Democrats Invite Valerie Plame to Testify
Valerie Plame has been invited to testify before Congress. About nothing in particular.
Democratic lawmakers are eager to hear from outed CIA operative Valerie Plame as they try to make political fodder out of the 2003 leak scandal.
Plame was scheduled to testify before a congressional committee Friday, but it was unlikely the hearing would offer any new information about the Bush administration’s discussions of her employment at the spy agency. “Valerie’s going to be talking in general about the need to protect intelligence assets,” her attorney, Melanie Sloan, said prior to her appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “She’s basically talking about how important national intelligence is and about how leaking is bad.”
Her prepared testimony would take about five minutes, Sloan said, and wouldn’t include any behind-the-scenes details about the CIA or the White House.
The man with that kind of information is Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who spent years investigating the leak and interviewed President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and several top aides and journalists. But Fitzgerald isn’t talking, citing federal rules prohibiting such discussions. And nobody from the White House involved in the leak was scheduled to testify. Nor was someone from the State Department, where the leak of Plame’s identity originated.
The use of Congressional “hearings” as political publicity stunts are nothing new nor by any means limited to Democrats. Still, it’s rather hilarious to do so this on a four-year-old scandal that was turned over to a special prosecutor who closed his years-long investigation without charging anyone with a crime related to the subject of said investigation. (He did, however, successfully prosecute the crime of lying during said investigation. Yay.)
The upside is that Congress will get a five minute lecture on how bad leaks are. If anyone needs that, it’s Congress.
UPDATE: Richard Leiby and Walter Pincus lead their WaPo coverage of this dog-and-pony show with this jawdropper:
She has been silent nearly four years.
I guess if you don’t count the press releases, press conferences, magazine interviews ….