The right have their talking points all organized and ready to defend Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove. One point is to attempt to discredit Joe Wilson by portraying him as a highly-partisan disgruntled man with an ax to grind. The other is to discredit the significance of Rove outing Valerie Plame because she was merely some sort of CIA “desk jockey” and not really a covert operative whose cover was blown and life endangered.
So it’s nice to see her former classmate at Quantico, Larry Johnson, speak up on her behalf and squash that “desk jockey” shit quickly and thoroughly. From Talking Points Memo Cafe:
Valerie Plame was a classmate of mine from the day she started with the CIA. I entered on duty at the CIA in September 1985. All of my classmates were undercover–in other words, we told our family and friends that we were working for other overt U.S. Government agencies. We had official cover. That means we had a black passport–i.e., a diplomatic passport. If we were caught overseas engaged in espionage activity the black passport was a get out of jail free card.
A few of my classmates, and Valerie was one of these, became a non-official cover officer. That meant she agreed to operate overseas without the protection of a diplomatic passport. If caught in that status she would have been executed.
The lies by people like Victoria Toensing, Representative Peter King, and P. J. O’Rourke insist that Valerie was nothing, just a desk jockey. Yet, until Robert Novak betrayed her she was still undercover and the company that was her front was still a secret to the world. When Novak outed Valerie he also compromised her company and every individual overseas who had been in contact with that company and with her.