Bush administration’s case for forcing that regime change. Then last week, she lied to Congress about doing so:
REP. LYNCH: Now, I want to ask you, the suggestion that you were involved in sending your husband seemed to drive the leaks in an effort to discount his credibility. I want to ask you now under oath: Did you make the decision to send Ambassador Wilson to Niger?
MS. PLAME WILSON: No. I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him, there was no nepotism involved — I didn’t have the authority.
Of course, had she answered Lynch’s question “Did you make the decision…” she would have been truthful, but she went much further. She certainly did recommend and suggest him. There’s testimony and a paper trail showing she did.
It may not be a crime for an unelected bureaucrat in the spook factory with a political agenda to actively attempt to undermine the foreign policy of the United States, but it undeniably is a crime for that bureaucrat to lie under oath to a Congressional committee. Her perjury is even more pernicious than Scooter Libby’s, where his criminal action was covering up something that was not illegal and, hence, probably not illegal to keep quiet. Her perjury is a continuation of the bigger, if unwritten, crime of an unelected spy attempting to carry off a foreign policy coup.
Plame, is primarily responsible, along with her husband, for opening the whole can of worms in the first place, for setting in place a series of actions culminating in a prison sentence for Mr. Libby and these Congressional hearings. If she did not want to testify truthfully when, inevitably, called to testify, it was in the Wilson’s power to shut down the whole fiasco by not creating the situation in the first place. Scooter Libby had no such power and was an almost unwitting bit actor in the Wilson’s play. If it’s just for Libby to be convicted of perjury, justice cries out for an indictment against Valerie Plame for her material lies under oath.