What if you were a friend of Valerie Plame?

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes for the moment.

Let’s say you are the wife of a mid-management engineer employed at a manufacturing facility in the Middle East, or Africa, or anywhere in the world.

Say you were known to frequent parties thrown by the wife of the American Embassador. Or you attended monthly luncheons perhaps, or any of the multitude of fund raisers and NGO activities which she attended.

Say you still kept in touch, or exchanged Christmas cards. Perhaps she called you even after she’d moved away. Perhaps she has asked you to welcome friends of hers who will be visiting your country.

Say that wife’s name was Valerie Plame, wife of Embassador Joe Wilson. Say perhaps that you were one of many social contacts that Valerie Plame kept to talk about social issues, especially about weapons proliferation. Perhaps you shared a concern for illegal weapons development or manufacture.

Now say you suddenly read in the newspaper that it has been revealed that Valerie Plame was not just an embassador’s wife, but a CIA operative.

Who saw you with her? Who has access to the telephone records which could implicate you? And what about everyone else in danger of being suspected of revealing secrets to the US CIA? Your diplomat, ex-pat friends and fellow nationals, all around the world, members of other social groups, peace societies.

Depending on where you live, on how paranoid is your governement, or on how corrupt are you industrialists, you are now a marked person. Among countless others. You may be viewed as a current threat. Or you may be a target for kiling merely for nationalist honor.

Bob Novak was the conservative columnist who outed Valerie Plame. He was tipped off by two senior white house sources who wanted to intimidate Embassador Wilson from speaking out against the war. Bob Novak refuses to name the sources, many believe one of them to be Karl Rove.

Shouldn’t Bob Novak be held liable none the less? He knew that outing a CIA agent was a federal crime. Blowing Valerie Plame’s cover was the least of the repercussions. Think of the thousands of her friends and contacts all over the world who may or may not have been helping the cause of reducing nuclear proliferation.

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