A former CIA covert agent who supervised Mrs. Plame early in her career yesterday took issue with her identification as an "undercover agent," saying that she worked for more than five years at the agency's headquarters in Langley and that most of her neighbors and friends knew that she was a CIA employee.Aha! Liars! But not so fast:
"She made no bones about the fact that she was an agency employee and her husband was a diplomat," Fred Rustmann, a covert agent from 1966 to 1990, told The Washington Times.
"Her neighbors knew this, her friends knew this, his friends knew this. A lot of blame could be put on to central cover staff and the agency because they weren't minding the store here. ... The agency never changed her cover status."
Mr. Rustmann, who spent 20 of his 24 years in the agency under "nonofficial cover" -- also known as a NOC, the same status as the wife of Mr. Wilson -- also said that she worked under extremely light cover.
In addition, Mrs. Plame hadn't been out as an NOC since 1997, when she returned from her last assignment, married Mr. Wilson and had twins, USA Today reported yesterday.
One neighbor of the Wilsons, who live in the affluent Palisades community in Northwest, said that he "absolutely didn't know" that Mrs. Plame was in the CIA.Presumably, when Fitzgerald wraps up his investigation, we'll find out what sorta kinda may've happened. (Via P*w*r L*ne.)
"We understood her to work as an economist," said David Tillotson, a 62-year old lawyer. He said he didn't know that Mrs. Plame commuted to CIA headquarters, but added that "they wouldn't be conducting an investigation if she hadn't been covert."
On the "who leaked it" front, The War Room's Tim Grieve speculates about Ari Fleischer.