Valerie Plame, the former CIA employee and husband of Joe Wilson who was the center of controversy in George W. Bush’s second term, is running for Congress as a Democrat in New Mexico’s 3rd district. If Plame wins the primary, she’ll have a good chance of winning the seat, as the 3rd district is pretty heavily Democrat-leaning, scoring a D+8 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index.
Then again, Plame would bring unique baggage to the race. You may recall in September 2017, Plame got herself in hot water for tweeting out a link to an article headlined, “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” The article’s sub-headline asked, “Shouldn’t they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?” (As I noted at the time, it’s a little odd to hear the contention that those of a certain faith should not deal with Middle East policy at all, because their religion will automatically skew their judgment. Good thing Christianity and Islam don’t have any ties to the Middle East, right? I guess the author would prefer that U.S. foreign policy in the region was managed by Scientologists.)
In the face of objections, Plame doubled down, declaring the article, “very provocative, but thoughtful. Many neocon hawks ARE Jewish . . . Read the entire article and try, just for a moment, to put aside your biases and think clearly.”
A short time later, she backtracked: “OK folks, look, I messed up. I skimmed this piece, zeroed in on the neocon criticism, and shared it without seeing and considering the rest.” (This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, considering how an hour earlier, she was telling everyone else to “read the entire article.” If Plame genuinely failed to discern any anti-Semitic themes in the articles she read and shared, I guess we should be glad she wasn’t a CIA analyst.)
She repeated an urban legend about dancing Israelis sighted after 9/11 and an article touting “Israeli fingerprints all over the place” in the investigation of the worst terror attack in American history. She shared an article entitled “Why I Still Dislike Israel” that laments the “Israel Lobby electing and controlling a malleable congress [sic] and increasingly even officials at state and local levels.” She commented that Natalie Portman was a fine choice to play a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg because “they are both Jewish.” (By itself, that’s a harmless comment, but in the context of the other ones, Plame seems particularly focused on knowing who’s Jewish and who isn’t.)
Her personal web site now lists a lengthy apology:
I regret adding to the already chaotic and sometimes hate-filled conversation on social media. In the past, I have also carelessly retweeted articles from this same site, the Unz Review, without closely examining content and authors. Now that I have, I am horrified and ashamed. The white supremacist and anti-Semitic propaganda espoused by this website is disgusting and I strongly condemn it. It is an affront to human dignity and does not reflect my values.
Some primary or general election rival is likely to put a great deal of focus on Plame’s views in this area.